Three minutes into the second phase of qualifying, all cameras turned to Kimi Raikkonen as he headed into La Rascasse slowly and temporarily parked his Ferrari by the wall that feeds into Antony Noghes. Why? Because Kimi had clipped a barrier going through the Swimming Pool complex and damaged his steering arm. The car would simply not turn into the corner.
Having waited until the area was free from traffic, including his team mate who lost time trying to navigate his way around the semi-stricken F2007, Kimi was able to limp the car down the pitlane. Initially, the mechanics swarmed all over the red racer, but with only eight minutes left on the clock, there was no way they could get the car out in time. Kimi left the pitlane and headed back to the comfort of his motorhome. The look on his face was reminiscent of his 2006 race, where the Finn didn’t even return to the pits, choosing instead to go and find his yacht moored in the harbour.
But now Raikkonen has had chance to calm down, he spoke in a reflective tone to the press when he re-merged from the Ferrari castle after qualifying.
I was on my first run with soft tyres when, coming out of the Swimming Pool chicane, I hit the barrier with the left front wheel. At first it seemed that everything was alright, but when I got to Rascasse, the car would not make the turn. I managed to get back to the pits and the mechanics tried to fix the car but we realised it could not be done in time. Here, the very slightest error costs you dear and it is a real shame because I think I could have fought for pole position. Kimi Raikkonen.
It’s a shame for him for sure. Anyway, let’s keep the concentration for the race. We need to think about the race for Kimi from that starting position, but Felipe did a great lap. So let’s see what the others have on board, and for sure tomorrow will be tough for everyone.
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari Sporting Director.