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.

Coyne signs Ferrucci for final two IndyCar races of 2018

Photo: IndyCar
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Dale Coyne Racing will field a third entry at the Grand Prix of Portland and the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma for former Haas F1 test and reserve driver Santino Ferrucci, the team revealed earlier on Friday.

Ferrucci previously raced with Coyne at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, where he finished 22nd and 20th, and will drive alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Pietro Fittipaldi. The entry, the No. 39 Honda, will also feature sponsorship from Cly-Del, a Connecticut-based manufacturing company.

“I am extremely grateful to Dale (Coyne) and everyone at Dale Coyne Racing for giving me this opportunity to get back behind the wheel of an IndyCar in Portland and Sonoma,” said Ferrucci, who had been racing in FIA Formula 2 this year until it came to an unceremonious end in July.

Ferrucci continued, “I’m also excited to be bringing my long-time sponsor Cly-Del on board and introducing them to the world of IndyCar racing. I truly enjoyed my time with Dale Coyne Racing in Detroit earlier this season and I couldn’t be more excited to be back with them for a couple more races as I look to the future and enter the next chapter of my career.”

Team owner Dale Coyne highlighted the team’s experience with Ferrucci as a motivating factor in signing him up again for the final two races.

“We were very impressed with Santino at Detroit this year, and not just by his performance behind the wheel, but also by his professionalism and maturity outside of the race car,” said Coyne.

Coyne added, “We’ve had lengthy discussions with Santino in the past few months and we’re excited to have him back for the final two rounds of the season. We look forward to seeing what he will do with this opportunity as he gets back behind the wheel of an Indy Car. We’re also happy to welcome Cly-Del to our ever-growing family of sponsors.”

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