European GP - Qualifying
K. Raikkonen: 6th 1.40.144 7 laps
Chassis: L. Badoer 280, K. Raikkonen 279
Weather: air temperature 31/32 °C, track temperature 45/44 °C, sunny.
One driver on the third row, another in last place: those are the bare bones of qualifying for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. Clearly, the outcome has to be assessed in the light of the special situation in which the Scuderia finds itself for this race, as confirmed by Stefano Domenicali. “Sixth place for Kimi Raikkonen can be judged as a positive result, because it probably reflects our current potential, while Luca’s last place was widely predicted: returning to racing after so much time, furthermore on a track not known to him and one that is difficult to get to grips with, is a daunting task for him. Tomorrow, our race will be divided in two: on one side we will be aiming for a positive result to defend our third place in the Constructors’ classification, which should be within our ability, while with Luca we will try and finish the race, to obtain sufficient experience to tackle the forthcoming rounds in a different fashion.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Honestly, this was one of the best qualifying sessions of the season, even if we are not as quick as those on the front row. Our final result will depend basically on how the start goes. It will be very important to make up a few places, because if we end up behind a slower car, then the race is compromised. I think we are reasonably competitive in race trim, as could be seen in Q3, while we are struggling a bit on light tanks. So far, it’s been a good weekend and I am happy with the performance of the F60.”
Chris Dyer: “Qualifying had two sides to it for us. It was a very difficult day for Luca, who continued the process of learning about the car and the track. Lap after lap his confidence increased, but it was not enough to get him off the last place on the grid. The situation was definitely not helped by the red flag in FP3 which cost him valuable time. On the other hand, Kimi performed well, especially in Q3, where he did a great lap. Starting from sixth on the grid is a solid base from which to have a good race tomorrow.”