Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished the session in eighth place and a full second behind Alonso.
The Finn admitted his final flying lap had been far from perfect.
"The car was pretty OK, but the conditions were quite difficult," Raikkonen said.
"I did quite a few mistakes in the last lap, I had to compromise my out-lap to get clear of traffic, so it was not the best way to start the lap and then I did some mistakes."
Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg takes pole position at wet Spa
Nico Rosberg claimed his fourth consecutive Formula 1 pole position in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Rain meant that the majority of qualifying was run using intermediate tyres and Rosberg’s first flying lap at the start of Q3, a 2m05.591s, proved to be good enough for pole position.
Although Rosberg did switch to a fresh set of intermediates and made a small improvement, he had already done enough to be sure of top spot. He ended up just over two tenths clear of world championship rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, who set a slow time on his first flier, which was compromised by sliding wide at the first corner, leading him to ease off, before improving on his second.
He then pitted for fresh intermediates and got down to a 2m05.819s on his final flier, but it was only enough for second.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, over two seconds slower than Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fourth.
The pair had held third and fourth after the first runs, but improvements later on served only to defend their positions with the Mercedes pairing out of reach.
Daniel Ricciardo, who had an off-track moment on his final attempt, was fifth fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the best of the Williams cars.
Kevin Magnussen outqualified McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, the duo ending up seventh and 10th.
In between them were Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, with the Finn the biggest loser after the first runs and being bumped from fifth down to eighth.
Scuderia Toro Rosso pairing Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were the fastest of those eliminated in Q2.
Kvyat put in a lap that temporarily put him eighth in the closing stages of the session, but he was shuffled down the order by improvements by Magnussen, Button and Vettel, all of which were in the drop zone at times late on.
Sergio Perez was 13th ahead of Sauber driver Adrian Sutil, with Romain Grosjean 15th.
Although Jules Bianchi was slowest in the middle part of qualifying, the Marussia driver was one of the stars of the afternoon after reaching Q2 at Spa for the second consecutive year.
Pastor Maldonado appeared to have made it through to Q2 by improving his time on his final flying lap in a Q1 session that started off wet but improved throughout.
But the Lotus driver was bumped back down to 17th when Sutil also improved in the dying moments, with all the runners by then using intermediate rubber.
This also led to Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg being eliminated as he slipped down to 18th ahead of Marussia’s Max Chilton having been ahead of both Maldonado and Sutil as they started their final laps.
Hulkenberg admitted to making a mistake at the end of his final lap, which cost him a couple of tenths, also complaining of a lack of braking feel.
Esteban Gutierrez did not have the chance for a proper qualifying attempt as his Sauber stopped on his fifth lap while he was still on wet tyres.
This meant that the Mexican did not get to run in the best of the conditions, ending up ahead of only the two Caterhams.
Remarkably, Andre Lotterer outpaced Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson to avoid starting his debut grand prix last, with the gap between the two almost one second.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m05.591s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2m05.819s +0.228s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2m07.717s +2.126s 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m07.786s +2.195s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 2m07.911s +2.320s 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2m08.049s +2.458s 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 2m08.679s +3.088s 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m08.780s +3.189s 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2m09.178s +3.587s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m09.776s +4.185s Q2 cut-off time: 2m09.272s Gap ** 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 2m09.377s +2.768s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 2m09.805s +3.196s 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2m10.084s +3.475s 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 2m10.238s +3.629s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2m11.087s +4.478s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 2m12.470s +5.861s Q1 cut-off time: 2m11.081s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2m11.261s +4.131s 18. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 2m11.267s +4.137s 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2m12.566s +5.436s 20. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2m13.414s +6.284s 21. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 2m13.469s +6.339s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2m14.438s +7.308s 107% time: 2m16.029s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Belgian GP: Valtteri Bottas tops final practice for Williams
Valtteri Bottas went quickest for Williams in a frenzied final few minutes of third practice for Formula 1’s 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, outpacing Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo by 0.268 seconds.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was the best of the title contenders in third.
Many drivers only had the opportunity to run one or two flying laps on the soft Pirelli tyre at the end of the session, and were thwarted by traffic.
After overnight rain a dry line had already formed in some places, thanks to the preceding GP3 qualifying session, as the F1 cars took to the circuit for their installation laps.
With the track temperature still hovering around the 16C mark and the surface still mostly wet, there was little activity for the first 30 minutes as most teams – apart from the tail-enders – elected not to risk their machinery.
Thus Marussia annexed the top two positions for half the session as Jules Bianchi (2m01.823s), Max Chilton (2m05.120s) and Andre Lotterer (2m07.529s) each essayed a tentative lap before reporting back to the pits.
Esteban Gutierrez was the first driver out on slick tyres, half an hour into the session. He instantly took 1.581s out of Bianchi’s time, then improved again by over four seconds as his medium-compound Pirellis came up to temperature, and this provided the cue for others to join the fray.
The track evolved quickly over the final 20 minutes as increased activity broadened the dry line, and Ferrari fans will have been heartened by the sight of Kimi Raikkonen bolting on a set of soft tyres and briefly topping the timesheets with five minutes to go.
Bottas, Ricciardo and Rosberg then went faster using the same tyre choice, but Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were unable to eclipse their team-mates and finished fifth and sixth fastest.
Sebastian Vettel finished the session outside the top 10 having done all his running on the medium compound.
He has reverted to an older engine after an ignition problem in one cylinder set in motion a failure of his nominated power unit on Friday.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m49.465s 12 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m49.733s +0.268s 9 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.739s +0.274s 13 4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m49.817s +0.352s 9 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.817s +0.352s 13 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m49.890s +0.425s 9 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m49.893s +0.428s 11 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.203s +0.738s 11 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m50.423s +0.958s 11 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m50.535s +1.070s 10 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m50.592s +1.127s 12 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.748s +1.283s 11 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m50.814s +1.349s 10 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m50.866s +1.401s 11 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m50.962s +1.497s 12 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m51.509s +2.044s 9 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m51.610s +2.145s 10 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.898s +2.433s 15 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.457s +2.992s 14 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.984s +3.519s 14 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m54.294s +3.829s 11 22. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1m55.008s +5.543s 13
Kimi Raikkonen: “Not the best Friday”
Kimi Raikkonen: “A difficult day, complicated by a series of setbacks which cost us valuable track time. In the morning, I had a brake problem, but once it was sorted, we were able to get through our planned programme for the first session. The new components we brought for this race seem to be working, but only after we have cross-referenced all the data will we be able to work out what is the best package to use for the rest of the weekend. In the afternoon, an electrical problem complicated our work, preventing us from carrying out the race simulation. Tomorrow, we can expect a busy free practice session, in which we will do our best to prepare the car for qualifying and the race.”
You’ve worked with both the drivers that you’re with at the moment quite a lot through your career. Obviously what Fernando is doing this season is fairly clear but can you spell out or put your finger on what’s characterised Kimi’s season so far?
JA: Well, I would say that we have had a car that is not especially easy to drive – that’s certainly true. Particularly in Kimi’s case he doesn’t much like the front end of the car and Kimi’s a driver who likes to have a very strong and predictable front end to the car and then he’s able to make the most of the skill he had. That isn’t something he’s found yet in Ferrari and we haven’t yet provided for him. That’s, I think, what we’re looking at.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) James, as Fernando and Kimi, they have different kinds of driving style. Is it possible to build a car that suits both of them next year?
JA: Yeah, I think so. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t, put it that way. Any driver responds to more downforce, any driver responds to more horsepower, any driver responds to more mechanical grip. We’re putting all of those things into next year’s car and I hope that both the drivers will be satisfied with the outcome. […]
Belgian GP: Lewis Hamilton tops the times in second practice
Lewis Hamilton topped the opening day of practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, outpacing Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg by six tenths of a second in the afternoon.
The 90-minute session was interrupted by two red flags during the first half-hour of running, the first caused by a crash for Pastor Maldonado and the second by Esteban Gutierrez’s spin.
But Hamilton was not fazed by these brief stoppages and was already fastest, four tenths quicker than Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, before the second red flag.
He then switched to the soft rubber for his performance run, heading out at the halfway point of the session.
By the time Hamilton set his best time, on his first flying lap on the faster rubber, he had slid down to seventh, with Rosberg having bumped McLaren driver Jenson Button off top spot moments earlier.
Hamilton then outpaced Rosberg in all three sectors, a massive 0.445s of his advantage coming in the middle sector, helped by the German having a scruffy lap.
Alonso was third fastest ahead of old team-mate Felipe Massa, the Brazilian Williams driver showing that his team would again be a podium threat here.
Button ended up fifth fastest, 1.470s down, but he set the fastest overall time in sector one, suggesting he was trying a set-up that was low downforce, even by Spa standards.
Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest in the second Williams, ahead of Daniil Kvyat, with both drivers briefly being classified as high as second thanks to completing their qualifying simulation laps before some of the frontrunners.
Daniel Ricciardo was down in eighth place after completing his first soft-tyre run later than most while work was being done on his front brakes in the pits, jumping from 15th and bumping Kevin Magnussen and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg down to ninth and 10th.
Adrian Sutil was 12th fastest in the improving Sauber, briefly running as high as fourth before being bumped down the order, behind Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso, with Sergio Perez down in 13th.
Lotus’ Romain Grosjean complained of the rear end of his car being unpredictable on his way to 14th, just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
The Ferrari driver endured a difficult session, with a misfire setting in early on and forcing a lengthy stay in the pits.
He returned to the track in the closing stages of the session, but the car was not able to do any better than 15th.
Marussia driver Jules Bianchi was up in 16th, just 3.587s off the pace, although his position was boosted by several others hitting trouble.
Gutierrez ended up 18th after managing only seven laps before he spun at Blanchimont and being unable to rejoin.
Andre Lotterer continued to impress, ending the session just half-a-tenth off team-mate Marcus Ericsson in 19th place.
Max Chilton, who had yesterday been replaced by Alexander Rossi before earning a reprieve this morning, had sat out the morning session and ended up 20th after his running was hindered by a turbo problem.
Maldonado did not set a time after causing an early red flag when he crashed just after the eight-minute mark.
The Lotus driver drifted onto the grass on the right-hand side of the track run-out of Rivage towards Pouhon and lost control, spearing across the track and heavily into the barrier on the opposite side of the circuit.
But he at least went further than Sebastian Vettel, who was forced to sit out the session as a result of an electrical problem related to the engine in the morning.
This has forced an engine change, which the team did not have the time to do before the afternoon’s running.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.189s 26 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.793s +0.604s 28 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m49.930s +0.741s 19 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m50.327s +1.138s 24 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.659s +1.470s 31 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m50.677s +1.488s 26 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m50.725s +1.536s 25 8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m50.977s +1.788s 16 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m51.074s +1.885s 31 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m51.077s +1.888s 26 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m51.383s +2.194s 26 12. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.450s +2.261s 29 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m51.573s +2.384s 28 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m52.196s +3.007s 25 15. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m52.234s +3.045s 18 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.776s +3.587s 23 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.955s +4.766s 7 18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m54.040s +4.851s 18 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m54.050s +4.861s 30 20. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1m54.093s +4.904s 24 21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault no time 2 22. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault no time
Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg quickest in opening practice session
Mercedes was fastest in first practice for the 2014 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, with Nico Rosberg outpacing Lewis Hamilton by 0.097s.
As expected, Mercedes-engined cars dominated the top 10, with the ‘works’ cars trading quickest times in the final half hour.
Rosberg topped the timesheets for the first half of the session with a 1m51.724s lap before Hamilton edged ahead, but Rosberg hit back by going another tenth of a second faster.
Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington informed him that the time came from Rosberg being quicker through the chicane and picking up more mid-corner to exit speed at Pouhon.
Both Mercedes then returned to the circuit in the final minutes but did not improve their times.
Ferrari arrived at Spa with a revised low-downforce aero package and proved to be the fastest non-Mercedes team. Fernando Alonso was especially impressive, third fastest and just two tenths off Rosberg’s benchmark.
Kimi Raikkonen, so often a Spa specialist, continued to fight his F14 T but finished fifth fastest, albeit a second slower than his team-mate.
The Ferraris sandwiched the McLaren of fourth-placed Jenson Button, who survived a brief scare when his DRS stuck open. Button was a comfortable half second faster than team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was the only other top 10 runner without a Mercedes engine, closing the session in ninth place, behind Magnussen and the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Ricciardo’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel was two places adrift after an eventful session. He reported gearshift problems and ran off track at Pouhon, then ran just another handful of laps before returning to the garage with a temperature-related exhaust failure.
Valtteri Bottas was the only Williams driver to finish inside the top 10, seven tenths quicker than team-mate Felipe Massa.
While 1.595s separated P1 from P10, the gap from fastest to slowest on the entire grid was a substantial 6.4s, with the usual suspects propping up the order.
Alexander Rossi, who will not now drive in the grand prix, was over a second slower than Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi.
It only took F1 debutant Andre Lotterer 10 laps at the wheel of the newly upgraded Caterham to overhaul team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who spun at La Source in response.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m51.577s 25 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m51.674s +0.097s 24 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m51.805s +0.228s 16 4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m52.404s +0.827s 21 5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m52.818s +1.241s 17 6. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m52.903s +1.326s 24 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m52.922s +1.345s 23 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m52.937s +1.360s 22 9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m52.972s +1.395s 19 10. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m53.172s +1.595s 20 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m53.369s +1.792s 11 12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m53.594s +2.017s 21 13. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m53.597s +2.020s 20 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.703s +2.126s 14 15. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m53.968s +2.391s 20 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m54.189s +2.612s 20 17. Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1m54.335s +2.758s 16 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m55.336s +3.759s 21 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m55.782s +4.205s 19 20. Alexander Rossi Marussia-Ferrari 1m57.232s +5.655s 20 21. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1m57.886s +6.309s 24 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m57.977s +6.400s 24
Quando a Spa ho scoperto Kimi
Credo fosse il 2001.
Stavo per superare i controlli agli ingressi di Melbourne quando mi accorsi che un addetto al circuito stava questionando con un ragazzo biondino.
Costui pretendeva di entrare, asserendo di essere un pilota della Sauber.
L’addetto ghignava e diceva: inventatene un’altra, babbeo.
Io stavo lì e pensavo che le nuove generazioni erano dotate di enorme fantasia.
In effetti, nemmeno io sapevo chi fosse un certo Kimi Raikkonen.
Invecchiato un po’ (io), una domenica di fine agosto del 2004 stavo ad Atene.
Ultima giornata di una Olimpiade spettacolare, anche se foriera di disastri per gli amici ellenici.
La F1 correva a Spa.
Seguivo la finale del volley (Brasile-Italia) e poi la maratona di Baldini.
Del Gran Premio orecchiavo qualcosa, senza vedere niente.
Alla fine mi dissero: ah, Schumi è matematicamente campione del mondo per la settima volta, però sulla pista che ama di più è arrivato secondo. Dietro il Biondino bloccato ai cancelli di Melbourne.
Penso si sappia cosa penso io di Raikkonen, in termini assoluti.
Nutro sincera comprensione per quanti si ostinano a rifiutare il mero dato di cronaca, nonchè statistico.
Ehi, boys and girls, se in 35 anni, dalla fine del 1979 in poi, ci sono solo due esseri umani che possono dire di aver vinto un mondiale di F1 guidando una macchina rossa, I am sorry, fatevene una ragione, perchè questo resta e resterà, a prescindere dal presente e da chi sia meglio oggi, in pista, con macchina rossa o meno sotto il sedere.
Voglio semplicemente aggiungere quanto segue.
Di Schumi a Spa ho raccontato.
Mi taccio su Senna, perchè a Ayrton ho persino dedicato un libro e non pretendo che i fans di oggi condividano le mie nostalgie.
Di sicuro, a parte i due citati sopra, il tedesco e il brasiliano, io sulle Ardenne non ho mai visto uno andare tanto forte come Raikkonen.
E paradossalmente penso al 2008, cioè a una sconfitta, maturata in extremis per circostanze meteo sufficientemente note.
Dopo di che, è vero.
Nel 2014, sulla stessa Ferrari, stiamo 11-0 per Fernando e doverosamente io ne prendo atto.
But I don’t change my mind about Kimi and Spa.
Raikkonen: “The sport is more straightforward now”
Spa-Francorchamps, 21 August – The Spa circuit is famous for its high speed challenge and, at his usual Thursday meeting with the media in the Belgian paddock, Kimi Raikkonen was asked if he regretted the fact the current cars are a bit slower than in the past. “In a way yes, if you think of F1, you’d think we would have everything possible in the car to make them go faster, as it was in the past,” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “But obviously, now the rules have changed aimed at making the cars slower, while improving the show. I think the cars looked nicer in the past and were much more challenging to drive and it was more fun in some ways. On the other side, maybe we have more overtaking now, but sometimes I think it would be nice to go back and race with the cars from the past.” When Kimi made his F1 debut there were concerns voiced about his lack of experience, so he is ideally placed to comment on the story of the day, next year’s arrival of the currently 16 year old Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso. “I did one full year, 23 races in a car before coming to F1,” recalled the Finn. “He has probably done more. I did well; time will tell how he will do. The sport is more straightforward now than in the past, the points are given out to more finishers. So I don’t think he will have problems and I hope he does well.” Kimi’s last win at Spa came at the wheel of a Ferrari in 2009, which at the time he described as “a miracle.” He was asked what a victory would represent on Sunday. “It would be a similar story!” he said. “That year, we were one of the few teams running KERS and that was a good help for us here. Hopefully we can have a good weekend overall and a good race, so that we start improving. But here and Monza are probably not the easiest places for us as we are missing some straightline speed, which is very important at this circuit and the next one. I think that the final part of the season can only be better for us, especially as I’ve had a much better feeling from the car at the last two races.”
Raikkonen to be father
Kimi Raikkonen looks set to race into the world of fatherhood.
Currently vacationing on his yacht off the Mediterranean island of Corsica, photos have emerged of the Finn’s girlfriend Minttu appearing apparently pregnant.
And Minttu has added a photo of the couple to her Instagram account including the hashtags ‘babyonboard’ and ‘momanddadtobe’.
Raikkonen’s spokesman, Riku Kuvaja, is quoted by the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat: "Minttu and Kimi hope, above all, for peace from the media in this joyous time."
[…] “Per quanto riguarda i nostri piloti” – ha aggiunto Montezemolo – “Abbiamo la fortuna di avere due campioni che stanno lavorando con tutta la squadra per ritornare competitivi. Poi, come ogni estate, girano voci di presunti problemi o trattive con cifre non solo irreali ma anche fuori da ogni logica, come quelle circolate sul contratto di Alonso o sull’ingaggio dei piloti. Ormai lo sappiamo, il caldo estivo gioca sempre qualche brutto scherzo. I nostri piloti devono riposarsi e tornare carichi, la stagione è ancora lunga e abbiamo bisogno di Fernando e Kimi al massimo della forma. A proposito, auguri a Kimi che diventerà presto papà”. […]
2014 F1 cars ‘don’t suit’ Kimi Raikkonen – Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean believes his former Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is struggling in Formula 1 this year because the cars do not suit his driving style.
Grosjean and Raikkonen were team-mates at Lotus for two years before Raikkonen joined Fernando Alonso at Ferrari for this season.
Raikkonen has endured a difficult start to his second spell at the Scuderia, and languishes 12th in the points having failed to finish ahead of Alonso across the first 11 races of 2014.
Grosjean has been team-mate to both Ferrari drivers and he reckons 2007 world champion Raikkonen is suffering more than most from changes to F1 cars brought about by the radical shift in regulations for this year.
"I know what he doesn’t like and I think this year’s cars don’t suit him very well," Grosjean said.
"He needs a good front-end and that car doesn’t give this feeling.
"It’s hard to explain, but it can change your confidence."
Grosjean was also briefly a team-mate to Alonso when he made his F1 debut with Renault in 2009 – the season before the double world champion moved to Ferrari.
The Franco-Swiss driver says he did not know before the start of this campaign which of the two would be stronger at Maranello.
"I think they are both very strong," Grosjean added.
"When I was with Fernando I was inexperienced and the car wasn’t the best.
"He could always get on top of what he had and get 100 per cent from the car, even though he had to drive three different styles in the lap, which is very good.
"Kimi was quick, consistent, and capable of building his weekend as well.
"It was nice for me to have him on board, even if the chat wasn’t very big!
"They were different, [but] I was in different stages of my career [with each one].
"To be fair, at the beginning of this year I didn’t know which one was going to be the best. To me, they are both very strong."
Kimi Raikkonen insists he hasn’t got slower amid 2014 F1 struggles
Kimi Raikkonen still believes he is fast enough to fight at the front in Formula 1, despite struggling to find his form with Ferrari this season.
Raikkonen returned to the Scuderia this year after two successful seasons with Lotus, but has so far failed to beat his new team-mate Fernando Alonso in 11 grands prix.
Spaniard Alonso has scored 88 points more than Raikkonen and outqualified the Finn nine times, but the 2007 world champion says the difficult run has not shaken his faith in his own ability.
"It’s been a difficult year but that’s life," Raikkonen said.
"It’s not fun when you have hard times but it’s happened before and that’s how it goes.
"We try to make things better all the time, make fewer mistakes, and get the car where I want it to be to be fast again.
"I know I haven’t suddenly lost over the winter a few seconds of laptime."
Raikkonen remains adamant it is only minor issues preventing him from producing better results.
"It’s a case of putting things in the right order for me," he said.
"Unfortunately we haven’t managed to do it here and there.
"Sometimes we have one day, one practice, in some places where we are absolutely fine, but we’re still fighting against things a lot and obviously then the results show where we end up."
The Finn’s sixth place in the last race in Hungary was his best result of the season so far. Fifth on the Bahrain GP grid is his highest qualifying slot to date.
"If it would be easy, as sometimes it goes, we would be laughing, but it’s not the case this year," Raikkonen added.
"I have trust in the team but obviously there have to be changes and improvements, But it can only happen when we work as a team."
Da Autosprint n.30 del 29/07/2014:
Kimi Raikkonen says there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’
Kimi Raikkonen reckons his performance in the Hungarian Grand Prix shows there is "light at the end of the tunnel" following his difficult start to his Formula 1 season.
Raikkonen bounced back from a qualifying blunder on Saturday to rise from 16th on the grid to sixth at the Hungaroring, the Finn’s best result since rejoining Ferrari.
The 2007 world champion has struggled to get comfortable driving the F14 T, but said his performance in Sunday’s race at least suggests things are moving in the right direction.
"It was more fun because the car has been feeling a bit better, which makes life easier and lets you enjoy it more," Raikkonen said.
"You can push and fight more rather than just defending and falling backwards, which obviously helps.
"It was difficult, but fun, and shows we’re doing something right and that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
"But one result doesn’t change the big picture."
Raikkonen suggested the fact he failed to overtake the fifth placed Williams of Felipe Massa in the closing stages of the race shows how much work Ferrari still needs to do to improve.
"The car worked pretty well so it’s just we need a bit more straight-line speed, especially against the Mercedes-powered cars, to be able to pass them at this kind of track," Raikkonen added.
"We know we still have issues and things to improve – mechanical grip, downforce, power.
"Here and Monaco seemed to be better for us but there is still a long way for us to go before we can say we’re happy and where we should be.
"The result was a bit better for me and the team got more points, but the fact is there hasn’t been a massive change.
"We know where we are and what we have to do, and there’s a lot of things to do to get where we want to be."
Raikkonen not expecting big improvement over summer break
Kimi Raikkonen says he is not expecting Ferrari to make a big improvement over the summer break, after finishing in sixth place in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
It is the Finn’s best result of the year so far, after starting down in 16th place following a strategy mistake from the Maranello-based outfit.
“Yeah, after yesterday’s mistakes, this kind of place it is hard to place and we were lacking straight-line speed, I had difficulties passing the Sauber in the middle of the race with the DRS so obviously it was a bit tricky but we managed to gain place,” he said when asked if sixth was the best possible result. “We were faster than Williams but I just couldn’t get past.”
He hopes the second part of the year is better, but does not expect a big difference after the summer break. “I hope that the second part of the season can be much better than the first one, but obviously one little bit better day doesn’t change an awful lot,” he explained.
“It doesn’t take away the mistakes and the things we have to really improve, make it work as a team much better. That doesn’t change from this moment to this afternoon; there are an awful lot of things left to be done to make sure we can be where we should be.
“I believe in the team, that we can put ourselves where we should be. There are some signs, today we had good speed but obviously starting where we started, it was hard to make any better place. I don’t think there is going to be a big difference in three or four weeks, but for sure next year. So we try to work more improving things and improve in the second half, make sure things are how we want and should be.”
He believes the cooler conditions helped Ferrari but admitted that the team is nowhere near where it should be.
Alonso’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen recovered from 16th on the grid to finish sixth, but the Finn said he took little satisfaction from scoring his best result of the season.
"Sixth doesn’t really give me anything – I’m here to win races," said Raikkonen.
"It’s good points but still nowhere near where we should be. I’m still disappointed.
"We are going in the right direction but there is still a long way to go."
Hungarian GP report: Daniel Ricciardo wins thrilling F1 race
Daniel Ricciardo made two late overtaking moves on Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to claim the second victory of his Formula 1 career in a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alonso looked set to end a 15-month victory drought for Ferrari, but ultimately found a mammoth 32-lap final stint on a set of soft Pirelli tyres too much and thus had to settle for second.
Hamilton reduced the points gap to title rival Nico Rosberg by taking an unlikely podium finish after a pitlane start, just fending off his Mercedes team-mate over the final lap as he battled to the finish on a well-worn set of medium tyres.
Hamilton survived a brush with the barrier after spinning at Turn 2 on the first lap, and also courted intra-team controversy by holding up team-mate Rosberg during his final stint despite radio requests to let him through.
Rosberg dropped to seventh after his third and final stop with 14 laps to go, but charged back to fourth to minimise the damage inflicted by two-stopper Hamilton to his championship lead to just three points.
Poleman Rosberg had dominated the wet early stages, leading Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and the fast-starting Ferrari of Alonso, but this quartet had to wait an extra lap before pitting for dry tyres when Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily exiting Turn 3 on lap nine, bringing out the safety car.
This dropped them into the pack behind Ricciardo’s Red Bull and the McLarens of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, and not far ahead of Hamilton, who had made rapid progress through the midfield.
McLaren gambled on more rain, so fitted Button with new intermediate tyres and left Magnussen out on his original set. This gambled failed and the McLarens were forced to pit for dry tyres in racing conditions.
A huge crash for Sergio Perez (who had earlier collided with Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg) exiting the final corner on lap 23 brought the safety car back out, and Ricciardo and the Williamses of Bottas and Felipe Massa dived for the pits.
This left Alonso in the lead, but the Spaniard’s gamble on a two-stop strategy failed as Ricciardo charged back to the head of the field over the final few laps.
Massa ran as high as second, but switched to a three-stop strategy and made it home fifth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who scored his best result since returning to Ferrari this season by rising from 16th on the grid to sixth.
Vettel ran in the top order early on, but spoiled his race with a frightening 360-degree spin after catching the wet kerb exiting the final corner on lap 32.
The reigning world champion ultimately brought his Red Bull home seventh, ahead of Bottas (who lost out badly in the pits) and the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne (who also ran at the front early on).
Button recovered from McLaren’s early strategic blunder to claim the final point for 10th.
Results - 70 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1h53m05.058s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +5.225s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +5.857s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +6.361s 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +29.841s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +31.491s 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +40.964s 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +41.344s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault +58.527s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +1m07.280s 11. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari +1m08.169s 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +1m18.465s 13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1m24.024s 14. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault -1 lap 15. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari -1 lap 16. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari -1 lap Retirements: Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 33 laps Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 25 laps Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 23 laps Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 15 laps Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 11 laps Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 8 laps
Drivers' championship: 1. Nico Rosberg 202 2. Lewis Hamilton 191 3. Daniel Ricciardo 131 4. Fernando Alonso 115 5. Valtteri Bottas 95 6. Sebastian Vettel 88 7. Nico Hulkenberg 69 8. Jenson Button 60 9. Felipe Massa 40 10. Kevin Magnussen 37 11. Sergio Perez 29 12. Kimi Raikkonen 27 13. Jean-Eric Vergne 11 14. Romain Grosjean 8 15. Daniil Kvyat 6 16. Jules Bianchi 2 17. Adrian Sutil 0 18. Marcus Ericsson 0 19. Pastor Maldonado 0 20. Esteban Gutierrez 0 21. Max Chilton 0 22. Kamui Kobayashi 0 Constructors' championship: 1. Mercedes 393 2. Red Bull-Renault 219 3. Ferrari 142 4. Williams-Mercedes 135 5. Force India-Mercedes 98 6. McLaren-Mercedes 97 7. Toro Rosso-Renault 17 8. Lotus-Renault 8 9. Marussia-Ferrari 2 10. Sauber-Ferrari 0 11. Caterham-Renault 0
Hungarian GP: Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari should not make Q1 errors
Kimi Raikkonen says that his Ferrari Formula 1 team should not be making the kind of strategic error that led to him being eliminated in Q1 at the Hungaroring.
The 2007 world champion missed the cut in the first segment of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix when Ferrari decided to keep him in the pits in the closing stages, and his time was beaten by the Marussia of Ferrari protege Jules Bianchi.
Raikkonen admitted that he was unsure if it was the right decision to not run as he felt happier on the softer tyre compound, but the team believed it had made the right call.
“The plan was to do another run but we never did,” the Finn told reporters after the session.
“The team told me, ‘we are fine, we don’t need to go out’.
“I questioned it a few times but they said there was no need, and obviously we can see the end result.
“As a team in Formula 1, as Ferrari, we shouldn’t make these kind of things. We are not in our first year, any of us.
“It’s not good for me, not good for the team, but mistakes have been made.
“People make mistakes, but obviously there are things we need to change to make it better.”
Raikkonen and team-mate Fernando Alonso were knocked out in the first part of qualifying for the British Grand Prix, with the Spaniard saying afterwards the Scuderia needed to “speed up” its decisions.
When asked if he could have simply overruled the team and demanded to go out, Raikkonen said that he placed his faith in Ferrari to make the right calls.
“I’ve got trust in the team and I believe in the people,” he added. “I questioned it but I cannot go against advice.
“We are here as a team, we make decisions as a team and today the outcome was this.
“I don’t really see the point in shouting around. I’ve done mistakes in the past and will make more in the future.”
Hungarian GP: Rosberg on pole, fire puts Hamilton out in Q1
Nico Rosberg had a clear run to pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix after team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes caught fire early in qualifying.
Hamilton was the favourite for pole after topping all three free practice sessions, but he was eliminated just five minutes into Q1 when he stopped in the pit entry with the rear of his Mercedes ablaze thanks to a fuel leak.
But although this meant Rosberg’s main rival was not in contention, rain that struck at the start of Q3 made the world championship leader’s task difficult.
Rosberg was the first onto the track on slick tyres with conditions worsening, but with the first corner particularly wet he slid off into the runoff area on his first flier, ruining his lap.
But Kevin Magnussen, who was second on the road, also outbraked himself, hitting the tyre barrier on the outside of the corner and bringing out the red flag before anyone could set a time.
When qualifying resumed after an eight-minute delay, the rain had eased and while the track was slippery, everyone opted to continue on slicks.
With the track drying up, everyone went back out on slicks, with Rosberg going fastest on his second flying lap after a brief spell at the top of the times for Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
But unlike Rosberg, who stayed out and used only one set of softs in Q3, Vettel pitted for new rubber and took top spot from the Mercedes driver on his final lap.
Moments later Rosberg improved, taking pole position by almost half-a-second.
Vettel held onto second ahead of Bottas, the latter also opting to pit for new tyres, with Daniel Ricciardo fourth fastest.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were fifth and sixth, both also having two runs in the restarted Q3 segment, with Jenson Button eighth ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne.
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg was the slowest of those to set a time in Q3 in ninth, with Magnussen classified 10th having not set a time before his crash.
Daniil Kvyat was in contention for a top 10 slot, but he locked the rears at Turn 12 on his final lap in Q2 and spun, ending up 11th.
Sauber driver Adrian Sutil was 12th ahead of Sergio Perez, who suffered a hydraulic leak during Q2 and could only attempt one run.
Esteban Gutierrez took 14th ahead of Romain Grosjean, with Jules Bianchi ending up 16th after an excellent performance to make the second stage of qualifying.
Kimi Raikkonen was a shock casuality during Q1, ending the session 17th fastest.
With Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado, whose Lotus had stopped early in Q1, not running, most teams opted not to send their cars out for a second run on the basis that they only needed to finish ahead of the Caterhams and the Marussias to make the next phase.
But Raikkonen was the slowest of those who did not attempt a run on soft rubber and when Bianchi put in his final lap, the Finn was relegated to the dropzone while sat in the garage.
Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi was 18th ahead of Max Chilton, who suffered a fuel pressure problem on his final run, with Marcus Ericsson slowest of those who set a lap.
Hamilton was classified 21st ahead of Maldonado thanks to starting a flying lap.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.715s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m23.201s +0.486s 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.354s +0.639s 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m23.391s +0.676s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.909s +1.194s 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m24.223s +1.508s 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.294s +1.579s 8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.720s +2.005s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m24.775s +2.060s 10. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes Q3 cut-off time: 1m24.647s 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.706s +1.396s** 12. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.136s +1.826s 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m25.211s +1.901s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.260s +1.950s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.337s +2.027s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m27.419s +4.109s Q2 cut-off time: 1m26.728s 17. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.792s +1.851s*** 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m27.139s +2.198s 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m27.819s +2.878s 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m28.643s +3.702s 21. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 107 per cent time: 1m30.886s ** Gap to fastest in Q2 *** Gap to fastest in Q1
Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton edges Nico Rosberg in final practice
Lewis Hamilton cemented his status as favourite for pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix by topping Saturday morning free practice.
The Mercedes driver had a quiet start to the session, not going for laptimes on his early laps on the slower medium-compound Pirellis.
Hamilton was down in 18th place when he went out for his third run, still on the mediums, jumping to eighth fastest on his 14th lap on the rubber and then knocking Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari off top spot by almost three-tenths of a second on his 16th lap.
But with a big step in performance between the medium and the soft-compound Pirellis, the fastest laps were always going to be set on that rubber.
Hamilton had slipped to seventh by the time he started his qualifying simulation, but he set the fastest times in the first two sectors of the lap and then a personal best in the final one to knock team-mate Nico Rosberg off top spot with four minutes remaining.
Rosberg subsequently improved on his second attempt after a cool-down lap, closing the deficit to Hamilton from 0.453s to 0.229s. He then improved again, cutting the deficit to just 47-thousandths.
Sebastian Vettel then went third fastest on his qualifying simulation, four-tenths off the pace, with Valtteri Bottas just shaded to fourth fastest by the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who had been the first of the frontrunners to go out on the soft Pirellis with 10 minutes remaining were briefly first and second after lapping just 49-thousandths apart.
But they eventually slid to sixth and seventh in the final reckoning, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren.
Scuderia Toro Rosso proved it would be a threat for Q3 this afternoon, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat ninth and 10th ahead of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.
Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were down in 17th and 18th place behind the Saubers and the two Lotus entries, both unable to extract a competitive laptime from the soft rubber.
Kamui Kobayashi continued Caterham’s improved weekend by outpacing the Marussias of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi, with team-mate Marcus Ericsson 21st after a brief spin at Turn 13.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.048s 21 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.095s +0.047s 24 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.455s +0.407s 16 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m24.678s +0.630s 15 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m24.685s +0.637s 21 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.769s +0.721s 11 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m24.818s +0.770s 19 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.867s +0.819s 21 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m25.162s +1.114s 17 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m25.170s +1.122s 19 11. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m25.231s +1.183s 18 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.468s +1.420s 14 13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m25.829s +1.781s 22 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.859s +1.811s 19 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.934s +1.886s 21 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.023s +1.975s 23 17. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.035s +1.987s 19 18. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m26.142s +2.094s 17 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m27.560s +3.512s 23 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.083s +4.035s 17 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m28.605s +4.557s 22 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.821s +4.773s 14
Kimi Raikkonen: “Evaluate every detail”
Kimi Raikkonen: “In the first free practice session, we managed to do a good job, testing various solutions on the programme and I was feeling reasonably pleased with the handling of the car. Then, in the afternoon, I went out for a second run on the Medium tyres, because the behaviour of this compound seemed worse as the temperature went up and that affected the handling of the car, while on the Soft I had no problems. In the second part of the session I did a race simulation with both compounds: unfortunately when I fitted the Mediums I had a problem with the left rear and I had to pit earlier than planned. The telemetry didn’t show any problem on the car, so I hope that the data will point us in the right direction for the next two days.”
Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton stays on top in second practice
Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, outpacing Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.
The Mercedes driver, who earlier topped morning practice, was fastest during the early stages of the session when everyone ran on the slower medium-compound Pirelli tyres.
Red Bull pairing Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo briefly took first and second positions thanks to switching onto the faster softs before Mercedes just after the half-hour mark.
But Rosberg then put Mercedes back on top with his first flier on the faster rubber, while team-mate Hamilton had a scruffy start to his run.
Hamilton then put in two faster laps, first outpacing Rosberg by 0.207s and then improving his best mark by 61 thousandths on the sixth lap of his run.
This was despite complaining several times during the session of struggling with the brakes, saying over the radio early on that “I can’t seem to stop the car”.
Vettel, who had an off at the chicane in the early running, held on to end up the best non-Mercedes in third overall, six tenths off the pace and three tenths up on old title rival Fernando Alonso.
McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen, who ploughed through the gravel at the chicane in the early running, was fifth fastest ahead of Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, with Ricciardo sliding to seventh as others improved on the soft rubber.
Williams was lower down the timesheets than usual, with Valtteri Bottas eighth ahead of the second McLaren of Jenson Button.
Felipe Massa was 10th after suffering a spin early in his soft-tyre run before a car problem forced him to return to the garage and miss out on some of the planned long-run track time.
Williams engineering boss Rob Smedley was seen examining the left-rear wheel in the garage, suggesting the problem might have been in that area.
Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne was 11th and 12th ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who had briefly been third after being the first to try the soft rubber.
Adrian Sutil was the faster of the two Sauber’s ahead of Sergio Perez’s Force India.
Behind them were the two Lotus entries of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean.
Maldonado suffered a quick spin on his first run, but recovered to complete a full programme, while Grosjean’s running was restricted by the team having to chase a cooling system leak.
Kamui Kobayashi, another to suffer a spin, was 19th fastest ahead of both Marussias and Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.482s 38 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.720s +0.238s 38 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.111s +0.629s 33 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.437s +0.955s 26 5. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.580s +1.098s 34 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m25.730s +1.248s 30 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m25.983s +1.501s 29 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m25.999s +1.517s 37 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.234s +1.752s 33 10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m26.402s +1.920s 18 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m26.689s +2.207s 42 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m26.703s +2.221s 37 13. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.789s +2.307s 39 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.919s +2.437s 41 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m27.013s +2.531s 39 16. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m27.019s +2.537s 40 17. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m27.021s +2.539s 14 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.480s +2.998s 32 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m28.370s +3.888s 35 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.469s +3.987s 26 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.586s +4.104s 35 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m29.036s +4.554s 34
Hungarian GP: Hamilton leads Rosberg in opening practice
Mercedes underlined its dominant position at the front of Formula 1 by comfortably leading the way in the first free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton beat team-mate Nico Rosberg to the fastest time by just 0.183 seconds, after struggling with his brakes in the early part of the session.
The silver cars were the only ones to lap below 1m26s around the Hungaroring.
Kimi Raikkonen finished up best of the rest in third, six tenths of a second adrift of championship leader Rosberg.
The Finn matched Hamilton in the first sector but his Ferrari fell away across the rest of the circuit.
Raikkonen lapped four tenths clear of Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was in turn four tenths faster than reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel in the best of the Red Bulls.
Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren rounded out the top six, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso, the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, and the sister McLaren of Jenson Button.
Felipe Massa was fastest of the two Williams drivers in 10th, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas was only 15th, behind Esteban Gutierrez in the best of the Saubers, Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India, Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, and Pastor Maldonado in the best of the Lotus.
Hulkenberg’s Force India team-mate Sergio Perez was next, ahead of the troublesome second Lotus of Romain Grosjean, which stopped early with a technical issue related to the car’s water system.
Adrian Sutil was 18th fastest, more than a second slower than Sauber team-mate Gutierrez, but well ahead of the two Caterhams – led by Kamui Kobayashi – and the two Marussias.
There were a number of brake lock-ups and trips across the circuit run-off areas as drivers explored the track’s limits early on, but the most dramatic moment of the session befell Max Chilton as he returned to the pits after his installation lap.
Chilton is hoping his form will improve this weekend, after switching back to a chassis he used before June’s Austrian GP, but the Briton’s session was barely five minutes old when his Marussia caught fire in the pitlane when some oil leaked onto the car’s exhaust, requiring a change of gearbox on the MR03.
He returned to the track just in time to register a flying lap two tenths clear of his team-mate Bianchi.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.814s 27 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.997s +0.183s 31 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.421s +0.607s 29 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.872s +1.058s 23 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m27.220s +1.406s 28 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.357s +1.543s 28 7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m27.683s +1.869s 30 8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m27.782s +1.968s 16 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.804s +1.990s 27 10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m27.960s +2.146s 24 11. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.967s +2.153s 25 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m28.101s +2.287s 28 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m28.208s +2.394s 32 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m28.266s +2.452s 28 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m28.330s +2.516s 21 16. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m28.376s +2.562s 24 17. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m28.593s +2.779s 24 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m29.025s +3.211s 23 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m30.363s +4.549s 30 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m30.892s +5.078s 24 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m31.004s +5.190s 5 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m31.248s +5.434s 20
Raikkonen: “100% belief in the guys in the factory”
Mogyorod, 24 July – Kimi Raikkonen had his usual meeting with the media this afternoon, in the hot conditions that are likely to typify this Hungarian weekend. As to how the Scuderia Ferrari man expects to perform at the Hungaroring, it’s the usual Thursday guessing game. “Hopefully, we’ll get that good feeling and get the car where we want and just have a clean weekend without any issues in any practices and can try things where we want,” he began. “Even though it’s twisty and people say you can’t overtake here, we’ve seen in the past that it can change a lot in the race after qualifying so we’ll see how it goes.”
On the much discussed topic that the Finn has found it hard to get a good feeling form his F14 T, the Ferrari man felt progress was being made. “There’s sometimes a good feeling and unfortunately it doesn’t last long, but last weekend was a better feeling again, we changed something in the car so hopefully that will put us in the right direction and we can get to where we should be.”
Kimi has spent a lot of time in Maranello and what he saw in the factory has put him in a positive frame of mind when it comes to next year. “I have 100% belief in the people in the factory and I know that we have the tools and the people to do the job we’re supposed to do. I’m sure we can be where we should be, hopefully already next year. With Marco (Mattiacci,) he didn’t have much knowledge of F1 when he came in but he has a smart head. I think he’s doing good work, making good decisions, but it takes time to get involved and get people’s trust but I think he’s the guy we need.”
Raikkonen sure he can turn season around
Kimi Raikkonen is confident he can start to reap the rewards of his recent progress with the Ferrari F14 T in Hungary this weekend after a series of disappointing results.
Raikkonen has scored just two points in the last five races and finished 11th in Germany after a poor qualifying result and car damage in the race. However, he is confident he made progress at Hockenheim and is hoping for a problem-free weekend to make the most of his progress.
"Overall it was a bit better and a lot more to my liking over the weekend," he said. "But I did qualifying and we were a bit out of position compared to where I think we should have been. Then you end up between the cars fighting and we got damaged twice on the front wing and I think that compromised our race a lot.
"Probably we should have done different things on the tactics, but that’s how it went. There were some good times and hopefully that’s happening more and we can keep it all the time.
"Obviously [at Ferrari] it’s a different team, different car design and certain things are slightly different to how it was in the past. The biggest difference is that it’s not to my liking, and unfortunately these are not easy things to change.
"I’m sure we can turn it around and sometimes there is a good feeling but it doesn’t last long. Last weekend was a better feeling again and we changed something and got something new in the car so hopefully that will start putting us in the right direction and we will get to where we should be."
Raikkonen’s highlight of the season came in Monaco where he was running third before a collision with Max Chilton. He is hoping the Hungaroring’s tight layout will give him a chance to be competitive again this weekend.
"It’s a different circuit more close to Monaco than the other place. We were having quite a good race there but obviously we have to see if we get that good feeling and get the car where we want and have that good feeling without any issues in practice to try things however we want.
"We will have to see tomorrow, but usually it is a good race and even this twisty track where people say you can’t overtake, we have seen in the past that it can change a lot in the race after qualifying. We’ll see how it goes."
Da Autosprint n.29 del 22/07/2014;
Ferrari Formula 1 team backs Kimi Raikkonen amid struggles
The Ferrari Formula 1 team says it has the "utmost confidence" in Kimi Raikkonen to turn his poor 2014 season around.
Raikkonen lies eight places and 78 points adrift of team-mate Fernando Alonso in the F1 drivers’ championship after 10 races.
The Finn has failed to finish ahead of his Spanish team-mate at any race so far this year, and also trails Alonso 8-2 in the intra-team qualifying battle.
Raikkonen qualified behind Alonso again for Sunday’s German Grand Prix and finished a pointless 11th after picking up wing damage, while Alonso hailed his own race to fifth as his best of the season so far.
Raikkonen is currently contracted to Ferrari for next season, and team principal Marco Mattiacci said the 2007 world champion is still the right driver for the Scuderia despite his paucity of results in this current campaign.
"Kimi is the driver that we need – we need to make more points, but he’s the driver that we need," Mattiacci said.
"I think he knows what he can do better.
"He’s a professional driver, he won a world championship with Ferrari; he’s motivated, he knows his area of improvement.
"He sees Fernando ahead, he sees that it is tough and it’s a tough moment, but we are all together in this.
"He has the utmost confidence and support from Ferrari."
Kimi Raikkonen happier with Ferrari F1 car in German Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen says he is now happier with the feel of Ferrari’s Formula 1 car, despite another difficult race at the German Grand Prix.
The 2007 world champion started down in 12th after a mistake in qualifying on Saturday and finished a pointless 11th in Sunday’s race.
The Finn blamed damage from collisions with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso for ruining his race, but said he was generally much happier with the handling of the F14 T at Hockenheim.
"It continues to feel more like it should even if the results are not where we should be," Raikkonen said.
"The car felt much better here – more to my liking – I could drive it more as I wanted and it started to feel nice.
"We had a bad second run in Q2, [but] in the race the car felt good on new tyres, but the front left didn’t last because of the damage on the front wing.
"On another weekend, when I get more parts, it should help and we can start turning it around and get more points in the race.
"It’s not easy. Things are not going to plan. Something always goes wrong. Hopefully it will stop at some point.
"Having difficult weekends is not fun but it’s part of racing. I would obviously rather have good weekends than bad results all the time, but I’m sure it’s going to change.
"It’s not like we’ve lost it, it’s just a difficult moment."
All teams removed their front and rear interconnected (FRIC) suspension systems ahead of the weekend, but Raikkonen does not reckon this made a big difference to the Ferrari.
"Obviously it’s hard to tell from circuit to circuit, but I don’t think it makes a big difference," he added.
German GP: Kimi Raikkonen blames car damage for point-less race
Kimi Raikkonen says damage from his incidents with Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel was the main reason for his failure to score in the German Grand Prix.
The Finn’s Ferrari was battered from two clashes in three-abreast dices on the run to the Spitzkehre hairpin at the end of the Hockenheim track’s curved back section.
The first came as Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes passed both Raikkonen and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo in a battle for eighth on lap 12, the second when both Alonso and Vettel caught Raikkonen on fresh tyres after pitstops two laps later.
Raikkonen said damage to his front wing caused a dramatic increase in tyre wear that hampered his aggressive strategy, in which he switched to super-softs at his first stop on lap 20.
“We thought it was the right [strategy] choice but I got hit twice, ended up in the middle of two cars and damaged my front wing. The endplate came off,” he explained.
“That didn’t help. I killed the front left – the tyres were always OK except the front left.
“So I couldn’t run as long as we wanted on the super-softs and just lost performance because of the damage to the car.”
He underlined that he had no complaints about either incident.
“It was OK, but when I’m in the middle I can’t go anywhere. I ended up squeezed a little bit,” said Raikkonen.
“It wasn’t much but it was enough to damage the wing. I couldn’t go more to the left because there were cars.”
German GP: Rosberg cruises to victory, Hamilton recovers to third
Nico Rosberg extended his lead in the Formula 1 world championship with a comfortable victory in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
The Mercedes driver converted pole position into his fourth win of the season, while the Williams of Valtteri Bottas fended off the second Mercedes of Rosberg’s title rival Lewis Hamilton to finish second.
Hamilton fought his way through the field to finish third from 20th on the grid, following his brake-failure-induced crash in qualifying.
Hamilton’s journey to the podium was fraught with peril, as the 2008 world champion survived repeated contact at the Turn 4 hairpin as he raced his way through the pack.
Hamilton got away with hitting Adrian Sutil’s Sauber and Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, but slightly damaged his front wing after a late dive up the inside of Jenson Button’s McLaren.
This compromised his second stint on Pirelli’s soft tyre and meant Mercedes had to switch its charger onto a three-stop strategy.
Hamilton made up the time lost in the pits but took too much out of his final set of tyres and fell short of claiming second spot from Bottas by just 1.7 seconds.
Bottas executed a two-stop strategy to claim his third consecutive podium finish for Williams after starting second, but team-mate Felipe Massa only made it to the first corner before contact with Kevin Magnussen’s fast-starting McLaren tipped the Williams into a race-ending roll, and meant the first lap finished behind the safety car.
Magnussen, who started fourth and was trying to pass Massa for third when they came together, fell to the back of the field, while the incident also delayed Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, which had to take avoiding action across the Turn 1 run-off.
This incident promoted world champion Sebastian Vettel to third on the road, and the Red Bull racer converted that into a fourth placed finish after another battle with Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.
Alonso was another driver who tried to make a two-stop strategy work, but the Spaniard could not manage it and a late third stop dropped him out of the top six.
He passed Jenson Button’s McLaren for sixth with relative ease, but found the recovering Red Bull of Ricciardo a more obstinate obstacle.
The Australian defended hard, but Alonso – running on the faster super-soft tyre – eventually fought his way past four laps from the finish.
Ricciardo came back at the Ferrari on the final lap, though, and fell just eight hundredths of a second shy of stealing fifth back on the run to the finish line.
Button lost seventh to Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India after being forced to make a very late third tyre stop, while McLaren team-mate Magnussen salvaged ninth after his first-lap incident.
Sergio Perez claimed the final point for 10th place in the second Force India, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who twice survived contact while being passed into the Turn 4 hairpin – once with Hamilton and also with Vettel.
Results - 67 laps Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h33m42.914s 2. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +20.789s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +22.530s 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +44.014s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +52.467s 6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +52.549s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +1m04.178s 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +1m24.711s 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes -1 lap 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes -1 lap 11. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari -1 lap 12. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault -1 lap 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault -1 lap 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari -1 lap 15. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari -1 lap 16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault -2 laps 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari -2 laps 18. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault -2 laps Retirements Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 47 laps Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 44 laps Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 26 laps Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 0 laps Drivers' championship Constructors' championship 1. Nico Rosberg 190 1. Mercedes 366 2. Lewis Hamilton 176 2. Red Bull-Renault 188 3. Daniel Ricciardo 106 3. Williams-Mercedes 121 4. Fernando Alonso 97 4. Ferrari 116 5. Valtteri Bottas 91 5. Force India-Mercedes 98 6. Sebastian Vettel 82 6. McLaren-Mercedes 96 7. Nico Hülkenberg 69 7. Toro Rosso-Renault 15 8. Jenson Button 59 8. Lotus-Renault 8 9. Kevin Magnussen 37 9. Marussia-Ferrari 2 10. Felipe Massa 30 10. Sauber-Ferrari 0 11. Sergio Pérez 29 11. Caterham-Renault 0 12. Kimi Räikkönen 19 13. Jean-Éric Vergne 9 14. Romain Grosjean 8 15. Daniil Kvyat 6 16. Jules Bianchi 2