Raikkonen: We surprised ourselves

Date published: September 5 2015

It all came together brilliantly for Kimi Raikkonen during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday and the Finn is hoping to replicate that success come race day.

Although he couldn't beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position with the Mercedes driver edging him by 0.234s, Raikkonen will start on the front row of the grid for Ferrari for the first time since Monaco 2009.

What makes it even more special was that he beat his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who will start P3, and he did it in front of Ferrari's home fans at Monza.

"We probably surprised ourselves a little bit. Obviously we expected a strong weekend, but we knew this place wasn't our strongest so in the end the car turned out to be pretty good in qualifying conditions.

"We had many good laps. It has been a while, so it's nice [for it] to be here, especially a home race for us and [it was] our best qualifying this year as a team. 

"We will try to give it another good go tomorrow and get good results tomorrow, but not just for ourselves, for our fans and the Ferrari people all behind us."

Ferrari were well behind Mercedes' pace during Friday practice, but they took a big step forward on the Saturday.

Raikkonen later added: "In a way it's a big surprise that we are this strong compared to Mercedes. People always talk so much about Friday, but it's just Friday – you do whatever you want and it's not about the laptimes."