West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen finished today's inaugural single lap qualifying in second place with a time of 1:26.551. David Coulthard set a time of 1:27.242 and ended in sixth position. Kimi Raikkonen: "During Free Practice...
West McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen finished today's inaugural single lap qualifying in second place with a time of 1:26.551. David Coulthard set a time of 1:27.242 and ended in sixth position.
"During Free Practice this morning I went wide at Whitford corner and spun on the grass. I just managed to avoid the wall but damaged the floor of the car, which then had to be changed. During qualifying I went a bit wide coming into the first corner but apart from that I'm happy. The new format hasn't really changed the way I approach qualifying, as previously we also had to focus on getting things right for one lap - we just had more runs."
"At the end of the Free Practice my fuel pump broke, but the team did a great job in getting the car ready in time for qualifying. I was struggling a bit with the balance of the car and because of the new format we didn't have the chance to fully optimise our performance. However our target was to start tomorrow's qualifying from the last six so that has been achieved."
Ron Dennis, team principal:
"An uneventful first day's qualifying which only the TV viewers and Albert Park spectators can judge. From our point of view the challenge will be to get the strategy right for tomorrow."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorpsort director:
"An exciting start to the season with a few surprises. The 12 cars from Michael Schumacher to position 15 are only separated by half a second, and I hope it will stay as close as this. Kimi put in an excellent performance being less than two tenths behind the fastest. Tomorrow there is a big chance of rain, so qualifying will be a different issue than today."
Chassis: MP4-17D 06
Chassis: MP4-17D 08
T-car (Kimi) MP4-17D 09
Spare MP4-17D 07