As qualifying came to a close here in Korea this afternoon, Kimi and Romain certainly proved their class; both drivers putting themselves firmly inside the top ten with P5 / P7 respectively on their first outing at the Korea International Circuit.
Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05
Position: Q1 – P10 / Q2 – P5 / Q3 – P5
Best Time: Q1 – 1:38.887 / Q2 – 1:38.227 / Q3 – 1:37.625
Laps Completed: Q1 – 5 / Q2 – 6 / Q3 – 6
Q1: 03mins: Opening run on used soft tyres; goes quickest with third flying lap, fastest in the middle sector
Q1: 10mins: Stays parked in the garage for the remainder of the opening session
Q1: 20mins: Chequered flag; through to Q2 in P10
Q2: 02mins: First attempt on scrubbed super softs; goes P8
Q2: 09mins: Back in the garage; reports mild understeer
Q2: 13mins: Emerges for second shot at the top; new super soft rubber for a single lap dash
Q2: 15mins: Session ends; progresses to the final phase in P5
Q3: 00mins: Straight out for first run; P6 on used super soft tyres
Q3: 08mins: Joins the 10 car scramble for pole on fresh super softs
Q3: 10mins: Qualifying complete; P5 for the Finn
- Kimi’s first attempt in Q1 was good enough to progress to the next phase without using the super softs
- Romain hovered on the fringes of safety in Q1 with his initial run, opting to complete one flying lap on super soft rubber as a precaution
- Yellow flags in the final moments of Q2 as the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo stopped out on track; Kimi and Romain investigated for setting their quick times under a caution period
- Both drivers comfortably progressed to the final stage of qualifying without the need to burn excessive sets of tyres
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.242s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.316s + 0.074 3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.469s + 0.227 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.534s + 0.292 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m37.625s + 0.383 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m37.884s + 0.642 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.934s + 0.692 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m38.266s + 1.024 9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.361s + 1.119 10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m38.513s + 1.271 Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.436s Gap ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.441s + 0.674 12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.460s + 0.693 13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.594s + 0.827 14. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m38.643s + 0.876 15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m38.725s + 0.958 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.084s + 1.317 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.340s + 1.573 Q1 cut-off time: 1m39.180s Gap * 18. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m39.443s + 1.235 19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m40.207s + 1.999 20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m40.333s + 2.125 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.317s + 3.109 22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.371s + 3.163 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m42.881s + 4.673 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth no time
Quotes: Kimi speaking to Sky Sports
“It’s good for us to be higher up,” said Raikkonen.
“We could have been in a similar position in the last one but I spun.
“It helps us, it will make us a bit better in the race. It’s a safer and better position for the start.
“But the good thing I think is that the laptime is closer to the front, so that should give us better chances in the race because before we’ve been further away in laptime so we knew that it was going to be very difficult.
“Now I think we have a better chance to score better positions.”
“Today was just better overall,” he said. “I think the exhaust hasn’t changed since yesterday.”
The end of Q2 was affected by yellow flags for Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso stopping on track. Raikkonen was among the drivers who improved at that point, but he was adamant he had still obeyed the warning signals.
“I lifted in there. It’s normal,” he said. “Then I went faster than that with used tyres on the next qualifying lap I did.”