Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen will start from pole position after setting a time of 1:31.523 in today's qualifying. David Coulthard will start the race from ninth position after setting a time of 1:32.742. It was Kimi's first ever ...
Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen will start from pole position after setting a time of 1:31.523 in today's qualifying. David Coulthard will start the race from ninth position after setting a time of 1:32.742. It was Kimi's first ever Formula One pole position.
"It's a bit of a dream and slightly better than the Canadian GP qualifying and to get my first pole position at Mercedes-Benz's home race is fantastic. The car has been good and fast throughout the weekend. It's pretty close at the front and I have been told qualifying was very exciting, but I didn't have any idea of what times the others did as I was just sitting in the car waiting to go out and not looking at the screens. We knew that if we got everything right we could do it and we did."
"The balance of the car was not as good as in the warm-up. The car touched the ground a bit in some places, and I locked up at turn one, which cost me time. We will do the best we can in the race tomorrow, and I believe it will be a case of strategy and reliability."
Ron Dennis, Team principal:
"An excellent performance from Kimi resulting in a well deserved first pole position but a disappointing qualifying for David. We have not compromised our race strategy on either car, and as a result good finishing positions are more than possible. The continuos competitive performance of the MP4-17D puts the team in the enviable position of having the option to take an even more cautious approach to the race introduction of the MP4-18."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorsport director:
"A perfect lap and a career first pole position for Kimi after an exciting qualifying session. This is the third time this year he has been on the front row, but the two times before he was marginally away from pole. Today he is ahead with 32 thousands of a second. Our team did a great job and with the speed shown so far we have a good basis for tomorrow's race. From David's place on the grid a good result is still possible."
· Kimi's fellow countryman Mika Hakkinen also achieved his first pole position here in 1997 -- a result which was also a first for the Team McLaren Mercedes team.
David Coulthard: MP4-17D 07
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-17D 09
T-car (Kimi): MP4-17D 06