Kimi Räikkönen bounced back to P9 on the grid for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix after missing most of this morning’s running due to an engine failure early in the session. Despite a minimum of set-up time and a wet start to qualifying, Kimi progressed through to the top ten with relative ease.
Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05. Q: P9, 1:13.298. FP3: P24, No Time Set
Of course we expect to do better but it’s been a tricky weekend. If I could have just done a few laps this morning it would have made things much easier, but after the engine problem I couldn’t complete any running and with the different temperatures from yesterday it was hard to know what would be the best setup. So I guess it was good to get into Q3 after all the issues; it means we got something out of today when it could have been even worse.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“We’re confident in the pace of the car in both wet and dry trim.”
How do you rate Kimi’s qualifying performance?
Kimi has suffered a terrible weekend of unreliability with an ignition coil fault in FP1 followed by a blown engine in FP3. His only full session came in FP2 on Friday where we saw significantly higher temperatures, so to put the car inside the top ten was a great effort. What’s more, he only completed a single run in Q3 at a time when the track was not at its quickest, so we believe there will be even more to come from him in the race.
Romain obviously starts out of position; what can he do from there?
There’s potential for a strong result from Romain tomorrow. Although he starts down in P18 after an unfortunate incident with Pedro [de la Rosa], the car underneath him is certainly much quicker than those around him whatever the conditions may be and he plenty of fresh tyres to help him through the pack. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be challenging for a solid points haul tomorrow and that is undoubtedly our aim.
What are your thoughts on the inclement conditions predicted for tomorrow?
There was a light shower before qualifying today and our forecasts suggest that any rainfall tomorrow will be of a similar intensity rather than that of the heavy downpour which seems to be imminent this evening. We’re confident in the pace of the car both in wet and dry trim and have opted for a setup which keeps the potential weather variations in mind. It’s looking like being an intermediate start, but you never know what can happen here and there have been some spectacular storms in the past. Either way, we’re prepared for whatever the skies may throw at us.