A proposito di Kimi

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4 chances per sperare–16/10/2017


Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari can still win any of 2017’s last four GPs

Kimi Raikkonen believes Ferrari can win any of the 2017 Formula 1 season’s remaining four grands prix if it can eliminate mistakes and get on top of its reliability problems.

Ferrari’s championship aspirations have imploded in the last three races, with the team now trailing Mercedes by 145 points while Sebastian Vettel is 59 behind Lewis Hamilton with 100 remaining.

Vettel and Raikkonen were wiped out on the first lap in Singapore, and both were hampered by engine problems at different stages of the Malaysian GP weekend.

Then in Japan, Vettel retired early on with a spark plug failure, while Raikkonen could only finish fifth following a grid penalty prompted by damage from a practice crash.

Asked which of the final four races – United States, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi – offered Ferrari the best chance of victory, Raikkonen said: "Any of them, as long as we do everything as well as possible.

"It’s a bit unknown, the tracks are different from each other.

"So we go every weekend, start from zero and do the best that we can and avoid the issues and mistakes."

Ferrari had a car capable of taking a one-two in Singapore and arguably Malaysia too, while in Japan it looked capable of pushing Mercedes before it hit trouble.

But the engine problems, driver error and misfortune has contributed to Ferrari scoring just 22 points in those three races compared to 105 for Mercedes.

"I don’t know what is going to happen – nobody knows," said Raikkonen regarding Ferrari’s chances in the constructors’ championship.

"But I know we are going to push until the last lap in the last race and see where we end up.

"It hasn’t been the greatest races lately but I think we have the speed when they put things in the right place – that is at least something positive."

Da Autosport.com

Compagni di squadra–16/10/2017


Vettel: Raikkonen’s lack of politics makes him best team-mate

Sebastian Vettel says Kimi Raikkonen is the best team-mate he has ever had in Formula 1 because the Finn does not try to play political games.

Vettel has not always got on well with team-mates, having famously clashed several times with Mark Webber at Red Bull.

He and Raikkonen collided at the start of the Singapore GP earlier this season, but only because the German moved across to defend from Max Verstappen.

The four-time world champion has formed a strong working relationship with Raikkonen during their three years together at Maranello, where he has comfortably asserted himself as the lead driver.

They will remain team-mates for at least next season, with Vettel signing a new deal through to 2020 and Raikkonen extending his stay at Ferrari to the end of 2018.

Asked by Autosport in an exclusive interview what sort of team-mate he prefers, Vettel said: "It’s not your decision – and I don’t think it should be. So I don’t mind.

"Obviously it makes it a lot easier if you have somebody who you are working with that you feel the respect.

"You know, many times people tend to make things much more complicated than they are, especially in Formula 1, so it’s good if you can work with somebody where there are no politics or no confusions or anything.

"In this regard Kimi is probably the best team-mate that I had. He is pretty straightforward, but I also got along well with Daniel [Ricciardo].

"Then with Mark [Webber], obviously at times we had our differences.

"Also I have to say we were different generations, so we probably from the start were not that close, but that is how it is."

Having relished his switch to Ferrari since joining at the start of 2015, Vettel says that satisfaction for him these goes beyond pure results.

"I am very happy and honoured to race for Ferrari," he said. "But I want to win. Do I measure happiness in success? Probably not.

"But what makes me happy is if I can get out of the car and say that I’ve done everything I could and I’m happy with my own performance

"I think it makes me extremely happy to see that, to have the team behind me, to see that we are all together as one team.

"And apart from the racing side, obviously all the challenges that I have at home."

Da Autosport.com

Insoliti fan–09/10/2017


Villeneuve: “Mai visto un Raikkonen così forte nella sua carriera”

Sempre eccentrico nelle sue dichiarazioni, Jacques Villeneuve è tornato alla carica: in questo caso, però, non si tratta di attacchi spietati o sparate a zero, tutt’altro. L’ex campione del mondo canadese ha riservato parole di conforto a Kimi Raikkonen, protagonista in Ferrari dell’ennesima stagione altalenante. Analizzando le performance del finlandese, Villeneuve ha puntato il dito contro la malasorte: “Kimi ha avuto un po’ di sfortuna, ma a volte è stato più veloce di Vettel. In qualche modo poi le cose non vanno, fa una buona qualifica ma una gara negativa, o viceversa. Comunque, ha dimostrato che può essere veloce come Vettel: sono una combinazione di piloti perfetta”.

Villeneuve, infine, ha lodato la “versione 2017” di Raikkonen, a sua detta la migliore di sempre: “Non credo di aver mai visto un Kimi migliore. Non l’ho mai visto guidare meglio di così nella sua carriera”.

Da F1Grandprix.com

GP Giappone, commenti post gara–08/10/2017


Our starting position today was not ideal. I did a decent start on the soft tires and in the first lap I tried to gain some positions, but when I attempted to pass a Renault I ran wide and lost some places; so I had to make them back. The feeling in the car was a little bit tricky all the way through the race, not the nicest balance; some laps were ok, some others a bit more difficult. It’s quite tricky to follow other cars on this track; we did a fairly good job out of overtaking people but we were too far from those at the front. Obviously, the final result is far from being the best possible. As for Sebastian, I don’t know what happened; we have made a lot of improvements over the last few years as a team, but now, for whatever reason, we suddenly seem to have technical issues coming out from nothing. It’s kind of weird, our cars are running perfectly and suddenly on Sunday there is an problem that nobody expects. There is some work to be done on that side. Then we are going to push until the last lap of the last race and we’ll see where we end up.

Da Ferrari.com

GP Giappone, gara–08/10/2017


Hamilton wins the Japanese GP to close on F1 title, Vettel retires

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton closed in on the Formula 1 title with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix, beating Max Verstappen as Sebastian Vettel’s championship hopes took a blow with retirement.

Hamilton converted pole into an early lead while second-placed Vettel began to drop back immediately, minutes after his Ferrari team had taken the engine cover off the car on the grid to check a spark plug problem.

Vettel’s susbequent lack of pace after meant Verstappen, who passed Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo off the line, picked off Vettel at the hairpin on the opening lap, before the Ferrari dropped another three places at the start of the second tour.

After a brief safety car period, caused by Carlos Sainz crashing his Toro Rosso at Turn 6, Vettel slumped to eighth before getting the call on the radio to pit and retire the car on lap 4.

Hamilton then extended his lead to just over four seconds before Verstappen pitted to change his supersofts for soft tyres on lap 21, with Hamilton covering off the undercut on the following tour.

Bottas began to hold up Mercedes teammate Hamilton after Ricciardo made his stop, allowing Verstappen to close within a second of his rival, but the gap grew again when Bottas allowed Hamilton through at the Casio Triangle at the midway point and started to hold up Verstappen.

It wasn’t until lap 30 that Bottas pitted for supersofts by which time Verstappen had fallen 3.4s adrift.

The Dutchman then managed to cut Hamilton’s advantage to a little over two seconds, but couldn’t keep up the pace until Hamilton found himself impeded by Fernando Alonso on lap 51.

That allowed Verstappen to close to within a second at the start of the final lap, but more traffic allowed Hamilton to escape once more and seal the win by a slight margin.

Ricciardo completed the podium in third after a succession of fastest laps late on but couldn’t make further inroads after switching to supersoft tyres on lap 25.

The sole surviving Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth, recovering after dropping to 15th on the opening lap when he was forced wide at Spoon by Nico Hulkenberg.

The Force Indias of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez finished sixth and seventh. Ocon had run as high as third early on after passing Ricciardo on the opening lap, but was soon demoted to fifth on successive laps by Ricciardo and Bottas.

An aggressive late move at Turn 1 on the Williams of Felipe Massa gave Kevin Magnussen eighth place, with Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean following through to grab ninth.

Fernando Alonso finished 11th in the final home race for Honda as engine partner to McLaren, ahead of Jolyon Palmer’s Renault and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.

Stoffel Vandoorne came home 14th in the second McLaren after dropping to the rear on the first lap.

Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein was the only other finisher in 15th, his team-mate Marcus Ericsson crashing out early on at Degner 2.

Lance Stroll retired when an apparent failure on the front-right of his Williams sent him skating across the gravel late on, while Nico Hulkenberg’s DRS refusing to close forced him out.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 1h27m31.194s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1.211s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 9.679s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 10.580s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 32.622s
6 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1m07.788s
7 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1m11.424s
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1m28.953s
9 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1m29.883s
10 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1 Lap
13 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
15 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps
Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes Suspension
Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team Renault DRS
Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari Spun off
Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari Spark plug
Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault Spun off

Da Autosport.com

GP Giappone, commenti post qualifiche–07/10/2017


Japanese GP: Raikkonen qualifying woe part of crash’s ‘hefty price’

Kimi Raikkonen says he paid a "hefty price" for his mistake in final Japanese Grand Prix final practice, which hampered his Formula 1 qualifying preparations and forced a gearbox penalty.

The Ferrari driver damaged the left side of the car when he crashed at the second Degner right-hander halfway through Saturday morning’s final practice session at Suzuka.

Ferrari inspected the unit and decided a change was needed ahead of qualifying, which instigated a five-place grid penalty.

It repaired the car ready in time to get him out for qualifying, but Raikkonen went wide at the same corner on his first Q3 run and ended up sixth after his second.

"I just went off," said Raikkonen.

"It was a mistake, and I paid quite a hefty price for it with the penalty and far from ideal preparation for qualifying, but that’s how it goes.

"The first lap [in Q1] was far from ideal. On the second lap, I wasn’t sure how much there will be grip because it wasn’t a great feeling on the first run.

"The biggest issue was very limited running because of the issue this morning.

"At a place like this where you have to get it right to be able to go fast in the first sector, you pay a big price."

Raikkonen is expected to line up 10th after his penalty and will begin the race on the soft tyre, rather than the super-soft like most of those ahead of him.

He is hopeful of a stronger race on Sunday, given his feeling in the car before his accident on Saturday morning.

"It’s a bit tricky because of this morning, it’s not the greatest feeling in the end of qualifying," he said.

"Before we had the mistake, it’s been good. I think the race should be OK.

"I think we have a good car, we will do our best and see where we end up.

"It’s not going to be easy, but I’m sure we should have a pretty decent race."

Da Autosport.com


Raikkonen gets Japanese GP grid penalty after gearbox change

Kimi Raikkonen will take a five-place Formula 1 grid penalty into Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix after Ferrari changed his car’s gearbox after damage sustained in practice.

Raikkonen crashed at Degner 2 during final practice at Suzuka, bringing out the red-flag just over halfway through the one-hour session.

The rear of his Ferrari got away from him mid-corner and Raikkonen couldn’t gather it up before he hit the barriers, damaging the left side of his car.

Once the car was returned to the garage, Ferrari inspected the unit and decided to change it ahead of qualifying later.

Rules dictate gearboxes must last six consecutive events, with a driver incurring a five-place grid drop for an early change.

The only exceptions to these rules are for non-starters and non-finishers (for technical reasons) of the previous race, neither of which apply in Raikkonen’s case.

Da Autosport.com

GP Giappone, prove del sabato–07/10/2017


Japanese GP: Dominant Lewis Hamilton takes first Suzuka pole

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Formula 1’s Japanese Grand Prix with a dominant qualifying performance, leading a Mercedes one-two, while title rival Sebastian Vettel was third-fastest.

Hamilton was quickest in all phases of the session, as he claimed his first pole at Suzuka and smashed Michael Schumacher’s qualifying lap record from 2006.

The championship leader was more than four tenths clear of Vettel after the first runs in Q3 and lowered his own benchmark by a couple of hundredths to confirm pole.

Vettel’s Ferrari was provisionally on the front row after the first runs, but a small improvement at the end was not enough to stay second.

Valtteri Bottas, who almost crashed at the second Degner in Q1 after shunting in FP3, found a chunk of time on his own final run to make it onto the front row.

However, a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change on Bottas’s Mercedes will promote Vettel back onto the front row for Sunday’s race.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest in the best of the Red Bulls, just 0.026 seconds clear of team-mate Max Verstappen.

Kimi Raikkonen went off at the second Degner on his first run in Q3, scene of his crash in final practice, and his second effort was only good enough for sixth in the second Ferrari.

Raikkonen will also drop five places on the grid after requiring a new gearbox following that crash.

Esteban Ocon narrowly beat Sergio Perez again, while Felipe Massa’s Williams and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda rounded out the top 10 in Q3.

Perez is under investigation for impeding Massa’s Williams team-mate Lance Stroll in Q1, while Alonso will drop to the back of the grid thanks to a 35-place grid penalty for an illegal engine change, following a hydraulic leak discovered after Friday practice.

Alonso’s McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne missed out on beating Alonso into Q3 by just 0.029s after failing to improve on his second run, but he should start the race inside the top 10 thanks to Alonso’s grid penalty.

Nico Hulkenberg was 12th fastest in the best of the Renaults in Q2, a tenth further back, while Kevin Magnussen scored the best qualifying result for Haas since August’s Belgian GP by posting the 13th fastest time here, within a tenth of Hulkenberg.

The second Renault of Jolyon Palmer was 14th, less than three tenths from making the top 10, while Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso was cut adrift of the group in 15th, almost four tenths slower than Palmer.

Palmer and Sainz both face 20-place grid penalties for requiring illegal engine component changes this weekend.

A heavy crash for Romain Grosjean at the top of the Esses in the closing stages of Q1 brought that segment to an early end, which prevented any of the lower runners from bettering their benchmark times.

Grosjean, who complained "something wrong on the car, massive oversteer" as he ran off the road at Turns 5 and 6 before crashing into the wall before Turn 7, was already in the drop zone when he crashed, having earlier lapped less than a tenth slower than Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

So, Grosjean ended up 16th quickest, ahead of Toro Rosso rookie Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll, who complained about being blocked multiple times in the early part of Q1.

Marcus Ericsson was quickest of the Sauber drivers in 19th, almost three tenths clear of team-mate Pascal Wehrlein and within two tenths of Stroll.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.319s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m27.791s 0.472s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m28.306s 0.987s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m28.332s 1.013s
5 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m29.111s 1.792s
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m27.651s 0.332s
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m29.260s 1.941s
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m29.480s 2.161s
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m29.778s 2.459s
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m28.498s 1.179s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m29.879s 2.560s
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m29.972s 2.653s
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m30.849s 3.530s
14 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1m31.317s 3.998s
15 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m31.409s 4.090s
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m31.597s 4.278s
17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m31.885s 4.566s
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m30.022s 2.703s
19 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m30.413s 3.094s
20 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m30.687s 3.368s

Da Autosport.com


Japanese Grand Prix: Bottas fastest in FP3 before crashing out

Valtteri Bottas edged out Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton to set the pace in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, but crashed to end his session early.

The Finn clocked a 1m29.055s on the soft tyres to finish 0.014s clear of Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel three tenths off the pace in third place using the super-soft Pirellis.

It was frustrating session for both Mercedes and Ferrari, with Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen crashing and Vettel the only one of the quartet to get a representative lap on the super-softs.

The rain stayed away during the session, allowing the field to head out on the slicks from the off and set about making up for running lost in yesterday’s rain-hit second practice session.

Bottas set the early pace on the soft tyre, a fraction ahead of Mercedes Hamilton, who was running the same rubber.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third on the soft, 1.334s adrift, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo four tenths further back on the super-softs in fourth.

The session was then red-flagged shortly before the halfway mark when Bottas ran wide of out Spoon, pulling up the artifical grass at the exit of the corner.

The Mercedes driver clipped the wall a couple of times, damaging the right-rear corner of the car. Although he made it back to the pits, that was the end of his session.

Running got back under way just after the halfway point but lasted just three minutes before race control red-flagged it again following Raikkonen’s crash at Degner 2.

Replays showed the rear of his Ferrari got away from him mid-corner and Raikkonen couldn’t gather it up before he hit the barriers, damaging the left side of the car.

The marshals quickly craned his damaged Ferrari over the barriers, allowing the session to get going again.

Several drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, had their super-soft qualifying-simulations ruined by the two red-flag interruptions.

Vettel focused on race simulations early in the session, before turning his attention to the super-softs and low fuel.

His first effort put him third and although he improved next time around, he was still 0.324s adrift of the lead Mercedes.

Verstappen’s super-soft tyre run put him fourth, 0.855s off the pace and one tenth clear of Ricciardo in fifth.

Esteban Ocon was best-of-the-rest in sixth, just over a second adrift of Bottas, with Nico Hulkenberg the leading Renault in seventh.

Fernando Alonso, who has a 35-place grid penalty for engine component changes ahead of FP3, was eighth as Sergio Perez ended up ninth.

Jolyon Palmer made it two Renaults in the top 10, but he will start Sunday’s race towards the back after engine component changes handed him a 20-place grid drop.

Raikkonen ended up bottom of the timesheets, having focused on race simulations on older sets of super-softs before crashing on his first flier on a fresh set.

FP3 TIMES

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m29.055s 9
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 0.014s 19
3 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari 0.324s 23
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 0.855s 15
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 0.963s 13
6 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team 1.054s 12
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team 1.260s 19
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1.369s 13
9 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team 1.508s 12
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team 1.709s 22
11 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing 1.709s 21
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1.715s 18
13 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso 1.744s 23
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 1.927s 12
15 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing 1.956s 20
16 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso 2.298s 25
17 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team 2.404s 13
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team 3.524s 22
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team 3.643s 21
20 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari 4.907s 12

Da Autosport.com