Raikkonen mistake prompted Q3 soft-tyre gamble

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Raikkonen mistake prompted Q3 soft-tyre gamble
Pablo Elizalde
By: Pablo Elizalde
May 12, 2018, 4:28 PM

Kimi Raikkonen says his mistake at the start of Q3 in Formula 1 qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix led to his gamble with soft tyres.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H sparks
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, studies the Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, after qualifying
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H

The Ferrari driver lost time after a wobble at Turn 1 in his first Q3 run and then decided to switch from supersofts to softs for his second and final attempt.

Raikkonen finished down in fourth, however, nearly half a second off pole and three tenths behind teammate Sebastian Vettel.

The Finn said he gambled on the soft-tyre run as he felt he did not have much to lose.

"Obviously after the mistake I wanted to try something else," said Raikkonen. "I didn't have much to lose so I thought I'd try. They felt pretty good in Q2."

Raikkonen conceded the supersoft tyres, which have given teams a headache this weekend, continued to pose a challenge for Ferrari.

"We were struggling to make the tyres work, it was not the most straightforward qualifying. I'm a bit disappointed but it could have been worse," he said.

"Obviously they have been changed a bit, the tyres, for whatever reason. For sure they are not the same they were at the last races.

"From winter it's impossible to compare [here] but this race is slightly different. Does it make a difference? I don't know. It is what it is.

"It wasn't bad but we needed more laps. It was tricky, but once they are working it seems to be OK."

Teammate Vettel also made a mistake in his first run and, like Raikkonen, ended up setting his best time with soft tyres in the second attempt.

"In Q3 in the first run I locked up a little bit into Turn 1, so the first sector was already slow," he explained. "I tried to get it back and recover but to really fight for pole I knew it was not enough.

"I didn't get a great feeling on that tyre, on that set. I asked to go back and I think it was the right call, we were very quick."

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