Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton seized pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday in a Mercedes one-two that ended Sebastian Vettel's bid for a fourth in a row.
"I tried to get it back and recover but to really fight for pole I knew it was not enough".
"Obviously after the mistake I wanted to try something else", said Raikkonen. For the team it's been a struggle.
"In terms of race pace we should all be the same", he explained "I don't think you can make out a favourite". He set a session-best time in sector three but did not manage to beat his team-mate's lap. He needed to perform at his best, pushed to the line by Bottas who was four-hundredths back with Vettel a tenth down, in front of his team-mate Kimi Räikkönen. After blistering affected the rubber in testing here, Pirelli are using a tyre with a thinner tread, less susceptible to overheating. "I was saying to Valtteri that, when we get to Monaco, we'll be driving around with cold tyres because it is not easy to get temperatures up there".
Toto Wolff dismissed claims it had been implemented for Mercedes's benefit as "bollocks".
On the whole, the Finn has been very competitive in qualifying so far this season but was off the pace at the Circuit de Catalunya, finishing almost half a second behind pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and lining up P4 on the grid.
He added that Mercedes have been working hard to get back on par with Ferrari, who now lead the Constructors' Championship, and their performance this weekend will be a good barometer as to their current form and whether they can continue to fight at the front in the coming races. We expected Mercedes to be very strong and so they were. The job is by no means complete but they can be rightly optimistic of starting on the very front foot for only the second time this season. The Red Bulls locked the third row with Verstappen and Ricciardo taking P5 and P6, respectively.
Lalu to remain under watch of camera at son's marriage
The venue is a sprawling veterinary college ground, spread over 9,000 square metres, RJD leader Shakti Yadav said. JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar had past year walked out of the grand alliance with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav.
It was a day to forget for Lance Stroll after the Williams driver crashed out, but McLaren got a driver into Q3 as Fernando Alonso took eighth on home soil.
On the fifth anniversary of his last victory in F1, Fernando Alonso ensured a McLaren vehicle progressed to the final phase of qualifying for the first time this year.
Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors' picks. Torro Rosso's Pierre Gasly qualified 12th.
Sergio Perez had a mechanical issue with Force India and had to retire near the end of the second session. Sauber's Charles Leclerc once again did well to make it to Q2 and finished 14th.
Stroll almost hit the tire barriers after going off the track with about a half-hour left in the session.
The Canadian qualified slowest in 19th place, just behind team-mate Sergey Sirotkin, on a dire weekend for Williams that underlined the major problems they have with their auto this year.