The team's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest lap in Melbourne as he battled Raikkonen for the final podium spot, with the outfit's boss Christian Horner saying the former champions' vehicle was actually quicker than Ferrari's.
"But what can I do?" "We tried different things, but obviously on a weekend you don't have much time. It's going to be a close race". I wasn't able to get any more from the new tyres at the end and the Ferraris were really the quickest.
"Not easy", said Hamilton, looking ahead to Sunday's race.
But first comes Bahrain where Wolff said getting the right set-up is extremely hard because two out of three practice sessions are in the heat during the day while qualifying and the race is in cooler conditions after sunset.
"Far from ideal in the last run with the traffic, but what can I do?", Raikkonen said. The safety vehicle came out and I was coming down the straight and then really last minute I was told the Ferrari was coming out.
The Dutchman was furious with himself after losing control at Turn 2 and shunting into a tyre barrier before taking a ride back to the garage on a scooter.
The session was red-flagged and stopped with more than five minutes to go in the session.
Indeed only his pride had taken a knock, as he stalked back to the paddock with his helmet still firmly on.
Raikkonen's session ended 15 minutes early when his vehicle ground to a halt out on track just after Turn Three.
Raikkonen ended up third fastest, with Ricciardo fourth and Bottas fifth with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg best of the rest in sixth, 0.846s off the pace. Marcus Ericsson finished 16th in the Sauber ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren and teammate Charles Leclerc. Friday's practice sessions also offered encouraging signs with Raikkonen heading Vettel in a Ferrari one-two at the top of the time-sheets.
After the frustration of his defeat to rival Sebastian Vettel in Australia last time out, the Mercedes driver must start from ninth in Bahrain thanks to a five-place grid penalty - served due to a gearbox change - and a below-par qualifying performance.
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - APRIL 07: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Williams Martini Racing FW41 Mercedes on track during qualifying for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 7, 2018 in Bahrain, Bahrain.