Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen says pushing too hard in the last corner of his final run in Saturday’s Sochi qualifying prevented him from improving - and potentially securing a first Formula One pole position in almost a decade.
Raikkonen had been on provisional pole after the first set of runs in Q3, and had improved in the first two sectors of his second and final effort, only for his lap to come undone in the final split. That proved costly, with team mate Sebastian Vettel snatching top spot by just 0.059s.
I tried to get it back in the last corner, and it didn't pay off
While the Finn said he could take comfort from both his improved pace and the fact Ferrari scored their first front-row lock-out since 2008, he admitted it was also tinged with a slight regret at missing out on P1, something he last achieved 127 races ago.
"Obviously the aim is to be on the front," Raikkonen said. "I'm happier than previous qualifyings, but I think we had all the tools to be on the front today...
"We got some traffic on the out-lap on the last [run in Q3], and I couldn't really make the tyres work as well as the first run. It was a bit more tricky.
"I was there or thereabouts [on the second run] and I tried to get it back in the last corner, and it didn't pay off.
"The feeling has been a lot better this weekend - obviously a one-two for the team is not bad..."
In contrast to Raikkonen, Vettel found more than two-tenths of a second on his final run - which proved a vital margin in securing only his second pole since joining Ferrari.
"I got a good lap in, improved in the final sector... I knew it would be tight and I knew I would be the first to cross the line [compared to the two Mercedes] - so going quicker than Kimi on my screen, I immediately opened up the radio to ask about the others.
"The first I got was Bottas, who didn't improve, then I got the message I was pole. It's a team effort and a great result for us to have both cars on the front row.
"I am sure everyone is happy and proud so we'll enjoy that - but in a couple of hours we'll obviously start focusing on the race. For now we're full of joy, very happy - and we'll try to take the momentum into the race tomorrow."