Raikkonen takes pole position at Monza with record lap time

Raikkonen takes pole position at Monza with record lap time
Picture of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, who took pole position for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday. September 1, 2018.

Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen put Ferrari on pole position for the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday with the fastest lap in the history of Formula One.

His team-mate, Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, will start second in Monza, while the championship leader, Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, will start third with his Mercedes.

Raikkonen’s impressive 1-minute, 19,119-second lap, at an average speed of 263,587 kilometers per hour, broke the 1-minute, 19,525-second record set by Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya for Williams in 2004 at Monza.

“I couldn’t think of a better place to be on pole,” said Raikkonen, who took his first pole position from Monaco last year, the eighteenth of his career and Ferrari’s first in Monza since 2010.

The 38-year-old Finn, who last won a race with Lotus in 2013, also became the longest-running driver to take a pole position since British driver Nigel Mansell in 1994.

The last time Ferrari started from the front row at Monza was in 2000, when Michael Schumacher and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello started as leaders.

Vettel, 17 points behind Hamilton with eight races to go, though he had taken pole position and exclaimed “Yes!” when he crossed the line, then was told he was second fastest.

Meanwhile, Hamilton, who was booed by some Ferrari fans, congratulated Raikkonen.

“We knew they (Ferrari) had a good rhythm this weekend (…) It was amazing how intense it was,” said the Briton.

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