Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen looked destined to grab the pole for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Finn leading teammate Sebastian Vettel by two-tenths of a second heading into the final sector of his qualifying run on Saturday.
However, a big mistake in Turn 16 saw Raikkonen get the power down a little too hard on corner exit, kicking the back of his SF71H out and costing him over a second in lap time. All told, the error dropped him to sixth on the grid.
“I went sideways. That’s about it. It was really frustrating losing a pretty decent lap at that point,” said Raikkonen in a piece posted to Formula1.com.
He explained further that he attempted to go easy entering Turn 16, knowing it had also affected several other drivers, but it was to no avail.
“No excuse. I took it easier even on the entry because obviously it’s been a bit tricky all day,” Raikkonen said. “Went sideways, I got it back but at that point already, I knew it was all gone as it’s all flat out and long straights. It was a mistake and cost us quite a few places. Not the greatest ending.”
Raikkonen’s teammate Vettel will start on the pole, with Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas starting second and third. The Red Bull Racing duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will also start ahead of Raikkonen in fourth and fifth.