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Despite ending 9-year F1 pole drought, Raikkonen remains the Iceman in Monaco

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Given he has not started a Formula 1 race from pole position in close to nine years (eight years, 11 months for those wondering), you may have thought that Kimi Raikkonen would have been more jovial about finally ending his drought during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.

But this is Kimi Raikkonen.

Even after scoring what is widely-regarded as being the most important pole position of the year, the Finn stayed true to his ‘Iceman’ nickname, refusing to be too overawed by the success.

When teammate Sebastian Vettel was informed in Russia that he had taken pole, the pit wall was met with excessive whooping and cheering from the cockpit. Kimi’s response?

He may be as non-plussed as ever, but the enormity of this result must not be lost for Raikkonen. We are already into the yearly debate about his future, with a list of names being thrown about that could possibly take his seat at Ferrari next year.

Raikkonen’s case has not been aided in the early part of the season by a failure to match Vettel for pace and, crucially, results. While Vettel has taken two wins and three second place finishes, Raikkonen has often finished way behind on-track, racking up just one podium in the same period.

But in Monaco, Raikkonen may just be about to take a big step towards securing his Ferrari future. The run down to Turn 1 will be critical, but assuming he stays ahead, he will then have a golden chance to prove he has what it takes to match Vettel on-track.

With Lewis Hamilton set to start a lowly 13th, the chips are stacked in Ferrari’s favor for Sunday – yet Raikkonen is refusing to get ahead of himself and start dreaming of a first race win for the Scuderia since Belgium 2009.

“If you take any circuit then here is the most important for pole position but it doesn’t automatically give you a win or good result,” Raikkonen said.

“There are so many things that can happen in the race that are nothing to do with you. You might be doing perfect and the team might be doing perfect but actually then there is something that is out of your own hands that might destroy your result.

“So it is going to be a long and difficult race but we have two cars in the best possible position.”

The Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBC from 7:30am ET on Sunday, with F1 Countdown beginning on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET.

Holmatro, INDYCAR renew partnership in five-year extension

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Holmatro, a long-time partner of INDYCAR and title sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, have renewed a long-standing partnership that will see Holmatro and INDYCAR continue their partnership in a five-year contract extension.

“Holmatro has been a trusted partner and supplier in Indy car racing for more than 20 years,” said president of competition and operations Jay Frye. “Holmatro’s growth parallels some of the great strides made in safety for INDYCAR drivers and teams. We’re pleased to see this partnership continue, as it is a great benefit to everyone in the paddock.”

Holmatro’s relationship with INDYCAR dates back to 1991, when they first supplied tools to the safety team of the CART sanctioned PPG IndyCar World Series. Holmatro branding will continue to be featured on the firesuits, vehicles, and transporters of INDYCAR’s safety team throughout the agreement.

“Holmatro is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with INDYCAR for another five years,” said Tony Barboza, general manager for Holmatro. “We’re extremely proud to be affiliated with the premier on-track safety team in the world. Members of the safety team serve on their home fire departments when not at INDYCAR events and, like them, we believe in constant improvement and innovation. When the race is for life, you can count on the INDYCAR Safety Team and Holmatro rescue tools.”

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