Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a “disaster” opening lap to finish Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix in third place, racking up his second straight Formula 1 podium finish for Ferrari.
Raikkonen started fifth at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday and looked poised to enter the fight at the front after title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel dropped back after contact.
Raikkonen could not capitalize, instead picking the wrong line and losing places of Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, leaving him sixth in the opening stages.
The Finn passed Perez on-track before leapfrogging Ocon after pitting under the Virtual Safety Car, which combined with Hulkenberg’s retirement saw him rise up to third.
“The initial start wasn’t too bad,” Raikkonen explained. “All the guys behind me got a massive tow. I was left alone.
“The people behind me mananged to go past. It was a disaster.
“But then we had enough speed to improve. Obviously a lot happened.”
Raikkonen finished the race third for Ferrari ahead of teammate Vettel, who saw his hopes of a fifth F1 title end in Mexico despite fighting back from the opening lap contact.
Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.
Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.
Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.
Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.
Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.
Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.
Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.
Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.