Kimi Raikkonen claims he is anticipating a 'hard race', despite easing to pole position for the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in a dominant session for the Finn.

Only his second pole position of the season after his top spot at the Australian Grand Prix back at the start of the year, Raikkonen made the most of Lewis Hamilton's crash and Fernando Alonso's 'moment' to put a decent three tenths space between himself and the competition.

Bidding to win his third race in a row, Raikkonen will attempt to do it from his best position yet, but while Hamilton is set to start down in tenth, the Finn claims it will still be a difficult challenge to keep the closer McLaren of Alonso at bay.

"It's pretty easier now with one car only but I think it will be a hard race, a long race," he admitted. "I don't have very good memories from here, so hopefully this year it will go a bit better, but for sure it's going to be a close race as the last was. We will just do our best and hopefully we can win.

"It's certainly better than it was a little bit earlier this season, but it's only pole position, it doesn't make much difference, you can still win from the other places but for sure, I think we have good speed right now and it makes life feel a little bit easier to start at the front.

"It's difficult to say [if we have the edge over McLaren] from the fuel loads. We will see tomorrow but I think we're going to have a strong car in the race and that's the main thing."

As for Hamilton's incident, although Raikkonen stopped short of claiming it is the moment he needs to start making significant in-roads on the Brit's championship lead, he did admit it is an opportunity that motor racing often throws up.

"For sure it is not the way we want to do the racing but that is a part of racing. Sometimes you have an accident, sometimes it is not your fault, sometimes it is your mistakes, but it all counts. The main thing is that he is ok and probably is going to race tomorrow, but we will see. Anything can happen tomorrow, similar things can happen to us, we will see."



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