Kimi Raikkonen admits he has left himself in an almost impossible situation heading into today's Monaco Grand Prix on the back of his expensive qualifying error, but has promised to do his utmost to make amends by fighting his way up through the order.

The Finn - already under pressure following a series of rather underwhelming performances in the last three grands prix - clouted the barrier coming out of the Swimming Pool Chicane during Q2. With the damage too great to repair in time the result is he has been left down in 15th position on the grid, and at a circuit where overtaking is very much at a premium.

"There's little to say after this qualifying session," he ackowledged. "I was on my first run on soft tyres when, coming out of the Swimming Pool Chicane, I hit the barrier with the right front wheel. At first it seemed everything was alright, but when I got to Rascasse the car would not make the turn. I managed to get back to the pits and the mechanics tried to fix the car, but we realised it could not be done in time.

"Here, the very slightest error costs you dear and it is a real shame because I think I could have fought for pole position. I will start from the eighth row so I am expecting a very tough race, but I will do all I can to get a good result for the team."

Ferrari team boss Jean Todt was equally disappointed by the outcome, especially given the Scuderia's need to make up ground on arch-rivals McLaren, who have edged some nine points clear in the constructors' championship. Monaco will not only mark the first non-Ferrari pole position of the year, but indeed the first time neither of the red cars has begun on the front row in 2007.

"As usual qualifying was very close," the Frenchman underlined, "made even more uncertain this time by the changing weather. On this unique track, starting from the front row is very important for the final result, and for the first time this season neither of our cars is there. Kimi touched the barrier at the Swimming Pool and he had to pit with a damaged car and so was unable to take part in the final part of the session. He will start from 16th spot which will obviously make for a very complicated race."

"Free practice in the wet and qualifying in the dry is the worst possible combination for preparing as well as possible for a vital session on a track like this," concurred track technical chief Luca Baldisserri. "We are very disappointed for Kimi. We tried to repair the damage but there was not enough time to do so before the end of Q2. It is obvious he has a long climb through the field ahead of him."

 

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