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Raikkonen: Final corner cost me pole

27 Aug 2016

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen insists a first pole in eight years was within his grasp at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, had it not been for a slow end to his final lap in qualifying.

The Finn, fastest on Friday morning in Belgium, wound up third on the grid - just 0.166s down on Mercedes' Nico Rosberg. And while that equals his best start of 2016, Raikkonen says he was disappointed to not seize the opportunity to end a pole drought that stretches back to the 2008 French Grand Prix.

"Obviously I ran wide on my first try of the final [part of] qualifying, but the second run was pretty good," Raikkonen explained.

"But if you compare it to my Q2 lap, I lost two tenths in the final chicane - so pole was there.

"It's a bit disappointing not to get it because it would have been nice, but tomorrow is the race.

"Compared to the last few races we have to be satisfied with where we are in qualifying - but we are not at the front, so you cannot be too happy."

Raikkonen has the best record of the current field at Spa, having won four times - and team mate Sebastian Vettel, who also felt he lost time at the final corner, believes Ferrari will be in the mix for victory on Sunday.

"Today was very close," the four-time world champion said, "and anyone in the top five or six has a chance tomorrow. I think we can win.

"We tried something and made it work to start the race [on soft tyres], but all the tyres are struggling whether they are red, yellow or white - so you will have to be smart with strategy."

Ferrari were the most aggressive team in terms of tyre selections for Spa, meaning they have just one set of mediums at their disposal - the most durable option to contend with the large cornering forces and unusually high temperatures.