Kimi Raikkonen has conceded that it was his fault he crashed out in practice this morning, something that subsequently seriously compromised his performance in qualifying.

Raikkonen went off in his Ferrari around 25 minutes into FP3, when he lost it at the Ascari chicane and hit a concrete wall, before ploughing nose-first into the tyre barriers.

Although the Finn was uninjured, the accident caused extensive damage to his F2007 and he had to switch to the T-car. Luckily though no damage was done to his engine and this was fitted into the spare in time for qualifying and as such he won't get a ten-place grid penalty.

After that he was always playing catch up however and in the end he had to settle for P5 on the grid, after BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld piped him for fourth right at the end of Q3.

"The accident this morning certainly didn't help for qualifying. I locked the wheels under braking and the car went right rather than left. At that moment there was not much I could do but accept that I would end up in the barrier," reflected the 'ice-man'.

"The McLarens were strong in the test and in free practice, so I don't think there was much I could have done about getting pole position.

"All the same I think we can get a good result given our pace over a longer distance. It definitely won't be the first time that we have had the odd difficulty in qualifying and then been very competitive in the race. I will do all I can to give our fans something to cheer about."

Ferrari technical director, Luca Baldisserri meanwhile concurred that the practice crash wasn't exactly ideal prep for qualifying.

"This was definitely a very difficult day," he continued. "This morning we had Kimi going off the track, after he lost control of the car when braking on a bump going into Ascari.

"We found no signs of a mechanical failure and so we carried on working with Felipe [Massa]. We fitted the T-car chassis with the engine from the damaged car but of course, the set-up was not perfect and also given the time lost in the last two sessions of free practice, Kimi's chances in qualifying were definitely compromised.

"We knew our closest rivals would have the edge over the single lap and Felipe, while giving it his all, could not get higher up the order than third [while Kimi will start from fifth]. But we have a strong race pace."

 

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