Kimi Raikkonen on pole, ahead of Sebastian Vettel – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Italian Grand Prix


Kimi Raikkonen on pole, ahead of Sebastian Vettel – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Italian Grand Prix

Following the summer break, we can safely say that Formula 1 is well and truly back and for those of you who say that Formula 1 is boring – think again!

With plenty twists and turns (literally) along with surprise results and especially today – I think for many Formula 1 fans around the world, it was predicted that Sebastian Vettel would take pole for the 2018 Italian Grand Prix however, his team-mate claimed the position and in style setting the lap record for the fastest time in Formula 1 history.

(Kimi Raikkonen is now the oldest pole holder, it was Nigel Mansell prior to this.)

As Kimi Raikkonen said himself, tomorrow is the day when everything counts but in the mean-time, you can see what drivers (and teams) had to say following the great Italian Grand Prix Qualifying session and you can click here to see what the drivers said during the press conference earlier this afternoon!

FERRARI – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Italian Grand Prix


kimi Raikkonen press conference

Kimi Raikkonen: “The car has been good all weekend and we knew it would have been a close battle.”

“All three sectors were obviously crucial; so far the difference between the top three had been very small, so it was a question of who would get it right and today it was me!”

“It’s great to be on pole in our home Grand Prix in front of our tifosi. When we are driving we cannot hear them, but we could see them cheering and they gave us a lot of support.”

“As a team we did a very good job, we couldn’t have done any better today. I’m very happy for this result but unfortunately this doesn’t guarantee anything for tomorrow.”

“Half of the job has been done, but tomorrow is the most important day. For sure we have a good car and the best possible starting place.”

“The race is long and many things can happen; we need to do a perfect job and hopefully tomorrow will be another good day.”


Sebastian Vettel: “I’m a bit disappointed as I couldn’t get pole today and made some mistakes.”

“My lap was not that tidy but locking out the front row with both cars is a great result for the whole team. For tomorrow I think we will have the right speed to race and hopefully we can have a good start – which is always important! Especially here too.”

“The race is long, so that anything can happen but we’ll work hard and do our best. The car is strong so we should be fine. I am happy for the result, as much for our tifosi and hope to get the same result tomorrow.”

MERCEDES – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Italian Grand Prix



Lewis Hamilton: “That was an exciting Qualifying session! We’ve improved the car overnight and I’m really happy with where we were today. I’m really proud of my guys for pushing this hard – we’ve squeezed absolutely everything out of the car today.”

“Going into the second run of Q3, I kind of knew that the Ferraris might just be able to pull out some extra bit of time, but I think second place might have been possible today.”

“I lost maybe half a tenth in the last corner and that’s the difference between third and second”.

“We’ve got to fight hard tomorrow. The long run pace of the Ferraris looked quicker than ours, so it’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. The start will hopefully create an opportunity for us!

“I’ve got to study hard tonight to figure out a way how I can get in front of at least one of the Ferraris on the first lap. It’s great that Valtteri is right behind me, so we can really apply the pressure on the red cars..”



Valtteri Bottas: “The entire day was pretty difficult for me. We made some set-up changes for FP3; the car was better in the corners afterwards, but we lost performance under braking and it just became very easy to lock up the wheels.”

“Obviously, on this high-speed track you need to be able to trust your brakes; unfortunately, I was never really able to do that. Compared to FP3, the car felt a bit better in Qualifying, but still not quite there.”

“I made a mistake going into Turn 1 on the first lap in Q3 and after that it was difficult to really get the corner right in the second run. But this was only Qualifying – this weekend is not over, the race is tomorrow and we will try everything to put the Ferraris under pressure and challenge them.”

“We’ll see what we can do strategy-wise and I think the first lap is going to be interesting as we might be able to get a bit of a tow-effect into Turn 1.”

TOTO WOLFF – Team Principal


Toto Wolff: “That was a really close Qualifying session – but we came out just on the wrong side of things in the final run, after taking provisional pole early in Q3.”

“Congratulations to Ferrari: they have done a very good job to improve their package and they had a little bit more than us today when we laid the cards on the table at the end of Q3.”

“It was a tense session, looking for the right kind of tow to get the benefit down the straights, and there was a bit of gamesmanship as well to spice things up, which is normal when things are so close and the slipstream brings an advantage.”

“Lewis put in two strong laps in Q3, right on the limit and even improving on his final run, but just missing out on the front row by a few hundredths.”

“For Valtteri, it has been a trickier weekend and he has not felt as comfortable with the car, which is reflected in his position today.”

“For tomorrow, perhaps starting P3 and P4 is not the worst thing in the world, with the powerful slipstream at this track. It’s clear that we need to attack flat out – and that’s what we intend to do.”




Daniel Ricciardo: “We will be starting on the back or second to back row tomorrow, so we decided that putting more miles on the new engine wasn’t worth risking.”

“If we thought we had the chance of setting a pole time, even with the penalties, then maybe we would have risked finishing Qualifying but the Ferraris and Mercs are too quick.”

“I did one lap to get through Q1 and the new engine seemed to be running pretty well. One lap was fun, I would have loved more but this was always the plan.”

“This morning we weren’t that quick but we made some changes which seemed to work for this afternoon. The lap I did was encouraging and having done that lap I have more confidence going into the race tomorrow, we have a better set-up and it should be fun.”

“The car is as slippery as we can make it for the race, unless we took the rear wing off completely, which I guess is illegal, we couldn’t do anymore!”

“We’re as fast in a straight line as we can be at the moment which should serve me well in the race. It’s amazing to see how grippy the circuit is right now.”

“I think because there isn’t much wind and it’s quite cool, even with no downforce on our car, the corner speeds are pretty high which is why the times are so quick.”

“The conditions are really nice to drive in too. I don’t think it matters which tyre we start on tomorrow because the compounds are very similar.”

“We will come through the field, brake late and hopefully finish up with some good points.”


max verstappen

Max Verstappen: “Monza is the most difficult track for us, so fifth was what we expected already before the weekend. It’s quite normal where we are, so it’s not a disappointment, we just tried to do the best Qualifying we could.”

“We can’t really do much more, it’s quite painful how much we lose on the straight, but it is what it is. I noticed a difference with the new engine today, maybe one and a half tenths, it’s a little improvement and at least I’m happy with that but for sure we need much bigger steps to be really competitive.”

“We tried to maximise the result but I am quite far from the guys ahead. I didn’t have a tow in Q3 and even though that wouldn’t have changed the final position, at least it would be a little bit closer.”

“I think the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari is too big to do much tomorrow, but we’ll see what happens. You never know what happens in front of you, you just need to be there.”

“We will have a one-stop strategy, I guess like everyone.”

“I don’t think it really matters what we do, if we stay out long or short, I think we just try to have a clean start and take it from there.”

MCLAREN – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Italian Grand Prix



Fernando Alonso: “After yesterday’s poor performance, we were expecting a tough Q1 but the team made a lot of changes overnight and the car was faster today.”

“Starting tomorrow in P13 is a good surprise and unthinkable a couple of hours ago. I’m a bit worried tomorrow we might come back to reality and struggle in the race but let’s see how it goes.”

“We start in a position which is close to the posts so with a good start and a good strategy, anything could happen.”

“At the end of Q2, we had a strange situation. We were a few cars together on the out-lap, trying to find the gap between each other and trying to prepare the tyres. At the very last moment, on the inside of the Parabolica, Kevin (Magnussen) decided to overtake me and fill the gap between my car and the car in front of me.”

“In Parabolica, you normally launch the out-lap and start accelerating but we arrived together in Turn One and we both lost the lap.”

“It doesn’t change too much for me because I think the position I am in is what I deserve but definitely for him it’s a shame because he could have been in Q3 looking at his team-mate’s position.”



Stoffel Vandoorne: “It was extremely close in Q1 today and we saw 10 cars within almost two tenths. We maybe didn’t extract the maximum out of the slipstream we were trying to play.”

“The possibility was there to progress to Q2 so it’s a shame to miss out by a few hundredths. On the other hand, we looked very far from even thinking about yesterday – we were on the back foot and quite far away from the nearest competitor so today, it’s a step forward.”

“We made some drastic changes compared to yesterday and they definitely look like they’ve gone in the right direction. The feeling in the car is still more or less the same but we have gained a little bit of straight-line performance and we have definitely progressed.”

“We’ll see what we can do tomorrow – there’s still a lot of work ahead of us and we’re not where we need to be so it will be a tough race. The race is long and there’s not much that we can do with a one-stop strategy.”

“There are a couple of guys who have penalties and are out of position and to score points, we know that we need to be a little bit lucky or for something to happen so hopefully there will be action.”

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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