Kimi Raikkonen says issues with getting his tyres into the right window on his out laps due to traffic was to blame for his poor qualifying in Singapore.
After taking his first Formula 1 pole position in over a year last time out in Italy followed up by topping Friday practice in Singapore, Kimi Raikkonen blames struggling to switch his tyres on due to out lap traffic for his fade to fifth place in qualifying.
The Ferrari driver, who had his switch to Alfa Romeo Sauber confirmed during the build-up to the Singapore Grand Prix, shocked as he failed to deliver the predicted pace from the Italian squad to qualifying down on the front of the third row – almost eight-tenths of a second slower than pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes.
Raikkonen admitted that he was unable to extract the ultimate performance and temperature with his Pirelli Hypersoft tyres during the pole position shootout at the Marina Bay Street Circuit while also being unnecessarily caught up in traffic fighting for space on the circuit during his out laps in Q3.
“I think it was trickier than we expected but then this is what can often happen between qualifying and practice,” Raikkonen said. “It is always different. That is why it is pointless to look at lap times in practice. A lot of things change quickly especially at this place.
“I don’t think we really had traffic on the fast laps but obviously we did on the out laps. I think it was more difficult to make the tyres work but it was pretty straightforward since the start of the weekend. Now it was different and was a big surprise.”
Despite his underwhelming qualifying position, Raikkkonen remains optimistic with the favoured Ferrari package in race trim and feels the uncertainty the Singapore Grand Prix can produce gives him opportunities in tomorrow’s race.
“Everybody seems to be pretty close to each other so it should be quite a hectic race,” he said. “Things usually happen here so we will try to make the best of the situation.”