GP Monaco, commenti post qualifiche–27/05/2017
FIA post-qualifying press conference – Monaco
Drivers: 1 – Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), 2 – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 3 – Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes).
Q: Kimi, what a fantastic job, your second pole here in Monaco but perhaps more importantly, you first pole since France 2008, which is 128 races ago – it established a new record for the gap between pole position. Clearly there’s plenty of life still within you yet. How excited are you to be starting on pole in Monaco, and where did it come from today, this performance?
Kimi Raikkonen: Obviously it’s the best place to start for tomorrow, but it doesn’t guarantee anything for tomorrow. Nevertheless I’ll happily take it. It’s been all weekend quite OK. We’ve been struggling a little bit in certain places and we’ve been working and trying to figure it out and in qualifying it was better, by no means perfect, but it’s never going to be perfect. It was good enough and I was very happy with the car in there. If you look you can always go a bit faster here and there but that’s normal, it’s a never-ending story like that. We had a good timing when we went out. I felt good, so I was able to push and it was quite a nice straightforward qualifying. So happy for myself, happy for the team. Obviously we have two cars in the front tomorrow so let’s try to make the best out of it.
Q: (Pete Farkas – Auto Motor) It was quite interesting to see that during free practices Sebastian seemed to be a bit more confident on track than Kimi, but throughout qualifying it was the other way round. Has something changed – maybe it was because of the conditions, maybe the very high track temperatures – or maybe it was nothing in particular?
KR: No, I don’t think so. I think it’s the very fine details that make a difference here. If you have just a little bit of an off feeling with the tyres or something like that in one place, it limits you to go fast and obviously in those low-speed corners you can lose a lot of time for basically nothing. It’s tricky to put the good laps together. You try to kind of, in the practice, take it a bit easier, not to destroy the car, because then you are going to lose a lot. Then you push and hopefully you get it right. But I think it’s such small differences. It’s nothing to do with conditions or anything else, it’s just whoever gets the best feeling and being able to push.
Q: (Louis Dekker – nos.nl) For all the drivers, can you say if the circuit, with these new cars, is easier or more difficult?
KR: I don’t think it’s any easier. We end up going faster but then the same difficulties are there to go fast. It’s always tricky here, like it is in any place, especially here because you have to get very close to the kerbs and the walls and everything and there’s no chance to make mistakes. I think the resurface has improved a lot the circuit. It’s less bumpy, so it makes it a bit more nicer – but I don’t feel it’s any easier because the cars are faster and how more downforce. Everything happens a bit faster.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) To Kimi. Kimi in spite of being the sixth round of the Championship there is an important difference in points between you and Sebastian. In the case you and Sebastian are fighting the first bend after the start, how will you react?
KR: No different to any other point this year, last year. We know what we are doing, we are racing for the team and y’know, we have certain rules and respect against each other. We are allowed to fight but obviously, we have to do it as clean as we can and not take each other out.
Q: (Ottavio Daviddi – Tuttosport) To the Ferrari drivers. You are in the first row, I think that the first corner will be very important. I would like to know if it is necessary to discuss about Ste. Devote between you with doors closed tonight, or not?
I think Kimi’s half-answered this already…
Q: And Kimi, you will presumably have a briefing before the race in which it will…
KR:… I don’t know why people expect that it is something different tomorrow than it’s been the last two years. Nothing has changed. Just try to make a stupid story out of nothing.
Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, this pole position, during the last nine years, it’s important for you to have done it in such a selective track as Monte Carlo?
KR: No, I would have happily taken any other place also but it just happens. We’ve been close a few times lately but it’s something we haven’t really got in the last race. But if you take any circuit, here it’s the most important to be in front but it doesn’t automatically give you a win or a good result. There are so many things that can happen in a race that are nothing to do with you. You might be doing and the team might be doing a perfect job but actually there are absolutely other things which might destroy the whole race so it’s going to be a long difficult race but we have two cars in the best possible positions so that’s the main thing.
Raikkonen happy, but pole ‘guarantees nothing’
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen says he will be taking nothing for granted in Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, despite admitting his delight at being on pole for the first time in almost a decade.
Raikkonen looked imperious throughout Saturday’s Monte Carlo qualifying, finishing less than a tenth of a second ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel who will join him on the front row.
“Obviously it’s the best place to start for tomorrow but it doesn’t guarantee anything for tomorrow,” said the Finn, who won the famous street race for McLaren back in 2005.
“Nevertheless I’ll happily take it, and it’s been quite okay all weekend. We’ve been struggling a little bit in certain places and have been working to try and figure it out.
“Qualifying was better – it wasn’t perfect, but it’s never going to be perfect. It was good enough and I was very happy with the car.
“You can always go a bit faster here and there – it’s normally a never-ending story like that – but things went well. We had good timing with when we went out and I felt good, so I was able to push and it was a quite nice, straightforward qualifying.”
Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene was quick to praise the efforts of Raikkonen, who took the title with Ferrari in 2007 – but who has not won a race for them since Belgium 2009.
“I’m really happy for him because he deserves it – the champion is coming out sometimes,” said Arrivabene. “It’s a pity for Sebastian that he made a little mistake in Turn 5, but having two cars up there is good.”
The qualifying result means Ferrari’s second front-row lockout of the year, the last one being in Russia where they were then beaten to victory by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
“I’m happy we find the pace now, but we have to remember the last one in Sochi, be careful and think about tomorrow,” added Arrivabene.
With the prospect of a 21st career victory firmly on the cards, Raikkonen concluded: “Happy for myself, happy for the team and obviously we have two cars on the front tomorrow so we’ll try to make the best of it.”