It’s been a long wait, but Kimi Raikkonen silenced a few of his critics with a superb pole in Monaco – nine years after the last time he started from the top spot in the 2008 French GP.
To be fair he did spend two of those seasons driving rally cars, but nevertheless it has been a long barren streak for the former World Champion.
A mistake by team mate Sebastian Vettel ensured that the Finn stayed on top when Q3 came to an end, and Raikkonen was guaranteed the most prestigious – and important – pole of the season.
“I would have happily taken any other place also, but it just happens,” he said. “But it’s something we haven’t really got in the last races. But if you take any circuit, here it’s the most important to be in front but it doesn’t automatically give you a win or a good result.
“There are so many things that can happen in a race that are nothing to do with you. You might be doing and the team might be doing a perfect job but actually there are absolutely other things which might destroy the whole race so it’s going to be a long difficult race but we have two cars in the best possible positions, so that’s the main thing.”
Raikkonen said it had been a good weekend so far.
“I think it’s the very fine details that make a difference here. If you have just a little bit of an off feeling with the tyres or something like that in one place, it limits you to go fast and obviously in those low-speed corners you can lose a lot of time for basically nothing. It’s tricky to put the good laps together.
“You try to kind of, in the practice, take it a bit easier, not to destroy the car, because then you are going to lose a lot. Then you push and hopefully you get it right. But I think it’s such small differences. It’s nothing to do with conditions or anything else, it’s just whoever gets the best feeling and being able to push.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit in certain places and we’ve been working and trying to figure it out and in qualifying it was better, by no means perfect, but it’s never going to be perfect. It was good enough and I was very happy with the car in there.
“If you look you can always go a bit faster here and there but that’s normal, it’s a never-ending story like that. We had a good timing when we went out. I felt good, so I was able to push and it was quite a nice straightforward qualifying. So happy for myself, happy for the team. Obviously we have two cars in the front tomorrow so let’s try to make the best out of it.”