Definitely a difficult qualifying for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. Only one of its drivers, Kimi Raikkonen, making it through to the second session and he then just missed out on the cut for the final shoot-out by a few hundredths.
The final result sees Kimi in eleventh place and Giancarlo Fisichella in twentieth. “We knew it would be a very difficult session for us and so it turned out to be,” said Stefano Domenicali. “Actually, we could not have expected much more, as we are well aware of our situation and we just have to try and make the best of what we have got. Once again, Kimi did a good job, giving his best on every occasion. It would be nice to end such a difficult year in a good way, which would mean securing our goal of third place in the Constructors’ classification, but tomorrow, we will be facing a steep climb all through the race. The situation is further complicated by the grid positions of our main opponents. All the same, the race still has to be run and in this sport, we have seen so often that nothing can be taken for granted. What we can be sure of is that we will give it our all.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today we got the most out of the car, but we did not have the necessary performance to make it into Q3. Already yesterday, we realized that it would be tough, so this result is definitely not a surprise. Tomorrow, we will try to do our best, but it’s certainly not going to be an easy race, even though we should definitely be more competitive in the race than in qualifying. What I can say is that eleventh place is better than tenth, given that I will start from the clean side of the track and can choose the ideal fuel load. It will be hard to get third in the Constructors’, because the McLaren is very competitive. We will have to try and get some points and hope for a bit of luck.”
“We knew it would be tough, but I don’t think we could have expected much more. In the first and second sectors I was reasonably competitive, but in the final one I had a lot of understeer. Tomorrow will be hard, but I know I can manage a strong pace: we will do our best to get a good result. I am disappointed not to have been able to do better in these races with Ferrari as it would be nice to reward the team that has had trust in me, by bringing them some points. It has not been easy adapting my driving style to a car that is particularly difficult to drive and at a time when, more and more, it felt the effects of the ending of its development programme.”
“Obviously, we are disappointed with this result, in both Giancarlo’s and Kimi’s case. The behaviour of the tyres was rather unusual, with the harder compound turning out to be the quickest. With Kimi, we used both types of tyre in Q1 to try and understand the situation, while with Giancarlo, we concentrated on the softs: unfortunately, we saw that the drivers who did not get to Q2 were precisely those who had done their best time on this tyre. In the second part of qualifying, Kimi did his best, but failed to make the cut to Q3 by a very small margin. We didn’t have enough speed to do it, which we need to do something about. I think we will witness an interesting race: the performance of the tyres will evolve still further and I think Kimi can possibly get a good result.”