RAIKKONEN: DIFFICULT RACE NO SURPRISE
Alonso’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen said he was not surprised that Ferrari struggled for pace in the season finale.
The Finn outqualified Alonso for only the third time this season but was passed by him early on in the race and only inherited 10th when Nico Rosberg suffered mechanical problems and slumped to 14th late on.
The 2007 world champion, whose 12th place in the drivers’ standings is the worst result of his F1 career, said the race went more or less how the team had expected.
"I didn’t have the speed, the car was behaving not badly but just lacking all round lap time," Raikkonen explained.
"We got done in a straight line a few times and weren’t really able to attack so were falling backwards a bit.
"We expected it to be a difficult race and that’s what it turned out to be."
Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton wins race and 2014 Formula 1 title
Lewis Hamilton clinched his second Formula 1 world championship by winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as title rival Nico Rosberg’s race was ruined by engine problems.
Hamilton came into the 2014 F1 finale with a 17-point lead over Rosberg in the standings, and only needed to finish directly behind his Mercedes team-mate to guarantee the title, regardless of the unpopular double points awarded for this race.
Rosberg secured his 11th pole of the season in qualifying on Saturday, and his title hopes rested on another car coming between himself and Hamilton if he converted that pole into victory.
As it transpired, excessive wheelspin at the start ensured Rosberg lost the lead to Hamilton before the first corner, which consigned him to chasing his rival.
He stayed within a handful of seconds through most of the first half of the race, but suffered an energy recovery system (ERS) failure on lap 24 of 55, which cost him engine power and effectively ended his challenge.
Rosberg tried to manage the problem with help from his Mercedes team, but tumbled down the order and eventually hobbled home a pointless 14th, refusing a suggestion by the team to retire his car in the closing stages as the engine problems worsened and insisting he ended his title bid by taking the chequered flag.
Hamilton also lost pace in the middle of the race, though not to the same extent as his team-mate, but recovered enough to beat the charging Williams of Felipe Massa by just 2.5 seconds and clinch the crown with his 11th grand prix victory of the season.
Hamilton narrowly denied Massa his first win since the 2008 Brazilian GP – scene of Hamilton’s maiden title triumph for McLaren – but second placed nevertheless represented Massa’s best result of his first campaign with Williams.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas recovered from a slow start from third on the grid to record Williams’s first double podium finish of the year, while Daniel Ricciardo charged from a pitlane start to fourth following Red Bull’s exclusion from qualifying for a technical infringement concerning the RB10′s front wing.
Jenson Button produced another strong drive in what could turn out to be the final grand prix of his career to finish fifth for McLaren, ahead of Force India pairing Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, and the second Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel, which also started from the pits.
Fernando Alonso finished ninth in his final race for Ferrari, a couple of seconds clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who claimed the final points on offer for 10th place.
McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen survived a collision with the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, and being forced off the track by Hulkenberg – who was penalised five seconds – on the first lap to finish 11th, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.
The second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat started fifth on the grid, but retired early on after its Renault engine lost power.
RESULTS – 55 LAPS:
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault|
|-||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault|
FINAL DRIVERS’ STANDINGS:
FINAL CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS:
Abu Dhabi GP – Kimi Raikkonen: “Chasing points”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Even before we arrived in Yas Marina, we knew this track would not favour our car and all weekend, we never managed to find a set-up that worked well at every corner. Today, in qualifying, I felt more comfortable, but it wasn’t simple putting a good lap together. I was always on the limit and on some parts of the track the car worked well and in others it tended to slide. Tomorrow it will be a difficult race, but as always, we will do our best to bring home as many points as possible for the team.”
Abu Dhabi GP: Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole ahead of finale
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Formula 1 world championship decider in Abu Dhabi.
The German outpaced title rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just over three tenths on the first runs in the top-10 shootout.
He then improved on his second run, avoiding the lock-up later in the lap that cost him time on the first.
Although Hamilton also improved, he ended up 0.386 seconds off Rosberg to line up second.
But even if Rosberg wins Sunday’s race, Hamilton need only finish second to be sure of the title.
Williams again looked a potential threat in qualifying but when it came to the fastest runs in Q3, the pace advantage of Mercedes shone through.
Valtteri Bottas ended up third, just over half a second off Rosberg, with team-mate Felipe Massa just behind.
Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel locked out row three, ahead of stablemate Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso entry.
Jenson Button beat the two Ferraris to eighth place, with Kimi Raikkonen ninth after only completing one run in Q3 thanks to having run out of fresh super-softs.
Fernando Alonso, on his Ferrari swansong, was 10th having failed to improve on his second run thanks to locking up and running off the track.
Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren only had one proper run in Q2, likely because of the same underfuelling problem that also forced Button to abandon his first run before setting a laptime.
The Dane had looked set to make the top 10, only for Raikkonen and Kvyat to knock him down to 11th on their final laps.
Jean-Eric Vergne was also knocked down the order in the final seconds, ending up 12th, with the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg behind.
Sauber driver Adrian Sutil was slowest in Q2, falling three tenths short of his Q1 pace.
Romain Grosjean missed out on reaching Q2 by just over two hundredths of a second during a frenetic battle in the final seconds of the first segment of qualifying.
First, Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado moved into a Q2 position before being bumped by Esteban Gutierrez, who was then relegated by Sutil.
Grosjean’s final lap was not quite enough to beat Sutil, leaving him in 16th place, although he will drop to the rear of the field thanks to 20-place penalty for changing power unit components.
Gutierrez ended up 17th, ahead of Maldonado and the two Caterhams.
Kamui Kobayashi’s was the faster of the two green machines, although F1 debutant Will Stevens gave a good account of himself by lapping just over half a second slower despite limited running in the car.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.267s||0.787s|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.893s||1.413s|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.908s||1.428s|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.207s||1.727s|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.239s||1.759s|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.384s||1.904s|
Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg heads Lewis Hamilton in final practice
Nico Rosberg heads into qualifying for the Formula 1 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as favourite after comfortably beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in final practice.
The German set the fastest time of the weekend so far in the final practice session at the hot and sunny Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
His effort, a 1m41.424s, was 0.7s faster than the Briton’s Friday benchmark and though Hamilton also improved he fell short of Rosberg’s best by 0.369s.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso set the pace early on, the Spaniard the only supersoft tyre runner for the majority of the session.
Despite ending his session prematurely, getting out of his car with more than 20 minutes to go, his 1m42.653s remained the benchmark until the times started tumbling in the final few minutes of the hour-long session as everyone switched to the supersoft Pirelli tyre.
It was the Williams of Felipe Massa who was first of the remaining runners to switch and he ended up best of the rest behind the Mercedes, albeit over a second slower than Rosberg.
The Brazilian was fourth fastest ahead of the Red Bull of outgoing world champion Sebastian Vettel and the McLaren of Jenson Button. Vettel’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was seventh fastest overall in his Red Bull ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams.
Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Kimi Raikkonen, who struggled throughout with the handling of his Ferrari, completed the top 10.
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.679s||1.255s||19|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.773s||1.349s||14|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.809s||1.385s||20|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.352s||1.928s||20|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.360s||1.936s||19|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.501s||2.077s||18|
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a very busy day and, particularly in the first session, we struggled a bit to find the right balance on the car. The programme included various set-up tests and, probably partly because of the high temperatures, my car felt rather nervous. Between the two sessions, we decided to make a few changes and in FP2, with lower temperatures, things improved, also in terms of how we compared to our competitors. My best lap wasn’t perfect, I made a small mistake. Overall, the work we did today produced positive results and this evening’s analysis of the data will deliver a lot of useful information to help us improve for qualifying and the race.”
Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton stays ahead of Rosberg in FP2
Lewis Hamilton drew first blood in the battle for the Formula 1 title by outpacing Nico Rosberg in Friday practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Rosberg was faster in the first part of the session when the field was running on the slower soft-compound Pirellis by over six tenths of a second.
But once the field bolted on the super-softs, it was Hamilton who emerged as the pacesetter, shading Rosberg by 0.144s on his first flier and then improving by almost half-a-tenth on his second attempt.
Rosberg subsequently shaved a tenth off his laptime, but ended up 83 thousandths of a second slower than his Mercedes team-mate.
Both had very brief visits to the run-off during the session as they fought for supremacy, but Mercedes still had a crushing advantage on pace.
Kevin Magnussen was best-of-the rest in third place ahead of Sebastian Vettel, but such was the advantage of Mercedes that they were the only other drivers to better Rosberg’s earlier top time on the soft rubber.
Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest, just under a second off the pace, pipping the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest for Ferrari, but it was a disappointing session overall for the Scuderia as the second car of Fernando Alonso stopped after two laps with a suspected engine problem.
Jenson Button’s running was limited thanks to a hydraulic leak that delayed him early on, but he was able to completed 21 laps and ended up eighth fastest.
Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10.
The lead Force India of Sergio Perez missed out on the top 10 by less than two tenths, with Pastor Maldonado 12th fastest.
With Alonso bottom of the timesheets after not setting a time, the returning Caterhams brought up the rear.
But Kamui Kobayashi was just over half-a-second off the back of the midfield pack.
Behind him, Will Stevens completed 33 laps in the second Caterham and continued his learning curve after a disrupted morning session, ending up within five seconds off the pace.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.959s||0.846s||33|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.183s||1.070s||32|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.546s||1.433s||38|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.746s||1.633s||37|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.068s||1.955s||32|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m44.157s||2.044s||39|
Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest in first practice session
Lewis Hamilton recorded the quickest time in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Formula 1 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver set a laptime 0.133 seconds quicker than his team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Once again the two title protagonists dominated the top of the timesheets, with a 1.7-second margin over Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari in third.
The two Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo were next up in fourth and fifth places respectively.
The Toro Rossos set the sixth and seventh quickest times with Jean-Eric Vergne lapping a tenth ahead of his team-mate Daniil Kvyat.
Valtteri Bottas was eighth, but just half an hour into the session he suffered an alarming moment when the engine bodywork was ripped off the right-hand side of his Williams at high speed.
His Williams team-mate Felipe Massa was also forced to pit with a similar problem and the team elected not to run again in the session. Massa was 13th.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10 in their Force Indias ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren and the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Another driver near the bottom of the timesheets was Jenson Button. He suffered a problem with his McLaren and could only manage eight laps in total, leaving him 17th.
Lotus was forced to replace one of its front wings after it was damaged by hitting a bird on track.
Briton Will Stevens was last on the timesheets in his first ever F1 session for Caterham.
His running was curtailed after just a single installation lap due to a suspected problem with his Renault power unit.
After a long fix, Stevens was able to resume the session with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Two other drivers made their practice debuts on Friday lunchtime at the Yas Marina circuit.
Formula 3 European champion Esteban Ocon stepped into Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, while GP3 and sportscar racer Adderly Fong took over Adrian Sutil’s Sauber.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.334s||1.858s||30|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.361s||1.885s||23|
|6||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.718s||2.242s||17|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.835s||2.359s||32|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.983s||2.507s||23|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.030s||2.554s||24|
Ferrari F1 2015: Kimi Raikkonen expects ‘fun’ with Sebastian Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen believes his close relationship with new Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel will be a boost to Maranello’s efforts to return to the front of the grid.
Nearly two months after Vettel agreed to join Ferrari, the Italian F1 outfit finally announced on Thursday that the German would be replacing Fernando Alonso next year.
The move is one that Raikkonen is excited about, as he claimed that Vettel is the driver he knows the best in the paddock.
"Obviously I haven’t worked with him before in the same team but I know him best out of any of the guys," said the Finn.
"Our relationship has been always been very straightforward and I don’t expect any changes.
"On that side, I expect it to be normal and good, and hopefully we can get the team where we should be."
Raikkonen reckons he and Vettel can put their own competitive interests to one side, and actually have "fun" in their quest to help Ferrari.
"I think it is nice to be with him in the same team and obviously the main objective is to get the team, Ferrari, in the position where we should be in front," he said.
"We try to beat each other all the time, but we can have fun and get things done in a good way."