You could be forgiven for suggesting that the bad luck which hampered Kimi Raikkonen at McLaren has followed him to Ferrari. Following a torrid few weeks, culminating in retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix, Raikkonen is once again on the back foot following an accident in qualifying today.
During second qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, a race he won two years ago, the Finn retired to the pits with broken steering, leaving him a distant sixteenth for tomorrow s race.
“I was on my first run with soft tyres when, coming out of the Swimming Pool chicane, I hit the barrier with the left front wheel. At first it seemed that everything was alright, but when I got to Rascasse, the car would not make the turn.â€
“I managed to get back to the pits and the mechanics tried to fix the car but we realised it could not be done in time. Here, the very slightest error costs you dear and it is a real shame because I think I could have fought for pole position.”
In a post qualifying interview with ITV, Stefano Domenicali, Sporting Director at Ferrari, described the uphill battle the team will face in getting the Finn to the front of the field tomorrow:
“It s a shame for him for sureâ€¦let us keep the concentration for the race. We ll need to think about the race for Kimi from that starting position, but Felipe did a great lap.â€
Ferrari s Jean Todt shrugged off Raikkonen s incident, and also went on to praise Massa, whose shown to be as good, if not better than his higher paid team-mate during the first four races this season.
“As usual, qualifying was very close, made even more uncertain this time by the changing weather. On this unique track, starting from the front row is very important for the final result and for the first time this season, neither of our cars is there.”
“Kimi touched the barrier at the Swimming Pool and he had to pit with a damaged car and so was unable to take part in the final part of the session. He will start from sixteenth spot which will obviously make for a very complicated race. For his part, Felipe did a perfect final lap, to take third place. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts he was unable to get ahead of our closest rivals.â€
“The outcome tomorrow will be decided by the usual factors – strategy, reliability, the start, team work and the efforts of the drivers, as well as the performance of the tyres. There will be a further variable, linked to the weather which can make things even more uncertain.â€