Kimi Raikkonen: Red Bull’s Friday Singapore GP pace was misleading
Kimi Raikkonen says it is "pointless" to study Friday Formula 1 lap times as "it’s so easy to make somebody look good", after Ferrari overhauled Red Bull in Singapore qualifying.
Daniel Ricciardo lapped seven tenths clear of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in Friday practice at Marina Bay, while Raikkonen was nearly two seconds adrift in the best of the Ferraris.
But Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel closed to within a tenth of the pace set by Max Verstappen in final practice on Saturday, before beating the Red Bulls to pole by more than three tenths in qualifying.
Raikkonen would likely have joined Vettel on the front row without a mistake on his final Q3 lap, and suggested Vettel’s result indicates how misleading Friday practice form can be in F1.
"It all seemed to change for qualifying, but we have seen that in other weekends," Raikkonen said.
"Some teams can be quick very early in the weekend and then everyone closes up and bunches up a bit.
"Different fuel loads, or runs, it’s so easy to make somebody look good.
"It’s a bit pointless to look at the Friday times and say ‘this team will be ahead of others’.
"More often than not, everyone bunches up. The top three teams are usually closer to each other.
"Since yesterday, we – well at least myself – was nowhere near to the Red Bull; today, without some mistakes, we could have [both] been ahead of them."
Raikkonen said Ferrari was struggling to improve the car without making it worse in other aspects as it battled to turn things around after a difficult Friday.
He said he did not feel comfortable with his Ferrari’s handling as he ended up fourth, two tenths adrift of Ricciardo’s Red Bull.
"It’s been a difficult weekend, all the way through," Raikkonen added. "Qualifying was the best that it has been so far but it still definitely didn’t feel easy.
"It just didn’t feel like I would expect. I was fighting and trying to get a good lap, but [it was] easy to make mistakes and easy to lose lap time.
"It’s a tricky circuit, a lot of corners, a lot of places where it is easy to make a mistake. You take it to the limit, sometimes you get away with it, sometimes not.
"OK, it is never going to be easy anywhere, but you expect things to be making sense.
"It’s fighting with different issues, and improving one but creating another one. It’s small things.
"I’d take the fourth place because if you look until before qualifying, it could have been awfully more worse."
Vettel beats Red Bulls to Singapore Grand Prix pole, Hamilton fifth
Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for Singapore Grand Prix, with Formula 1 world championship rival Lewis Hamilton down in fifth.
Ferrari driver Vettel set a time quick enough for pole position on his first run in Q3, during which all drivers used ultra-soft rubber, with a 1m39.669s.
He then survived a light brush of the wall at the right-hander coming out from under the grandstand on his second run to improve to a 1m39.491s to take pole from Red Bull driver Max Verstappen by 0.323 seconds.
Verstappen had set the pace in Q2, but after going second fastest on his first run in Q3 he was unable to improve on his second.
Daniel Ricciardo was third in the second Red Bull, but could only improve by 0.022s on his second run.
That left Kimi Raikkonen in fourth place, unable to carry his impressive first-sector pace into the second and third sectors of his final lap.
Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both qualified on the third row, with the gap between the two Mercedes team-mates almost seven tenths of a second.
Nico Hulkenberg was best-of-the rest in seventh for Renault, just ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
The second McLaren-Honda of Stoffel Vandoorne was ninth, well ahead of 10th-placed Carlos Sainz Jr.
Renault driver Jolyon Palmer missed out on Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Alonso on the second runs in the second segment of qualifying.
Palmer failed to improve on his second set of tyres in Q2 thanks to a moment at the final corner, which the team suggested over the radio cost him 10th place.
Sergio Perez complained about having "no grip at all" on his second Q2 run and ended up 12th after being unable to improve on his first-run time.
Daniil Kvyat did improve on his second run, but only by enough to take 13th ahead of the second Force India of Esteban Ocon.
Romain Grosjean, who paid two visits to the Turn 7 escape road at the end of the back straight in Q1, didn’t post a time on his first run in Q2 and was unable to do better than 15th when he made his second attempt.
Kevin Magnussen was the fastest of those eliminated in Q1, having been relegated to 16th by Hulkenberg’s leap up the order.
Williams driver Felipe Massa was also knocked out in 17th after a difficult session.
He didn’t set a serious lap time on his first run because he clipped the wall at the exit of the Turn 20/21 right-left and suffered a right-rear puncture.
Massa then had a big moment in the fast left-hander at the end of his final flying lap, which ensured any faint hope he had of making Q2 was lost.
His team-mate Lance Stroll was 18th ahead of Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein, who also had a minor brush with the wall at the penultimate complex of corners.
Marcus Ericsson was last in the second Sauber, and will be given a five-place grid penalty thanks to a gearbox change triggered by damage suffered when he hit the wall during free practice three.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.814s||0.323s|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.840s||0.349s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.056s||2.565s|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.246s||–|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.338s||–|
|14||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.760s||–|
Singapore GP FP3: Max Verstappen tops close final F1 practice
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen pipped Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the fastest time in third and final Formula 1 practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.
Verstappen posted a 1m41.829s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres to finish 0.072 seconds clear of Vettel with Lewis Hamilton 0.142s off the pace in third.
But Verstappen was told to return to the pits slowly after reporting that the car was "shifting by itself" while Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo clipped the wall, forcing him to back out of his final attempt at a low-fuel run.
Both Red Bulls returned to the track in the final seconds of the session, suggesting that neither situation caused any lasting problems.
McLaren continued its strong pace at Marina Bay with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne fourth and fifth respectively.
As the sun set, Vettel was the first driver to post a representative time, the Ferrari driver going quickest with 1m43.237s, but he clipped the wall on the exit of the penultimate corner in the process.
The Red Bulls hung back and didn’t head out for their timed laps until midway through the session with Verstappen going fastest and Ricciardo second, 0.268s adrift of his team-mate.
The session was red-flagged after Marcus Ericsson had a low-speed spin, sending his Sauber into the wall backwards just after he had driven under the grandstand towards the end of the lap.
Ericsson recovered to the pits with a damaged rear end, but the marshals needed just under 10 minutes to sweep away the debris from the accident.
There was a flurry of activity when the session was restarted, with Vettel setting the fastest first and second sectors to go quickest with a 1m41.901s, 0.348s quicker than Verstappen.
The Red Bulls headed out in a bid to respond, with Verstappen reclaiming top spot by just a fraction of a second.
Ricciardo, who topped both Friday practice sessions, had to back out of his effort when he clipped the wall, and he ended up sixth quickest.
Hamilton’s lap to go third left the top three split by just 0.142s.
Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest in seventh for Renault, with Valtteri Bottas failing to improve on his final run and ending up six tenths adrift of Mercedes team-mate Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen, who said "not a lot of things made sense" for Ferrari in Friday practice, continued to struggle as he posted the ninth best time, eight tenths behind team-mate Vettel.
Force India’s Sergio Perez closed out the top 10, a tenth clear of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.829s||12|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.688s||11|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.181s||14|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1.280s||15|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.527s||17|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.745s||17|
Italian Grand Prix – “Not where we wanted to be”
Kimi’s comments follow similar lines: “Today in wet conditions it felt quite tricky all the time. We struggled to get the tires working, in most places we had no grip and it was very slippery. It was difficult to go through the corners and be able to push and go fast. The starting position is not ideal but we’ll start in a bit better position thanks to penalties for the other cars. Now we have to wait and see how the weather will turn out. I’m sure that in the dry conditions it will be a lot different, our car should be working quite well”.
Raikkonen, who was well off Vettel’s pace in Q1 and Q2, but ended up just under a tenth quicker in the final segment, said: "We are not fast enough. From my car, I don’t know about the other car, but I struggle a lot with the grip.
"Either we didn’t make the tyres work, or whatever it is, it’s very slippery.
"Especially with the low downforce, you cannot put enough force in the tyres and it’s a never-ending story then."
Lewis Hamilton beats Michael Schumacher’s F1 pole record at Monza
Lewis Hamilton claimed a record 69th Formula 1 pole position in a rain-affected Italian Grand Prix qualifying session, beating Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to top spot as Ferrari struggled.
Qualifying was delayed for more than two and a half hours, after a heavy crash for Romain Grosjean’s Haas on the pit straight caused the session to be halted and then suspended as heavy rain deluged the Monza F1 circuit.
The intensity of the rain varied throughout qualifying when it finally resumed, and a break in the rain in the closing minutes of Q3 allowed Verstappen and Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to briefly lock out the front row before Hamilton’s late show – which helped him surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of 68 F1 poles that he equaled last time out in Belgium.
"It’s very hard to find the words to explain how I feel – I’m trying to figure it out right this second," said Hamilton.
"I wish I had something really iconic to say. I heard it has only switched hands a couple of times in 50 years, 60 years.
"I am very proud of what has been achieved and it is crazy. I have to keep going and keep extending it."
Though exciting, the battle was rendered meaningless by grid penalties for both Red Bulls for making illegal engine component changes ahead of Friday practice.
Verstappen is set to receive a 20-place penalty and Ricciardo a 25-place penalty, which will promote Williams rookie Lance Stroll to a sensational front row start for Sunday’s race.
Stroll lapped inside the top five in Q2 and was fourth fastest in Q3, only three tenths slower than Verstappen.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon was fifth fastest, while Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who set the pace in Q1, abandoned his final flying lap so wound up only sixth on the final timesheet.
That was one place better than the Ferrari drivers managed, with Kimi Raikkonen seventh and championship leader Sebastian Vettel eighth as they struggled for grip on the Pirelli wet tyres.
The second Williams of Felipe Massa and Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren-Honda rounded out the top 10.
Sergio Perez looked to have joined Force India team-mate Ocon in making Q3 after a late improvement in Q2, but his lap was 0.002s slower than Ocon’s and failed to get the job done after a last-gasp effort from Vandoorne.
Perez should start inside the top 10 anyway, owing to those grid penalties for the Red Bull drivers.
Nico Hulkenberg sat inside the top 10 after the initial Q2 runs, but his Renault struggled for grip on intermediates on his second run and slipped to 12th. He will drop further back thanks to a 10-place grid penalty for changing his MGU-H before final practice.
Fernando Alonso, who faces a 35-place grid penalty of his own, made only one run in Q2, but it was good enough to put his McLaren-Honda 13th, ahead of Toro Rosso pairing Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr, who also faces a 10-place grid penalty.
Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, Jolyon Palmer’s Renault and the two Saubers were eliminated in Q1, along with Grosjean.
Magnussen made a late improvement on intermediate tyres after the initial runs on full wets, but this was not enough for him to escape the drop zone.
The Haas driver finished up 0.701s adrift of Sainz’s Toro Rosso, while Palmer’s Renault was bumped to 17th.
Palmer is set to take a 15-place grid penalty for engine component swaps ahead of final practice, so will drop behind Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein and Grosjean in the final reckoning.
Ericsson trailed Sauber team-mate Wehrlein by almost a second after the wet-tyre running, but beat him to the 18th quickest time by 0.143s with a late improvement on intermediates.
Grosjean didn’t take part in the restarted session after his earlier crash.
Italian GP grid
|3||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.719s||2.165s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.582s||2.028s|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.245s||2.691s|
|14||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.702s||1.148s|
|16||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.526s||2.972s|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.841s||1.287s|
Felipe Massa fastest as Monza F1 Saturday practice is near-washout
Third and final Formula 1 practice for the Italian Grand Prix was a near-total washout, with Williams duo Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll fastest of those to set a time.
Showers overnight were followed by heavier rain on Saturday morning at Monza, leading to the cancellation of GP3 qualifying.
F1 race director Charlie Whiting then delayed the start of F1 practice "indefinitely" as the risk of aquaplaning was high.
The clock for the 60 minute session started on time, as there has to be a two-hour gap between the end of FP3 and the start of qualifying.
The safety car headed out several times to assess the track, and at just past the halfway point deemed the conditions had improved.
The session started with 16 minutes remaining, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo the first driver to head out to brave the puddles on a set of wet Pirelli tyres.
All 20 drivers eventually headed out to assess the track conditions, but only seven completed timed laps.
The conditions remained treacherous, with Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat locking up on the run to the first corner and missing the first chicane.
Sainz completed the most running, with five laps, while Massa topped the times with a 1m40.660s to end the session just over two-tenths faster than Stroll.
Nico Hulkenberg, Sainz, Jolyon Palmer, Marcus Ericsson and Kvyat were the other drivers to complete timed laps.
The conditions meant teams were unable to carry out the usual qualifying simulations.
|4||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.515s||0.855s||5|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.033s||4.373s||4|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||–||–||1|
|9||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||–||–||1|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||–||–||2|
|19||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||–||–||1|
Kimi Raikkonen: Sebastian Vettel’s Spa qualifying tow my own idea
Kimi Raikkonen says giving Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel a tow in Belgian Grand Prix qualifying was his own idea, not a team strategy.
Raikkonen had looked the stronger of the Ferrari drivers in practice, as he headed Vettel in all three sessions and after the first runs in the final qualifying segment.
But Raikkonen made a mistake during his last attempt in the pole shootout and aborted his lap, instead giving a tow to his team-mate.
Vettel ended up on the front row alongside the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and half a second up on Raikkonen, who was demoted to fourth by Valtteri Bottas.
"Don’t try to make a funny, stupid story," said Raikkonen when quizzed assisting Vettel.
"I had a mistake, I was coming back. If I can help our team, I will do it.
"It cost me nothing because I was coming in the pitlane.
"I knew he was behind me, so I sped up and tried to help him on the straight. It’s as simple as that."
While Vettel said his car felt significantly better on the final Q3 run, he also conceded the tow from Raikkonen helped.
"I had a little bit of a light front end, especially through sector two with the medium-speed, high-speed corners," Vettel said.
"I was lacking a little bit of response, but on the last lap the car was more alive. Immediately I could feel it turning into Turn 1 [La Source].
"Also I admit I was a bit lucky with Kimi, who had to abort the lap, and he gave me a very, very nice tow – which I think made it a bit more comfortable with Valtteri."
Vettel agreed it was not part of a team plan.
"He obviously wanted to finish that lap but when he did the mistake, and because of where we were positioned, I guess he saw a red car in the mirrors and thought ‘I would hand him a tow’, which was quite nice and obviously quite useful for me," he said.
"It wasn’t planned. I saw some other teams playing around with tows, previously in qualifying, but usually it is one of those things that you can’t plan, so you tend to stay away from it.
"I think it was very spontaneous."
Though Hamilton was 0.262 seconds clear in qualifying, Vettel believes Ferrari can challenge Mercedes in race trim.
Asked about the long-run pace, he said: "So far it has been looking pretty good, so I hope we can keep it up.
"The car on one lap, I thought all weekend it’s a bit trickier to get it all together. Consecutive laps, high fuel, I felt really good, so let’s see what we can do with strategy tomorrow as well.
"For sure Mercedes will be quick, but we don’t have to hide. We’re on the front row for a reason, we have the speed, and we should have it as well in the race."
Belgian GP qualifying: Hamilton equals Schumacher’s F1 pole record
Lewis Hamilton beat Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record tally of 68 career poles with a sublime performance.
Hamilton impressively broke through the 1m43s barrier for the first time in Q2 at Spa, and repeated the feat on his first run in Q3, leading Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by more than three tenths of a second.
Hamilton found even more time on his second Q3 run, clinching pole with a stunning 1m42.553s effort.
Vettel’s Ferrari languished in fourth after the first runs in Q3, but the world championship leader pulled things together on his second run, taking a tow from team-mate Raikkonen in the final sector to beat Bottas to the front row.
Vettel’s 1m42.795s lap made him the only driver other than Hamilton to lap below 1m43s.
Bottas improved to a 1m43.094s best on his own final run, but struggled in the middle sector compared to Hamilton and ended up relegated to the second row.
Raikkonen held a provisional front row spot after the first runs in Q3, despite suffering unexplained vibrations from the rear of his Ferrari throughout qualifying, but "fucked it up" on his final Q3 run so aborted the lap and dropped to fourth.
Max Verstappen was best of the Red Bulls in fifth, almost half a second clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, while Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault comfortably beat the Force Indias of Sergio Perez – who complained of a loss of grip in Q3 – and Esteban Ocon to seventh.
The second Renault of Jolyon Palmer looked set to qualify best of the rest behind the top three teams after setting the seventh quickest time in Q2, but he broke down at the exit of Stavelot on his out-lap in Q3, after losing gearbox oil pressure, so wound up 10th.
Fernando Alonso missed out on the final Q3 spot by 0.084s, despite the efforts of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne to give Alonso a tow along the Kemmel Straight on Alonso’s final flying lap.
Alonso then aborted the attempt, complaining of "no power" from his Honda engine at the exit of Pouhon over team radio.
Romain Grosjean found more than three tenths on his second Q2 run, but that was only good enough for 12th, ahead of Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen – who went slower on his second attempt – and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr.
Grosjean felt he lost downforce behind Vandoorne’s pitting McLaren in the final sector, without which he felt he might have made the top 10.
Vandoorne was 15th, but didn’t set a time in Q2 and will drop to the back of the grid in any case thanks to a 65-place penalty for two illegal engine changes earlier in the weekend.
Williams’s disastrous Spa weekend continued with both cars dropping out in Q1. Felipe Massa fell less than a tenth short of making the cut after a late improvement, knocked out by a better one from Sainz’s Toro Rosso.
Massa ended up 16th quickest, but will drop back thanks to a five-place grid penalty for ignoring double waved yellow flags in final practice.
Daniil Kvyat was 17th in the second Toro Rosso, almost seven tenths adrift of Sainz, complaining he had "no reference" after breaking down with an engine problem in the morning session. Kvyat will take a 20-place grid penalty for requiring an engine, turbo and MGU-H change before qualifying.
Massa’s Williams team-mate Lance Stroll was 18th quickest, but didn’t venture out for a second run in Q1 due to a rear wing problem.
Marcus Ericsson won the private battle of the Saubers to avoid being slowest of all in qualifying, beating team-mate Pascal Wehrlein to the 19th quickest time by 0.465s. Both will take grid penalties for gearbox changes.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.380s||0.827s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.863s||1.310s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.244s||2.691s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.369s||2.816s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.439s||–|
|19||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m46.028s||–|
Belgian GP: Kimi Raikkonen leads Ferrari one-two in final practice
Kimi Raikkonen headed a narrow Ferrari one-two in the final free practice session for Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Quickest in practice one and a close second to Lewis Hamilton on Friday afternoon, Raikkonen then set the fastest recorded lap on the current configuration of the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Saturday morning with a 1m43.916s.
Rain in the build-up to practice three meant initial laps were on intermediates tyres and no lap times were put on the board until a quarter of the way into the 60-minute session.
Soon after Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat kicked off the meaningful running with a lap on super-softs, Hamilton picked up where he left off on Friday, going top with a 1m45.480s effort on the same tyre.
But he was down to third at halfway point, leapfrogged by both Ferraris.
Raikkonen had first lapped a tenth off Hamilton and then cleared the Mercedes man with a 1m42.422s effort, while Vettel slotted into second, 0.036 seconds off, as the frontrunners’ super-soft runs concluded.
Red Bull was first among the big teams to send its drivers out on ultra-softs, but Daniel Ricciardo’s first flying lap on the compound was derailed by yellow flags – brought out by junior team driver Kvyat, who parked his Toro Rosso to the side of the Kemmel straight after reporting a loss of power.
When the car was cleared away – a small fire developing in the process – Ricciardo took the top spot with a 1m45.286s lap, before team-mate Max Verstappen improved the benchmark to a 1m45.034s.
But Red Bull’s time at the top was shortlived, as Raikkonen clocked in the current Spa layout’s first sub-1m44s lap with his first flyer.
Hamilton moved up to second, two tenths off, only for Vettel to reinstate a Ferrari one-two with a lap 0.001s better than the Mercedes.
There would be no further improvements among the top three, but their margin of almost a second over their nearest rivals remained until the chequered flag.
Verstappen and Ricciardo made no gains either, finishing fourth and sixth, split by the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who distinctly trailed Hamilton on both super-soft and ultra-soft pace having made errors on his first flying laps.
Jolyon Palmer was a standout performer in seventh, just two tenths off Ricciardo and more than half a second clear of 11th-placed Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was eighth, with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso making up the top 10.
Williams driver Felipe Massa, returning to action after the crash that meant he barely did any laps on Friday, was one spot behind 15th-placed team-mate Lance Stroll – and is under investigation for ignoring double-waved yellow flags.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.034s||1.118s||13|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.286s||1.370s||18|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.857s||1.941s||14|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.942s||2.026s||18|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.179s||2.263s||14|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m47.903s||3.987s||7|
Kimi Raikkonen ‘threw it away’ in Hungarian GP F1 qualifying
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen believes he could have beaten Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix but for a mistake when it counted.
Raikkonen qualified 0.168 seconds slower than pole-winner Vettel, and rued a big moment at the Turn 6 chicane.
"Actually not too good," said Raikkonen of his fastest lap.
"I mean, the start was good, and the end was not too bad, but in the chicane I braked on the outside kerb and got loose and really threw it away there.
"It was decent enough still for second place, but it’s a bit disappointing, I felt I had it, but I couldn’t really finish it.
"You try to always find a better way of driving, so it’s very normal to discuss something like that, and I was pretty happy with the last lap apart from going into the chicane, where I got sideways and lost some time.
"Yesterday wasn’t the easiest day and definitely today we can be pretty happy with things.
"In qualifying, I must say we are happy how we’re handling [it] now.
"So far so far good, tomorrow will be a long race and hard battle. We have to keep this going."
Vettel scored his 48th career pole, despite failing to match his opening run by 0.002s on his final Q3 lap.
"It was seamless in terms of we didn’t have any problems," said Vettel of his qualifying.
"I felt quite good with the car straight away from Q1 onwards, we did the laps we had to, I was confident.
"We had a debate about what to do with the car, I was happy with it but knew there was more from the car, so went flat out – but arrived in last sector and maybe asked too much from the tyres early on.
"Happy with first lap, second could be better."
Q: Kimi, that was a superb lap, absolutely sensational. Listen to all you fans, massive fan base in from Finland. How good did that lap feel?
Kimi Raikkonen: Actually not too good. The start was good and the end was not too bad but in the chicane I braked on the outside kerb and got loose and really threw it away there but you know, it was decent enough for second place but it is disappointing. I felt I had it quite comfortably but you know I couldn’t really finish.
Q: Is it too easy to say that this is a track naturally should have suited Ferrari?
KR: If you purely looked at lap times, yes, but then if you look from yesterday it wasn’t the easiest day and today we have definitely been pretty happy with things. I managed to improve my car for the qualifying and I must say we are happy with how they are handling now. So far, so good but tomorrow is going to be a long race and a hard battle, so we have to keep it going.
Q: Kimi, it is a Ferrari front-row lock-out. You came on the radio at one point and said you were unhappy with your braking, so was there more to come from you? Had you been happier with the car?
KR: No, in the end it was OK. Obviously when you lock the front, it’s not ideal but there is nothing wrong with anything, it’s just you try to always find a better way of driving and doing things, so it’s a very normal thing to discuss stuff like that. I was pretty happy with the last apart from going into the chicane, I dropped the wheels on the left kerb and got sideways. I lost an awful lot of lap time. I really felt I had a good chance to put it in first place but anyhow it was decent enough for second place, so obviously great for the team. But it is only Saturday. We have a long way to go tomorrow, both cars, and we try to keep the positions and see what happens.
Q: (Péter Vámosi – Vas Népe) Question to all drivers. Since 2005 there is a tendency here, if you win the Hungarian Grand Prix, you will be not the champion at the end of the year. What do you think about this?
SV: I don’t know what happened in 2004?
Michael Schumacher won here…
SV: 2003? I don’t know. Statistics! I think if you ask us, we all want to win tomorrow. That’s it.
Kimi, Valtteri, anything to add?
VB: No. Nothing to add, we all want to win tomorrow.
KR: I’ll happily take it. See what happens.
Kimi, you remember back to the Spanish Grand Prix?
KR: Yeah, obviously it was a sad moment at first, so not very happy memories of the first part but then the second part cheered me up and cheered up the little guy and his family up a lot, so obviously it was great. Can’t expect to happen every time, just by luck it all went like that, I guess. It’s great if we can please somebody. Had quite a hard time with me going out so, yeah, it turned out to be OK and that’s the main thing.
Kimi, anything to add about the balance of your car and the track temperature?
KR: No, that’s perfect.
Q: (Zsolt Godina – F1vilag) Kimi and Sebastian: F1 teams will have two days of testing at the Hungaroring next week. So how important will those days be for Ferrari in terms of upgrades and in terms of fighting with Mercedes during the second half or the season?
KR: Obviously it’s important. We don’t get an awful lot of track time so you can do simulations and stuff like that but when you get track time, it’s definitely the best option and obviously we have two days so we will see what we come up with and what we try and find out but it’s definitely helpful and we can obviously have a bit more freedom and time to try things and learn about certain things.
Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press) To all three: given how difficult it is to overtake here and recent history at starts, how much risks are you all prepared to take in the first few moments of the race?
KR: Obviously, if you could chose, you would take the left hand side but I don’t think it’s really going to destroy your day, it’s more about making a good start rather than which side you are and try to do that and see what happens in the first few corners.
Kimi, you were in Formula One back in those… the halcyon era of 2004; how does this compare?
KR: Obviously very difficult to compare. I think the biggest improvement comes from resurfacing the circuit and it improved the grip like in Austria. It’s very smooth and a lot of grip. Obviously the cars are faster this year than last year but no way to compare. It feels very normal for us because we get used to it. Done it for a lot of races that are actually a lot faster circuits so it’s not suddenly like… even if the lap time is a lot faster, it doesn’t feel like… it just feels normal.