No relief for Raikkonen from first pole of the year

Image by Glenn Dunbar/LAT

No relief for Raikkonen from first pole of the year

Formula 1

No relief for Raikkonen from first pole of the year


Kimi Raikkonen insists he doesn’t feel relieved to take his first pole position of the year at the Italian Grand Prix as it changes little ahead of Sunday’s race.

With his future uncertain, Raikkonen’s first pole position since last year’s Monaco Grand Prix comes at the perfect time, with the Finn beating teammate Sebastian Vettel as Ferrari locked out the front row at Monza. Raikkonen (pictured accepting the Pirelli Pole Award from Mick Schumacher) has had a number of near misses this season but asked if it was a relief to finally secure pole, he replied: “Not really.

“It’s not my first one. If this would be the first one then of course it’s different but we keep trying always and sometimes it works out, sometimes not. It’s not as easy as it probably looks on TV.

“Today, I think the whole weekend has been working pretty well with everything. The conditions have been changing a little bit but nevertheless I was close. After the practice, we knew that there was three cars — one of them was going to get it and today it was me. Happy about it but it doesn’t really change anything. Tomorrow is always the main job to be done.”

While Vettel appeared unhappy with Ferrari, having been the lead car on track and therefore giving Raikkonen a tow, the 38-year-old says he didn’t get a significant advantage compared to his teammate.

“If you need to choose, for our team it’s probably the best place to take the pole position. Obviously we’ve been close a few times but it never really went right in the end. It’s been a bit tricky, the second chicane, the whole day. The last run was pretty decent, let’s put it this way, enough for pole position.

“Obviously there were a lot of games — who is going first, getting tows and this and that. But in the end, there was a train of cars and that’s enough.

“The car’s been working well; obviously conditions have been a little tricky but nevertheless I don’t think we’ve changed the car at all since the first runs, really. It all seems to be running pretty smoothly so far, so hopefully tomorrow it’s a similar situation.”