Kimi Räikkönen believes Scuderia Ferrari‘s decision to start the Brazilian Grand Prix on the Soft tyres was the best option for the team.
Both Ferrari drivers’ of Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel decided during qualifying at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace to switch to the Soft compound tyres, a tyre they would use to start the race with on Sunday.
The gamble by Ferrari was a risk as during the early stages of the second qualifying session, the rain was expected to hit the track early on. But the showers didn’t arrive until the latter stage of the session, allowing Ferrari’s risky call to pay off.
Räikkönen managed to qualify in fourth place for the race behind fellow Finn and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport driver Valtteri Bottas, as the pair are out-qualified by their team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
The Finn said that considering how challenging the weekend has been for him, qualifying has been his strongest session so far.
“Considering how difficult the weekend has been so far, this qualifying has been our best session,”
“The result is obviously not ideal but we did a good job. I was happy with my car and that’s a positive thing for tomorrow.
“In Q2 the conditions were tricky, there was risk of rain, but we decided to go out with the Soft tyres to try and start the race on that compound and it worked. We think this is the best option for us, but now we’ll see, as there are many things that can happen in the race.”
Räikkönen said that his last attempt at a lap was good but a mistake at the final sector cost him valuable time, which prevented him from improving his grid slot for the race.
“On my last attempt I did a very good first part of the lap, but then I fell off a little bit in the last sector; I tried to get it back on the last corner but could not improve my lap time,”
“The time difference with the guys at the front is very small, it was a close battle; the race will be very interesting tomorrow”.