Italian GP: Kimi Raikkonen surprised by Ferrari pace at Monza

Kimi Raikkonen declared the Ferrari Formula 1 team's Italian Grand Prix qualifying result a "big surprise" as he led team-mate Sebastian Vettel in a home two-three on the Monza grid

Italian GP: Kimi Raikkonen surprised by Ferrari pace at Monza

The Ferrari duo got between Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, lapping two tenths off pole position despite the champion team's dominant Friday form and substantial engine upgrade, while Ferrari has only made small changes to its power unit this weekend.

"In a way it's a big surprise that we are this strong compared to Mercedes," said Raikkonen.

"People always talk so much about Friday, but it's just Friday - you do whatever you want and it's not about the laptimes.

"It's pointless to say we were bad yesterday, we just did our stuff we normally do and if you end up first or 10th it makes no difference.

"It turned out in qualifying that it all worked out well for us.

"We're still not happy with second or third, but this was a place where we expected it to be a bit more difficult because of the circuit layout, so it's a big surprise."

The result marks Raikkonen's first front row appearance since he took second on the 2013 Chinese GP grid with Lotus.

He said the main advantage was not the psychological boost after a run of qualifying frustrations, but being better placed to avoid trouble at the first chicane on the opening lap.

"The first corner can easily be a mess in the middle of the pack," said Raikkonen.

"The biggest thing [about qualifying second] is we'll have much less trouble in the first corner and that gives us a good chance for the race."

Vettel was pleased by the relatively small time gap to Hamilton, but he suspects Mercedes might have a greater advantage in Sunday pace.

"Being very close to Lewis is the main positive of the day - that makes us confident for tomorrow," said Vettel.

"We need to be realistic, it's going to be a tough race.

"Those guys [Mercedes] have some serious pace in the race, as we've found out many times this year."

Hamilton added that it was "nice to see we have a good fight" but was also confident in Mercedes' advantage.

"Our race pace has tended to be quite strong, so I hope we see that tomorrow," he said.

"I don't want to take away Sebastian's dreams, but I also have dreams.

"The majority of fans are going to want the reds to win, but if they're in this position I'm sure they'll still be happy."

shares
comments
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to Monza pole

Previous article

Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Kimi Raikkonen to Monza pole

Next article

Italian GP: McLaren has no hope at Monza - Fernando Alonso

Italian GP: McLaren has no hope at Monza - Fernando Alonso
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021