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 mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling Plus

The mid-season rule change that has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Plus

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021