GP Gran Bretagna, commenti post qualifiche–04/07/2014
British Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari isn’t falling back
Kimi Raikkonen has dismissed suggestions Ferrari is falling back in Formula 1’s competitive order after being outperformed by Mercedes and Williams in British Grand Prix qualifying.
Ferrari lost out in the battle to be best of the rest behind Mercedes at Silverstone, with Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel ending up on the third row behind Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
When asked if Saturday’s performance showed Ferrari is losing ground, Raikkonen said: "I don’t think so – I don’t see that we are sliding back.
"Every race is different. We didn’t get exactly what we wanted today, but in these windy conditions we know it’s not easy for us.
"But it’s not like a disaster. There’s no point to talk about if we are sliding back."
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene hinted last time out in Austria that Pirelli’s tyre compound selection for Silverstone would hurt his team, and Raikkonen believes that is one of the factors behind its performance this weekend.
"It depends on the conditions, the circuit layout, and which tyres are used," said the Finn.
"It wasn’t an ideal day for us but I don’t expect this to suddenly be the true story.
"It’s not something to worry about like it’s going to go on all year, but we can see that we have big work to do."
Vettel accepted Ferrari does not appear to have enough pace this weekend, and he expects the Mercedes-powered Williams cars to be tough to battle with in the race.
"We were simply not quick enough," he said. "We didn’t extract the best out of our car.
"We know it’s difficult to pass a Williams on track – they are very fast on the straights.
"We’ve had races where we were quicker but we’ve been desperate to pass.
"They are not the best cars to have in front, but hopefully we can have a good opening lap and turn it around."
Raikkonen also played down the significance of defeating Vettel in a straight fight in qualifying for the first time this year.
"I’ve always said it doesn’t make me any happier – I don’t care if he’s in front of me when we are in these positions," said Raikkonen.
"Yes, it makes a difference if you are P1 and P2, but it doesn’t make me happy to be in front of him in the positions we are.
"Maybe people look at it differently but it doesn’t matter."
Kimi Raikkonen Q&A: Qualifying a true reflection of Ferrari form
With media speculation about his Ferrari future swirling once more, Kimi Raikkonen has looked on the ascendant at Silverstone this weekend, out-qualifying team mate Sebastian Vettel fair and square. The bad news for Sunday’s race is that as well as the leading Mercedes, Raikkonen also has two Williams ahead of him on the grid…
Q: Kimi, would you say that it was good weekend so far? At least from the outside it has looked pretty smooth…
Kimi Raikkonen: No, not really. There were many things that we were running through and today, for example, there was one lap that was super and then the next lap was cr*p. So we had to get our game together at some point. In Q3 finally I was able to put all the sectors together – and it was okay. We did our best.
Q: Were there higher expectations after Q1 when you were quickest?
KR: No, because we ended up on the grid pretty much where we thought that we are. We keep our expectations realistic. And Q1 is never decisive, as we are all know, so to think that this could be the grid position would have been pretty blue eyed. And we are very down to earth with our expectations.
Q: You got one lap in Q2 deleted. Was there a misunderstanding on your side as to what was allowed in terms of track limits?
KR: No, not at all. We have to analyse what happened and see that we do not run into the same issues again. But it was no big drama.
Q: From what we’ve seen lately – including today – would you say that Ferrari are moving backwards in terms of relative performance?
KR: No, I definitely don’t think so. But every track produces different racing conditions – it is nothing more than that. Our car likes certain conditions and if these conditions are not there – just like the relatively windy conditions here – then we are struggling probably a bit more. Maybe you could say that we haven’t been too happy today, but tomorrow is the race and things can change pretty rapidly.
Q: What do you expect in terms of race pace compared to the Williams? They’ve shown that they will be a factor to consider this weekend…
KR: I have not looked at what they’ve done in qualifying. I was basically focusing on myself. But from my position I think it should be possible to gain some positions. But that is something that will – if at all – happen tomorrow! (laughs)
Q: It is the first time that you have outperformed Sebastian Vettel in qualifying in a situation where he didn’t have a problem. Are you dealing better with the fast corners – or what do you put it down to?
KR: Well, starting one position better than Seb doesn’t make my any happier. I don’t care whether it is fifth or sixth, this doesn’t have any impact on me. Yes, if it were first or second – that is something different. But fifth or sixth – no. That just shows that we have to work on the gap!
Q: The gap to the Mercedes is still somewhat significant for a team that wants to fight for wins. Are there any updates in the pipeline that will help you get closer?
KR: There are always bits and pieces that are new on the car at every race. Other than that I will not go into detail. We know that we have things to improve – and Ferrari was never a team that ‘forgets’ to develop. We have a clear goal and that is to fight for the championship. We know that it will not be this year, but everything that we learn and do this season will help us be more competitive in 2016. I have no worries that we will get there and improve to the point where we can challenge them.