Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari can “only guess” why the gap to Mercedes was so big in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.
At Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, the Scuderia was right in contention, with Raikkonen saying he felt pole position was possible. However, at Monza, Mercedes have been dominant and Lewis Hamilton's pole position lap on Saturday was more than eight tenths up on Sebastian Vettel in third – and 0.930secs up on Raikkonen in fourth.
BELGIAN GP QUALIFYING REPORT: Hamilton secures dominant pole
Quizzed on the reason, Raikkonen replied: “Not really [sure]. Somebody asked me about it but I think they probably had some issues there, comparing to here. I expected them to be very strong here, you would say that you expected them to be even strong in Spa but who knows, people were struggling with the tyres there quite a lot and it wasn't easy for anyone.
“We made a pretty good job out of it and the gap was pretty small, here it is obviously bigger and the reasons behind that we can only guess.
“I think our car is behaving as well as it was at Spa but for whatever it looks quite a lot different, but I think that is more that they did a more normal story here and they struggled a bit in Spa.”
Raikkonen had been quicker than Vettel on the first runs in Q3, but the German improved on his second effort, pipping the Finn to P3 by 0.093secs.
“It's always close between everyone, it's easy to say here or there [that I lost out compared to Seb]. There are not an awful lot of corners, but if you make a small mistake, maybe a normal circuit doesn't cost you so much, but here with the long straights, it's going to cost you quite a bit,” Raikkonen explained.
“It was a decent qualifying. We would have liked to be up but this is where we have got. The car is behaving as well as we can make it to work. Tomorrow is another day, we'll try to make the best of it.”
Out of rhythm Vettel rescues third in qualifying
Meanwhile, asked about the fact Ferrari will start on different tyres to Mercedes - the supersoft as opposed to the soft – Raikkonen added that the team is hopeful this might allow them to fight a bit more.
“We will try to make a good start and see what happens. You cannot really plan before. They start on different tyres. We'll see during the race how it pans out. We can only do our best race. Hopefully it is enough to be fighting with them. Who knows what will happen,” he noted.
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst