Record-breaker Kimi ‘expected more’ than P19

Jon Wilde
Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen will become Formula 1’s most experienced driver when he starts the Eifel Grand Prix – but has no great expectations for his 323rd race.

The former World Champion, who turns 41 next Saturday, will move past Rubens Barrichello’s record when the lights go out at the Nurburgring.

Raikkonen already has F1’s most second and third-placed finishes combined (82), the most starts in between pole positions (129), the most races between wins (113) and at this year’s Spanish Grand Prix, he passed the record for the longest distance driven in grands prix.

Now he sets another landmark – not that he is remotely bothered about it, because he is just not that type of guy.

Indeed, Kimi was typically reticent after a disappointing qualifying performance at the Nurburgring, where he will start P19 for Alfa Romeo.

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Asked if it was a difficult session, Raikkonen said: “No more difficult than other people but I just didn’t have the speed and not the greatest laps.

“I can’t be happy with 19th but that’s what we’ve got. There was nothing obvious wrong with the car but we expected more.

“We’ll try tomorrow for sure and we’ve got to do a better job. We will try to make some progress and see what we can do.”

It was a much better afternoon for Raikkonen’s team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi at exactly the right time – his place in the team is reported to be under threat for next season from Mick Schumacher.

The Italian reached Q2 for the first time this season and will start the race from P14.

“I would say we did the maximum we could today, especially coming from a difficult weekend missing FP1 and FP2 at a track that’s new for me,” said the Italian.

“We want more but we are happy. It’s the first time we make it to Q2 this year, something I really wanted, and to do it in such challenging circumstances is special.

“The car felt quite good from the beginning, so we can be confident we can put up a fight tomorrow.

“We expect the conditions to be difficult with the cold weather, but we will give it a good shot.

“We will give everything and hopefully bring home a good result.”

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