Raikkonen disappointed after Malaysia F1 pole position near-miss

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Kimi Raikkonen admitted to feeling disappointed after narrowly missing out on his second Formula 1 pole position of the season in Malaysia, falling 0.045 seconds short of Lewis Hamilton in the final stage of qualifying.

Ferrari entered Saturday’s qualifying running as the favorite for pole following a strong showing in practice, only for an engine issue to sideline Sebastian Vettel from the session entirely.

Left to lead Ferrari’s charge, Raikkonen worked up a quick final lap in Q3 to run Hamilton close for pole, with a lock-up at the final corner appearing to prove costly as he was left to settle for P2 on the grid.

“It’s OK, but obviously when you get that close it’s disappointing,” Raikkonen admitted after the session.

“I made the most out of it. Yes, there are always places you can improve, but you are never going to get it 100 per cent perfect anywhere.

“You always find some things you can improve, but I must say the car has been behaving nicely all weekend and it’s been a pleasure so far.

“We’ll try to get further than 100 meters tomorrow, and let’s see what we can do.”

Raikkonen’s 100 meters reference harked back to the collision with Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen off the start in Singapore, with the latter set to start third tomorrow.

“I don’t want to be sandwiched – that’s the only thing,” Verstappen said when asked about his hopes for the race.

Raikkonen added: “I don’t want to be hit.”

The Malaysian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2am on Sunday.