Raikkonen blames errors for missing Russian Grand Prix front row

Kimi Raikkonen blamed his own mistakes for his failure to get the Ferrari Formula 1 team on the front row for the Russian Grand Prix

Raikkonen blames errors for missing Russian Grand Prix front row

With Lewis Hamilton sidelined by an MGU-H problem and Raikkonen's Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel facing a gearbox-change penalty, Raikkonen was potentially Nico Rosberg's main rival for Sochi pole.

But he was only fourth fastest in Q3 behind Rosberg, Vettel and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, so will start third.

"I ran wide in the last corner but I'd been struggling all weekend to put any decent laps together," said Raikkonen of his last Q3 run.

"It was better in qualifying but I was still fighting with the fronts a bit in a few places.

"It was one of those days I think. The whole weekend I've been fighting with the set-up to find it and make the tyres work as we want.

"There's been a few corners there I've been fighting all weekend. I think the last lap was pretty decent but in places it was still not ideal.

"Then I f***** it up in the last corner but it could've been an awful lot worse."

VETTEL STILL EYEING PODIUM

Vettel will start from seventh place on Sunday. He was eight tenths of a second slower than Rosberg's pole time, but is optimistic about what he can salvage in the race.

"When you qualify second, that is where you sort of belong," he said of his podium chances.

"With the penalty, we start further back but we should be quicker than those cars in front.

"It's not easy to pass, it's not easy to follow, so we'll see.

"I would have liked the gap to be a bit smaller, but in Q2 we saw Nico in particular was very strong at getting a lap in.

"A good job from his side. For us it was the maximum."

Ferrari used three engine development tokens for an upgrade prior to Sochi.

Raikkonen played down the effect this would have.

"It's working as we expect so it's not the massive things," he said.

"It's small improvements here and there with the car and the whole package.

"People are very interested - 'oh you have a new engine' - but we put new parts on all the time and try to improve all areas so it's a very normal thing."

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