Da Raisport (pw leavemealone9):
Bahrain GP: Mercedes-engined Formula 1 teams are in a ‘different class’ – Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen says it feels like Ferrari is racing in a different class to the Mercedes-engined Formula 1 teams, after the Scuderia’s difficult start to the season continued in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Raikkonen lined up fifth, but made a bad start and survived two contact incidents to end up 10th in the final classification, just behind team-mate Fernando Alonso and over 30 seconds adrift of the winning Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
The 2007 world champion said he could not blame his poor result on contact with Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren, nor a later incident with Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, because the customer Mercedes cars were just too fast for Ferrari on the straights.
"The Mercedes cars seemed to be able to pass us very easily on the straightlines. One Force India got me on the exit of corner eight and it was like a different class," said Raikkonen.
"I was surprised. He came out of the pitlane but I had only done a few laps on the tyres. I went OK out of the corner and he just came inside of me and went past; I had no answer.
"And the next corner he had massive traction also, so it’s not just the horsepower."
Both Ferrari drivers reckoned the back end of the top 10 was probably the best Ferrari could have managed in Bahrain, given the F14 T’s current performance deficit.
"We are ninth and 10th and we didn’t have a crash or any problems. We are ninth and 10th because that’s what we could do today," added Alonso.
"I won this grand prix three times. It’s not that I forgot how to drive here.
"We are ninth and 10th because there were eight people who were better than us.
"We want to change this as soon as possible and that needs to start in China.
"We have a test here, I will drive the two days and I won’t rest until the situation changes."
Da SkyF1 (pw leavemealone9):
Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg in thrilling race
Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to win a breathless Bahrain Grand Prix by just one second.
A late-race safety car, deployed after Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus tipped Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber into a roll at Turn 1, turned the 57-lap race into a 10-lap sprint under floodlights in the desert.
Both drivers had gone wheel-to-wheel in the early stages, as Hamilton outdragged poleman Rosberg at the start and the German attempted to come back at his British team-mate, so they were warned to keep it clean by Mercedes boss Paddy Lowe.
They just about managed it as they scrapped mightily for the win.
Rosberg had the advantage of softer tyres for the showdown and had several stabs at passing Hamilton using DRS into the Michael Schumacher corner.
But he could not make either stick, and Hamilton prevailed on his medium tyres after some epic side-by-side racing through the esses.
Behind, Force India recorded its first podium since Spa 2009 as Sergio Perez just held off the quicker Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
The Red Bulls also had the advantage of soft tyres for the final sprint and Ricciardo got the better of his world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India to finish fourth.
Vettel, who complained of a lack of power from his Renault engine, could not find his own way past Hulkenberg (on ageing mediums) so had to spend the final two laps fending off Williams pair Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for sixth.
Williams gambled on a three-stop strategy where most of the other frontrunners went for two, and the safety car undid its hopes of a better result.
The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top 10, after Jenson Button joined McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen in retirement, after plummeting down the top order following the re-start.
Bahrain GP - 57 laps Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h38m42.743 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +1.085s 3. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +24.067s 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +24.489s 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +28.654s 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +29.879s 7. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +31.200s 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +31.800s 09. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +32.500s 10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +33.400s 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +41.300s 12. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +43.100s 13. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari +59.900s 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1m02.800s 15. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault +1m27.900s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap 17. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +2 laps Retirements Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 40 laps Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 39 laps Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 33 laps Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 18 laps Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 17 laps Drivers' standings: 1. Nico Rosberg 61 2. Lewis Hamilton 50 3. Nico Hulkenberg 28 4. Fernando Alonso 26 5. Jenson Button 23 6. Sebastian Vettel 23 7. Kevin Magnussen 20 8. Valtteri Bottas 18 9. Sergio Perez 16 10. Daniel Ricciardo 12 11. Felipe Massa 12 12. Kimi Raikkonen 7 13. Jean-Eric Vergne 4 14. Daniil Kvyat 3 Constructors' standings 1. Mercedes 111 2. Force India-Mercedes 44 3. McLaren-Mercedes 43 4. Red Bull-Renault 35 5. Ferrari 33 6. Williams-Mercedes 30 7. Toro Rosso-Renault 7
Bahrain GP: Raikkonen now more comfortable with Ferrari’s car
Kimi Raikkonen believes that the changes Ferrari has made to its 2014 Formula 1 challenger have helped him feel more comfortable on track.
The Finn will start Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix from fifth place on the grid, having qualified sixth with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo taking a 10-place grid penalty.
Raikkonen has struggled to feel at home with the Ferrari F14 T this season, but after outqualifying team-mate Fernando Alonso for the first time this season, he said he was happier in the cockpit.
"The feeling is a bit better with the car," Raikkonen told reporters in the Sakhir paddock.
"I think the parts I wanted have definitely helped.
"In qualifying it felt more like we expected and wanted. It’s definitely the right direction.
"We’re still not where we want to be but we know what we’re doing. It will just take time to get where we want."
The 2007 world champion said there is no specific area that needs improvement on the Ferrari, as the team needs to make gains in every department.
"We need to go forward with all areas of the car," he added. "Obviously we need more.
"Understanding on engines and electronics to improve those small things that make a lot of improvement.
"We improved a lot of things in the first three races, all areas. [And] I improved a little with the front end."
Raikkonen said that he has not really suffered many problems with the new brake-by-wire system in the last two race weekends, after it proved troublesome earlier in the year.
"[Brake-by-wire] wasn’t really a problem," he said. "We had some issues in testing, there were some odd things in Australia.
"It’s all really to do with front end, and if you have a good feeling with the brake it gets easier. We’ve improved in that area."
Da SkyF1 (pw leavemealone9)
Bahrain GP: Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole as Mercedes dominates
Nico Rosberg claimed his first pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season, leading a Mercedes front row lockout.
Lewis Hamilton had set the pace throughout practice and headed into the session as favourite for pole position, but after being outpaced by Rosberg on their first runs in Q3 had a big lockup on his second lap at Turn 1 and ran wide, preventing him from mounting a challenge for pole.
Rosberg aborted his final run having been informed Hamilton made a mistake, earning the fifth pole position of his F1 career.
Daniel Ricciardo was one of the few drivers to improve on his second run in Q3, jumping to third on the grid.
This relegated Valtteri Bottas to fourth, the Finn proving that the Williams team’s pace during pre-season testing here was no fluke with a place on the second row.
Force India driver Sergio Perez has been strong all weekend and was fifth fastest, only a tenth slower than Bottas.
He shaded Kimi Raikkonen, who had only one run in Q3 because he had only one set of fresh rubber remaining, by 22 thousandths of a second.
McLaren pairing Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen ended up seventh and eight, split by the second Williams of Felipe Massa, with both making late improvements as they also had only one set of new softs for the session.
Fernando Alonso was slowest in Q3 after a disappointing final lap, ending up six tenths slower than team-mate Raikkonen.
World champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make Q3 for the second time in three races.
Red Bull opted to complete just one run in Q2 and Vettel complained about downshift problems after missing the cut by six-hundredths of a second.
Nico Hulkenberg, who has struggled to match Force India team-mate Perez all weekend, also failed to hook up a good enough lap to make Q3 after running wide onto the kerb at Turn 11, ending up 12th ahead of the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez shaded Lotus driver Romain Grosjean for 15th place by just 17 thousandths of a second.
Pastor Maldonado was the fastest driver to fall in Q1 in 17th place. He was pipped by Grosjean, who set a time just nine thousandths of a second faster than his team-mate in the dying moments of the first part of qualifying.
Grosjean was impeded by Adrian Sutil’s Sauber late in the session, an incident which will be investigated by the stewards tonight.
The German was also knocked out in Q1, while Caterham continued its recent upward curve in terms of performance, with Kamui Kobayashi 19th fastest, lapping within a quarter of a second of Sutil, and Marcus Ericsson 21st.
Jules Bianchi split the two Caterhams, with Max Chilton slowest.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.185s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m33.464s +0.279s 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m34.051s +0.866s 4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m34.247s +1.062s 5. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m34.346s +1.161s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m34.368s +1.183s 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.387s +1.202s 8. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m34.511s +1.326s 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.712s +1.527s 10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m34.992s +1.807s Q2 cut-off time: 1m34.925s Gap ** 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m34.985s +1.277s 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m35.116s +1.408s 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.145s +1.437s 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.286s +1.578s 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.891s +2.183s 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m35.908s +2.200s Q1 cut-off time: 1m36.654s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m36.663s +1.789s 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.840s +1.966s 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m37.085s +2.211s 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m37.310s +2.436s 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m37.875s +3.001s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m37.913s +3.039s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton completes practice sweep for Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton continued Mercedes’ domination as he set the fastest time in final practice for Formula 1′s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Briton, who was fastest in both Friday sessions at the Sakhir circuit, headed his team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.115 seconds.
They finished ahead of Sergio Perez, who was half a second adrift of Hamilton’s best lap, but the pace of the Force India indicates that it is looking good for a strong qualifying performance later on Saturday.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest in his Williams ahead of his team-mate Felipe Massa.
Like Friday, Williams chose to save mileage by sitting out much of the practice period. But when both they first appeared on the medium compound tyre they were the second fastest runners behind the Mercedes pair at the mid-way stage of the hour.
Sebastian Vettel sat out the final 20 minutes of the session after he spun his Red Bull off the track. The world champion seemingly lost control of his car on the exit of Turn 2 and looped his car around into the gravel trap. He had only completed eight laps when he spun off.
Jenson Button was sixth fastest in his McLaren, just ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and the other Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners to head the timesheets, putting in a 1m37.340s lap halfway through the session on the medium compound tyre.
A few minutes later his team-mate beat him by less than a tenth of a second. At that stage they were quicker than Jenson Button’s McLaren by over a second.
A number of drivers were caught out at the end of the back straight and ran wide entering Turn 11 – including the Mercedes runners – thanks to the gusty tail wind at the Sakhir circuit.
There was further problems for Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson, who complained that his Renault was not delivering full power in the opening minutes of the hour.
Qualifying takes place under floodlights at 6pm local time.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m35.324s 12 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.439s +0.115s 12 3. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m35.868s +0.544s 10 4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m36.116s +0.792s 10 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m36.364s +1.040s 8 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.394s +1.070s 8 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m36.454s +1.130s 12 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m36.455s +1.131s 11 9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m36.680s +1.356s 16 10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.772s +1.448s 13 11. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.822s +1.498s 8 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m37.030s +1.706s 11 13. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m37.119s +1.795s 11 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.325s +2.001s 18 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.089s +2.765s 24 16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m38.400s +3.076s 17 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m38.736s +3.412s 15 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m38.880s +3.556s 21 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m38.971s +3.647s 18 20. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.208s +3.884s 17 21. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.225s +3.901s 8 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m39.597s +4.273s 14
Kimi Raikkonen: “A difficult Friday”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall, this was a difficult day, because I didn’t feel comfortable with the car in either session. In the first one, I damaged the floor on the kerb at turn 4 and this meant I had to pit. The team did a super job, because they got me back out on track in a short time, but then, because of a problem with the brakes, I was unable to complete the programme. In the second session we concentrated on looking at the two Pirelli compounds and with the Soft it was definitely better than the Medium. Now we will get down to analysing all today’s data, especially regarding the immediate change in the track from day to night and we will try and improve for qualifying and the race.”
Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton stays ahead in second practice
Mercedes continued to set the outright pace in Formula 1 as Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets at the end of the second practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton was 0.365 seconds faster than his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Held in warm, dry conditions – five degrees cooler than this afternoon’s first practice – this was the first ever Formula 1 practice session in Bahrain to be held under floodlights.
Third quickest was Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari, significantly more than a second slower than Hamilton, pointing to the continued superiority of the Mercedes team.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest ahead of the Williams of Felipe Massa, who had a nervy moment as he was seemingly baulked by Esteban Gutierrez on the back straight a few moments before the session ended.
In sixth place was Jenson Button’s McLaren, one position ahead of world champion Sebastian Vettel.
This second session of the day was all about the Mercedes pair. Rosberg was the first of the two silver machines to switch onto the soft tyre and his first run on the new rubber was two seconds faster than his pace on the medium tyres.
Soon afterwards Hamilton upped the ante and his first run on the soft tyre was immediately 0.365 seconds faster than his team-mate.
It was another eventual period for Lotus as first Romain Grosjean complained of a misfire with his Renault, while his team-mate Pastor Maldonado enjoyed a spectacular moment as he got all four wheels airborne after hitting the kerbs at Turn 4.
Briton Max Chilton retired from the session with 35 minutes remaining after he suffered a high-speed spin at Turn 4. He complained on his team radio that he lost drive then the rear axle locked and pitched his Marussia into a spin.
A few minutes later Adrian Sutil climbed out of the cockpit of his Sauber at Turn 6 following a problem with his car. Another retiree was Marcus Ericsson, who stopped his Caterham at the side of the track just five minutes from the flag.
Early on there was a dramatic moment as Sergio Perez narrowly avoided a slow-moving Rosberg as they headed towards the final corner.
The German initially moved to his right to get out of the Force India driver’s way, and Perez had to take action to avoid hitting the Mercedes. The stewards said they would look at the incident after the session.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.325s 28 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m34.690s +0.365 31 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.360s +1.035 28 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m35.433s +1.108 28 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m35.442s +1.117 13 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.528s +1.203 21 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m35.606s +1.281 29 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.640s +1.315 31 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.662s +1.337 22 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m35.802s +1.477 40 11. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m35.920s +1.595 9 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.972s +1.647 32 13. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m35.998s +1.673 18 14. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.366s +2.041 32 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.962s +2.637 13 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.975s +2.650 35 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m37.259s +2.934 24 18. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.599s +3.274 23 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m37.800s +3.475 15 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m38.247s +3.922 10 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m38.257s +3.932 33 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m39.136s +4.811 30
Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP1
Lewis Hamilton continued the Mercedes team’s dominance of the 2014 Formula 1 season by topping first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Malaysian GP winner was fastest during the opening half-hour of the 90-minute session, during which drivers are permitted to use their extra set of medium-compound Pirellis, lapping 0.113s faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Both Mercedes waited until the final 20 minutes of the session to head out on their second set of mediums, by which time Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso had taken top spot after setting a time four tenths of a second faster than Hamilton’s first run despite a brief lock-up at Turn 10.
Hamilton then set the fastest time of the session in all three sectors to reclaim top spot, the second time he has been quickest during FP1 in three 2014 races.
Rosberg retained second place, although he was around a tenth slower than Hamilton had been on the first runs, ending up 0.231s off the pace.
Alonso ended the session third fastest, four-and-a-half tenths slower than Hamilton and 0.169s ahead of Nico Hulkenberg as the Ferrari and Force India drivers continued the battle that has raged throughout the season so far.
The German looked to have the potential to outpace the Ferrari after lapping a quarter-of-a-second faster than Alonso in sector one but lost time over the rest of the lap.
Alonso endured an abortive start to his running on his second set of rubber, Ferrari inadvertently sending him out of the garage with one soft tyre and three mediums. He stopped in the pitlane and was dragged back to the garage to replace the soft.
Jenson Button’s McLaren was fifth fastest, just ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who had a big lock-up at Turn 1 and ran off the track while on his long-run on his second set of mediums.
The second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen was seventh fastest, ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s Scuderia Toro Rosso, the 19-year-old Russian ended up 1.5s off the fastest time.
World champion Sebastian Vettel was only 10th fastest behind the second Force India of Sergio Perez, 1.887s slower than Hamilton, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo a second slower in 14th.
Felipe Massa was the quickest Williams, setting the 11th fastest time after completing only one installation lap on his first set of tyres.
Three reserve drivers made their first appearances of the season during the session, with Felipe Nasr, driving Valtteri Bottas’s Williams, the quickest of them in 13th place.
Sauber’s Giedo van der Garde, who took over Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber, was 18th fastest, with Caterham’s Robin Frijns 21st quickest in Kamui Kobayashi’s car.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.502s 14 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.733s +0.231s 13 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.953s +0.451s 17 4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m38.122s +0.620s 10 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.636s +1.134s 16 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m38.783s +1.281s 12 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.949s +1.447s 15 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.056s +1.554s 24 9. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m39.102s +1.600s 21 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.389s +1.887s 16 11. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m39.533s +2.031s 11 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.862s +2.360s 26 13. Felipe Nasr Williams-Mercedes 1m40.078s +2.576s 14 14. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m40.406s +2.904s 19 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.652s +3.150s 20 16. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m40.793s +3.291s 31 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m40.$89s +3.387s 20 18. Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.913s +3.411s 20 19. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m41.036s +3.534s 24 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m41.794s +4.292s 20 21. Robin Frijns Caterham-Renault 1m42.417s +4.915s 35 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m42.711s +5.209s 2
Kimi Raikkonen certain Ferrari capable of closing gap to F1 leaders
Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari has big gains to come that will help it get on terms with Formula 1 pacesetter Mercedes.
Although the Maranello-based outfit has not finished on the podium yet this season, the team is confident that the rapid development rate of the new 2014 turbo engines means it can make big improvements.
Raikkonen said ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix that while Mercedes remained favourite, the competitive picture would change so much this season that the title fight was not yet an exclusive affair between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
"Obviously they have been looking strong over the test and over the first two races, but I am sure we have some big gains that will come," said Raikkonen.
"I am quite far away in the points, but that can all change with the new rules. And with only two races done, we try to do the best that we can.
"We try to improve but it is not easy to catch up with them. But we don’t give up. We know where we need to improve and I am sure we are going to get there."
Raikkonen has endured a tougher start to the season than team-mate Fernando Alonso because he has struggled to get comfortable with the front end of the car.
The team has focused on trying to improve the interaction of its energy harvesting, which has affected braking.
AUTOSPORT understands that revised suspension components will be tried out by Ferrari in Bahrain this weekend to help improve the front of the car further.
Despite the arrival of the new parts, Raikkonen is cautious about how quickly his problems will be fully solved, even though there were signs of progress in Malaysia.
"Overall we were much better but we were not where we wanted to be," he explained.
"There are a lot of things to improve in all areas, but we have all the right people and all the tools to fix those things.
"But those things are not easy to fix and I am sure it will take time. But we know where we want to be and where we are aiming, and we are going to get there.
"Hopefully we’ll get some better results here now if we can start a similar way in the last race, but not having the issues we had in the race."
Raikkonen: “we will get there”
Sakhir, 3 April – Kimi Raikkonen is keen to get racing this weekend, after early promise in Malaysia was wiped out on Sunday after a first lap coming together with Kevin Magnussen. “In Malaysia, the car was more or less the same as in Australia, although clearly we learned more from doing a lot of running and of course, the circuit layout in Sepang is different,” the Finn told the media at his usual Thursday press meeting. “Those factors make a difference and overall, we were much better in Malaysia, even if not quite where we want to be. Then my race was destroyed, which was not my fault, but that’s how it goes. There are a lot of things to improve in all areas, but we have the right people and all the tools we need to fix those things. It will take time, but we will get there. As for this weekend, if we start well as we did in Malaysia, but then don’t have the problems we had in the race there, we can have a better weekend.”As for how life was going with Fernando Alonso as a team-mate, the 2007 world champion explained he had more pressing matters on his mind. “I don’t have any real opinion formed yet as I’ve been putting all my effort into sorting out my side of things,” he said. “If I can do that, then we can get the results we want which is our aim. I haven’t given much thought to Fernando, apart from seeing his lap times and data of course. There’s nothing there I would not have expected.”Asked about whether or not he liked the current Formula 1 so far this season, Kimi was his usual pragmatic self. “It makes no difference if we like it or not, as we do not make the rules. We cannot change it and it is what it is. Sometimes you end up in areas that you would not choose, but you just have to make the best of it. I don’t see the point in talking about the sound of the cars or whether I like it or not.”
Raikkonen pins hopes on Bahrain GP upgrades to improve F1 form
Kimi Raikkonen is pinning his hopes of an upturn in form in Formula 1 on a set of new parts expected for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Finn has struggled with the front end of his Ferrari in the first two races of the season.
He showed improved form through practice and qualifying for round two in Malaysia last weekend, before contact early in the race from Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren ruined his chances.
Raikkonen says Ferrari is bringing new parts to his car for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix and he is hopeful they will finally allow him to drive the F14 T in the way he would like.
"The car was very similar to the last race, but the circuit layout worked a bit better for our overall situation," said Raikkonen of his performance in Malaysia.
"For the next race we should get some new parts and be happier with the front end and drive a bit more how I want.
"The front end should feel a bit nicer after that, but we have to wait and see how we do on Friday and go from there.
"From the [pre-season] test [in Bahrain] I know there were some difficulties with the handling, but hopefully with some new parts we can sort that out and be even happier with the car than we were here.
"I think we have a pretty good understanding of what we want to do and where we want to go to make the feeling better and we can go much faster if we make that happen.
"The good thing is we did much better here [in Malaysia]. Obviously the results didn’t show that but it’s nice we’re going in the right direction."
Malaysian GP: Kimi Raikkonen says Kevin Magnussen destroyed race
Kimi Raikkonen says the contact from Kevin Magnussen on lap two of the Malaysian Grand Prix "destroyed" the second race of his 2014 Formula 1 season.
Magnussen’s McLaren tagged the rear of Raikkonen’s Ferrari heading into Turn 1, puncturing the right-rear tyre on the F14 T and earning Magnussen a five-second stop/go penalty and two penalty points on his licence for causing a collision.
Raikkonen fell to the back of the field following the puncture, and spent his race recovering to a pointless 12th. The Finn reckoned he could have been up with fourth-placed team-mate Fernando Alonso were it not for the incident.
"I haven’t seen what happened, I just heard that his front wing hit me and damaged my rear wheel," said Raikkonen.
"I didn’t feel anything, but obviously it destroyed our race and wasn’t very good for us.
"I had some damage after that, so we lost some downforce because the tyre damaged the floor.
"With the damage it’s hard to say how good we would have been, but how we started was good and for sure we could have been up there with Fernando, but it all went down when I got hit."
The non-score means Raikkonen has scored only six points in two races, compared to Alonso’s 24, but the Finn said he was not overly concerned by the lack of results so far.
"Obviously it’s not the ideal start but today we didn’t do much wrong ourselves and ended up paying a big price for someone else’s mistake," he added.
"It’s an unfortunate thing, but it’s part of racing. We just have to try to do everything [in the] better next race."
Da SkyF1 (PW leavemealone9)
Malaysian GP: Lewis Hamilton takes dominant victory
Lewis Hamilton sparked his 2014 Formula 1 season into life by dominating the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 2008 world champion made up for the disappointment of early retirement from the season-opener in Australia earlier this month by comfortably beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to victory by 17 seconds at the Sepang circuit.
Melbourne winner Rosberg maintained his position as championship leader by finishing second.
He jumped reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel off the line and successfully repelled both Red Bulls after a massive tank-slapper coming through Turn 3 on the first lap.
He reported struggling with his rear tyres in the early stages and could not keep pace with Hamilton, who eked out an early and decisive lead before racing on to record the 23rd grand prix win of his career.
Rosberg finished a comfortable 7.2s clear of third-placed Vettel, who put his first championship points on the board after his own early retirement in Australia.
The Red Bulls were side-by-side through the opening sequence of turns, as Vettel’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo went round the outside at Turn 2.
Rosberg’s massive wobble coming though the long sweeping right-hander at Turn 3 allowed the reigning world champion to come back at his team-mate briefly, but Ricciardo held firm, only to be passed on lap four when Vettel slid up the inside at Turn 1 unchallenged.
Ricciardo had to get his elbows out again after the first round of pitstops, successfully rebuffing the efforts from Fernando Alonso to pass as he rejoined. The Red Bull prevailed over the Ferrari after more side-by-side action through Turns 1, 2 and 3.
But this proved a moot point ultimately, as Ricciardo suffered a botched late pitstop that required mechanics to push his car back to the Red Bull pit to refit the left front wheel correctly.
He rejoined the race, but then suffered a front wing failure on the start-finish straight, having broken it by running wide out of Turn 14 coming onto the back straight. He retired shortly afterwards.
Ricciardo’s misfortune promoted a personal duel between Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg, in which the Spaniard again prevailed to take fourth.
Hulkenberg’s Force India used an unconventional two-stop strategy to get ahead of the Ferrari, but ultimately Alonso used the advantage of fresher tyres to re-take the place in the closing stages.
Jenson Button completed a stealthy climb from 10th on the grid to complete the top six, ahead of the duelling Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
The Brazilian finished in front of the Finn after ignoring orders from his team to let him through.
Button’s McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen recovered from an early five-second stop-go penalty for puncturing the right-rear tyre on Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari to finish ninth, while Formula 1′s youngest ever points scorer Daniil Kvyat scored again by rounding out the top 10 for Toro Rosso.
Raikkonen recovered to a pointless 12th, behind Romain Grosjean’s much-improved Lotus.
Result - 56 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m40m25.974s 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +17.313s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +24.534s 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +35.992s 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +47.199s 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +1m23.691s 7. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +1m25.076s 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +1m25.537s 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap 11. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +1 lap 12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +1 lap 13. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault +1 lap 14. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault +2 laps 15. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps Retirements: Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 49 laps Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 35 laps Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 32 laps Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 18 laps Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 8 laps Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 7 laps Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 0 laps Drivers' championship: 1. Nico Rosberg 43 2. Lewis Hamilton 25 3. Fernando Alonso 24 4. Jenson Button 23 5. Kevin Magnussen 20 6. Nico Hulkenberg 18 7. Sebastian Vettel 15 8. Valtteri Bottas 14 9. Kimi Raikkonen 6 10. Felipe Massa 6 11. Jean-Eric Vergne 4 12. Daniil Kvyat 3 13. Sergio Perez 1 Constructors' championship: 1. Mercedes 68 2. McLaren-Mercedes 43 3. Ferrari 30 4. Williams-Mercedes 20 5. Force India-Mercedes 19 6. Red Bull-Renault 15 7. Toro Rosso-Renault 7 8. Sauber-Ferrari 0 9. Lotus-Renault 0 10. Caterham-Renault 0 11. Marussia-Ferrari 0
Raikkonen: “A question of feeling”
Kimi Raikkonen: “The rain made this qualifying very difficult. I knew that in the wet it would not be easy, but I didn’t expect to have so many problems. I had poor traction and on top of that, with the Extreme Wet, for some reason I was losing grip after the first lap. Now we have to find out why, as it will be useful for the coming races. Cleary, I’m not happy with sixth place, but given the circumstances, I cannot say I’m surprised and now I only want to think about doing well tomorrow. It will be a tough race with particularly high temperatures, but I am reasonably confident, because we have gone better here than in Melbourne and if we don’t have any problems, we can think in terms of getting a better result. Overall, my feel for the car is improving and even if there is still a way to go, we are working in the right direction.”
Malaysian GP: Hamilton beats Vettel to pole at wet Sepang
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix in a rain-delayed qualifying session for the second round of the 2014 Formula 1 season.
After a 50-minute delay, track conditions were still best-suited to full wet tyres in Q3 and Hamilton’s first flying lap of 1m59.431s was good enough to secure pole position.
But his advantage was a small one, as he ended up just 55 thousandths of a second faster than Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Rosberg showed disappointing pace on his first flier, ending up only fourth fastest, but with track conditions a little worse in the closing stages did enough to improve to third.
Fernando Alonso was the man he bumped down to fourth, although the Spaniard was fortunate to make Q3 after surviving a collision with Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat at Turn 9 during Q2.
The Spaniard suffered front-left suspension damage in the clash, which happened when he was struggling back to the pits on intermediate rubber while most were on full wets.
The Russian had closed rapidly on Alonso and dived to the inside of the slow left-hander, but Alonso turned in and Kvyat slid into him.
The incident will be investigated by stewards after the session.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest in the second Red Bull ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who was the only driver other than Hamilton to head the times during Q3, with Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg seventh.
Behind him was Kevin Magnussen, who started Q3 on intermediates but pitted to change to wets, salvaging eighth place while team-mate Jenson Button stuck with the inferior tyre and ended up slowest in 10th.
Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne was the other driver to reach the top 10 shootout, ending up ninth.
Williams pairing Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were the big-name casualties during Q2.
With everyone setting their times using wet Pirellis during the middle segment of the session, the Williams FW36 again struggled for traction in the low-grip conditions. And the pair ended up 13th and 14th respectively.
Vergne prevailed in a tense battle for the final Q3 slot, bumping Toro Rosso team-mate Kvyat from the position in the dying seconds of the session.
Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez ended up 12th fastest ahead of the Williams pairing, with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean suffering a late spin and unable to do better than 16th after making Q2 for the first time this year.
Pastor Maldonado was unable to join his Lotus team-mate in the second phase of qualifying, ending up the fastest of those to miss the Q2 cut 0.385s slower than Vergne.
After the delayed start, every team apart from McLaren opted to send their drivers out on intermediate rubber in wet conditions, with the majority of the order dictated by pace during the first half of the session.
Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, Marussia pairing Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton and the Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson were the others to fall in Q1.
The session was brought to a premature close when Ericsson lost it on a wet kerb at the exit of Turn 3 after what the Swede described as a "silly mistake" and spun into the barrier, rebounding and coming to rest on the track.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m59.431s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m59.486s +0.055s 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m00.050s +0.619s 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m00.175s +0.744s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 2m00.541s +1.110s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m01.218s +1.787s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 2m01.712s +2.281s 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 2m02.213s +2.782s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 2m03.078s +3.647s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m04.053s +4.622s Q2 cut-off time: 1m36.811s Gap ** 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 2m02.351s +3.310s 12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2m02.369s +3.328s 13. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2m02.460s +3.419s 14. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2m02.511s +3.470s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2m02.756s +3.715s 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2m02.885s +3.844s Q1 cut-off time: 2m01.689s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2m02.074s +4.891s 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 2m02.131s +4.948s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 2m02.702s +5.519s 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 2m03.595s +6.412s 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2m04.388s +7.205s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2m04.407s +7.224s 107% time: 2m05.385s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Malaysian GP: Nico Rosberg fastest as Mercedes dominates
Nico Rosberg enters qualifying as a favourite for pole position after setting the fastest time in final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Rosberg finished ahead of his Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton as the team was the class of the field in Saturday lunchtime’s period.
The duo topped the timesheets throughout the hour when they were running on both the hard and medium compound tyres.
The Mercedes pair were a whole second ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen at a hot and overcast Sepang International Circuit.
The Ferraris were the first to switch to the medium compound tyre with just over 20 minutes of the session remaining. But their positions at the top of timing screens were shortlived once the Mercedes switched to the softer compound rubber.
Both the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo sat out most of the beginning of the session, only coming out halfway through the hour. Vettel’s late lap gave him the fourth quickest time, two positions ahead of his team-mate.
German Nico Hulkenberg impressed with the fifth fastest time on the medium compound tyres in his Force India.
It was a problematic session for McLaren, which completed the least of amount of running.
Early in the session Kevin Magnussen complained on the team radio he had suffered a loss of power with his engine. Reports suggest it was a repeat of the exhaust sensor problem he suffered on Friday morning.
And team-mate Jenson Button also spent the majority of the session in the garage, save for a couple of early installation laps.
Lotus finally got some mileage this weekend as Pastor Maldonado managed a total of 20 laps across the hour, although he and his team-mate Romain Grosjean suffered a number of off-track excursions as they struggled to dial the set-up into the car.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.008s 13 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.240s +0.232s 13 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m40.156s +1.148s 13 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.387s +1.379s 14 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m40.523s +1.515s 15 6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m40.686s +1.678s 14 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.736s +1.728s 14 8. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m40.781s +1.773s 20 9. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m40.891s +1.883s 20 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m41.029s +2.021s 15 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.182s +2.174s 18 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.441s +2.433s 18 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.552s +2.544s 15 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.041s +3.033s 17 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m42.749s +3.741s 16 16. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m43.539s +4.531s 20 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.977s +4.969s 16 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m44.170s +5.162s 18 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m44.457s +5.449s 12 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m46.015s +7.007s 7 21. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m05.555s +26.547s 4 22. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 5
Malaysian GP: Raikkonen sees progress with F1 car issues
Kimi Raikkonen suggested that he might have made a breakthrough with his Ferrari Formula 1 car after an encouraging Malaysian Grand Prix practice day.
The 2007 F1 champion was uncomfortable with aspects of the Ferrari F14 T’s characteristics throughout testing and the season-opening Australian GP.
But Raikkonen was second fastest in both Friday practice sessions at Sepang.
Although he continued to play down his prospects, he acknowledged that the timesheets reflected a genuine improvement since Australia.
"This was definitely a positive day and I had a better feeling compared to Friday in Melbourne," he said.
"I was more comfortable with the F14 T today.
"Even if we had no problems whatsoever, we know there’s still a long way to go and a lot to do."
Both Ferraris showed promise on longer runs in particular, with Fernando Alonso fifth in practice two.
Da Sky F1, commenti pre Libere 1:
Commenti post libere:
Malaysian GP: Nico Rosberg ends Friday on top for Mercedes
Nico Rosberg ended the first day of Malaysian Grand Prix practice fastest for Mercedes, continuing his strong run of form at the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season.
The Australian Grand Prix winner was among the first of the frontrunners to switch onto the faster medium-compound tyre.
He knocked Felipe Massa’s Williams, which had been the first to top the timesheets on the quicker rubber, off top spot shortly after the 30-minute mark.
Rosberg’s Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton went second fastest, a tenth-and-a-half slower than Rosberg, shortly afterwards but appeared to have the pace to go quicker but for a slow middle sector.
The Mercedes were then split by the back-on-form Kimi Raikkonen, who was only 0.035s slower than Rosberg as he went second for Ferrari.
This was just enough to retain second ahead of Sebastian Vettel, whose Red Bull set its fastest time on his second flying lap on medium rubber, which suggests the RB10 is proving to be kind on its tyres in the heat of Malaysia.
Fernando Alonso ended up fifth fastest, half a tenth slower than Hamilton and just eight thousandths of a second quicker than Massa.
Alonso had earlier set the pace when the field was running on fresh hard rubber, his earlier lap of 1m40.737s good enough to shade Hamilton on the Mercedes driver’s best mark on the slower Pirellis.
Jenson Button, driving the upgraded McLaren that includes a modified nose as part of a significant update package, was eighth fastest behind Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, which suffered a brief off late in the session, and ahead of Bottas in the second Williams.
But Button’s team-mate had a more difficult day. Kevin Magnussen was forced to stop during the morning session when an exhaust temperature sensor warning kicked in and he completed only a couple of installation laps early on in practice two before going straight into his medium-tyre running and ending up 12th fastest.
The session was characterised by plenty of spectacular moments as drivers struggled for rear-end grip.
Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne suffered a spin at the final corner and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg locked up and ran through the gravel at the exit of the same turn, later setting a time good enough to beat the Frenchman into the top 10.
Marussia driver Max Chilton also suffered a spin at Turn 3 early in the session. He was unable to get the car going again, but was recovered to the pits and returned to the track later on.
Lotus endured another difficult session. Pastor Maldonado did not run at all because of what is believed to be a turbo problem that developed in morning practice.
Team-mate Romain Grosjean did take to the track, but his running was first interrupted and then ended prematurely by a gearbox problem.
Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi was unable to run because of an energy store problem that cropped up during morning practice and a subsequent gearbox issue, although team-mate Marcus Ericsson was able to complete a full programme.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.909s 30 2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.944s +0.035s 30 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.970s +0.061s 30 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m40.051s +0.142s 32 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.103s +0.194s 29 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m40.112s +0.203s 34 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m40.276s +0.367s 29 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.628s +0.719s 28 9. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m40.638s +0.729s 35 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m40.691s +0.782s 34 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m40.777s +0.868s 33 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.014s +1.105s 20 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.257s +1.348s 28 14. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.325s +1.416s 32 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.407s +1.498s 34 16. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m41.671s +1.762s 25 17. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m42.531s +2.622s 14 18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.638s +3.729s 20 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.752s +3.843s 29 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m45.703s +5.794s 31 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 0 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 0
Malaysian GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest for Mercedes in practice one
Lewis Hamilton set the early pace in the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend with the quickest time in the opening free practice session for Mercedes.
The Briton recorded his fastest time, a 1m40.691s lap, 0.152 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, an hour into the session, at the hot and humid Sepang International Circuit.
The first Formula 1 running early on Friday morning was characterised by a number of drivers struggling with rear grip and locking brakes on the dry and dusty circuit.
Fernando Alonso spun his Ferrari at the high-speed Turn 8 – a mistake repeated at the same corner by Williams’s Felipe Massa. Hamilton went off at Turn 11 in the closing stages and the errors pointed to the general lack of grip at the tricky Sepang track.
A few teams suffered reliability problems in the blistering heat as they continued to adjust to their new 1.6-litre V6 power units.
McLaren’s Keven Magnussen had just set the fastest time before the hour mark when his car came to a halt after losing engine power at the pitlane entrance. He set the fifth fastest time overall, just one place behind team-mate Jenson Button.
World champion Sebastian Vettel ended practice one in seventh place – 0.832s off Hamilton’s quickest lap.
Lotus hit the most trouble as Romain Grosjean stopped out on track after just two laps of running with a problem with his MGU-H, while team-mate Pastor Maldonado spent most of the session in the garage.
He emerged from the pits less than 20 minutes from the end of practice only to suffer a smoky end to his first lap back out of the pits.
Rosberg ended up third fastest in his Mercedes, but the Australian Grand Prix winner radioed into his team with an early concern with his car after he locked the rear brakes and nearly spun while entering the pitlane after his installation lap right at the beginning of the practice period.
Practice benefited from the use of the additional bonus tyre in the first half and hour and during that time Alonso was initially fastest ahead of Magnussen.
Among other incidents, Caterham’s Marcus Ericssion and Sauber’s Adrian Sutil both looped their cars under braking for the final corner but continued unharmed.
Sergio Perez suffered problems with his Force India and after his installation lap failed to complete another lap of the session.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m40.691s 19 2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m40.843s +0.152s 20 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.028s +0.337s 19 4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.111s +0.420s 20 5. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.274s +0.583s 18 6. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.402s +0.711s 15 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.523s +0.832s 9 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m41.642s +0.951s 19 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m41.686s +0.995s 23 10. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m41.830s +1.139s 22 11. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m41.923s +1.232s 14 12. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m42.117s +1.426s 20 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.365s +1.674s 21 14. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m42.869s +2.178s 21 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.904s +2.213s 23 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.825s +3.134s 18 17. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m45.775s +5.084s 24 18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m46.911s +6.220s 10 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m51.180s +10.489s 5 20. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2 21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2 22. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4
Q: Kimi, seventh in Australia and a bulletin from the Ferrari team since then with some quotes from you saying that one of the problems was the brake-by-wire system in particular. Would you give us a bit more detail on that?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: ah, I don’t know where that came from. It’s not the issue. There is nothing wrong with the system. Somebody asked me after the race and I said ‘it’s not that’ – because they kind of said ‘is there some issue?’ It’s not true. But just mainly setup to get the car as I like it, as I wanted to have it and I’m sure once… we’re making some stuff for me, so hopefully once we get those it will get a bit more easy to get a bit more feeling in the front end. But it will take a little while. Obviously not the ideal start for the year, for the team, not what we obviously want to achieve. We want to do much better results but after all the difficulties over the weekend and how difficult it was, how many areas, just the small things. At least we got something out and it’s going to be a long year, so hopefully we can now build on it. We have plenty of good people and they’re working flat out as a group to improve things. So, we still have things to do but I’m sure we can keep progressing.
Q: With the nature of this particular circuit, do you think that you and we will be able to see more of what this Ferrari car is capable of this weekend, perhaps than we did in Australia?
KR: I don’t know. Every circuit is different. Obviously it is very hot, humid here, slightly different tyres here I think, so I have no idea. Even from the past years it was very difficult to say from race to race and especially with this new year with new rules. It will be hard but hopefully we get a bit better feeling and overall have a bit more experience and all the things run the weekend through a little bit more cleanly and hopefully get the better results.
Q: (Kate Walker – crash.net) For all of you: we’ve heard quite a lot of negative headlines, negative news reports about the new formula. I’d like to get some positive feedback from you on what these new cars are like to drive and how much fun they are to race.
KR: I don’t think it’s awfully different as a driver, to compare last year’s cars to this year’s. Obviously there are some small detailed issues but it’s the bigger issues that make a difference for me, just to be in a different team. Every team feels a bit different, different cars. It doesn’t really change an awful lot as a driver.
Q: (Adrian Rodriguez Huber – Agencia EFE) Kimi, how has your relationship with Fernando Alonso developed if it has, in any direction, since you guys have become teammates?
KR: It’s good, it always been good. Now, obviously, it’s early days but there was a lot of talk in the media from you guys, different people saying different things, but it’s been good. But the team has been trying to improve things and get the team to where we want to be.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, did you have any temptation to go to drive the simulator to get better settings for you?
Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) Kimi, can we say that Ferrari will be more able to attack Mercedes and the other teams here?
KR: Like I said before, we don’t know how it’s going to be here. I would say it’s a different circuit, it will be very hard for the cars, the heat. We have to wait and see how we can do. Obviously we learned quite a bit on things from the last race but then it’s the same for every team. Hopefully we can be a bit more happy and see where we end up.
Q: So where do you think you are? Second? Third fastest car?
KR: I think we are more or less where we finished.
Kimi Raikkonen’s problems not just with Ferrari’s brake-by-wire
Kimi Raikkonen insists that wider set-up issues with his new Ferrari, rather than a specific problem with brake-by-wire, are the cause of his current Formula 1 struggles.
The Finn endured a difficult Australian Grand Prix weekend, having a hard time getting enough confidence with the front-end feel of his F14 T.
Although it was suggested in a team release that the key issue that he needed to resolve was with the brake-by-wire system, the Finn made it clear in Malaysia on Thursday that the problem was much bigger than that.
"I don’t know where that came from, that is not the issue," he said about suggestions he had blamed the brake-by-wire.
"There is nothing wrong with the system. Somebody asked after the race if there was an issue, but it was not true.
"It is mainly set-up – to get the car how I like it to run it. And I am sure that when we make some stuff for it – hopefully once we get those – it will be a bit more easy and I will get a bit more feeling in the front end."
When asked if he had been tempted to work in Ferrari’s simulator to help sort out the set-up problems, Raikkonen said: "No."
Ferrari knows it needs to lift its performance if it is going to be able to challenge early pacesetter Mercedes, but Raikkonen sees no need to doubt that his team can do so.
"Obviously it is not the ideal start for the year, for the team, for what we want to achieve," he said.
"After all the difficulties over the [Australia] weekend, at least we got something out of it.
"Now we can just build on it. There are plenty of good people working flat-out. We still have things to do but I am sure we can keep progress."
Da Raisport, intervista del weekend:
Da Sky, drivers’ parade:
“Ask to change!”
Da Sky, intervista fine gara:
Da Sky Race Anatomy:
Raikkonen: Weekend difficile
“Oggi non è stata una gara semplice. All’inizio sono riuscito a partire bene e anche se alla prima curva sono stato toccato da una vettura che era dietro non ho subito alcun danno. La velocità era buona ma ad un tratto ho iniziato a soffrire di graining sulle gomme anteriori, avevo scarsa aderenza e molto sottosterzo, e da quel momento in poi il comportamento della macchina non è stato più lo stesso. Quando è arrivato il momento della prima sosta abbiamo dovuto effettuare un doppio pit-stop e questo mi è costato una posizione. Certamente è troppo presto per esprimere giudizi definitivi, perché anche se in questo momento non ci troviamo nelle condizioni migliori, siamo comunque riusciti a portare a termine la corsa, guadagnando punti importanti. Non possiamo essere soddisfatti di questo risultato e sappiamo di dover migliorare in molte aree, ma sono sicuro che l’analisi dei dati raccolti in questa prima gara ci fornirà un’idea più chiara della direzione da seguire”.
Pat Fry: “Alla vigilia della gara portare al traguardo entrambe le vetture sembrava il compito più difficile, ma alla fine l’obiettivo è stato centrato. Oggi abbiamo visto quanto l’affidabilità non si possa dare per scontata: oltre a sorprendere diverse vetture, in alcune fasi di gara ha limitato la nostra prestazione. Su entrambe le F14 T abbiamo sofferto qualche problema di natura elettrica, soprattutto su quella di Kimi, non riuscendo a sfruttare tutta la potenza a disposizione. […] Kimi ha fatto una grande partenza ma poi per gran parte della gara ha sofferto il graining sugli pneumatici anteriori e si è ritrovato costretto a difendere senza la possibilità di attaccare. Ora ci aspetta molto lavoro se vogliamo migliorare le prestazioni della vettura, davanti a noi abbiamo rivali molto forti ma anche tutti gli strumenti per colmare il divario tra noi e loro”.
Raikkonen suffered several lock-ups in the sister F14 T, as he battled in the lower reaches of the top 10, after getting clipped by Kamui Kobayashi’s brakeless Caterham at the first corner.
He said issues with tyre-graining after the first pitstop were to blame for his struggles, rather than braking problems.
"The brakes are fine, we grained the front tyre and then you have no grip on the front," said Raikkonen.
"That is the main issue, [but] it is a combination of things. It is not the easiest thing but I’m sure we will find a solution for it at some point.
"We work until we fix it. If it takes a week or a month, I don’t care. This is how it goes sometimes."
Australian GP: Nico Rosberg dominates in Melbourne for Mercedes
Nico Rosberg dominated the first race of Formula 1′s new turbocharged hybrid engine era to win the 2014 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne for Mercedes.
The German made a superb start from third on the grid, passing Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull and the polesitting Mercedes of team-mate Lewis Hamilton to grab the lead.
Rosberg made the most of the W05′s pace advantage to streak away from the field at will and record the fourth grand prix victory of his career, despite an early interruption by the safety car when Valtteri Bottas clipped a wall and shed the right-rear tyre from his Williams.
Rosberg’s team-mate Hamilton slipped back to fourth on the first lap as he struggled with an engine problem in his Mercedes.
After initial confusion as to whether he should soldier on, the 2008 world champion retired his W05 into the pits as early as the third lap of 57.
Australian home hero Ricciardo completed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Red Bull by narrowly beating McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen to finish second.
The world champion squad looked to be in desperate trouble in pre-season testing, but made enormous strides with its Renault-engined car in Australia, allowing Ricciardo to score an unlikely maiden podium in his first race for the team.
Things were less rosy for Ricciardo’s world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who started out of sequence on the medium tyre after a disappointing result in qualifying on Saturday consigned him to a row six start.
His struggles with a lack of power from his Renault engine continued into the race and he joined Hamilton in retirement after only five laps.
McLaren rookie Magnussen completed the podium on his F1 debut, after surviving a wild oversteer moment shortly after the start. The reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion beat team-mate Jenson Button to third spot by 3.2 seconds.
The 2009 world champion started down on row five after his final flying lap in Q2 was spoiled by yellow flags, but he used smart strategy to jump from the fringes of the top 10 to sixth as the safety car came out, then overhaul Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India at the second round of stops.
Williams driver Bottas overcame Jean-Eric Vergne’s wildly oversteering Toro Rosso and Hulkenberg in the closing stages to finish sixth, but will rue what might have been after a messy race.
The Finn starred in the early stages as he worked the Williams through to the top six from 15th on the grid, but the Finn touched the wall coming out of Turn 10 on lap 11 and broke his right rear wheel.
He avoided suspension damage and pitted for a replacement, before working his way back through the field.
A decent points finish was at least some reward for the raid Williams after Felipe Massa was wiped out by Kamui Kobayashi’s locked-up Caterham at the first corner on the first lap.
Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari beat the Toro Rossos of Vergne and F1 rookie Daniil Kvyat as these three completed the top 10.
Perez’s Force India, both Saubers, and both Marussias also made the flag as 15 cars in total made the finish.
Jules Bianchi finished eight laps down and unclassified after failing to make it off the grid, causing an aborted start and forcing him to start from the pitlane behind the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.
Grosjean made it to lap 45 before retiring his troublesome twin-tusk E22, while team-mate Pastor Maldonado and Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson also stopped out on-track shortly after half-distance.
Result - 57 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h32m58.710s 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +24.525s 3. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +26.777s 4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +30.027s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +35.284s 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +47.639s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +50.718s 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +57.675s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault +1m00.441s 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +1m03.585s 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +1m25.916s 12. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap 14. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps 15. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari +8 laps* * Not classified Retirements: Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 43 laps Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 29 laps Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 27 laps Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 3 laps Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2 laps Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 0 laps Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 0 laps Drivers' championship: 1. Nico Rosberg 25 2. Daniel Ricciardo 18 3. Kevin Magnussen 15 4. Jenson Button 12 5. Fernando Alonso 10 6. Valtteri Bottas 8 7. Nico Hulkenberg 6 8. Kimi Raikkonen 4 9. Jean-Eric Vergne 2 10. Daniil Kvyat 1 Constructors' championship: 1. McLaren/Mercedes 27 2. Mercedes 25 3. Red Bull/Renault 18 4. Ferrari 14 5. Williams/Mercedes 8 6. Force India/Mercedes 6 7. Toro Rosso/Renault 3
Da Raisport (PW: leavemealone9)
Australian GP: Kimi Raikkonen says traffic more costly than crash
Kimi Raikkonen says it was traffic, and not his trip into the wall, that cost him a chance of progressing into the final part of Australian Grand Prix qualifying.
The Finn sparked chaos in the closing stages of Q2 when he spun on the exit of Turn 3, nosing his Ferrari into the wall and bringing out the yellow flags.
The crash ended Raikkonen’s first Formula 1 qualifying session of 2014 on the spot, ensuring that he had no chance of improving beyond 12th position.
However, Raikkonen says traffic had already ruined his chances of going through to Q3, and that he was actually heading back to the pits when he spun.
"I didn’t have any more time to do an extra lap, so on that lap I would have come in anyway," he said.
"I was playing around with the switches or something, and I got a little bit of wheelspin and touched the wall. But the car is more or less OK.
"It was just my mistake. I got a little bit of wheelspin, I wasn’t pushing anymore, but I couldn’t catch it.
"That didn’t change the fact we had traffic on the previous lap. There was a McLaren going very slowly through Turn 5, and there were some other cars in front of us, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
"In the wet we had the speed, it was just the traffic."
Australian GP: Hamilton denies Ricciardo pole in damp, Vettel 13th
Lewis Hamilton claimed the first pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, while world champion Sebastian Vettel failed even to make Q3.
The Mercedes driver, on wet tyres, knocked Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was on intermediate rubber, off top spot by three tenths of a second in the final seconds of a rain-hit session.
Nico Rosberg, who had briefly taken first place before Hamilton and Ricciardo improved late on, was third ahead of McLaren’s rookie Kevin Magnussen.
Both drivers, as well as fifth-placed Ferrari man Fernando Alonso, set their times on wet rubber with opinion split among the 10 runners as to which tyre compound was preferable.
Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne showed his wet weather prowess with a superb sixth place ahead of Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, both setting their times on intermediates.
Behind the pair was debutant Daniil Kvyat, who impressed despite an off in Q3 on the run between Turns 10 and 11.
He took eighth place on wet rubber, ahead of Williams drivers Felipe Massa (intermediates) and Valtteri Bottas (wets), although the latter must serve a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change before qualifying.
Several of the drivers who failed to advance from Q2 to Q3 were unable to improve thanks to yellow flags caused by Kimi Raikkonen’s late crash as rain returned in intermediate conditions.
The Ferrari driver lost the rear at the exit of Turn 3 and spun into the wall, with Vettel among those who were attempting to jump into the top 10 at the time.
With both failing to make the cut in 12th and 13th, Jenson Button made it three world champions to fail to make the top 10 shootout in 11th.
Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi and Force India driver Sergio Perez, who ran through the gravel at Turn 2 on his final flying lap, also fell in Q2.
Marussia driver Max Chilton was the fastest of the drivers to be knocked out in Q1, which was effectively ended at a point when most had managed only one run thanks to rain at the halfway mark.
Chilton was just 19 thousandths of a second slower than Kobayashi, who did make the cut but was unable to do better than 15th in the second stage of qualifying.
Chilton’s eam-mate Jules Bianchi, Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez (who will be hit with a five-place penalty for a gearbox change) and Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson were also eliminated in Q1.
Joining them were the two Lotus E22s of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, the latter not able to attempt a lap until the damp conditions late on and having two off-track excursions before aborting his run.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m44.231s 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m44.548s +0.317s 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m44.595s +0.364s 4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m45.745s +1.514s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m45.819s +1.588s 6. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m45.864s +1.633s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m46.030s +1.799s 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m47.360s +3.129s 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m48.079s +3.848s 10. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m48.147s +3.916s Q3 cut-off: 1m44.331s ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.437s +2.173s 12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m44.494s +2.230s 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m44.668s +2.404s 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m45.655s +3.391s 15. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m45.867s +3.603s 16. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m47.293s +5.029s Q2 cut-off: 1m34.274s *** 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.293s +4.118s 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.794s +4.619s 19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.117s +4.942s 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m35.157s +4.982s 21. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m36.993s +6.818s 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 107 per cent: 1m37.129s ** Gap to 1st in Q2 *** Gap to 1st in Q3
Australian GP: Rosberg dominates final practice in Melbourne
Nico Rosberg was comfortably quickest for Mercedes in third practice for the 2014 Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix, eclipsing second-placed Jenson Button by 1.391s.
The Mercedes W05 was clearly the fastest car on both of the available tyre compounds as both Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton led the times during early running on mediums.
Rosberg was the first to lap under 1m30s after swapping to softs, lowering the bar to 1m29.375s, and while Hamilton was fastest of all in the first sector in response, he lost time in the middle sector to end the session fourth quickest, 1.501s off Rosberg’s best.
Even though there were spots of rain before the green flag and it was generally cloudier than yesterday, with a gusting wind, the top runners quickly got into the groove and began to improve their times.
Button reported a litany of imperfections in his McLaren’s performance, from locking rear brakes to poor balance on corner entry and exit. But on soft tyres at the end he found enough speed to go second fastest overall, just over a tenth of a second quicker than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard was the most assured of the Scuderia’s drivers, lapping comfortably while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen ran off-track more than once as he struggled with his car’s balance and finished the session 1.7s off the ultimate pace.
Daniel Ricciardo was quickest of the Red Bulls with 1m30.970s, accomplished on the soft tyres, but Sebastian Vettel was a full 2.880s off Rosberg’s best and finished final practice complaining of a lack of acceleration.
Williams had a less positive session than yesterday, with Felipe Massa propping up the top 10 and Valtteri Bottas completing just two untimed laps before parking his FW36. He will incur a five-place grid penalty after the team confirmed it would have to change his car’s gearbox.
Those teams whose new cars are in a less mature state of development continued to struggle. Esteban Gutierrez returned to the Sauber garage after reporting a gearbox problem and sat out the remainder of the session.
Both Lotus and Marussia had to use one of their six permitted ‘jokers’ to break the curfew on garage working hours, but they, along with Caterham, at least ran more laps than yesterday.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m29.375s 15 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.766s +1.391s 20 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.876s +1.501s 11 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m30.919s +1.544s 13 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m30.970s +1.595s 13 6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m30.978s +1.603s 16 7. Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1m31.156s +1.781s 12 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.251s +1.876s 22 9. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m31.665s +2.290s 17 10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m31.723s +2.348s 20 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m31.925s +2.550s 17 12. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m32.255s +2.880s 14 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m32.417s +3.042s 16 14. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.184s +4.809s 15 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m34.188s +4.813s 16 16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m34.413s +5.038s 19 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.717s +5.342s 15 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m34.754s +5.379s 15 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m36.159s +6.784s 21 20. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2 21. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2 22. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4
Australian GP: Ferrari says sorting Raikkonen problems a priority
Ferrari says that sorting out the problems that are stopping Kimi Raikkonen getting the best out of his Formula 1 car is a priority.
Raikkonen had a difficult first day of practice in Australia on Friday, ending the second session eight tenths of a second behind team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said the team needed to move swiftly to help Raikkonen.
When asked about the Finn’s performances, he said: "We need to make sure that all the things that are still not solved – not only on Kimi’s side – have to be solved or addressed very quickly because the competition is very strong and the time that we have available is not a lot.
"For me, the most important thing is to address and to solve the issue very quickly.
"The driver is not really the problem because I’m sure that both drivers will be able to manage the situation in the best way that they can, but there is still a lot of work to do."
Domenicali accepts that Ferrari is not the quickest team at the moment, but feels there are plenty of possibilities for the team to recover over the next few races.
"What we have to do is keep working on the things we know," he said.
"We need to improve and that’s the way it is.
"For sure there were different things to test and to try between the drivers, but that’s part of the normal programme we do.
"In my view today maybe you will see that some teams were a little bit hiding or having some issues for the day.
"Tomorrow the situation will be different again."
Australian GP: Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in practice two
Lewis Hamilton recovered from a disastrous morning to top the first day of practice for the Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix in his Mercedes.
The 2008 world champion stopped on only his second lap of the first session thanks to a sensor calibration problem, meaning he had not completed a flying lap heading into the afternoon.
Hamilton was one of the last of the frontrunners to set a time on fresh Pirelli soft tyres in practice two, waiting until the second half of the session before setting his time.
A stunning final sector allowed him to depose Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets by 0.157 seconds.
Nobody else was able to get close to Rosberg, who had underlined the strength of Mercedes by setting the fastest time achieved on medium-compound Pirellis earlier in the afternoon.
Rosberg looked set to retain his position on the faster rubber after knocking Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, who was among the earliest drivers to bolt on the softs and briefly went fastest, off top spot at around the halfway mark of the 90-minute session, only for Hamilton to show his pace.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who was Rosberg’s closest rival on the medium rubber, ended up third fastest, half-a-second off Hamilton.
While the Spaniard was unable to match the Mercedes over the full lap, he was the quickest of all in the first sector at Albert Park.
Sebastian Vettel rounded out an encouraging first day of the season for Red Bull in fourth overall despite an off-track moment at Turn 1 early in the session having dropped a wheel onto the grass at corner entry.
He ended up three-quarters of a second down in fourth place, with team-mate Ricciardo sixth fastest, 0.157s slower than Vettel.
Splitting the Red Bulls was three times Australian GP winner Jenson Button, who was fastest in sector two but struggled with understeer.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest, although his session was interrupted by what is believed to have been a gearbox glitch when he was preparing for a practice start.
The lead Williams of Valtteri Bottas was eighth overall, 1.3s down, although on medium rubber the deficit to the Mercedes had been around half that.
Several drivers had off-track moments during the session, with Kevin Magnussen enduring a bumpy ride after running wide exiting Turn 12 early on and Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne going straight on at Turn 3 and through the gravel trap.
Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez also had a grassy moment exiting Turn 2 while scrapping for territory with Vettel.
Late in the session, Nico Hulkenberg locked the rears under braking for Turn 9 and spun into the gravel.
Almost simultaneously, Romain Grosjean buried his Lotus in the gravel at Turn 6 after losing the rear under braking and slapping the wall with the left-rear corner.
Only 19 drivers were able to set a time, with Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham unable to run thanks to a "power unit-related fuel system issue" that struck in morning practice.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was at least able to get onto the circuit, but a hydraulics problem on his installation lap forced him to return to the pits and the team was unable to get him back out again.
Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado did leave the garage, but was unable to make it out of the pitlane after stopping with a suspected ERS problem that the team did not have time to resolve.
This rounded off a dismal day for Lotus, with Grosjean the second slowest of the drivers who did set a time before his late off.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.625s 37 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m29.782s +0.157s 31 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.132s +0.507s 28 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.381s +0.756s 41 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.510s +0.885s 33 6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m30.538s +0.913s 38 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m30.898s +1.273s 32 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m30.920s +1.295s 38 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.031s +1.406s 34 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m31.054s +1.429s 33 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m31.060s +1.435s 35 12. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m31.119s +1.494s 31 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m31.283s +1.658s 36 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.355s +2.730s 36 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.468s +2.843s 26 16. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m32.495s +2.870s 36 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m33.486s +3.861s 29 18. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m33.646s +4.021s 12 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.757s +5.132s 29 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1 21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 22. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault
Australian GP: Fernando Alonso and Ferrari fastest in practice one
Fernando Alonso prevailed over Jenson Button as McLaren and Ferrari traded places up front in the first Formula 1 practice session of 2014 at the Australian Grand Prix.
Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were just hundredths of a second off Button’s pace.
But there was disappointment for pre-season favourite Mercedes, with Nico Rosberg only sixth fastest behind Daniel Ricciardo’s much-improved Red Bull, and Lewis Hamilton stopping on track on his out-lap.
Ferrari was first to break the silence as Alonso’s F14 T rumbled out of the pitlane and on to the track to complete a historic, if uneventful, installation lap.
Quite against the pre-season run of form, though, it was Mercedes that claimed the unfortunate accolade of being first to suffer a breakdown during a race weekend.
The session was but five minutes old when Hamilton came to a halt at the exit of Turn 8, a wisp of smoke curling from the rear of his W05 as its engine shut down in response to an oil pressure warning.
Hamilton returned to the pits with his helmet in place, visor down, cold-shouldering an official who requested sight of his pass at the paddock gate.
In contrast, four times world champion Sebastian Vettel lounged on the pitwall with his overalls tied around his waist as his team-mate Ricciardo became the first driver of the weekend to complete a flying lap.
Sergio Perez was the first to spin and Daniil Kvyat the first to explore the gravel trap at the exit of Turn 1, followed in short order by Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, with the team having numerous excursions through the session amid braking system issues.
Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso were busiest in the first half of the session, each running multiple-lap stints with both of their cars, although Kimi Raikkonen’s programme was interrupted by an ERS-K failure that Ferrari fixed within 25 minutes.
As in testing, Mercedes-powered cars covered the bulk of the mileage, but Red Bull has clearly made some progress on reliability; Ricciardo amassed 26 laps and Vettel, after sitting out most of the first hour, ran one installation lap followed by a five-lap timed run, and then another four in the final minutes to go seventh fastest overall.
Both Williams drivers embarked on multiple stints, making good use of the extra set of Pirelli tyres permitted during this session.
Bottas did the most running in the first hour before Massa took to the track, and while the Brazilian veteran was initially faster, Bottas subsequently eclipsed his time and was quickest of all in the middle sector.
Plenty of teams reported teething troubles: McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen alluded to engine problems over the team-radio and Button was not getting lap time readouts on his steering wheel.
Marussia had a low-key session, with Jules Bianchi completing two three-lap stints while team-mate Max Chilton set a time on just one of his four laps.
Besides Hamilton, four other drivers failed to set a time. Both Caterhams completed just one installation lap before returning to the garage for attention to problems with the electrics on Marcus Ericsson’s car and the fuel system on Kamui Kobayashi’s.
Neither Lotus emerged until the final quarter-hour, and Pastor Maldonado promptly deposited his E22 in the gravel at Turn 13 on his installation lap before cruising back to the pits.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.840s 20 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.357s +0.517s 23 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m32.403s +0.563s 27 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m32.431s +0.591s 19 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m32.599s +0.759s 26 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.604s +0.764s 17 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m32.793s +0.953s 10 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.847s +1.007s 28 9. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m32.977s +1.137s 18 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m33.446s +1.606s 30 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m33.533s +1.693s 23 12. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m33.855s +2.015s 24 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m34.272s +2.432s 27 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.578s +3.738s 7 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.445s +4.605s 13 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m40.859s +9.019s 6 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m46.922s +15.082s 4 18. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1 19. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1 21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2 22. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault
GP d’Australia – Raikkonen: “Un nuovo inizio”
Melbourne, 13 marzo – Lo scorso anno Kimi Raikkonen ha vinto il Gran Premio d’Australia ma su una vettura diversa, la Lotus. Il finlandese è ora invece al volante della Ferrari con la quale debuttò vincendo proprio qui nel 2007: “È l’inizio di una nuova stagione, vediamo come va”, questa la posizione di Raikkonen alla conferenza stampa del giovedì con i giornalisti: “Sono con un nuovo team, ma ho già gareggiato con loro e quindi l’adattamento è stato molto più semplice”.
La familiarità con pista e team non significano che il pilota di Espoo abbia già un’idea di come può andare questo weekend: “Ogni stagione porta con sé degli interrogativi, il loro numero di solito dipende da come sono andati i test” – ha affermato – “Quest’anno, con un cambiamento di regole piuttosto radicale, è un po’ più complicato cercare di comprendere a quale livello siamo e dire che cosà potrà succedere, anche se ciascuno ha un’idea di massima di quanto vale. Credo però che sarà necessario attendere le prime gare per farsi un’idea più chiara dei valori in campo. Per questo non ha molto senso arrovellarsi per cercare di capire la nostra competitività in questo momento. Alcune squadre sono sembrate un po’ più veloci di noi nei test, ma qui è tutto diverso, a cominciare dalla pista visto che Albert Park è molto differente dal circuito del Bahrain. Secondo me può succedere di tutto. Ovviamente io voglio vincere e spero che saremo in condizione di farlo e di giocarci il campionato. Le condizioni meteo potrebbero rendere questa corsa ancora più difficile e con le nuove regole si potrebbe materializzare un quadro piuttosto diverso rispetto a quando potevamo gareggiare con più benzina a bordo”.
Come ci si poteva attendere da un personaggio come Kimi, non è che aver vinto due volte ad Albert Park lo abbia fatto particolarmente affezionare al circuito: “Non credo che questa pista sia particolarmente speciale anche se a Melbourne vengono tutti volentieri” – ha dichiarato – “Dal momento che è la prima gara della stagione, di solito c’è sempre qualcosa che rende la gara eccitante, ma non è detto che perché ho vinto qui l’anno scorso io parta favorito. L’obiettivo è portare a casa più punti possibile, speriamo di non avere troppi problemi e di vivere un weekend senza intoppi. Se andrà così, credo che sarà interessante verificare dove ci troveremo rispetto ai nostri avversari”.
Per quanto riguarda l’approccio al weekend di gara da parte di Kimi poche e chiare parole: “Ci sono diversi ambiti in cui dobbiamo ancora migliorare parecchio ma spero di trovarmi a mio agio con la vettura fin dalle prove libere di domani”.