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."
Ferrari F1 boss Mattiacci praises Raikkonen ‘s drive in Brazil
Ferrari Formula 1 boss Marco Mattiacci hailed Kimi Raikkonen’s Brazilian Grand Prix performance "terrific" amid his season of struggle with the F14 T.
The 2007 world champion has found Ferrari’s 2014 F1 car difficult to drive for most of the year, and has usually been well-beaten by team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Raikkonen was the only driver to complete Sunday’s Interlagos race on just two pitstops, and battled for sixth place with Alonso before finishing close behind him in seventh.
Mattiacci reckons Ferrari made a breakthrough in getting its car to suit Raikkonen’s driving style.
"I think we have seen a very positive Kimi this weekend," Mattiacci said.
"He had a terrific race.
"I would say [this was] one of the first weekends where Kimi really felt the car suited him, and we have seen the way with [his] racing."
Mattiacci said the process of getting Ferrari’s car to suit Raikkonen was ongoing, and denied the Finn still needed to raise his own game, despite another ultimate defeat to Alonso.
"Kimi is a top professional, [he] doesn’t [need to] respond to positive pressure," Mattiacci added.
"We work well together. He’s a top driver [and] we’re building step-by-step preparing for the future.
"They [top drivers] know very well how to react to pressure.
"I’m extremely happy for the race he did."
Raikkonen reckoned he could have beaten Alonso to sixth without a delay at his second pitstop caused by damage to the front jack.
"I think we could have been one place better but we had some problems in the pitstop," Raikkonen said.
"I think over the whole weekend the car has been more normal and I could drive it more normally.
"It’s definitely been better. My tyres lasted pretty well. It’s going in the right way.
"There’s still quite a bit of work to be done on the package, but we know that, and we’re improving."
Kimi Raikkonen: “Continued progress”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall, this has been a positive weekend and even today in the race, I felt very good in the car. During the second stint, we realised that if we went for a two stop strategy, we could make up ground, but then, at my second pit stop, I lost valuable time and that cost me some places. In the final part of the race, I had to fight off Button for a few laps and when Fernando caught me, tyre degradation meant I couldn’t fend him off. We leave Interlagos with a good feeling and even if we still have a lot of work ahead of us, this continued progress makes me confident for the future.”
Brazilian GP: ‘Zero frustration’ over Raikkonen battle says Alonso
Fernando Alonso says he feels "zero frustration" towards Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn fought so hard to defend against him late in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari duo found themselves battling over sixth place at Interlagos, with Alonso behind on fresher tyres after stopping one more time than Raikkonen.
Raikkonen fought hard to defend his position though, and although Alonso made it through he finished 10 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel in fifth.
When asked post-race if Raikkonen’s defending prevented him from finishing higher than sixth, Alonso said: "No, I’m very very happy – zero frustration.
"The most important thing was not the battle with him, it was the battle with the other teams and we got some good points for Ferrari today.
"Even if I could have overtaken Kimi a little quicker I had to save a lot of fuel in the last couple of laps so a battle with Sebastian was never a possibility."
Alonso said that he was pleased to come out on top in the battle with Raikkonen.
"Finishing in front of him always gives satisfaction," he added.
"This weekend I managed to finish in front in qualifying and in the race after a weekend where I struggled a bit with some mechanical issues.
"It was definitely a good experience – I had one more stop so I had to recover 21 seconds.
"I had fresh tyres so I had the advantage in the last battle."
Raikkonen described the dice as "normal racing" and said that he did not feel the battle had cost Ferrari anything overall.
"It’s the same points for the team, and at the end of this kind of season it makes no really big difference for myself or the team as we get the same points [whichever driver finishes ahead]."
Brazilian GP: Nico Rosberg defeats F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg ended Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton’s five-race winning streak by beating the sister Mercedes to victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
By converting his 10th pole position of the 2014 F1 season into victory, Rosberg closed team-mate Hamilton’s points lead down to 17 heading into the Abu Dhabi GP double-points finale.
Hamilton’s hopes of challenging Rosberg’s supremacy were largely undone when he half spun at the Descida do Lago on lap 28 of 71.
The Brit ran wide after correcting a snap of oversteer as he braked for the corner. He subsequently revealed over the radio that he had wound his brake bias too far to the rear.
Hamilton hustled superbly to recover the time lost to Rosberg, and put him under pressure by remaining within DRS range during a franctic final stint (in which both drivers exchanged fastest laps), but ultimately Hamilton had to settle for second.
Local hero Felipe Massa brought smiles to the faces of the home crowd by completing the podium.
The Williams driver survived a five-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane at his first stop, and the embarrassment of accidentally driving into the McLaren pit at his last, to finish a distant third.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas should have been well-placed to capitalise on Massa’s errors, after running fourth early on, but a lengthy delay at his first pitstop set him back badly, and he lost more time when Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India forced him wide while overtaking into the Senna S.
Bottas eventually wound up a lapped 10th.
McLaren’s Jenson Button took that fourth spot with a brave pass around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari at the Descida do Lago with 10 laps to run.
Their side-by-side duelling also allowed world champion Sebastian Vettel to nip through into fifth in his Red Bull.
Vettel might have finished higher but for ground lost while battling Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren on the opening lap, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo retired shortly before half-distance with a left front suspension problem on his Red Bull.
Raikkonen started 10th and dropped behind the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez on the first lap, but made progress by being the only driver to complete the race on two pitstops.
The Finn lost time to what appeared to be a front jack problem at his second stop, and defended desperately in a battle of world champions with Fernando Alonso in the closing stages, but ultimately couldn’t prevent his Ferrari team-mate passing him for sixth with a handful of laps to go.
Hulkenberg made good use of alternative tyre strategy – running the soft tyre at the end – to finish eighth, ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren and Bottas, who just held off Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat to claim the final point.
RESULTS – 71 LAPS:
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||51.420s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m03.934s|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||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||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||8 Laps|
|-||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||Retirement|