Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s great to be on pole position”

by Paul Hensby

Kimi Raikkonen secured his first pole position since the French Grand Prix of 2008 as he led a Scuderia Ferrari 1-2 in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Finn set a circuit best 1:12.178s to head team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.043 seconds, while Valtteri Bottas was a further 0.002 seconds back as Ferrari locked out the front row at Monaco for the first time since 2008 when Felipe Massa and Raikkonen achieved the feat.

Raikkonen knows that it will be important to maintain track position on Sunday as he aims for his first win since his return to Ferrari, with overtaking likely to be an even bigger challenge in 2017 due to the wider nature of the cars this season.

“It’s great to be on pole position,” said Raikkonen, “this is one of the races where it is probably most important to be at the front. Half of the job is done, but we still have a big challenge in front of us tomorrow.

“So far so good, I’m happy with the car. This is a very special place, it’s been a bit tricky to get everything working as we wanted, but in qualifying things fell into place: and very small things make a massive difference in the lap time here.

“We got it right, the team put me in a very good position every time; things were running smoothly and hopefully tomorrow we can get a great result with both cars. We have to make a good start and try to stay out of trouble. It’s quite a short run to the first corner, cars are wide and it’s tricky to pass.

“We’ll try to do our best, but it’s not going to be easy, as many things can happen out of your control. The most important thing for me is to be in the same position tomorrow when it comes to the end.”

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