Malaysian GP - Qualifying
Kimi Raikkonen: 9th 1.36.170 6 laps
Chassis: K. Raikkonen 276
Weather: air temperature 31/30 °C, track temperature 39/35 °C, partially cloudy.
Qualifying was something of a struggle for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, given that Felipe Massa was knocked out as early as Q1 and Kimi Raikkonen could do no better than ninth in Q3. “This result is definitely not up to our expectations, even if we knew it would be a difficult qualifying,” commented the Scuderia’s Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali. “However the aspect that really leaves a bitter taste in the mouth is the way in which we tackled the first part of the session. We made a false assumption that cost us dear with Felipe, who was immediately out, failing to make the first cut. Tomorrow, it will be a long and difficult race, with a question mark over the weather which can change really quickly. We will have to make the most of our race pace and the start: in Australia, we saw that anything can happen and we will have to be ready to pounce on every opportunity, with the obvious proviso that we cannot make any more mistakes.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Honestly, the main problem is that, at the moment, we are not quick enough to fight for the top places. The car is not lacking in any particular area, but we do not have enough grip to be as quick as those who finished ahead of us today. Tomorrow’s race will be very tough. We will try to make the most of the start. In Australia, it was very good but there was nowhere to go, whereas here, the straight is long and the track is wide. Furthermore, as we saw yesterday, our pace is competitive. We have to improve our performance but obviously, it is important to have the regulations clarified as quickly as possible, to understand in which direction to go. Both types of tyres work well over a distance and we will try and exploit that.”
Luca Baldisserri: “We opted to do just one run on the new soft tyres in Q1 in order to save a set for the following sessions and to do that run right at the start of qualifying as we were worried about the threat of rain. Then we did not react quickly enough in recognizing that the track was improving much more than we had expected and we watched our two drivers slide further and further down the order, to such an extent that Felipe didn’t make it to Q2. Now we have to concentrate on the race. We know our potential over a distance is better than that shown over the first lap and tomorrow we will have to make the most of that.”