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Kimi Raikkonen: Pole position was there for the taking

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Kimi Raikkonen believes pole position was "there for the taking" for Ferrari, after missing out by just over a tenth of a second to Nico Rosberg during qualifying in Belgium.

Raikkonen, a four-time winner at Spa, made a slight mistake on each of his Q3 runs to leave him 0.166s adrift of Rosberg's time, meaning the Finn will start Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix from third on the grid, behind Max Verstappen and Rosberg.

Despite a much-improved performance from Ferrari in qualifying, Raikkonen was left disappointed to not have been able to claim his first pole since the 2008 French Grand Prix.

"Everything went as planned, including Q2," Raikkonen said. "Obviously in Q3 I ran wide in the first run -- that wasn't ideal -- but the last lap was pretty good, even though I lost 0.2s on the last corner compared to my lap in Q2.

"Pole position was there for the taking and that's a bit disappointing. It was really close out there and it would have been nice to get pole. But the race is tomorrow and I think if we compare it with the previous two races this is a satisfying qualifying."

The 2007 world champion played down the effect his errors had on his final qualifying position and admitted he cannot explain the reason behind Ferrari's gains in its qualifying performance at Spa compared to the last few races.

"Not really, it didn't compromise it. But it would been easier without the first off, because that lap was also very good. On the last lap I lost 0.2s compared to my lap in Q2. For sure we had a chance to put it on pole and it would have been easier without going off in the first run. But that's how it goes.

"It's hard to say, but it's nice to be so close but obviously we'd rather be on pole position. I felt we had a good chance but I lost time in the last chicane. Is it the conditions? It's very hard with these conditions for the tyres.

"I don't know. If we knew it would be much easier to be in these positions all the time. Things have changed quite a few times this year, depending on circuits and conditions, so, who knows?"