<
>

Raikkonen rues missed opportunity to beat Vettel to pole

After qualifying second for the Russian Grand Prix behind Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen believes he had the potential to take his first pole position since the French Grand Prix in 2008.

Raikkonen missed out on pole by 0.059s after failing to improve on his second attempt at a quick lap in the final stage of qualifying. He later explained that traffic on his out lap had interrupted the all-important warm-up lap on his way out of the pits and as a result he did not condition the tyres as he would have liked for his second attempt.

"Obviously the aim is to be at the front, the feeling has been better this weekend, but I got some traffic on the out lap at the start of the second run, so I couldn't get the tyres to work as well as in the first run," he said. "It was a bit more tricky, but I was in thereabouts, I just tried to get it back in the last corner but it obviously wasn't enough. I'm happier than in the previous qualifying sessions, but we had all the tools to be at the front today. But one-two for the team is a good result."

Raikkonen has struggled for pace compared to Vettel since the start of the season, but said he started this weekend with a much better baseline setup on his car.

"It's always specific for each circuit, so you cannot really compare with other circuits, because what you need to be quick might be completely different. But overall it's been easier and more normal to drive here.

"We started the weekend well, in the correct areas, so it's easier to move forward from there. That side has been much better this weekend so I'm happy, doing some changes, improving small things, but they make a big difference in the end."