Singapore GP: Thursday press conference
Kimi, you famously told the team “leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.” Does that mean you welcome this change?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Well, obviously we don’t speak a lot on the radio in my case usually, when there are no issues – but obviously it might get quite complicated if there are some problems with the car and you have to change certain things to try to finish the race. I don’t know how the rule goes at those times. Obviously it makes it more complicated for us but it’s part of the game so it’s OK.
Q: Kimi, coming back to you, obviously this season hasn’t been quite what you expected it to be – but did you expect to have your problems sorted out by now? And what’s your focus for the remaining six races or so?
KR: Obviously to do as well as we can and have good results for the team and for myself. I expect it to be difficult. Probably the team didn’t expect to have such difficulties over all. We expected to be more stronger overall. It’s part of the game and we have to try to sort things out. I think we have done pretty good improvements – compared to where we started – as a team and obviously then I’m getting more happy with things but obviously still not where we want to be in the end. Still a lot of work to do.
QUESTION FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Heikki Kulta -Turun Sanomat) Kimi, it’s two hours in very humid conditions; Nico Rosberg said that the last laps are always very painful here because it’s physically so demanding. How painful are they for you?
KR: I don’t know. Everybody has their own feelings so I can’t know how they feel like but in the past it hasn’t been a problem. It doesn’t feel as hot or humid in the last years unless the course has slowed in the race, so I don’t see why it should suddenly be a problem.
[…] Kimi Raikkonen salvaged points for the team in the second Ferrari as he has finished ninth, having struggled to make progress from 11th on the grid.
"No problems, just the grip and speed were lacking," he said.
"I could get close to other drivers, but I couldn’t follow them closely.
"It was very tricky trying to pass them and the straightline speed was lacking."
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton wins from Nico Rosberg at Monza
Lewis Hamilton overcame a poor start to beat Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg to victory in the Italian Grand Prix and narrow his deficit in the championship battle.
Hamilton put a recent run of bad fortune behind him to qualify on pole by two tenths of a second, but made a poor start and fell to fourth as Sunday’s race got under way on a sunny afternoon at Monza.
This removed any chance of a repeat of the collision between Hamilton and Rosberg that handed Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo victory in the previous race in Belgium.
Rosberg streaked away at the front as Hamilton fell behind the Williams of Felipe Massa and the fast-starting McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, who launched his way up from fifth on the grid to second.
Hamilton struggled initially with his car becoming stuck in ‘RS mode’, but he soon got back to full speed and began to move forward.
He took advantage of Massa passing Magnussen at the second chicane on lap five to take third on the following run to the first Lesmo, before driving around the outside of Massa at the first chicane on lap 10.
By then Rosberg had already straightlined the first chicane – halving his 3.6-second lead – and Hamilton set about closing down his title rival further.
The Mercedes duo traded fastest laps initially, as Massa tried in vain to go with the leaders, but Hamilton then began to assert his pace advantage over Rosberg as the first half of the race wore on.
He closed to within 1.5s of his Mercedes team-mate but could not leapfrog Rosberg in the pits as the leaders stopped on consecutive laps.
Hamilton was much quicker than Rosberg in the following laps on Pirelli’s harder tyre, and Rosberg gifted victory to his team-mate by locking his brakes and again straightlining the first chicane on lap 29.
From there, Hamilton eased away to record his sixth win of 2014 by just over three seconds.
Massa completed a lonely run to third, thus recording his first podium finish since the 2013 Spanish GP.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was the pre-race favourite to take that final podium spot, having qualified third, but a terrible start dropped him outside the top 10 on the opening lap.
The Finn spent most of the rest of the race slipstreaming his way back through the pack, usually passing rivals before the entry to the first chicane, and eventually made his way back to fourth.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel lost fifth in the closing stages to Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel gambled on making an earlier pitstop than anyone else to gain track position, but could not make his hard tyres last well enough to hang on to the flag.
Ricciardo utilised the alternative strategy – running long in the first stint and stopping late – and made some impressively decisive passing moves as he recovered well from a poor start.
Vettel defended hard into the first chicane with five laps to go, but was passed easily down the inside into the second chicane on tyres eight laps older than Ricciardo’s.
Magnussen finished seventh on the road, but was penalised five seconds for forcing Bottas off the track at the first chicane during the Finn’s earlier slipstreaming charge, dropping McLaren’s rookie Dane to 10th.
Sergio Perez thus inherited seventh for Force India, after a close battle with the second McLaren of Jenson Button, who ran sixth early on but lost track position to Perez at the stops.
The pair ran side-by-side through the Lesmos at one stage, but Button could not force his way decisively back ahead of the Force India.
Kimi Raikkonen finished a close ninth on a disappointing day for Ferrari at the Scuderia’s home race.
Team-mate Fernando Alonso started seventh, but recorded his first mechanical non-finish for five years (and the first of this Ferrari career) after his F14 T suffered an ERS failure.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat should have inherited the final point for 10th when Magnussen’s penalty was applied, but the Russian frighteningly straightlined the first chicane at high speed on the penultimate lap and trailed home 11th, complaining of a brake problem.
Results – 53 laps:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||50.309s|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||59.965s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m02.518s|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m11.184s|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.606s|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.093s|
|14||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Renault||1 Lap|
|15||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|16||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||1 Lap|
|17||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham/Renault||1 Lap|
|18||Jules Bianchi||Marussia/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|19||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber/Ferrari||2 Laps|
|20||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham/Renault||2 Laps|
|-||Max Chilton||Marussia/Ferrari||Spun off|
Italian GP: Kimi Raikkonen mystified by car handling change
Kimi Raikkonen was left mystified by how difficult his Ferrari Formula 1 car became to drive during Italian Grand Prix qualifying.
The Finn failed to reach Q3 and was only 12th quickest, which will become 11th on the grid due to Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat’s penalty.
That was despite an encouraging run through Friday practice.
"We changed the car a little bit, but it’s hard to believe that those small changes made it as difficult as it was," said Raikkonen.
"We had a good weekend on this side and we had no issues. Things were running smoothly, as they should always, and then we had difficulties to get grip in qualifying.
"For some reason I kept locking the fronts a bit and couldn’t find how I could make one sector good but not all of them in a row. It just got difficult for some reason.
"It was a bit of a surprise for me, an unpleasant surprise.
"We have to try to look into the details a bit and hopefully find an explanation."
Raikkonen is still optimistic that he will be able to make progress in race trim.
"Obviously today our qualifying was not very good for me, but overall the weekend has maybe been a bit better than expected," he said.
"We knew that qualifying would be a little bit difficult compared to some of the Mercedes people. They usually make a bigger step for that, and then it comes back a little bit for the race.
"We had a good long run yesterday, so I 100 per cent believe that we can do a much better race.
"Do we have enough speed to overtake people? We will know tomorrow. But I believe that we should be stronger than today."
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton takes commanding Monza pole for Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton claimed his first Formula 1 pole position since May’s Spanish Grand Prix by setting the pace in qualifying in Italy.
The Mercedes driver outpaced team-mate and world championship rival Nico Rosberg in all three segments of qualifying at Monza.
After establishing himself at the top of the timesheets in the Q3 top 10 shootout on his first run, over four tenths faster than Rosberg, Hamilton had already done enough to be sure of pole.
Rosberg started his second Q3 run before Hamilton, improving his laptime by just under two tenths, which was not enough to knock his team-mate off top spot.
This meant that Hamilton did not need to improve on his final attempt, with the relative position of Rosberg on the track meaning that he knew he had secured pole while on a lap that fell short of his earlier mark of 1m24.109s.
Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa locked out the second row for Williams, both drivers unable to improve on their second runs.
But behind them was the big winner of the final seconds of qualifying, Kevin Magnussen, who leaped from eighth to fifth with his final attempt.
Jenson Button, in the second McLaren, was sixth after failing to improve on his final run, just ahead of Fernando Alonso.
The Ferrari driver had made a slight improvement on his final attempt to relegate Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel to eighth.
Daniel Ricciardo and Force India driver Sergio Perez completed the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat was the quickest of those eliminated in Q2 despite a valiant attempt to snatch a top 10 place on the last lap.
The Russian, who will be given a 10-place grid penalty for using his sixth engine of the season, bumped Kimi Raikkonen out of the top in the dying seconds, only for Magnussen to jump from 13th from 10th.
Raikkonen ended up 12th ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne, with Nico Hulkenberg unable to match Force India team-mate Perez and down in 14th place.
Adrian Sutil prevailed in the intra-Sauber battle with Esteban Gutierrez by improving on his final run having looked to be fractionally slower than the Mexican earlier in qualifying.
There were no surprises in Q1, with the three slowest teams in the field populating the dropzone.
Pastor Maldonado was the fastest of those in 17th, just ahead of Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Grosjean was only able to complete five laps thanks to the team having to fix a fluid leak detected in the build-up to the session, ending up a tenth slower than the Venezuelan after missing the first 13 minutes of the 18-minute session.
Kamui Kobayashi, reinstated in the lead Caterham after sitting out the Belgian GP, was a superb 19th ahead of Jules Bianchi thanks to a combination of an excellent lap and a tow from team-mate Marcus Ericsson.
Ericsson himself ended up 22nd, three tenths behind the second Marussia of Max Chilton.
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.436s||1.327s|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.709s||1.600s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.944s||1.835s|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.157s||-|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.279s||-|
|21||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.070s||-|
Qualifying format: 1st-10th – Q3, 11th-16th – Q2, 17th-22nd – Q1
Kvyat has 10-place grid penalty
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice, problems for Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton dominated third practice for the 2014 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, while his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg completed just three laps after encountering a gearbox problem.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was 0.412 seconds adrift of Hamilton as he took second place, with Valtteri Bottas just over a tenth further back in third.
Conditions were warmer and sunnier on Saturday with the ambient temperature steady at 23C and the track temperature building slowly from 32C to 36C.
Jenson Button’s early flyer, a 1m26.845s set on the hard-compound Pirelli tyres during his first six-lap run, kept him on top of the timesheets until Bottas undercut him by 0.152s.
Alonso and Massa also managed to edge the lead McLaren on pace during similar-length runs, with Alonso matching the 1m26.693 set by Bottas.
Mercedes did not offer a challenge at this point; Hamilton’s fastest over a 10-lap first run was 1m27.996s.
A gearbox glitch had caused Rosberg to abort his first eight-lap run early, and a recurrence of the problem when he next went out meant that he only completed three laps before abandoning the session.
Button and Hamilton improved on their second runs, still on the hard tyres, but it was Hamilton who blitzed every sector to return Mercedes to its customary first place with a 1m25.742s.
It was not a flawless run, though; after going quickest he over-ran the first chicane and radioed the pits to inform them that “The brakes don’t feel like they’re working too well and the DRS isn’t working”.
Alonso bolted on a set of mediums for his second run and went fastest in the first sector but could not beat Hamilton over the whole lap.
Neither could Hamilton eclipse his own hard-tyre time with his first flyer on mediums during his final stint, as he continued to complain about poor braking performance. Ultimately he improved to 1m25.519s.
Other frontrunners did improve their times on the medium compound by a decent margin in the final minutes, including both the Williams cars – Bottas and Massa jumped to third and fourth, displacing Button to fifth – and the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
The Red Bulls were split by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who ran strongly early on completed just 15 laps overall, and Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso.
Kvyat’s pace augurs well for a good qualifying performance, which the team needs in order for him to avoid carrying forward a portion of his gearbox penalty to the Singapore Grand Prix.
Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed better form in three practice and was sixth fastest for much of the session, closing it out 10th fastest, but his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez lost drive as he accelerated out of the first chicane and came to a halt at the Curva Grande.
Kevin Magnussen struggled with the brakes on his McLaren throughout and finished outside the top 10, over a second off the frontrunning pace.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.519s 23 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.931s +0.412s 13 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m26.090s +0.571s 19 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m26.114s +0.595s 18 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.242s +0.723s 21 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m26.290s +0.771s 17 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.327s +0.808s 15 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m26.437s +0.918s 21 9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m26.482s +0.963s 16 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.608s +1.089s 17 11. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.829s +1.310s 20 12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.207s +1.688s 18 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m27.312s +1.793s 10 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m27.479s +1.960s 22 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.498s +1.979s 12 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.025s +2.506s 19 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m28.137s +2.618s 20 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m28.265s +2.746s 21 19. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m28.459s +2.940s 14 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.579s +3.060s 19 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m29.251s +3.732s 22 22. Nico Rosberg Mercedes no time 3
Kimi Raikkonen: “A positive day”
Kimi Raikkonen: “That was a very busy day, but a positive one. We made the most of every minute available to us in both sessions, managing to try everything we had on our programme. In the morning, we concentrated on assessing different aero configurations, in search of the best level of downforce. Then in the afternoon, we opted for an intermediate solution that seemed to produce the best results on both compounds. The difference between the Medium and the Hard is more or less what we expected; the softer one behaves well, but in terms of driveability, I found the Hard wasn’t bad either.”
Italian GP practice: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in FP2
Nico Rosberg topped Friday afternoon practice for the Italian Grand Prix, but Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton pushed him hard despite car problems.
Rosberg set the pace during the early stages of the session on the slower hard-compound Pirelli, shading Fernando Alonso by four thousandths of a second.
The Mercedes driver then switched to the medium Pirellis, improving his fastest time by just over half a second, setting a best of 1m26.225s.
While Rosberg was completing a normal programme, Hamilton spent the first hour of the session in the garage while the Mercedes team chased an electronic problem that prevented the car from firing up.
Hamilton then completed a brief three-lap run on the hard Pirellis before bolting on the faster mediums.
He managed to set a time just 61 thousandths of a second slower than Rosberg, posting the fastest time in the middle sector in the process.
With the tyre degradation mild, Hamilton was able to have another serious attempt at improving, but was unable to do so.
This relegated Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen to third, 0.106s off Rosberg.
The Finn out-paced team-mate Alonso, who might have set a better time but for a small error under braking.
Raikkonen, too, showed he potentially had even more pace, setting the fastest time of all in the first sector before an error meant he had no chance of improving on that lap.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest, just ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who lost time with a mistake in the Parabolica on his quickest lap.
McLaren pairing Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were seventh and eighth fastest, the former setting an identical time to Vettel but being classified behind him as the reigning world champion set his lap first.
Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10, which was covered by just three quarters of a second.
Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg just missed out on the top 10, in 11th and 12th, ahead of the best of the Toro Rossos, driven by Daniil Kvyat.
The top 16 were covered by just 1.804s, with Esteban Gutierrez, Jean-Eric Vergne and Adrian Sutil all in that group.
That left a pack of six cars cast adrift at the back, with Jules Bianchi’s Marussia the quickest of those, 2.424s off the pace.
The group also included the Lotus-Renaults of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, the latter having missed the morning session to allow Charles Pic to take over and then having a wild trip through the gravel while on his first run on hards early in the session.
Caterham pairing Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson were 21st and 22nd.
A number of drivers had off-track moments during the session and were forced to cut chicanes, with Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo and Button among those who did so.
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.762s||0.537s||27|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.992s||0.767s||37|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.079s||0.854s||42|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.227s||1.002s||39|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.476s||1.251s||37|
|15||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.929s||1.704s||33|
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Jenson Button in first practice
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in opening practice for Formula 1’s 2014 Italian Grand Prix at Monza by 0.623 seconds from McLaren’s Jenson Button, with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg third.
It was not a hotly contested session at the sharp end as the majority of the frontrunners swapped to race simulation runs after setting their quick laps.
As is usual in practice one, there was a brief flurry of activity towards the end of the first half hour while teams took advantage of the extra set of tyres they are permitted to use before handing back to Pirelli at the 30-minute mark.
Several drivers observed that the orange-striped hard-compound tyres were taking longer than expected to reach a working temperature.
Max Chilton was the first to benefit from the Parabolica’s controversially revised run-off area, running wide and brushing the astroturf 15 minutes into the session.
Kevin Magnussen and Button provided demonstrated that the MP4-29 is not lacking straightline speed, setting the early pace on the hard-compound tyres before being overhauled by the ‘works’ Mercedes.
Button then sliced three tenths of a second off his previous best during the course of his second run, but his tenure at the top of the timesheets lasted just eight minutes before Hamilton went top.
McLaren did not attempt to respond, switching Button on to a used set of tyres to complete his programme.
Fernando Alonso brought his Ferrari to within a second of the Mercedes with a late effort, lapping in 1m27.169s.
Kimi Raikkonen was nearly four tenths off, having flirted with the Parabolica run-off on his flying lap.
Sebastian Vettel was the fastest of the two Red Bulls in sixth, behind Magnussen, but Daniel Ricciardo completed just 12 laps and had to retire to his garage with a power unit issue with 30 minutes to go.
Both Williams were outside the top 10 in spite of being among the quickest through the speed trap, and Valtteri Bottas was noticeably on the edge of the FW36’s envelope in several places on the track.
There was disappointment, too for Lotus; it took most of the session for Pastor Maldonado to summon a lap clean enough to overhaul both Marussias.
A handful of teams ran test drivers in addition to or in place of their regulars: Daniel Juncadella sat in for Sergio Perez at Force India initially, Charles Pic for Romain Grosjean at Lotus, Giedo van der Garde for Adrian Sutil at Sauber, and Roberto Merhi for Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham.
Perez took over from Juncadella with 20 minutes to go and was straight on the pace on his first run, slotting into the top 10 and outpacing Nico Hulkenberg by nearly half a second. He was also fastest of all through the speed trap.
F1 debutant Merhi (pictured) completed 29 laps to Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson’s 16 and rounded out the session two tenths faster.
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.271s||1.084s||27|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.687s||1.500s||13|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.741s||1.554s||33|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.112s||1.925s||23|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.300s||2.113s||30|
|15||Giedo van der Garde||Sauber/Ferrari||1m28.429s||2.242s||19|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m28.487s||2.300s||12|
|17||Daniel Juncadella||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.192s||3.005s||10|