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GP Belgio, prove del sabato–27/08/2016


Belgian GP: Kimi Raikkonen fastest for Ferrari in final practice

Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in final Belgian Grand Prix Formula 1 practice as Lewis Hamilton focused on race simulation work given he will serve a 55-place grid penalty.

Raikkonen clocked a 1m47.974s for Ferrari on the super-softs late in the session to finish 0.215 seconds quicker than long-time pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel a tenth further back.

After going fastest on Friday, Max Verstappen encountered gearbox problems and sat out most of third practice in the pits, failing to get a lap time on the board.

Mercedes fitted Hamilton’s car with a new engine for each of this weekend’s practice sessions, which has led to substantial penalties but allowed him to build up a pool of systems to use for the rest of 2016.

With the championship leader set to start from the back of the field, or potentially the pitlane, Hamilton chose to work on longer runs on the medium and then the soft for most of the morning.

The Briton then bolted on a set of the super-softs in the closing minutes and though he set the fastest first sector, he locked up into the final chicane and ended up fifth.

That was a tenth quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished seventh after he failed to improve on his soft time after taking the super-softs.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth quickest, half a second off the pace, with Nico Hulkenberg sixth and Felipe Massa eighth and Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.

Stewards are investigating two incidents from the session.

Pascal Wehrlein was furious with Esteban Gutierrez after the Manor driver had to take to the grass at the top of Eau Rouge and Raidillon to avoid the slower Haas.

Kevin Magnussen prompted anger from Vettel when he felt he was hampered by the slower Renault, saying on the radio: "What an idiot. Did you see that? It’s free practice. It’s called free practice, who gives a shit?"

Vettel was outpaced by team-mate Raikkonen through the hour, with the Finn pipping him by 0.096s as they set the early pace before Ricciardo went quicker. Then when they came back out for the final super-soft runs, Vettel did not improve while Raikkonen produced the lap that earned the top spot.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button did very little running, with the former not completing his first timed lap until the second half of the session. They finished 11th and 13th respectively.

Sauber also encountered what it described as "minor problems" with Marcus Ericsson’s car but the team managed to get the Swede out in time to complete a handful of laps.

PRACTICE THREE TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m47.974s 11
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m48.189s 0.215s 18
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m48.297s 0.323s 12
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m48.504s 0.530s 17
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m48.635s 0.661s 20
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m48.739s 0.765s 12
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m48.742s 0.768s 19
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m48.783s 0.809s 21
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m48.915s 0.941s 12
10 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m49.272s 1.298s 16
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m49.453s 1.479s 9
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m49.631s 1.657s 16
13 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m49.665s 1.691s 10
14 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m49.716s 1.742s 11
15 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m49.761s 1.787s 15
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m50.023s 2.049s 9
17 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m50.078s 2.104s 9
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m50.241s 2.267s 11
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m50.420s 2.446s 13
20 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m50.693s 2.719s 18
21 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m51.319s 3.345s 5
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 2

Da Autosport.com

GP Belgio, commenti post libere venerdì–26/08/2016


Belgian GP practice not much fun for Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen described Ferrari’s first day of Formula 1 practice ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix as "not a lot of fun" after both cars struggled at Spa.

Ferrari ended the day fourth and seventh with Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen respectively, and while neither driver got a particularly clean qualifying simulation run in the afternoon session, both accepted there is a lot of work to do.

"I started OK in the afternoon, but I was struggling badly with the super-softs," Raikkonen told reporters after the session.

"Then on the long runs, it was a big struggle.

"It was one of those days. It was not an awful not of fun, in the end the feeling wasn’t correct."

Vettel believes the high temperatures at Spa are making finding a good balance difficult for everyone.

"It was tricky today, it was very slippery – very hot," he said.

"I don’t think it matters what tyres you have, it’s slippery for everyone.

"We have to improve our car, it’s not where we want to be.

"I’m not entirely happy, I’m struggling a bit with the balance of the car, and also Kimi didn’t get a clean run.

"It didn’t feel great out there but that’s up to us to work on and improve the car."

Vettel experienced a few run-ins with other drivers during the afternoon session as he came across slower cars, but he accepted that even he needed to be mindful of traffic during a busy session.

The German blamed a Force India for the first of two offs at Les Combes, and he was frustrated by Carlos Sainz Jr at La Source after he had tried to keep out of the Toro Rosso’s way at the end of the previous lap.

"It’s traffic – sometimes people, including myself, could do better," he added.

"Everyone was struggling to make the tyres last – at least the cars I saw were, which is a bit of a shame but it’s the same for everyone.

"I don’t think everyone had clear runs today, so the competitiveness is difficult to judge."

Da Autosport.com

GP Belgio, prove libere venerdì–26/08/2016


Belgian GP: Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two in practice

Max Verstappen spearheaded a Red Bull one-two at the end of second practice for the Belgian Grand Prix as Formula 1 returned from its summer break.

It appeared to be a case of normal service in the Mercedes-led first practice at Spa-Francorchamps.

But come the second session, and following an early blast on the super-soft tyres, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton embarked on differing run plans, leaving the Red Bull team-mates to take over at the top of the timesheet.

For only the second time in the last 17 practice sessions a Mercedes driver was not out in front as Verstappen posted a lap of 1m48.085s to finish a quarter of a second up on Daniel Ricciardo, and 0.263s ahead of Rosberg’s best from the morning.

Verstappen later complained on a couple of occasions about a loss of power, with the team unable to find a fix.

Rosberg, who trails Hamilton in the championship standings by 19 points, predominantly used the soft tyre in second practice and finished down in sixth place, just over a second behind Verstappen.

Hamilton began the session with a second fresh power unit for this weekend and so far faces a 30-place grid penalty as he builds up a pool of systems to see him through the season.

The three-time champion, who will start the race at the back of the field, embarked on a long run on the medium tyres after an early soft stint that had netted him 13th place, 1.697s off the pace.

Behind the frontrunning Red Bulls, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was third best, almost six tenths of a second down, followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, with the four-time champion 0.938s adrift.

Vettel endured a scruffy session early on, encountering backmarkers to whom he either gesticulated or made comment over the radio, even when they did not appear to be at fault.

Force India continued to fare well, with Sergio Perez fifth fastest, narrowly ahead of Rosberg, and Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari in close attendance in seventh.

The Haas pair of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez enjoyed a strong run, finishing eighth and 10th, sandwiching McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Grosjean and Button ended with identical times of 1m49.419s, but with the Frenchman ahead in the standings as his lap was posted first.

Fernando Alonso was at least in the action after managing just three installation laps in practice one due to a water leak from his new Honda engine.

Fitting a new system in the break meant taking the sixth element of each of the six power unit components, so Alonso will join Hamilton on the back row as he faces a 35-place grid penalty.

Alonso totalled 30 laps in the second session, and was 12th quickest behind the Manor of Pascal Wehrlein, whose new team-mate in Esteban Ocon was nine tenths of a second down in 21st.

One place ahead of Ocon was Renault’s Jolyon Palmer. His session appeared to be over early on when he ground to a halt, but he was able to restart the car via the MGU-K.

PRACTICE TWO TIMES:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m48.085s 27
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m48.341s 0.256s 27
3 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m48.657s 0.572s 30
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m49.023s 0.938s 27
5 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m49.100s 1.015s 27
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.161s 1.076s 33
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m49.244s 1.159s 30
8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m49.419s 1.334s 20
9 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m49.419s 1.334s 23
10 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m49.648s 1.563s 23
11 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m49.716s 1.631s 31
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m49.772s 1.687s 30
13 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.782s 1.697s 33
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m49.916s 1.831s 25
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m50.083s 1.998s 27
16 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m50.151s 2.066s 19
17 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m50.157s 2.072s 29
18 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m50.194s 2.109s 25
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m50.375s 2.290s 34
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m50.562s 2.477s 32
21 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m50.659s 2.574s 25
22 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m50.719s 2.634s 24

Da Autosport.com



Belgian GP: Mercedes’ Rosberg fastest in FP1 with halo fitted

Nico Rosberg set the pace in first practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, with Formula 1’s halo cockpit protection device fitted.

The Mercedes driver clocked a 1m48.348s on the super-soft tyres while evaluating the halo, to finish 0.730s clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was on the same tyres.

Reigning world champion Hamilton was running a fresh power unit, which featured the use of a sixth MGU-H and turbo that currently results in a 15-place grid penalty at Spa.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, on the soft rubber, was Mercedes’s closest rival, 0.799s off the pace with Sergio Perez just over a tenth further back for Force India.

Three teams – Mercedes, Force India and Toro Rosso – ran the halo for the first time when they bolted the device onto Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr’s cars respectively.

Red Bull fitted it for the second time, after Pierre Gasly tested it in the Silverstone test, with Daniel Ricciardo carrying out the testing duties and completing a single installation lap with the device.

Rosberg kept the halo on for two runs before removing it and switching his attention to the team’s weekend programme.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth, 1.420s slower than Rosberg, ahead of Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Hulkenberg.

Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez completed the top 10.

Sauber appeared to have made a step forward with its new aero package, which features a new front wing, short nose, floor and front and rear brake ducts, with Marcus Ericsson 13th.

However, the Swede has taken a sixth turbocharger and will therefore take a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

Esteban Ocon outpaced team-mate Pascal Wehrlein by nearly a second on his Manor debut as he finished 16th quickest.

It was a disappointing morning for McLaren with Jenson Button 18th and Fernando Alonso failing to set a timed lap.

Alonso’s session ended early when Honda discovered a water leak on what was a new, upgraded power unit.

The Japanese manufacturer decided to swap out the whole unit to carry out an investigation into the problem, which it does not believe is a consequence of the update but rather an issue with a single part.

Several teams also tested a prototype tyre for Pirelli during the 90-minute session.

F1’s tyre supplier has developed a new construction it says is more resistant to impacts from kerbs and has given teams four sets of the rubber to try across FP1 and FP2.

FIRST PRACTICE RESULTS:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m48.348s 27
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.078s 0.730s 25
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m49.147s 0.799s 24
4 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m49.274s 0.926s 23
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m49.768s 1.420s 19
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m49.782s 1.434s 24
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m49.865s 1.517s 24
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m50.088s 1.740s 21
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m50.394s 2.046s 31
10 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m50.583s 2.235s 21
11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m50.899s 2.551s 18
12 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m51.122s 2.774s 28
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m51.125s 2.777s 16
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m51.424s 3.076s 17
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m51.768s 3.420s 19
16 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m51.787s 3.439s 26
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m52.308s 3.960s 19
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m52.407s 4.059s 18
19 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m52.837s 4.489s 23
20 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m53.053s 4.705s 20
21 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m53.089s 4.741s 20
Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 3

Da Autosport.com

GP Belgio, presentazione–23/08/2016


Maranello, 23 August – After a one month break from racing, Formula 1 is back in action with the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which is so popular with drivers and race fans alike. Spa has undergone numerous changes from the 14 kilometre track used for the first race back in 1924, to the current 7.004 km, which has resulted in a reduction in the top speeds seen on some sections in the past. However, it still has a special attraction and, as well as being the longest circuit on the calendar, it is still today’s most technical track. Part of this is down to the uncertain nature of the weather, which can even change from one section of track to another. Therefore, the Belgian round is major test bench for cars and drivers, as Formula 1 rounds the mid-point marker and tackles this the thirteenth round of the season.

“It’s an old, traditional circuit, with up and down hills.” – says Kimi on the subject of the Belgian track. “ That’s what is different, more than other circuits, even just the place itself in the middle of nowhere. They changed lightly the last chicane in the past years, but I enjoy it. Conditions can be tricky sometimes, but it’s usually good for overtaking and that’s nice for drivers and spectators. On TV it’s hard to say, but when you’re there you can see it’s quite steep.”

Da Ferrari.com

Dalla Sauber alla Ferrari, intervista


From Sauber to Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen on F1’s evolution

Not only is he one of the most popular drivers on the grid and an F1 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen is also the eighth most experienced driver in history in terms of race starts. In that time, Raikkonen has raced V10s, V8s, tried his hand at rallying and is now trying to help Ferrari return to the front during the highly technological V6 era.

So what have been the big differences during his time in F1? And where are the big gains made which Raikkonen hopes will eventually see the Scuderia fighting for championships again in the near future? After signing a new contract at Ferrari, the Finn sat down with F1i to reminisce.

The Sauber and McLaren years

Raikkonen first drove an F1 car at Mugello in late 2000 as Sauber evaluated the quick youngster who had impressed during his debut year of Formula Renault. Then just 20 years old, Raikkonen admits he needed a day to adapt to grand prix machinery.

“I didn’t really have much idea because obviously I had never seen the car in real life – OK I’d seen them but not at the racetrack – apart from the day I went there and it was hard to know what to expect,” Raikkonen recalls. “I did Formula Renault, I did one test in Formula 3, OK it’s a bit faster than Formula Renault but not so much. The first test I did at Mugello, I was at the circuit earlier that year with Formula Renault but it’s a slightly different story with the F1 car!

“I think I went into it very open-minded because I didn’t really know what to expect so I just wanted to see how it is. Obviously it was a bit tricky because the conditioning for F1, my neck couldn’t handle it – any other circuit would have been a lot easier – so I could do maybe three laps and then I would box and wait. Obviously at that time there was no power steering in the car so that was a bit hard.

“I didn’t feel that it was so difficult to drive, it was just more the speed, to get used to the speed. Everything happens much faster and obviously it takes a while to get used to how hard you can brake. I would say the first day was a bit tricky because of that, just because everything happens so quickly, but then already after the first night it was a lot like everything slowed down and got more normal like you would drive a Formula Renault. It just slows down and it’s so much easier. It was an amazing feeling.”

The move to McLaren came about just a year later, with Raikkonen having impressed in his debut F1 season. You’d think the change to a front-running car was a noticeable one for a young driver, but the Finn says his first F1 car was still a competitive chassis.

“In a way yes, but I think we had a pretty good car at Sauber. It wasn’t like a completely bad car and we finished fourth in the championship so it was not a bad car at all. They did the best with their budget. McLaren is how it comes, a big team and so many people, it used to be in their old factory and not where they are now. English and Swiss teams have slightly different ways of working to achieve the same results.

“Car-wise every car is different, but I think we changed to Michelins as well at that time so I think that was the bigger difference to try and learn the tyres from Michelin. So the car was hard to compare really. It’s still a top, top team comparing with Sauber, but it was like you’ve jumped from one year to another year, it wasn’t like a completely new thing.

“So it was exciting, nice and new but I didn’t really find it so hard. There was always a lot more help from the team because they have more people and more money to use so in a way things got easier because of that. And then with experience it was also quite a lot different.”

Sat in the Shell track lab in the Ferrari trucks at Silverstone, the surroundings highlight just how much more support front-running teams can get in F1 thanks to close partnerships. Raikkonen says those sort of details stepping up from Sauber to McLaren are what start to make a big difference.

“You have a lot more resource for the team to develop the car, engine, fuel, oil, everything. More so electronics because it was a big part of that time [in the early 2000s]. In Sauber we got the power steering in Monza I think and obviously it was quite a nice thing, but all the small details that can make a lot of lap time – the diff, traction control and stuff – even then we had all the gearboxes that you could have, but the upshifts and downshifts, if you have more people you can put into those things it can make up a lot of lap time.

“So in that way it was also easier because there was not the knowledge and not enough people to do those things [in smaller teams]. It was just more people but they are trying to achieve the same result in two different companies. So McLaren took me in very easily and I felt straight away good. I had very good engineers there and it was just a new challenge.”

A first switch to Ferrari

Still searching for the drivers’ championship, Raikkonen moved to Maranello in 2007 to replace the outgoing Michael Schumacher. They were huge shoes to fill, but the first season brought the success Raikkonen had been searching for. So was that year’s Ferrari F2007 the best car he has driven in F1, or is that too simplistic given his title victory?

“Again the big difference was to change tyres,” Raikkonen explains. “To go from using Michelins for many years and then go back to Bridgestone; and it wasn’t the Bridgestone that it used to be before, it was completely different because everybody had the same tyres. So it was nowhere near as good or as special tyres as when there were two manufacturers fighting against each other. That made a big difference and also how you can drive and how the tyres work. So if you could have had the same tyres I don’t think it would have been so tricky, because it was not easy.

“Obviously between all of the cars I have driven, comparing the Ferrari it has always been harder to get it working, it takes more time to get it how you want. Once you get it then it’s fine, but it’s different. In those years when the tyres changed and went backwards – when I jumped to Michelin there was more grip and they made better tyres and kept improving – so it was a bit going the opposite way.

“Again a different country and different people, but I really enjoyed it. I was many years with McLaren and once I came to Ferrari I had a contract knowing I was going there for a long, long time and it was nice. You dream – or maybe you don’t dream – but Ferrari’s Ferrari, you know? And the other teams, they are not Ferrari. I don’t care how much they have won and all that.”

The season itself was a dramatic one, which Raikkonen admits was far from easy even if it resulted in championship success at the final round in Brazil.

“Obviously I struggled a bit in the beginning during testing, finding a lot of different ways of doing similar things. Then we found our way, then we had some struggles but we managed to turn everything around and make a good season out of it, but it wasn’t easy in any way. We started well, maybe too well, because then it went back to normal and we knew we were not where we wanted to be at the start. We hung in there, we had some issues but we came back very strong but it was an amazing year.

“You always wish it could be more smooth sailing because it was a lot of up and down but we managed to do it in the end and we won more races than the other guys and had more points. I didn’t expect to win the championship straight away, especially with Ferrari, and it hasn’t been easy at any point but I think we’re getting back to where we feel that it’s going in the right direction and it has been going well for a couple of years. I’m sure we can get back to where Ferrari used to be and where we should be.”

A break and a return with Lotus

Having already enjoyed nine consecutive seasons in F1, Raikkonen took a break and went to compete in other motorsport categories – mainly rallying – for two years. He had only experienced one year of new aero regulations when he left, and in a less competitive Ferrari than he had been used to.

Returning to F1 two years before the V6 turbo engines were introduced, Raikkonen had to adapt to another new team in the form of Lotus, and a new tyre manufacturer in Pirelli. It’s a period he feels improved him as a driver, as he had to learn additional skills on top of his raw driving talent.

“Obviously I had my doubts because I hadn’t driven for a few years in F1 but I also knew more or less how it’s going to be,” Raikkonen says of his return to the sport. “Every year there are rule changes, this and that, tyres change, but I was pretty sure that as long as the front is somewhere there with the car we’ll be just fine with it.

“When I drove a two-year old car – the first Lotus – with the demo tyres in Valencia it felt good straight away. There were some issues we had to fix with the steering and stuff, some minor details, but it felt very normal from the first lap. So I think it was a good place to start. In Valencia I haven’t done too many laps in my life because it’s a short circuit and not the fastest circuit but after ten laps it felt very normal and I knew it would be just fine.

“Then there is a question mark over how is that year’s car comparing to the others, but when I came back I didn’t have many worries. OK you always have something in your mind about how it’s going to be but I would never have signed a contract if I didn’t think that it would be fine. One big benefit that I felt was that I was driving all the time, I was racing and in the rally – whatever people say – it teaches you a lot. Even when I did rallies in 2009 with Ferrari I felt that it was only helpful.

“Obviously there are dangers and stuff like this but you can get hurt anywhere so I think it teaches you a lot because you have to be so precise and concentration has to be even higher because you have to listen all the time. It’s not just listening but driving too, so you have to mix a few things and until that gets completely normal to the point you’re not thinking about it you will never be fast enough.

“I could be as fast as the others on test roads because you know it and it’s not an issue. But then to do it from the notes – and you have to build the notes up – I felt that it teaches you a lot. And it helps for sure to be driving because it’s a very hard sport, so that’s why if I was not doing anything for two years for sure it would take time but I felt like it was not such a big deal.”

Ferrari comes calling again as V6s arrive

At the start of the new power unit era, Raikkonen returned to Ferrari for a second time. While the team is familiar, the regulations and the sport itself is very different from the last time at Maranello.

Nowadays, it is not just new front wings or engine updates which help increase the car’s competitiveness, with Shell providing Ferrari with 25% of its overall performance gain in 2015 through fuel and oil. Guy Lovett, Shell’s Innovation Manager for motorsport, works out of the track lab where Raikkonen is sat, and explains the improvements all come within very strict regulations.

“In Formula 1 the fuel is really tightly regulated, which is a good thing because it means that the fuel we’re using here for Ferrari in Formula 1 is very, very similar to the fuel you can buy out in a gas station,” Lovett says. “It’s 99% the same. For Shell that is absolutely imperative because all the technology and all the innovation that we yield from working in Formula 1 and motorsport we can then transfer to our road-going products. That is of fundamental importance to us.

“Nevertheless, the regulations do allow for a degree of innovation, which again is important to us to be able to trial new concepts, new technologies and new additives here in Formula 1 in quite controlled yet incredibly extreme conditions.

“Right now there are no limits to the number of formulations you can bring and there’s very little regulation governing the oils. There is a bit on fuel but still there is enough scope for us to innovate. Fuel and oil have always been relatively unconstrained in a good way to push forward development, where engine regulations have been somewhat more fixed in the past. So, looking at the V8 era, again there were very little regulations governing fuel and oil whereas the engines were pretty much fixed towards the end of the V8 time.

“It’s opened up a lot more from an engine perspective with the V6, it’s starting to be more prescribed. Next year is going to get a little bit more interesting, a little bit freer but it will be the same for us and that’s what we want. We’re here to innovate and develop and learn. Our mandates are to help Ferrari win and transfer technology from track to road. Kind of simple in that respect!”

When Raikkonen jumps in the car, he admits the performance gains are difficult to notice, but that again is a product of the evolution in F1 as teams and suppliers rarely get the chance to do back-to-back comparisons of upgrades.

“It’s hard to feel the difference,” Raikkonen says. “In the past it was much easier when we were testing between races because you could do one run with this fuel and then change it for the next run so you can really feel it or maybe or not. Obviously if it’s just one horsepower or two then you will probably never feel it because you can have one lap with the wind blowing one way and then the other on the next lap!

“But you could often feel it, whereas now it’s either one race weekend or another, different places, different wing levels, often different conditions, so there’s so many variables that it has to be a big, big change on anything that we bring to the car to really pinpoint ‘OK, yes I can feel it’, because we don’t do that kind of testing. Like when we used to do tyre testing we would do one run and then do the next run with a different tyre so you could get a good idea of things.

“Now it’s more like we trust the numbers, that’s why we have all these things [in the lab]. Obviously Shell has been a long partnership with Ferrari and even when I was with them in 2007 and 2008 and 2009, in 07 we made big, big gains in fuel and oil and lots of horsepower. So I knew how it works, and obviously now with the new rules and everything it is a big benefit to have this relationship because obviously certain years you get close to the maximum you can achieve under those rules. Now everything has been mixed up with new rules, you again have more opportunities to make a big difference. So for sure we get a lot of help from Shell.”

Having been through so much in his career already and having to adapt to new ways of working, does Raikkonen find the current formula in F1 enjoyable? Put simply: “Yeah.

“When it came in in 2014 everything was new and probably not at the level we wanted. OK, some teams were at the level they wanted, but for sure we were not happy with where we were. Drivability was also depending on how good your car is or the grip on the circuit or conditions, it wasn’t always easy [to judge] because it made it quite tricky. But now after a few years everything has improved so much.

“Driving-wise the sound is different but the driving itself hasn’t changed. You drive the same way, OK you have fuel saving but in the past you had brake saving or something, so it’s the same thing just affecting different things. So I wouldn’t say there’s an awful lot different apart from the sound and I guess a certain feeling around you, but for me it’s good already again that it’s normal now.”

Da F1i.com

GP Germania, commenti post gara–31/07/2016


German Grand Prix – “I believe in the team”

Kimi stays positive “but we must add downforce”

Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a very quiet and boring race, nothing much happened. At the start I had some wheelspin and lost one position on Sebastian. With new tires the car felt pretty ok but then I was starting having understeer and oversteer, as basically we lacked grip. In the last stint we had to do fuel saving so there was not much to do. Obviously we have to improve the car in all areas, if we add downforce it will definitively help us. We all want to do better and it’s painful to see that we are not where we want to be, but I believe in the team. We need some time and hard work and we’ll get there. It’s important for us to find improvements and work as a group.”

Da Ferrari.com


Kimi Raikkonen: Ferrari’s current Formula 1 form is painful

Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari’s current Formula 1 form is "painful" for the whole team after another disappointing performance in the German Grand Prix.

His team-mate Sebastian Vettel finished 32 seconds adrift of winner Lewis Hamilton in fifth and 15s behind fourth-placed Nico Rosberg. Raikkonen was five seconds off Vettel in sixth.

With Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen scoring Red Bull’s first double podium since last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the team moved ahead of Ferrari into second in the constructors’ championship.

In the last three grands prix, Ferrari has failed to score a single podium and taken just 50 points to Red Bull’s 80, having been a contender for a race win in the season-opening race in Australia.

"Everybody can see where we finished and it’s obviously a bit painful for all of us," said Raikkonen.

"But this is how it is right now and we just have to work hard and improve.

"Obviously we want to win and beat everybody, that’s always the aim in racing.

"We were ahead of Red Bull, now Red Bull has got ahead of us.

"Hopefully we can challenge both of them [Red Bull and Mercedes] later on but it’s not going to be easy."

There is now a four-week gap between grands prix, with Belgium hosting the next race on August 28.

Raikkonen said Ferrari would have to work hard before then to find some answers if it wants to fight at the front.

"Hopefully we find some tools to make our car quicker," he said.

"Obviously, Spa is a completely different layout to here so it might be different.

"But we have work to be done to get where we want to be. We need to improve."

Raikkonen, who is fourth in the drivers’ standings, admitted Ferrari’s race pace was not quite what it was expecting come Sunday.

"That was what we were hoping [to have good race pace], but it didn’t happen and we just weren’t fast enough so it’s as simple as that unfortunately," he said.

"It wasn’t too bad when we had fresh tyres, but they seemed to drop off quite quickly."

Da Autosport.com

GP Germania, gara–31/07/2016


Lewis Hamilton stretches Formula 1 lead with German Grand Prix win

Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead before Formula 1’s summer break with a commanding victory in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

The reigning world champion benefited from polesitter and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg’s poor start to take the lead into Turn 1 and controlled the race from there.

It was Hamilton’s sixth win in seven races, putting him 19 points clear of Rosberg with nine grands prix remaining.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo clinched second, 6.9 seconds behind, with team-mate Max Verstappen completing the podium in third.

Rosberg bogged down at the start, dropping to fourth as Verstappen went round the outside of Ricciardo through Turn 1 to take second behind clear leader Hamilton.

At the first round of stops, Mercedes and Red Bull split strategies, with Rosberg and Verstappen taking the super-softs and Hamilton and Ricciardo the softs – though all the leaders ultimately ended up on three-stop plans.

Verstappen struggled with that rubber, allowing Rosberg to close the gap and then pit early to try the undercut.

Red Bull responded by bringing the Dutchman in early too and he rejoined ahead but Rosberg got in the slipstream on the run down to the hairpin.

Rosberg dived down the inside, with Verstappen moving in the braking zone before then giving him some room.

Rosberg ran deep into the corner, pushing Verstappen wide and then off track. Following an investigation, the Mercedes driver was handed a five-second time penalty to take at his final pitstop.

Hamilton and Ricciardo ran longer before their second stops, and went to super-softs whereas Verstappen and Rosberg had gone for softs.

That helped Ricciardo to close on and pass Verstappen, and when he took more super-softs at the last stops while Hamilton reverted to softs he mounted a charge towards the lead.

Hamilton had enough in hand, though, raising his pace when required to stay clear of Ricciardo and win again.

Rosberg appeared to be held for longer than five seconds for his penalty at his final stop and rejoined fourth, losing all hope of rescuing a podium.

Ferrari was largely anonymous with Sebastian Vettel fifth, 32.5s adrift at the chequered flag and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen 4.4s further back after they swapped positions at the start.

It meant Ferrari dropped behind Red Bull, which scored its first double podium since Hungary 2015, to third in the constructors’ championship, 14 points adrift.

Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of Jenson Button with Valtteri Bottas ending up ninth after a falling behind both during a long final stint on the soft tyre.

Sergio Perez snatched 10th from Fernando Alonso with three laps to go, and got within 1.5s of Bottas at the flag.

Felipe Massa and Felipe Nasr were the only two retirements, with the Williams driver struggling after being hit by Jolyon Palmer at Turn 6 on the first lap, then pulling into the garage mid-race.

RESULTS – 67 LAPS:

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h30m44.200s
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 6.996s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 13.413s
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 15.845s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 32.570s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 37.023s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m10.049s
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1 Lap
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 2 Laps
20 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari Power Unit
Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes Collision

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 217
2 Nico Rosberg 198
3 Daniel Ricciardo 133
4 Kimi Raikkonen 122
5 Sebastian Vettel 120
6 Max Verstappen 115
7 Valtteri Bottas 58
8 Sergio Perez 48
9 Felipe Massa 38
10 Nico Hulkenberg 33
11 Carlos Sainz 30
12 Romain Grosjean 28
13 Fernando Alonso 24
14 Daniil Kvyat 23
15 Jenson Button 17
16 Kevin Magnussen 6
17 Pascal Wehrlein 1
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
19 Esteban Gutierrez 0
20 Jolyon Palmer 0
21 Marcus Ericsson 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 415
2 Red Bull/Renault 256
3 Ferrari 242
4 Williams/Mercedes 96
5 Force India/Mercedes 81
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 45
7 McLaren/Honda 42
8 Haas/Ferrari 28
9 Renault 6
10 Manor/Mercedes 1
11 Sauber/Ferrari 0

Da Autosport.com

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