MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Kimi Raikkonen is not allowing himself to get carried away with thoughts of victory on Sunday in Monaco, despite taking the all-important pole position on Saturday.
Raikkonen beat Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel by 0.043s in qualifying at Monaco to take his first pole position since the 2008 French Grand Prix. A lack of overtaking opportunities at means pole position is often work more in Monaco than elsewhere, but Raikkonen says he is not entertaining thoughts of ending his victory drought, which stretches back to the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.
"It's obviously the best place to start, but it doesn't guarantee anything for tomorrow," he said. "I'll happily take it and it's been a good weekend, it's been quite OK.
"I was struggling a little bit in certain places but we have been working and qualifying was a little bit better. It was by no means perfect, but it was good enough and I am very happy with the car.
"You can always go faster here and there, but it's normal. I was able to push and it was quite a nice straightforward qualifying. I'm happy for myself and for the team and there are no cars in front tomorrow, so I will try to make the best of it."
Asked if Ferrari team orders might see Raikkonen forced to sacrifice his position to championship leader Vettel, the Finn said he would be allowed to fight for victory.
"It's no different than any point this year or last year. What we are doing is racing for the team. We have certain rules and respect against each other, we are allowed to fight but we have to do the best we can not take each other out. ""I don't know why people expect there will be something different to the last two years, nothing has changed. Will just try and make a good start."
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene echoed the thoughts of Raikkonen by saying the focus is fully on the race, citing his team's failure to convert its last front-row lockout at the Russian Grand Prix into victory.
"Yeah I am really happy for him because he deserves it, the champion [in him] is coming out sometimes," Arrivabene told Sky Sports F1. "It's a pity for Sebastian [Vettel] that he make a little mistake in Turn 5, but having two cars up there is good, so I am happy. We turn the pace now because we have to remember the last one in Sochi, to be careful and think about tomorrow."