Australian GP - Kimi on pole!
First race of the season and first pole position for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen, making his debut as a Maranello team driver in a Grand Prix. This is the seventh time a Ferrari driver starts the Australian Grand Prix from pole and the 187th in the history of the Prancing Horse in Formula 1. For Kimi, this was his twelfth career pole.
"A great qualifying, but a shame for Felipe who was not able to get the sort of result he should have done," Kimi said. "I think our car is more competitive in race trim than over a single lap. Usually here the race can be full of incidents so it's impossible to know what could happen. If all goes the way it should, then we have a good chance, but it will be important to pick up as many points as possible. Tonight? I will sleep well, as always. Am I worried about Felipe's gearbox problem? You can never be a hundred percent sure, but I am certain the team will do everything it can to make sure that I have a car in the best possible shape."
Jean Todt commented, "A bitter sweet start to the first weekend of the 2007 Championship. On the one hand there is satisfaction with pole for our new arrival, Kimi Raikkonen, while on the other hand, disappointment because of the gearbox problem that affected Felipe Massa in Q2. Up to that point, he had driven impeccably all weekend. Today, Ferrari showed it has the potential to be a front runner on a day that confirmed the pecking order we had seen during winter testing. The key parameters for the race are now reduced to three- strategy, reliability and performance - given that everyone has the same Bridgestone tyres. Today, we had the performance but not the reliability. Now we have to work out how to get the most out of the sporting regulations, particularly the one concerning usage of the two types of tyre."
Luca Baldisserri said, "A great qualifying from Kimi, straight to pole on his debut with us. His car performed faultlessly as was his driving. However, we are very disappointed for Felipe who, because of a gearbox problem, was pretty much unable to take part in qualifying. Already, at the end of free practice we had seen that there was a faulty component on the F2007's gearbox and, as a precaution it was changed. Unfortunately, the problem reoccurred, which forced him to stop at the side of the track. Now we must look at the situation carefully to see how to remedy it and to try and make the best of Felipe's start position which is definitely not up to our expectations. As for Kimi, we will try to make the most of pole position, in the knowledge that we can expect a tough race, where reliability, strategy and team work will be, as usual, crucial."