Kimi Raikkonen - I'm free to race Sebastian Vettel


Ferrari teammates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were fastest in the second practice for the Italian Grand Prix on Friday.

But the hometown team gave the fans something to cheer about as Raikkonen picked up his first pole in over a year, and was swiftly followed by Sebastian Vettel.

Raikkonen's 1m19.119s lap record is a new lap record at Monza and included a final sector that was more than a tenth of a second faster than anyone else.

Vettel, hoping to make further inroads into Lewis Hamilton's 17-point F1 championship lead this weekend, lapped the Monza circuit near Milan with a best time of one minute 21.105 seconds.

Raikkonen set the fastest lap in Formula One history as he blitzed his way round the 3.6-mile Monza circuit at a staggering average speed of 163.793 miles per hour.

"My last lap I wasn't happy with it and I think it was the only chance I had to get a shot at pole", he said. But Hamilton maybe took us closer to an understanding of what was gnawing at Vettel.

"I don't think in any case I would completely lose the freedom to win a race if I am able to do so".

This season has been as hard-fought as any, with the two contenders each on five wins from 13 races and the advantage ebbing and flowing even if Spa suggested Ferrari might now have the upper hand. Sooner or later, when we reach them [Mercedes], we are the aggressive ones who have taken them [the punches] and we know how bad it is. "We have always tried to stay neutral and have an equal approach to the drivers". My laps felt pretty good, but Ferrari was a little bit quicker today.

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Drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were very quick during the wet qualifying and continued the good work into the race with the two cars finishing fifth (Perez) and sixth (Ocon).

Vettel has done so previously with Toro Rosso (2008) and Red Bull (2011 and 2013). It is a great start, especially given all the troubles we have had in the past few months.

"It's taken a while, but we're finally getting the results".

In third position came Max Verstappen, a lonely 31 seconds behind Hamilton but 68 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in fourth.

"We're used to this, Mercedes aren't".

"Clearly I wasn't happy but I don't tell you why", he continued, denying that he planned to ask the team to impose team orders for the start of tomorrow's race.

Swedish Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson was lucky to escape injury after crashing in spectacular fashion due to a DRS failure.

The result is a 10 grid position drop for the next race and three penalty points on his licence.