F1: Raikkonen Beats Vettel To Take Pole For Italian GP

Posted September 02, 2018

"Second question? I don't tell you".

"When we take that decision, and there is no timeframe, you will be the second to know".

The Ferrari driver was 0.081 seconds quicker than Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton and 0.173 ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

As the Ferrari driver was left to recover lost ground, eventually recovering to fourth, partly thanks to a five-second penalty for Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who finished third on track but was demoted to fifth with the penalty, for crowding Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas off the track.

Raikkonen is Vettel's rear-gunner at Ferrari, 85 points behind Hamilton, and out of the title race.

So why is Hamilton suggesting he's behind the guy who's behind?

Bottas had to face questions about team orders in Germany, where Hamilton led a shock Mercedes one-two thanks to a mid-race downpour and Vettel crash, and again in Hungary, where Bottas was described as a "wingman" after defending from the Ferraris as Hamilton charged to victory. The McLaren driver caught the Dane as they ran down to Turn 1, meaning they both went into the corner wheel to wheel.

Vettel: Ferrari have never won in the capital, with Vettel's three scalps all coming during his time at Red Bull.

Whether that's a fair assessment is debatable.

As for whether Mercedes now needs to add some "tricks" to its own 2018 engine, he answered the way one would expect.

As a result of his victory, Vettel scored 25 points. The Ferrari, itself, has not won in Texas since Schumacher in 2006. With three wins in the last seven years, the Monaco resident is sure to capitalise around the tight twists on the final section of the track.

As Hamilton swept around the outside of Vettel, there was light contact.

But the 52-time Grand Prix victor came into one of the turns far too hot and could not slow down.

"The auto was fine so at least I got out of the sandpit which was hard as a child but nowadays I don't want to spend much time there".

In Germany, Vettel was in control until an unforced error in the rain put him in the barriers. I think Kimi was one of the last really to not feel that way.

However, Ferrari arrives at Monza as the pre-race favourite after Vettel's Spa win, with its engine upgrade appearing to trump Mercedes' as both manufacturers introduced new specs last weekend.

Which takes us to the No. 2 reason why Hamilton is playing up the narrative that Ferrari has the stronger auto: It helps grow the already remarkable legacy he will one day leave behind.