Kimi Räikkönen felt the Qualifying result at the Red Bull Ring was a decent one for him, but he was displeased to see the gap that he had compared to the two pace-setting Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport drivers on the front row.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver was fourth fastest in the session but will start in third after team-mate Sebastian Vettel was handed a grid penalty for blocking Carlos Sainz Jr., but the Finn was more than half a second away from the pole position time set by countryman Valtteri Bottas.
“Obviously, it’s not the ideal result, but it’s a rather decent one,” said Räikkönen. “It has been a pretty straightforward and consistent day.
“I struggled a little bit with understeer in the last few corners to get the car to turn and carry the speed into the corner, but apart from that it was ok. For sure there are always things to improve and you can always go faster; today we did our best, but it was not enough.”
Räikkönen knows being strong in Qualifying doesn’t necessarily mean the race pace will be as good, and like in France last weekend, both he and team-mate Vettel will start on a different compound of tyre to their rivals, with the Ultrasoft the tyre of choice for both Ferrari drivers compared to the Supersoft for both Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
“Tomorrow is a different day, we know that sometimes qualifying is different from the race,” admitted the Finn. “We’ll start on different tyres to our competitors, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out.
“This is quite a special circuit, lap time is very short so we expect everybody to be very close. As for overtaking, it’s supposed to be easier with an additional DRS zone. Let’s hope we have a stronger day on Sunday.”