Kimi Räikkönen is looking at a “challenging” 2018 French Grand Prix after qualifying only sixth for the Formula 1’s return to France.
Räikkönen started from pole-position at the last French Grand Prix in 2008 when the event was held at Magny-Cours, but the Finn struggled to set a decent qualifying time around the Paul Ricard Circuit. He was the only driver in the top six not to improve on his Q2 time, eventually setting a 1:31.057, over a second off the pole-position pace.
“My car was working well today and it was a pretty straightforward qualifying until my last run,” says Kimi. “I was not able to put a timed lap together in the whole of Q3.
“The first run was pretty decent, but then I went a bit sideways in turn 11, and lost time. After that I was not able to improve my lap time.”
The race will see Formula 1 compete at Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990 and so race strategy is somewhat of an unknown for the teams. Räikkönen says that he and Scuderia Ferrari will have to “wait and see” if their strategy will work.
“For tomorrow we chose the strategy that we think is the best for us, but we have to wait and see. In other races we have seen people starting with different tires and it did not change things from night to day.
“For sure tomorrow will be a challenging day”.