Buon compleanno Kimi!
Maranello, 17 ottobre – Kimi Raikkonen oggi compie 35 anni e la Scuderia Ferrari lo festeggia con un video che mostra alcuni momenti della sua carriera in Ferrari. Kimi con la Scuderia fino a questo punto ha disputato 68 Gran Premi vincendone nove, ma ha soprattutto conquistato il titolo Mondiale nella stagione 2007, quando con la vittoria nell’ultima gara stagionale ad Interlagos scavalcò in classifica la coppia dei piloti McLaren, Fernando Alonso e Lewis Hamilton. Auguri campione!
Kimi Raikkonen: Laidback Lada driver to reluctant Ferrari star
"What do you call a Lada driver with a speeding ticket? A liar."
Kimi Raikkonen might not have heard that old joke about the much-maligned car, an icon of the Soviet era, but it might give him a chuckle.
"I had a Russian Lada," the Formula One star revealed as he took CNN’s The Circuit for a spin in a flashy sports car provided by his team Ferrari.
"I got it from a friend of ours. We changed the engine. It was perfect for us — free of charge and a very robust car.
"It was red but we painted it black. It never broke down."
The Finn now drives one of the world’s fastest vehicles on the F1 racetrack — which he definitely wouldn’t be allowed to paint black — but the down-to-earth approach of his first car beautifully sums up his underlying normality.
The man they call the "Iceman" is Formula One’s most reluctant star.
The 34-year-old is known for his succinct, cool answers when facing the media. And while he doesn’t say much, he often says what he thinks.
Perhaps his most famous admission came in 2006 when he explained he missed the presentation for the retiring Michael Schumacher, the man he was going to replace at Ferrari the following year, because he was in the bathroom — or words to that effect.
Then there are the off-track headlines, like the time he was filmed falling off a boat during a party.
Raikkonen’s pithy comments and antics have made him a cult icon among F1 fans but he insists he would rather stay out of the spotlight.
"It’d be perfect to lead a normal life where nobody notices you," he tells CNN. "But obviously you cannot have both.
"Racing and driving is the main thing but there’s a lot of other stuff that comes with it.
"I’ve been long enough in the business to know that it’s a big part of it. For me, it’s not much fun.
"I’m not a big fan of going places and showing off, I’d rather do my own things. I never try to hide it because it is how it is."
Unlike many other drivers on the grid, Raikkonen is also refreshingly honest about his childhood ambitions while growing up in the city of Espoo.
"I wouldn’t say I wanted to become a Formula One driver straight away," he explains.
"I actually started out with motocross when I was a small boy and then go-karts. It was good fun and you start wanting more.
"But I still didn’t believe that I would even make it to F1 because we didn’t have the money.
"I just thought I’d do karts for as long as possible and then do something else."
That something else was two titles in the British Formula Renault Championship.
After just 23 races, Raikkonen was signed up by Sauber and fast-tracked into F1 for the 2001 season.
He won his first grand prix with McLaren in 2003 and his first and only world title with Ferrari in 2007 before the Italian team effectively paid up the rest of his salary to bring in Fernando Alonso for the 2010 season.
Officially retired from F1, Raikkonen flexed his driving muscles in the World Rally Championships and got behind the wheel for two NASCAR races.
His team radio in the U.S. series endeared him to new fans with such quotable outbursts as: "I don’t understand how this car can be so hot. My ass is even burning in here."
"I really enjoy the whole NASCAR thing," Raikkonen recalls. "It’s just completely different and fun. It was a good experience.
"Hopefully I can do more (races) some day. I’ve said I’d like to do some more rallies in the future."
For now, F1’s reluctant star is focused on finishing his second spell in the sport with Ferrari, having returned to Maranello after two seasons with Lotus in which he re-established himself on the grid despite the team’s financial problems.
With two wins and 15 podiums he became hot property, and replaced Felipe Massa at the home of the "Prancing Horse."
The 34-year-old, who has struggled with an under-performing car this season, says he plans to finish his career with the Italian marque but is giving nothing away on when exactly that might be.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is expected to sign for Ferrari next year, with Alonso tipped to return to McLaren.
"I have a contract for next year and probably for one more year," Raikkonen says. "But I’m not a young guy anymore.
"I want to do something more with my life than just Formula One. I will finish my career in Ferrari.
"I never lost the passion. I will stop the day when I feel I don’t enjoy it anymore."
A new chapter is about to begin for Raikkonen in the near future when his girlfriend Minttu Virtanen gives birth to their first child.
"The biggest challenge will be with a family," he says. "That will take a lot of time and effort."
Asked if he would encourage his child to follow him into motor racing, he gives a typically direct and definitive "No!"
Raikkonen might not be keen on small talk but he is looking forward to discussing fatherhood with Vettel, his closest friend in F1, who became a father to a baby daughter earlier this year.
"The guy I have most to do with outside of racing is Vettel," he says. "The rest I don’t really see as friends, I race against them.
"He’s just a normal guy and it’s an easy relationship."
On the subject of sharing baby tips with the German, Raikkonen adds: "Yes, he has more experience…"
He might be one of F1’s most-enigmatic and best-loved stars, and still among the highest earners, but in many ways he has stayed true to his roots.
"I have normal cars," he explains. "Maybe when I was young I was a bit more like, ‘This nice car, I want to have this and drive this.’
"Not anymore. I drive normal cars without people noticing me, so it makes my life easy."
Dare we suggest, Raikkonen might have rewound time by swapping a Ferrari for a beat-up Lada?
Raikkonen ha vuotato il sacco con Mattiacci
Il finlandese non si considera bollito, ma ritiene che la sua F14 T abbia qualcosa che non funziona
I suoi tifosi si sono offesi quando abbiamo definito "zombie" Kimi Raikkonen dopo il nono posto di Sochi. E’ indubbio che il rendimento del pilota finlandese non sia minimamente paragonabile con quello dello scorso anno, quando aveva tenuto a lungo la Lotus in lizza per il mondiale piloti. E nemmeno accostabile al finlandese che ha vinto il mondiale nel 2007 proprio con la Ferrari.
Raikkonen quest’anno è parso rinunciatario alle prese con una F14 T che non gli è mai piaciuta dai primi test invernali a Jerez. Con quell’anteriore non preciso a causa di quella sospensione anteriore pull rod che riesce ad esaltare solo lo stile di guida di Fernando Alonso ma penalizza il suo, e quel brake-by-wire che ha condizionato pesantemente le sue staccate, togliendogli quella sensibilità con cui ha spesso fatto la differenza. Su OmniCorse.it abbiamo sempre messo in rilievo il disagio in cui si è venuto a trovare il pilota nordico.
Il finlandese, finora, ha avuto un atteggiamento impermeabile dentro e fuori il team. Si è comportato da perfetto professionista evitando qualsiasi nota polemica nei confronti di una macchina che non è competitiva. La sensazione che Kimi ha dato è stata quella del pilota che tira a campare, aspettando che svolti l’anno orribile con l’arrivo della 666 di James Allison, la Rossa del rilancio del Cavallino rampante.
Il confronto diretto con Fernando Alonso, però, è impietoso e lo spagnolo non ha mai perso occasione per farlo rimarcare con i giornalisti. Lo spagnolo è sesto nel mondiale piloti con 141 punti, mentre Kimi Raikkonen è solo dodicesimo con 41 punti nel carniere. La squadra del Cavallino è quarta nella graduatoria Costruttori perché sono mancati i piazzamenti auspicati di "Iceman", altrimenti il terzo posto non sarebbe affatto in discussione a favore della Williams.
A Sochi il pilota ferrarista sarebbe arrivato alla misura colma e per la prima volta avrebbe avuto un chiarimento piuttosto "duro" con Marco Mattiacci: Kimi per la prima volta avrebbe alzato i toni della voce per mettere in chiaro che si sta impegnando al 110% delle sue capacità, che non è affatto un pilota bollito ma che da questa macchina non riesce a trarre fuori il meglio perché c’è qualcosa che non funziona a dovere. Ha vuotato il sacco con franchezza con il team principal e i vertici del team. Con fermezza e senza le parole offensive usate da Alonso in Giappone.
Il rimbrotto del finlandese è stato letto in modo… positivo all’interno della squadra del Cavallino e c’è da scommettere che ad Austin, nel Gp degli Usa, Raikkonen potrà contare su un telaio diverso da quello usato fino ad ora per fugare tutti i dubbi di Kimi. Forse il letargo è finito: inizia il nuovo corso ferrarista con la presidenza di Sergio Marchionne e sta per arrivare Sebastian Vettel.
Mattiacci: “Raikkonen condizionato anche dagli episodi”
Il finlandese dopo aver ottenuto come miglior risultato quest’anno un quarto posto a Spa-Francorchamps su quella che è la pista a lui più gradita nel calendario, non si è più ripetuto nelle gare successive dove ha raccolto solo pochi punti in virtù di due noni posti e un ottavo, mentre ha concluso solo dodicesimo sotto il diluvio di Suzuka. Un pò poco per parlare di progressi, eppure Mattiacci è dell’avviso che in questo senso Raikkonen sia stato penalizzato anche da alcuni episodi sfavorevoli ai quali imputa una certa dose di responsabilità. “C’è stata una serie di eventi” – ha dichiarato il manager del Cavallino citato da Crash.net – “(A Sochi) Kimi aveva un buon ritmo, ma purtroppo la partenza non è stato un momento felice. Kvyat lo ha chiuso è così è stato costretto ad una gara diversa per cercare di recuperare il ritardo, ma sicuramente vediamo che il passo di kimi sta migliorando. Questo si può tradurre immediatamente in punti raccolti in gara? È evidente che non è così. Ma ci sono stati anche una serie di eventi che non lo hanno permesso. In ogni caso lui ha migliorato il suo ritmo e la sua velocità”.Lo stesso Raikkonen, che la scorsa settimana in Russia aveva ravvisato un passo indietro rispetto alle recenti prestazioni così come in Giappone, si è detto comunque fiducioso perché ha potuto fare dei progressi nella seconda parte del campionato. “Di sicuro puoi imparare delle cose, ma ovviamente ne ho apprese tante anche in passato, così come ho imparato che ci possono essere anche dei momenti difficili“ – ha spiegato il campione del Mondo 2007 – “La chiave è continuare a lavorare per migliorare le cose e fare in modo che i problemi possano essere risolti. Ci sono stati parecchi piccoli episodi che ci sono costati un sacco di punti e ci hanno reso la vita molto difficile. Ultimamente abbiamo ottenuto qualche piccolo successo e sono sicuro che la macchina sia migliorata molto rispetto all’inizio dell’anno. La direzione presa è quella giusta, ma ovviamente tutto ciò non ci aiuta molto in questo momento. Nel complesso è stata una stagione deludente, ma ho piena fiducia in tutte le persone (alla Ferrari ndr) e sono sicuro che potremo fare molto meglio ed essere dove dovremmo il prossimo anno”.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Doing our best”
Kimi Raikkonen: “We knew we could expect a very demanding race and that starting from far back it would not be easy to move up the order, but at the start we did very well. Unfortunately a Toro Rosso squeezed me towards the wall once we were on the straight. Because I had to brake hard, various cars passed me and I lost any chance of having a good race, because from then on I was always stuck behind other cars.
The car handled well and with a clear track I had a good pace, but we lacked top speed with which to try and overtake on the straight and having to save fuel meant I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to. We are aware that this year it’s hard to fight for the top places, but all the same, we will continue to try our best, starting with the very next race in Austin. That track is very demanding and interesting and I hope I don’t have the same problems I had here, so that I can aim for a good result. However, what I wish for most is that all our prayers help Jules at this difficult time.”
Russian GP: Lewis Hamilton cruises to win as Mercedes takes title
Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the Formula 1 world championship to 17 points over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with a commanding victory in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.
Hamilton generally looked more at ease than Rosberg with the demands of the new 3.6-mile F1 circuit in Sochi, and the Briton converted pole position into his ninth win of the year with a measured drive, which also meant he equalled Nigel Mansell’s British record of 31 grand prix victories.
Rosberg also started on the front row, and briefly headed his chief rival after sneaking up the inside after the first run through the flat-out Turn 1 right-hander, but Rosberg locked up heavily under braking for Turn 2 and flat-spotted his front tyres.
That forced him into the pits for a tyre-change at the end of the opening lap and effectively handed victory to Hamilton, as Rosberg was forced to battle his way back through the pack.
Extraordinarily, Rosberg made his set of medium Pirelli tyres last 52 of the scheduled 53 laps as he limited the damage to his own championship aspirations by recovering to second in a largely processional race.
The pair’s eighth one-two finish of the season also clinched the constructors championship for Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas ran second for the majority of the first half of the event, but had to settle for the final podium spot once he had made his own stop and it became clear Rosberg’s tyres would last the distance.
Jenson Button recorded his best result since July’s British GP by finishing fourth, while McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen – who qualified sixth but started 11th thanks to a grid penalty for a gearbox change – made an excellent start and recovered well to finish fifth.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso also got away well to climb from seventh on the grid and lie fourth at the end of the first lap when Rosberg pitted, but the Spaniard ultimately lacked the pace to fight the McLarens and also suffered a delay at his only pitstop.
The Spaniard held off Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull to finish best of the non-Mercedes engine runners and round out the top six.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel ran ahead of slow-starting Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo in the early stages, but his strategy of running an extended first stint backfired and Vettel had to settle for eighth.
Kimi Raikkonen finished a distant ninth in the second Ferrari, while Force India’s Sergio Perez survived fears of excessive fuel consumption to claim the final point by rounding out the top 10.
The Mexican just held off the second Williams of Felipe Massa, who started 18th after a fuel pressure problem ruined his qualifying session.
Massa attempted an aggressive two-stop strategy in an effort to recover the lost ground, but ultimately just fell shy of salvaging any points.
Nico Hulkenberg took a close 12th in the second Force India, while Russian home hero Daniil Kvyat started a superb fifth but slipped backwards after a scruffy opening lap and wound up finishing 14th, behind Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
Both Kvyat and Vergne – who also started inside the top 10 and ran as high as fifth in the early stages – struggled for speed in the race as they finished well outside the points.
All drivers stood united at the front of the grid ahead of the race, as a mark of respect to injured Marussia driver Jules Bianchi.
The French racer’s team-mate Max Chilton raced on in Marussia’s sole entry for this grand prix, but retired with a front-left vibration at the end of his ninth lap.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||-||23h28m09.s|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||-||23h28m09.s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||-||23h28m09.s|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||-||23h28m09.s|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||-||23h28m09.s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||-||1 Lap|
|15||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber/Ferrari||-||1 Lap|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||-||1 Lap|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||-||1 Lap|
|18||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Renault||-||1 Lap|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham/Renault||-||2 Laps|
Kimi Raikkonen: “Make up some places”
Kimi Raikkonen: “After a difficult Friday, things went better today, the car has improved a lot thanks to a series of changes that worked and we had a good pace. Sure, we can’t claim to have ended up where we would have liked, but compared to the start of the weekend, we have made a step forward and this makes me confident for the race. Today, it wasn’t easy to put a quick lap together because I still have some difficulties with the front end, especially in the final sector, but tomorrow we will try our hardest to be in the game and make up some places.”
Russian GP: Lewis Hamilton takes pole for F1’s Sochi debut
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Formula 1’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix, denying Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas at Sochi.
Hamilton outpaced Mercedes team-mate Rosberg by two tenths of a second, with the part both completing three increasingly fast flyers on their sole Q3 run.
Although Rosberg was the faster on their first runs thanks to Hamilton’s conservative opening lap, Hamilton had the edge and took his seventh pole position of the season.
There was a very real threat to the dominance of the Silver Arrows, with Williams driver Bottas putting in a spectacular final lap to challenge for pole position.
The Finn set the fastest sector times of all in the first two sectors, but the rear stepped out at the final corner and he ran wide, which cost him any chance of beating the two Mercedes drivers and left him in third place.
McLaren pairing Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen continued the strong form for the team in fourth and sixth place, although Magnussen will take a gearbox-change penalty.
They sandwiched arguably the star of qualifying, Daniil Kvyat, who qualified a career-best fifth after a strong performance on home soil.
Daniel Ricciardo was seventh on a weekend of damage limitation for Red Bull, ahead of the two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Jean-Eric Vergne, in the second Toro Rosso, was slowest in Q3 and qualified 10th.
Reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel was eliminated in Q2, his final lap only good enough to take 11th, 0.123s slower than Red Bull stablemate Vergne.
Vettel did not report any specific car problems, although he had been struggling with the balance of his Red Bull.
Just behind were the two Force Indias, with Nico Hulkenberg narrowly ahead of Sergio Perez but also set for a penalty.
Esteban Gutierrez won the intra-Sauber fight, over four tenths faster than team-mate Adrian Sutil, the Mexican doing a good job after sitting out Friday morning practice in favour of Sergey Sirotkin.
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was slowest in Q2, ending up 16th.
Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson continued his recent run of good form with 17th, fastest of those to be eliminated in Q1.
The Swede’s final lap allowed him to jump ahead of Williams driver Felipe Massa, who ended up 18th.
Massa had looked set to qualify well, but a fuel pressure problem that the team did not have time to fix meant that he was down on power.
He did complete eight laps during Q1, but the hobbled car did not have the performance to get into the top 16.
Kamui Kobayashi, in the second Caterham, ended up just a tenth off Massa after improving by almost six tenths on his final run.
This was enough to put him ahead of Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, who received an apology over the radio for what was described as a “shambles” after a problem delayed him.
He has to serve a five-place grid penalty anyway, a consequence of using his sixth engine during the Japanese GP weekend, so will drop to last.
Max Chilton in the sole Marussia was 21st, just over four tenths slower than Maldonado.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.277s||0.764s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.635s||1.122s|
|9||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.020s||1.507s|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.052s||-|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.163s||-|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.058s||-|
** Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Maldonado have had five-place penalties applied
Format: Q1 sets 17th-22nd, Q2 sets 11th-16th, Q3 sets 1st-10th
Russian GP: Lewis Hamilton still in control in final practice
Lewis Hamilton marked himself as favourite for pole position as he set the pace in the final practice session for this weekend’s Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes duo were once again the pace setters throughout most of the hour-long session, with Hamilton heading his team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.290 seconds.
Hamilton ended the practice period in the pits after he spun at the penultimate corner on the lap, seven minutes from the chequered flag. After the spin Hamilton was able to nurse his car across the circuit and into the pitlane.
The main interloper at the top of the timesheets was Valtteri Bottas in his Williams. At one stage he was the quickest runner in the field and ended up splitting the Mercedes drivers. He ultimately finished third overall.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was next up ahead of the second Williams of Felipe Massa.
The partisan crowd would have been delighted with the performance of Russian Daniil Kvyat. He was third behind the Mercedes mid-way through the session and finished the hour-long period with the sixth fastest time.
Drivers continued to struggle on the new low-grip surface at the new Sochi Autodrom and in particular a few racers ran wide at the tricky right-handed Turn 4.
Sebastian Vettel set the tenth quickest time, but he appeared to struggle with the grip levels, running wide at number of times throughout the session.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh, one place ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso.
The session was red-flagged on the 18 minute mark after Kevin Magnussen brought his McLaren to a stop heading into Turn 4.
On the radio he complained of either a puncture or suspension failure and replays showed how he skilfully managed to keep his car off the wall around Turn 3.
Pastor Maldonado could only manage an installation lap after a problem with the energy recovery system on his car.
To compound his misery, the Lotus driver goes into qualifying with a five-place grid penalty for an engine change that has been carried over from Suzuka.
Nico Hulkenberg also goes into qualifying with a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
The Sochi circuit was bathed in warm sunshine for the lunchtime session and the good weather is set to continue for the rest of the weekend.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.755s||1.029s||16|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.009s||1.283s||27|
|9||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.205s||1.479s||26|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.338s||1.612s||21|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.669s||1.943s||23|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.699s||1.973s||26|