Raikkonen - I can go faster

World Champion says he has pace to spare at Magny-Cours

French Grand Prix polesitter Kimi Raikkonen says he could have gone even faster during Saturday's qualifying sessions.

The reigning World Champion ultimately had better pace with a heavy fuel load than his rivals during session three, posting a time of one minute 16.449 seconds at Magny-Cours.

The Finn had been slower than his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in the build-up to the all-important final runs.

But Raikkonen delivered when it mattered most, setting his pole time with his first flying lap of the final session.

Then, knowing that no-one else had beaten his time, he aborted his second attempt at the final chicane.

Raikkonen used the post-qualifying press conference to warn his rivals that he still has something in reserve.

"I was going quite a bit faster on my last lap, but the team told me to come in when it looked like I was okay for pole and I pulled in to save on lap of fuel, but I could have gone two tenths faster," he said.

"The car has been very good all weekend but tomorrow is the important day because we need to score the points."


Raikkonen was unpeturbed by Massa's turn of pace in the earlier sessions, adding that his car had been set up to run in race trim.

He added: "It's nothing new for me not being quick in the first and second qualifying session because the car is different with the fuel levels.

"We've worked all weekend with race fuel so it's a bit different when you take it out."

Meanwhile, Massa said he had only himself to blame for losing out on a second successive French GP pole.

"I was overdriving the car a bit too much I think in the final lap and lost a bit of time because of that, just trying to push too hard," he said.

The Brazilian will be starting second on the grid, after finishing 0.041s behind Raikkonen.

"I think front row is good and looking forward very much to the race tomorrow. The car feels very good," he said.

"We've had many good races this year where the car has been very strong in similar configuration. I think we got the best out of the car today."

After failing to score points in the last two races, Raikkonen currently stands fourth in the drivers' standings, four points behind Massa and seven behind leader Robert Kubica.