Kimi Raikkonen is determined to convert his first pole position of the 2018 Formula 1 season into victory at the Italian Grand Prix after completing “half the job” at Monza.

Raikkonen had been second fastest behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton heading into the final runs of Q3 but benefitted from running in the slipstream of teammate Sebastian Vettel to outpace both drivers.

He ended up 0.161s faster than Vettel to seal Ferrari’s first pole on home soil since 2010 in a dramatic ending to the closely-fought qualifying session. 

“It’s great for tomorrow but it’s just half the job done,” Raikkonen said. “I couldn’t think of a better place to start from pole position in front of the tifosi and hopefully we’ll get the same result tomorrow.

“Always, it doesn’t matter where we go, but here there’s even more tifosi. Hopefully tomorrow everything will go as smoothly as today and we end up in the same position.

“There were a lot of games to see who was going to go first and getting tows, but in the end we just drive the cars and that’s enough.”

It marked Raikkonen’s first pole since the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix and just his third in the last 10 years, but the Finn stressed he did not feel any added emotions for ending his drought.

“It’s not a relief because it’s not my first pole position,” he added. “If this had been my first one then of course it would have been different.

“I keep trying always, and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. It’s not as easy as it looks on TV.

“Of course if you could chose from all the places, this is probably the best place to take pole position – I had been close a few times but it didn’t go right in the end.”

And Raikkonen insisted he and teammate Vettel will be free to race one another on Sunday.

“We can race each other but we obviously have to be careful with each other, but I don’t see how it changes anything,” he explained.

“I don’t think anybody wants purposely to take a stupid amount of risk and damage somebody else’s car and yours too at the same time.”

 

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