GP Corea, commenti post qualifiche–05/10/2013
Korean GP: Kimi Raikkonen admits driving mistake cost him
Kimi Raikkonen admits an error he made during qualifying compromised his chances of starting higher than 10th for the Korean Grand Prix.
The Finn embarked on his hot lap during the final moments of Q3 and looked poised to set a good time after posting personal bests in the first two sectors before things went awry.
Raikkonen’s problems began when he locked up on entry to Turn 10, which caused him to run wide and miss the apex. That was also the case at Turn 12 at which point he decided to abort his lap.
"I made a mistake so I knew the the lap was gone," he admitted. "That’s the way it goes sometimes."
Both Lotus cars have shown good pace all weekend which has been attributed to the longer-wheelbase car being kinder to the tyres over a long run, something Raikkonen sees as a positive heading into Sunday’s race.
"I expect we will be a bit better tomorrow, better than the last race anyway, where I was struggling with the front-end the whole weekend."
Team-mate Romain Grosjean posted a time 1.3s quicker and lines up third for the race after benefiting from Mark Webber’s 10-place grid penalty.
"It was very good to be P4," said the Frenchman. "Obviously gaining a position is not the way you would like it, but rules are rules and it is positive to start from the clean side of the track."
He too feels the recent alterations to the E21 will pay dividends in the grand prix.
"The race is going to be long and it will be interesting with the tyre degradation, but we’ll try and go for the best result we can, which I think is possible with the car at the moment."
Qualifying struggles related to Pirelli changes – Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen believes his lack of qualifying pace at recent races is related to the change in tyre constructions midway through the year.
After a scrappy middle and final sector in qualifying for this weekend’s Korean Grand Prix, Raikkonen will line up 10th on the grid. Asked whether it was a missed opportunity, Raikkonen said he had been struggling to get the front end of his car working over a single lap since Pirelli changed the tyre construction at the Hungarian Grand Prix for safety reasons.
"Since we changed the tyres it’s been more like it was last year and for me it was definitely better qualifying with the other tyres and a bit more sharp in the front end," he said. "We’ve got to find a way to get it back where we want to be because it’s hit us quite hard in qualifying lately. But I’m pretty sure we can find something and it usually turns out to be more normal in race conditions."
But Raikkonen, whose Q2 time was 0.7s faster than his Q3 time on Saturday, admitted his lacklustre performance in Korea was down to mistakes he made on his hot lap.
"I made some mistakes, and with the lap I had already done we ended up P10," he said. "Yesterday it was okay. Over one lap it’s been a bit difficult with the front end – I haven’t had enough front end. We might know the reason why that happened, but yesterday it was more how I like it. But it’s been difficult over one lap to get it how I want it when I push hard."
On the plus side, Raikkonen is confident he will be able to overtake in Korea on Sunday.
"For sure it should be much easier than many other places. Yesterday I was able to overtake, which is a good thing, but obviously it depends on different times in the race and where we are with the tyres. It should be okay."
Kimi Räikkönen Confident of Stronger Race Performance in Korea
He qualified tenth, he’ll start ninth, but what really matters to our Finn is Sunday; race day… read on as the man himself gives us the lowdown on Saturday in Yeongam
How was qualifying for you?
I made a mistake on my only set of new tyres in the final qualifying session so my lap wasn’t fast enough for a better position and we ended up tenth fastest. We’ve had a bit of understeer with the car so I’ve struggled a little with the front end all weekend. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but we’ll try to do better tomorrow.
Is there more pace to come from the car?
At the moment it’s understeering a bit too much and we haven’t been able to dial it out yet, but if you look at the long run pace of the car yesterday we should have a stronger race. Obviously we have to see how the weather turns out, but for sure it should be easier to overtake here than at some other places.
What’s the best that can be achieved tomorrow?
We’ll try to do the best we can do, and we’ll end up where we end up.
Kimi Raikkonen says F1 tyre change has hurt his qualifying form
Kimi Raikkonen believes the change in Pirelli’s Formula 1 tyres is to blame for his recent downturn in qualifying form.
The Finn has been outqualified four times in the six races since Pirelli first changed
its rubber at July’s German Grand Prix ahead of the final switch to 2013 compounds combined with 2012 construction in Hungary.
Raikkonen believes that the lack of front-end bite does not suit his driving style.
"Since we changed the tyres, it is more like it was last year," said Raikkonen.
"For me, it was definitely better qualifying on the other tyres, they were a bit more sharp on the front end.
"We have got to try to find a way to get it back where we want to be as it has hit us quite hard in qualifying lately.
"I’m sure we can find something. Usually it seems to turn out to be more normal in race conditions."
By contrast, Romain Grosjean believes the balance of the modified rubber has helped his qualifying performances.
The Franco-Swiss driver has twice qualified third in the last four races, and also believes his improving Saturday form is down to the natural improvement that has been going on since his early-season struggles.
"I hate the first [tyres] this year," he said.
"Plus since we put the car back on track from Bahrain onwards, the qualifying has always been better and better.
"The first races were like my first testing of the year and after that we found our proper speed and are looking quite good."
RAIKKONEN vs GROSJEAN QUALIFYING POSITIONS Raikkonen Grosjean Germany 4th 5th Hungary 6th 3rd Belgium 8th 7th Italy 11th 13th Singapore 13th 3rd Korean 10th 4th Da Autosport.com