Kimi Raikkonen conceded being overly cautious on his final Q3 run cost him a shot at pole position during Formula 1 German Grand Prix qualifying. 

The Finn had looked like a potential contender for pole but made a mistake at Turn 12 as he hit the inside kerb, before he failed to challenge teammate Sebastian Vettel on his second run as he ended up third and 0.335s off the German’s poletime. 

Raikkonen’s failure to find a significant improvement also cost him a place to Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes, with the Ferrari driver admitting after the session the fear of losing further positions played on his mind during his final flying effort. 

“I had a small moment in the first run as well, got a bit sideways and it was not ideal. So I was a bit more cautious in the second run because of that,” Raikkonen explained. 

“I had a small moment into Turn 12 in the first run and then, after that, I lost quite a bit of lap time. If I’d make a mistake in the last lap I could lose positions, so I was a bit compromised because of that. 

“The car was working well today. There was more [laptime] but it didn’t come.” 

But Raikkonen believes third is still a strong position to start Sunday’s grand prix from, adding he feels the race will tougher if hot conditions - as seen on Friday - return. 

“We’ll try to race for ourselves, but of course we go racing as a team,” he said. “Third place should be a pretty good place for the start tomorrow.

“There has been many races this year where it has been tricky, a lot will depend on the weather, how it’s going to be tomorrow. If it’s something like yesterday for sure it won’t be that easy.”