Raikkonen surprised with front row start at Monza

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Kimi Raikkonen admitted that he was surprised to have qualified on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix after qualifying on Saturday at Monza.

Raikkonen stormed to second place in Q3 ahead of Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel and championship contender Nico Rosberg, marking his best qualifying result since the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix.

Speaking in the post-qualifying press conference, Raikkonen admitted that Ferrari had surprised itself with its pace for its home grand prix weekend at Monza.

“Yeah I think if we look now, we probably surprised ourselves a little bit,” Raikkonen said.

“Obviously we expected a strong weekend, but we knew that this place wasn’t our strongest probably. In the end, the car turned out to be pretty good in qualifying conditions.”

Raikkonen is now focusing on converting his good qualifying display into a strong result on Sunday, when the Finn will go in search of just his second podium finish of the year.

“We had many good laps and it’s been a while so it’s nice to be here, especially at our home race for us,” Raikkonen said.

“Our best qualifying this year as a team, so we try to keep another good car tomorrow and a good result not just for ourselves, but for all of our fans and Ferrari people who are behind us.”

Raikkonen has struggled to match the pace of teammate Sebastian Vettel thus far in 2015, out-qualifying him on just three occasions in the opening 12 races.

However, with a new contract under his belt, the Finn will be hoping to justify Ferrari’s decision to retain him for 2016 by leading the team’s charge in front of its loyal Tifosi fanbase in the race at Monza.

The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.

WATCH LIVE: IndyCar Carb Day coverage on NBCSN

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It’s Carb Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And that means hours of coverage for IndyCar fans, just days away from the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Coverage on NBCSN will include the Indy Lights Firestone 100 at 1 p.m. ET, a live edition of NASCAR America from Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET with Krista Voda, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte, A.J. Allmendinger and Marty Snider, and new Indy-centric episodes of Proving Grounds and Off The Grid. Jake Query will call the Indy Lights Firestone 100 alongside analyst Anders Krohn and pit reporter Katie Hargitt.

Click here to watch online or on the NBC Sports app.

All this leads up to Sunday’s race (11 am ET on NBC), but don’t forget about Saturday’s Indy 500 parade coverage, which you can watch on NBC Sports Gold.