Kimi Raikkonen describes the fueling error that forced him to end qualifying early and left him sixth on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix as “painful.”
Rain caused confusion at the start of Q3, with the majority of drivers pitting at the end of their out laps to switch from slicks to intermediate tires. With the track getting wetter at the time, Raikkonen and the two Red Bulls were sent out as quickly as possible to try and get a lap in before more rain fell, but that meant there wasn’t time to refuel. Those cars that were refueled then benefited with the rain stopped later in the session, and Raikkonen was left frustrated by the error.
“We changed the tires in the pit stop place and went straight out, so we knew how much fuel was in but maybe we should have done differently — put the car in, put more fuel in it and be out there in the end — but I don’t know,” Raikkonen said. “I thought we had time enough to come in and change but that’s what happened.
“There was not much I could have done differently out there. It’s frustrating, it’s painful in the way we made our Sunday a hell of a lot more difficult.
“Here, unfortunately, often the first corner isn’t very clean because of the layout of the circuit, so the further back you start, the bigger risk that something goes wrong; so adding all the things it’s definitively not great but what can I do? We’ll try tomorrow again, hopefully learn from mistakes and keep going.
“In these conditions it’s important to be out there in the last lap, the last seconds, because that’s when the circuit is always going to be the fastest. But today that didn’t really happen.”
Ferrari has been quick in a straight line and set the fastest first and third sector times, so despite his starting position Raikkonen is hopeful he will have a good chance of gaining positions on track on Sunday.
“Let’s hope so, but like I said, you need to make it through the first corners cleanly, with no issues, and then we’ll see. Obviously it’s not the, let’s say, the normal cars in front of us, so we’ll see what happens.
“Yesterday it was surprisingly difficult to overtake but the race is a different story. It depends on which car and all those stories, so it’s not a disaster but it was not what we were looking for.”