Räikkönen Set for Grid Penalty after Qualifying Crash: “I paid the price for my mistake”

by Paul Hensby

Kimi Räikkönen is set to take a grid penalty for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix after his mechanics were forced to change the gearbox on the Finn’s Alfa Romeo Racing car after his crash during the top ten shootout in Qualifying on Saturday.

The veteran Finn lost control of his C38-Ferrari at Parabolica, the second time this weekend he has found himself in the same tyre barrier, having lost control similarly during first practice on Friday, albeit in very different track conditions.

Räikkönen said he paid the price of losing control and felt that a strong Qualifying result was on at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, but now he will take the consequences of his crash on the chin and fight through the field on Sunday.

“I paid the price for my mistake which is a bit of a shame as the car was behaving pretty well,” admitted Räikkönen.  “There is a lot of damage so we have to see where I’ll start tomorrow, but maybe the weather will help and in mixed conditions we can still get a good result.

“I’ll definitely try my best to make up ground in the race.”

Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi also put in a strong performance during Qualifying and only missed out on joining Räikkönen inside the top ten by two-thousandths of a second.  The Italian, racing in his first home Grand Prix this weekend, said he lost some time by going through gravel strewn across the track at the second chicane, which he felt cost him the chance of a Q3 appearance.

“It was a bit frustrating to miss out on Q3 for just two thousandths,” said Giovinazzi.  “I lost a little bit of time in the second chicane because one car went out and put gravel on the track, but this is the price you pay when the field is so tight.

“We wanted more but we still have a decent opportunity to have a good race. We have to take the positives, we get to choose our starting tyres and I think it can be an advantage – assuming it doesn’t rain.

“We are just outside the top ten – if we have a good start and a good strategy we can be right in the fight for points.”

Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur had mixed feelings about the outcome of Qualifying, with the Frenchman feeling there was good pace in both cars that did not translate into the result the team deserved.

“Mixed feelings after today’s qualifying session,” said Vasseur.  “The pace was there, the car was good and both drivers did a good job, but still it feels we could have achieved more.

“Antonio missed out on Q3 by a minimal margin and then Kimi crashed whilst he was on a strong lap. We will need to assess the damage on his car and then we’ll know whether this has consequences for tomorrow’s grid position.”

Antonio Giovinazzi missed out on Q3 by two-thousandths of a second – Credit: Antonin Vincent / DPPI

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