Kimi Raikkonen believes he missed out on the chance to be “quite comfortably on pole” at the Hungarian Grand Prix due to the traffic he suffered on his final lap in qualifying.
Ahead of the final attempts on an improving but still wet track in Budapest, Raikkonen was on provisional pole position after showing good pace on the full wet tire. However, while last on track — therefore with theoretically the best conditions compared to his teammate and the Mercedes pair — Raikkonen had a poor first sector and slipped to third behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
“Obviously it’s not ideal, but I think that what is the most important and nice thing was that the car was drivable and enjoyable in the rain,” Raikkonen said. “We got a bit unlucky after I changed tires, and we felt it was a lot quicker, but I was behind the Haas and in the spray, as you know, you it’s impossible to see and improve.
“But there was definitively chances today, in these conditions, to be quite comfortably on pole. But it didn’t happen and tomorrow we’ll keep trying.”
And Raikkonen says he couldn’t get a bigger gap behind the Haas due to the amount of time left in Q3, but backed Ferrari for the decisions the team made during such a mixed session.
“I think it was quite tricky. Most of the times we did the right calls, in Q2 I wanted to go out with the slicks, to see if we had enough time to do one lap, but it wasn’t obviously the case, so it was a bit tricky. The one lap with the intermediates was a bit late, as it was starting to rain, but it was enough to get through and that’s the main thing.
“The last session… it was disappointing not to be the first. I think we had the speed today and I was pleasantly surprised with how nice the car was on the wets, because that has definitely not been our strong point lately.
“So that was great, I was able to drive it hard in the wet, but I was a bit unlucky with the traffic when we changed the tires in Q3. They had more grip and I could get a lot more lap time, but we got behind a Haas, I couldn’t really slow down a lot more on the out lap otherwise I would run out of time to start it. So, there was nothing I could have done, but it’s a shame, today for sure there was the speed. But tomorrow is another day.”
Asked how much risk he is willing to take at the start of the race given how difficult it is to pass at the Hungaroring, Raikkonen replied: “I have nothing to lose, do I?
“We’ll do the normal things and see where we come out. You can plan it as much as you want, but things will go either way. Obviously you try to make it very clean, you try to make the right decisions but when the time will come we can hopefully get a good getaway and see what we can do.”