Kimi Raikkonen may be the form man at the moment but pole position for the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring remains his first top spot since the season opening round in Melbourne, a result that brought him much relief.

Looking to win a third consecutive race for the first time this weekend, Raikkonen could have barely picked a better venue to dominate the top ten shootout than in the amphitheatre that is predecessor Michael Schumacher's home circuit.

The favourite for pole position given his pace in free practice, Raikkonen was surprisingly modest during the knockout phases but benefited from problems for others, including Lewis Hamilton's crash and Fernando Alonso's costly moment, to end a clear three tenths quicker than the opposition when it mattered
"Finally! In qualifying at the last race I made a mistake in the final part of my lap, but today everything went well and I've managed to get back on pole. In Q1 and Q2, I had some problems with grip, but once the car was carrying the fuel load for the first part of the race it was very good again.

With championship leader Hamilton starting tenth at best for the race, Raikkonen is confident he can get the maximum points he needs to start placing pressure on his rivals, even if he didn not discount his rivals at the same time.

"The wait after Hamilton's accident made the third session more complicated but the biggest problem was that it was all going to be down to one flying lap. Now I am in the best possible position on the grid, but I am well aware that we can expect a very tough race. All weekend the car has been very good but are rivals are still very strong."



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