ITALIAN GP - SATURDAY - QUALIFYING SESSION 1 REPORT

Kimi facing big challenge

Kimi Raikkonen, Italian GP 2005

Kimi Raikkonen, Italian GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

Juan Pablo Montoya took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza despite the fact that his McLaren team mate Kimi Raikkonen went faster. Montoya lapped the Autodromo Nazionale in 1m21.054s but he was then beaten by a tenth of a second by Raikkonen but the Finn must 11th on the grid because of an engine change which resulted in a drop of 10 places on the grid. The performance was particularly noteworthy as Raikkonen is no doubt carrying as much fuel as possible in order to try to make up for the disadvantage of starting in the midfield and is probably carrying more fuel than Montoya. This may enable the Finn to get back to be in a position to score points but he is going to need to have a bit of luck on his side if he is to win and close the gap on the ever-reliable Alonso, who lines up second on the grid and will probably lead into the first corner, given the impressive starts that the Renault team enjoys. Raikkonen must hope that Alonso has some bad luck but Renault is working very carefully to ensure that no mistakes are made. The people who might throw a fly in the ointment are the BAR-Hondas which look good on the high-speed blasts of Monza where engine power is a useful thing to have. Jenson Button is third on the grid with Takuma Sato fourth.

The big worry for Raikkonen is that he will get caught in a train of cars which will inevitably line up behind Jarno Trulli, who has a habit of being quick in qualifying but not as quick in the races.

The Ferraris are seventh and eighth but the cars do not look convincing at all

"It is going to be difficult to try to win," Raikkonen said. "That will all depend on what happens at the front of the race. It's not the perfect thing, but I cannot change it any more, so I will make the best of it. I know I'll sleep as good as ever. That won't change. If I can get through the first corner then I will be OK and after that I will push as hard and as fast as I can."

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