Kimi Raikkonen accepts he and Ferrari have nothing to lose and everything to gain with the strategy call to start him on the ultrasoft tyres for the United States Grand Prix.

In Q2 the Finnish driver set his fastest lap time on the softest compound tyres meaning he’ll start the race on the ultrasofts in contrast to his front-running rivals who all start on the more durable but slower supersofts.

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The race strategy theory would assume Raikkonen will target the lead in the opening stages using the faster compound to help disrupt Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas with teammate Sebastian Vettel starting from fifth place following his grid penalty.

With Vettel needing to fight back to keep his F1 title hopes alive, Raikkonen has previously accepted he’ll need to play a support role where possible to his teammate and feels he has ‘not much to lose’ on the ultrasofts.

“Yes, not much to lose,” Raikkonen said. “We will try to make a good start and go from there to see what we can do. It should be okay.

“I was a little bit too slow [on his final Q3 lap] but I can deal with it. It has been a positive day, for sure we got pretty close, but it is far from ideal.

“I felt good with the car, so we try tomorrow, it's going to be a long race. No one really knows how the tyres will survive because of yesterday’s rain, so it will be interesting.”

The United States GP qualifying result marks Raikkonen’s first front row start since he took pole position at the Italian Grand Prix in August.

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