Raikkonen beats teammate Vettel to third on Baku grid

Kimi Raikkonen will start third for Sunday's Azerbaijan GP. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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Kimi Raikkonen led the Ferrari challenge in Baku on Saturday as the Finn beat teammate Sebastian Vettel to take third on the grid.

It was a scrappy session for both Maranello drivers, as for once Ferrari really struggled to get the 2017 Pirellis to work to the optimum.

“I think the biggest issue is the tires,” said Raikkonen. “It’s a bit on edge, they kind of work a little bit… If you get them working well it’s going to make a massive lap time difference, and you can actually push, and now you are a bit on edge all the time because it works or not.

“That’s the most difficult challenge. The car is behaving well, once we get the tires working, but it was not easy. I think today has been a bit trickier than yesterday. The last lap was better, but it’s still feels like if we could make the tires work on one lap, it would be a lot better. I think we got the maximum out of it with all the things. This is what we’ve got and tomorrow is another day. It’s going to be a long race so away we go.”

Raikkonen is hoping he can take advantage of a good start tomorrow: “I think the start should be OK. Obviously it depends on many things, we cannot plan most of the things, so we need to make a good jump, luckily I’m on the inside so that’s a good thing, and then see how it pans out as always.

“It’s pointless to make some plans because it only needs one car to be in a different place than you expect, you have to figure it out when it comes. I think it should be a better race for us but who knows? It will be a tricky race and we will try to make the best out of it.”

Meanwhile Vettel, who lost valuable track time with a hydraulic issue in FP3, said he had no excuses.

“I think the result is OK, but I’m not entirely happy obviously,” said the German. “This morning didn’t help, but it’s not an excuse. We do enough laps. In the end and had no tow in the last sector. As I said I’m not a big fan of excuses. I could have done a bit better, but probably P3 was the maximum.”