Raikkonen: Pole was possible

By on Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kimi Raikkonen

Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen insisted that he could have set a pole position-winning time in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix had small errors ruined his final lap at Sepang today.

As it is, the Finn will line-up tenth on the grid after setting the fifth fastest time and then taking a five-place grid penalty due to his team needing to change the gearbox in his Lotus E20. “The car was working well today,” he said. “Unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes on my fastest lap which probably cost a couple of tenths. Without that, we were in with a shout for pole today. I got a little bit sideways at the exit of turn nine and we lost some time, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“It’s a shame we have a penalty on the grid but the car works well,” he added. “Today was definitely a positive day. Tomorrow we start from tenth and will try to improve from there.”

Team-mate Romain Grosjean will move up from seventh to sixth on the grid thanks to his team-mate’s drop and is targeting a top-five finish in tomorrow’s race. “It’s going to be an interesting race tomorrow, and hopefully we can move up even further,” he said. “You never know what will happen with the weather here, our pace is not too far off the leaders and it will be a long race, so anything is possible. In these conditions managing the tyres is crucial. Qualifying is one thing, but the race will be a whole other matter. I’m looking forward to the race, if we can finish in the top five that would be great, but the most important thing is to get my first points of the season.”

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