Famiglia e vittorie, Alesi jr: Giuliano, ferrarista nel nome del padre
A 17 anni il figlio di Jean è nel vivaio di Maranello: «Anche Raikkonen fa il tifo per me. Ma quando i risultati non arrivavano volevo smettere. Papà mi ha fatto cambiare idea»
Tre vittorie di fila, rimonte, sorpassi e docce sul podio. Papà Jean trattiene il fiato, agita le braccia e le coppe, ogni week end è un terremoto del cuore, il figlio Giuliano sta crescendo bene e in fretta nella Gp3, una delle categorie propedeutiche alla Formula 1. «Studia» nelle giovanili della Ferrari: diciassette anni, poliglotta, ama il giardinaggio e vuole ripercorrere le orme del genitore, che è stato, e rimane, uno dei piloti del Cavallino più amati (vi ha corso dal 1991 al 1995).
Monza è una tappa speciale per chiunque, figurarsi per gli Alesi, orgogliosissimi delle loro origini italiane. Ogni estate tornano in Sicilia, nel trapanese, da dove i nonni sono partiti per la Francia: «A Monza l’accoglienza è calorosissima anche per chi non è un campione e non guida una F1, non vedo l’ora di scendere in pista» racconta Giuliano. Dal «battesimo» nella F4 francese a un campionato di rilevanza mondiale, l’inizio l’anno scorso è stato in salita, ma poi è scattata la molla: «Ho fatto un grande salto, ora ho più confidenza con la macchina». Dietro ai successi ci sono la consapevolezza e il lavoro all’Academy di Maranello diretta da Massimo Rivola: «Mi ha aiutato a migliorare in tutto: dalla guida, alle sessioni al simulatore, all’allenamento fisico: è una palestra di sport e di vita. Devo ringraziare Maurizio Arrivabene che ha creduto in me quando era difficile farlo, ha avuto pazienza e fiducia».
La gavetta è ancora lunga, la concorrenza tanta, le scuderie allevano «baby» piloti a raffica, e in F1 spesso più del talento contano gli sponsor; questo Giuliano lo sa: «Ma il mio sogno non cambia: voglio guidare la Rossa. Nello stesso tempo però devo rimanere concentrato, pensare a fare bene in tutte le gare e non farmi distrarre: quando inizi a ragionare su altro cominci a commettere degli errori che poi paghi». È la filosofia dei piedi per terra, tanto cara al team principal della Ferrari.
Sostiene Jean che più di tanto non può aiutare Giuliano perché «le macchine di oggi sono completamente cambiate: all’epoca mia non esistevano gli iPhone, la tecnologia viaggia talmente veloce che è impossibile starvi dietro, anche nelle corse». Ma certe dritte non hanno età: «Papà mi dà un sacco di consigli su come affrontare le gare, su come superare le difficoltà: quando non arrivavano i risultati mi chiedevo se non fosse il caso di smettere. E invece lui era sempre lì a spronarmi: “Non mollare”. Poi mi suggerisce come comportarmi davanti alle telecamere, però, è vero, gli riesce difficile spiegare qualcosa su un mezzo che non ha mai guidato».
Un cognome famoso può essere un peso (per Rosberg lo è stato), non per lui: «Mi fa sentire più leggero: tantissime persone parlano di me anche per i ricordi che hanno di Jean». Serate sul divano a riguardare le gare del passato, il legame familiare è fortissimo: «Il mio idolo in F1 resta lui». Fra i tifosi di Giuliano, uno lo segue con attenzione particolare, Raikkonen, l’ultimo campione del mondo in rosso: «Kimi è una persona completamente diversa da quello che sembra. È informato su tutto, ogni volta che vado bene mi arrivano i suoi complimenti. Ed è veramente un onore».
Kimi Raikkonen slams ‘pointless’ Belgian GP yellow flag penalty
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen believes his 10-second stop/go penalty for failing to slow under double waved yellow flags in the Belgian Grand Prix was "pointless".
The stewards ruled that Raikkonen "made no attempt to significantly reduce his speed" when he passed yellow flags for Max Verstappen’s stricken Red Bull on the Kemmel Straight early in the race.
Raikkonen said he did not lift but he did not think it was necessary as the car was behind the barrier.
"I knew there was a yellow flag but the car was at least halfway behind the barrier on the straight," he said.
"I didn’t go faster but I didn’t lift on the straight.
"In my view it was pointless to get penalised for that.
"I completely understand if he was by the side of the circuit, on the proper side and there is people working on it.
"But this is what happened and I would be surprised if everybody else lifted."
Raikkonen dropped from fourth to seventh after taking the penalty but was able to easily pass Esteban Ocon and then Nico Hulkenberg.
He then went three-abreast on the Kemmel Straight with Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas after the safety car restart, with Ricciardo and Raikkonen passing Bottas for third and fourth respectively.
"On the restart I got a really good tow from two cars and then Ricciardo was on one side, Bottas was in the middle and I just had just enough speed to get next to Bottas, I managed to go on the inside," Raikkonen said.
"I got one car. After that I never really had the speed advantage over the Red Bull.
"They were surprisingly strong in race conditions compared to what they have been the whole weekend.
"They had good speed in the right places always and good lap times but at least I got one place back."
Belgian Grand Prix: Hamilton resists F1 title rival Vettel for win
Lewis Hamilton defeated Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel in the Belgian Grand Prix to close the gap in the championship to seven points.
Mercedes driver Hamilton managed a late safety car and a tyre disadvantage to fend off Vettel with relative ease, as Daniel Ricciardo claimed a surprise third for Red Bull.
Hamilton made a good start from pole position and built a 1.7-seconds lead before stopping for new soft tyres on lap 12 of 44.
Vettel ran two laps longer in the opening stint and rejoined two seconds behind Hamilton, who cleared the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen the lap before Vettel pitted.
A great first full flying lap for Vettel took 1.2s out of Hamilton’s lead and thrust the Ferrari into DRS range, but Hamilton responded immediately.
He built his advantage up to two seconds, before a safety car changed the complexion of the race entirely.
Force India duo Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez had clashed on the run to Eau Rouge on the opening lap, then came together in more dramatic fashion on lap 29.
Fighting over a net seventh, Ocon cut back on his team-mate exiting La Source, only for Perez to edge across and break Ocon’s front wing with his right-rear tyre.
That caused Perez’s tyre to deflate entering Eau Rouge and the pair littered the track with debris.
The field swapped tyres under the caution, with Hamilton taking softs to Vettel’s ultra-softs and then complaining over the radio as the safety car remained on track for three laps.
Vettel was tucked up underneath the Mercedes’ rear wing through Eau Rouge and Raidillon at the restart and pulled alongside as Hamilton defended on the run to Les Combes.
Somehow Hamilton hung on, and found enough pace on the slower tyre to bump Vettel out of DRS range and gradually extend his lead until the end to win by 2.3s.
Ricciardo started the race sixth but made his way to the podium, at a track not suited to the Renault-powered Red Bull, with a blend of fortune and opportunism.
Max Verstappen suffered a mechanical problem early on and stopped at the side of the track exiting Eau Rouge, which handed Ricciardo fifth – and ultimately fourth as well.
Kimi Raikkonen failed to slow sufficiently under the yellow flags that were thrown while Verstappen’s car was recovered and had to serve a 10s stop-go penalty.
That meant Ricciardo ran fourth under the late safety car, and used a slipstream and ultra-soft tyres at the restart to nail Valtteri Bottas’s soft-shod Mercedes into Les Combes.
Raikkonen dived inside Bottas at the same time to recover to fourth, as Bottas finished a muted fifth having run comfortably in third before the caution.
Nico Hulkenberg finished best of the rest for Renault with a quiet but excellent drive, while Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa took advantage of the messy race to claim seventh and eighth.
Ocon, who labelled Perez a "fucking idiot" over the radio, recovered to ninth as Perez eventually retired, while Carlos Sainz Jr took the final point.
Fernando Alonso ran as high as seventh but gradually fell back down the order and eventually retired with an engine problem in his McLaren-Honda.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||44||10.791s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||44||38.154s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||44||39.447s|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||44||49.940s|
|17||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||42||Accident|
|–||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||7||Engine|
Kimi Raikkonen: Sebastian Vettel’s Spa qualifying tow my own idea
Kimi Raikkonen says giving Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel a tow in Belgian Grand Prix qualifying was his own idea, not a team strategy.
Raikkonen had looked the stronger of the Ferrari drivers in practice, as he headed Vettel in all three sessions and after the first runs in the final qualifying segment.
But Raikkonen made a mistake during his last attempt in the pole shootout and aborted his lap, instead giving a tow to his team-mate.
Vettel ended up on the front row alongside the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and half a second up on Raikkonen, who was demoted to fourth by Valtteri Bottas.
"Don’t try to make a funny, stupid story," said Raikkonen when quizzed assisting Vettel.
"I had a mistake, I was coming back. If I can help our team, I will do it.
"It cost me nothing because I was coming in the pitlane.
"I knew he was behind me, so I sped up and tried to help him on the straight. It’s as simple as that."
While Vettel said his car felt significantly better on the final Q3 run, he also conceded the tow from Raikkonen helped.
"I had a little bit of a light front end, especially through sector two with the medium-speed, high-speed corners," Vettel said.
"I was lacking a little bit of response, but on the last lap the car was more alive. Immediately I could feel it turning into Turn 1 [La Source].
"Also I admit I was a bit lucky with Kimi, who had to abort the lap, and he gave me a very, very nice tow – which I think made it a bit more comfortable with Valtteri."
Vettel agreed it was not part of a team plan.
"He obviously wanted to finish that lap but when he did the mistake, and because of where we were positioned, I guess he saw a red car in the mirrors and thought ‘I would hand him a tow’, which was quite nice and obviously quite useful for me," he said.
"It wasn’t planned. I saw some other teams playing around with tows, previously in qualifying, but usually it is one of those things that you can’t plan, so you tend to stay away from it.
"I think it was very spontaneous."
Though Hamilton was 0.262 seconds clear in qualifying, Vettel believes Ferrari can challenge Mercedes in race trim.
Asked about the long-run pace, he said: "So far it has been looking pretty good, so I hope we can keep it up.
"The car on one lap, I thought all weekend it’s a bit trickier to get it all together. Consecutive laps, high fuel, I felt really good, so let’s see what we can do with strategy tomorrow as well.
"For sure Mercedes will be quick, but we don’t have to hide. We’re on the front row for a reason, we have the speed, and we should have it as well in the race."
Belgian GP qualifying: Hamilton equals Schumacher’s F1 pole record
Lewis Hamilton beat Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, equalling Michael Schumacher’s record tally of 68 career poles with a sublime performance.
Hamilton impressively broke through the 1m43s barrier for the first time in Q2 at Spa, and repeated the feat on his first run in Q3, leading Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by more than three tenths of a second.
Hamilton found even more time on his second Q3 run, clinching pole with a stunning 1m42.553s effort.
Vettel’s Ferrari languished in fourth after the first runs in Q3, but the world championship leader pulled things together on his second run, taking a tow from team-mate Raikkonen in the final sector to beat Bottas to the front row.
Vettel’s 1m42.795s lap made him the only driver other than Hamilton to lap below 1m43s.
Bottas improved to a 1m43.094s best on his own final run, but struggled in the middle sector compared to Hamilton and ended up relegated to the second row.
Raikkonen held a provisional front row spot after the first runs in Q3, despite suffering unexplained vibrations from the rear of his Ferrari throughout qualifying, but "fucked it up" on his final Q3 run so aborted the lap and dropped to fourth.
Max Verstappen was best of the Red Bulls in fifth, almost half a second clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, while Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault comfortably beat the Force Indias of Sergio Perez – who complained of a loss of grip in Q3 – and Esteban Ocon to seventh.
The second Renault of Jolyon Palmer looked set to qualify best of the rest behind the top three teams after setting the seventh quickest time in Q2, but he broke down at the exit of Stavelot on his out-lap in Q3, after losing gearbox oil pressure, so wound up 10th.
Fernando Alonso missed out on the final Q3 spot by 0.084s, despite the efforts of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne to give Alonso a tow along the Kemmel Straight on Alonso’s final flying lap.
Alonso then aborted the attempt, complaining of "no power" from his Honda engine at the exit of Pouhon over team radio.
Romain Grosjean found more than three tenths on his second Q2 run, but that was only good enough for 12th, ahead of Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen – who went slower on his second attempt – and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr.
Grosjean felt he lost downforce behind Vandoorne’s pitting McLaren in the final sector, without which he felt he might have made the top 10.
Vandoorne was 15th, but didn’t set a time in Q2 and will drop to the back of the grid in any case thanks to a 65-place penalty for two illegal engine changes earlier in the weekend.
Williams’s disastrous Spa weekend continued with both cars dropping out in Q1. Felipe Massa fell less than a tenth short of making the cut after a late improvement, knocked out by a better one from Sainz’s Toro Rosso.
Massa ended up 16th quickest, but will drop back thanks to a five-place grid penalty for ignoring double waved yellow flags in final practice.
Daniil Kvyat was 17th in the second Toro Rosso, almost seven tenths adrift of Sainz, complaining he had "no reference" after breaking down with an engine problem in the morning session. Kvyat will take a 20-place grid penalty for requiring an engine, turbo and MGU-H change before qualifying.
Massa’s Williams team-mate Lance Stroll was 18th quickest, but didn’t venture out for a second run in Q1 due to a rear wing problem.
Marcus Ericsson won the private battle of the Saubers to avoid being slowest of all in qualifying, beating team-mate Pascal Wehrlein to the 19th quickest time by 0.465s. Both will take grid penalties for gearbox changes.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.380s||0.827s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.863s||1.310s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.244s||2.691s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.369s||2.816s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.439s||–|
|19||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m46.028s||–|
Belgian GP: Kimi Raikkonen leads Ferrari one-two in final practice
Kimi Raikkonen headed a narrow Ferrari one-two in the final free practice session for Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Quickest in practice one and a close second to Lewis Hamilton on Friday afternoon, Raikkonen then set the fastest recorded lap on the current configuration of the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Saturday morning with a 1m43.916s.
Rain in the build-up to practice three meant initial laps were on intermediates tyres and no lap times were put on the board until a quarter of the way into the 60-minute session.
Soon after Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat kicked off the meaningful running with a lap on super-softs, Hamilton picked up where he left off on Friday, going top with a 1m45.480s effort on the same tyre.
But he was down to third at halfway point, leapfrogged by both Ferraris.
Raikkonen had first lapped a tenth off Hamilton and then cleared the Mercedes man with a 1m42.422s effort, while Vettel slotted into second, 0.036 seconds off, as the frontrunners’ super-soft runs concluded.
Red Bull was first among the big teams to send its drivers out on ultra-softs, but Daniel Ricciardo’s first flying lap on the compound was derailed by yellow flags – brought out by junior team driver Kvyat, who parked his Toro Rosso to the side of the Kemmel straight after reporting a loss of power.
When the car was cleared away – a small fire developing in the process – Ricciardo took the top spot with a 1m45.286s lap, before team-mate Max Verstappen improved the benchmark to a 1m45.034s.
But Red Bull’s time at the top was shortlived, as Raikkonen clocked in the current Spa layout’s first sub-1m44s lap with his first flyer.
Hamilton moved up to second, two tenths off, only for Vettel to reinstate a Ferrari one-two with a lap 0.001s better than the Mercedes.
There would be no further improvements among the top three, but their margin of almost a second over their nearest rivals remained until the chequered flag.
Verstappen and Ricciardo made no gains either, finishing fourth and sixth, split by the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who distinctly trailed Hamilton on both super-soft and ultra-soft pace having made errors on his first flying laps.
Jolyon Palmer was a standout performer in seventh, just two tenths off Ricciardo and more than half a second clear of 11th-placed Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was eighth, with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso making up the top 10.
Williams driver Felipe Massa, returning to action after the crash that meant he barely did any laps on Friday, was one spot behind 15th-placed team-mate Lance Stroll – and is under investigation for ignoring double-waved yellow flags.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.034s||1.118s||13|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.286s||1.370s||18|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.857s||1.941s||14|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.942s||2.026s||18|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.179s||2.263s||14|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m47.903s||3.987s||7|
Belgian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton heads practice before heavy rain
Lewis Hamilton continued his flying start to the resumption of the Formula 1 season by topping second practice for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.
Hamilton ended up relatively comfortable at the head of the times, defeating first-practice pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen as the Finn overshadowed his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
The initial flurry of lap times settled briefly with championship leader Vettel going quickest just after 10 minutes on a 1m46.405s, using super-soft tyres.
Valtteri Bottas briefly moved to the summit on a 1m46.331s on the same rubber 10 minutes later, but a lock-up at the La Source hairpin at the start of his lap meant that was always beatable.
Hamilton then set a 1m45.634s on softs, and that remained the benchmark until the qualifying simulations just after the half-hour mark.
Vettel was first of the frontrunners to bolt on ultra-softs and he jumped to first place on a 1m45.235s, which Bottas quickly beat with a 1m45.180s.
Raikkonen put Ferrari ahead again on a 1m45.015s, before Hamilton resumed his position in front.
The Briton failed to set an overall-best sector, but personal-best times in all three parts of the lap resulted in a 1m44.753s that left him a quarter of a second clear.
Vettel pushed again a few minutes later, setting the fastest first sector, but his lap fell away and allowed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to jump him into fourth, within half a second of Hamilton.
The teams switched to long runs and managed a few laps before light rain started to fall with 25 minutes remaining – and within five minutes every driver was back in the pits as the rain got even heavier.
Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso were the only two to head out for exploration runs, but bizarrely chose intermediate tyres – and tip-toed back to the pits immediately in conditions that even full wets would have been insufficient for.
Ricciardo wound up sixth fastest, 0.8s slower than team-mate Verstappen, after suffering a problem with the car in the first half of the session that briefly limited his running.
Nico Hulkenberg put Renault best of the rest in seventh, just ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso) and Hulkenberg’s team-mate Jolyon Palmer completed the top 10.
Haas duo Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen ended up 13th and 16th, having started the session with almost simultaneous DRS failures.
Magnussen was later involved in an odd incident with Sergio Perez, angering the Force India driver by getting in his way at the Turn 9 left-hander and then weaving in front of him on the run downhill to Pouhon.
The only driver not to set a time was Felipe Massa, who failed to take part after his practice one crash resulted in chassis change.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.225s||0.472s||16|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m46.072s||1.319s||15|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.473s||1.720s||19|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m46.561s||1.808s||19|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.984s||2.231s||18|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m47.450s||2.697s||12|
Belgian GP: Raikkonen pips Hamilton to fastest time in Spa FP1
Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time in first practice for the Belgian Grand Prix as Formula 1 returned from its summer break at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Ferrari driver pipped title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel to top spot in the opening session, though had to use ultra-soft tyres to defeat the soft-shod Hamilton.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon spent the opening half an hour of the session quickest, as he was the only driver to have completed a flying lap when Felipe Massa crashed after 15 minutes.
Massa ran wide across the gravel at the exit of Malmedy, the Turn 7 right-hander after Les Combes, and crunched the front-left of his Williams into the tyre barrier.
The session was stopped for 10 minutes and when running resumed Ocon’s 1m48.962s was swiftly beaten by team-mate Sergio Perez and Raikkonen, before Daniel Ricciardo and Hamilton started posting more representative lap times.
Ricciardo made good use of ultra-soft tyres to post a 1m46.656s, but Hamilton soon made P1 his own.
He went quickest just before the 90-minute session’s halfway mark on a 1m46.439s on super-soft tyres, and later went almost a second faster in the final half an hour on softs.
He had to abort his first flying lap on softs when Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas suffered an odd trip into the gravel on the exit of the Turn 11/12 chicane before Stavelot.
Bottas appeared to be getting out of the way of a McLaren on the right-hand side and dipped a wheel off-track, which caused him to slide across the gravel and lightly bump the tyre barrier.
As Bottas slowly got his Mercedes out of trouble and back to the pits, Hamilton stayed out on the same set of tyres and pumped in a 1m45.555s to leap a second clear of Ricciardo.
Vettel made a late switch to ultra-soft tyres and fell a tenth short of Hamilton, but when Raikkonen made the same change with five minutes to go he edged ahead of Hamilton by 0.053s.
Max Verstappen used his ultra-softs to jump ahead of Ricciardo with 20 minutes remaining, as the Red Bull ended up 0.8s slower than Raikkonen.
Bottas’s error consigned him to sixth, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, Ocon, Daniil Kvyat and Stoffel Vandoorne.
McLaren driver Vandoorne joined Hamilton and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson in trialling the controversial halo cockpit protection device at the start of FP1, with Vandoorne and Hamilton returning to the pits at the end of their outlap while Ericsson continued onto a second.
Fernando Alonso’s return to F1 track action in the second McLaren lasted just five minutes before he suffered a fresh bout of Honda engine woe.
The Spaniard is running an updated internal combustion engine this weekend, but he reported "no power" on his outlap and crawled back to the pits.
He emerged soon after the red flag and, despite his DRS shutting off "sluggishly", found enough reliability to set the 13th-fastest time.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m46.302s||0.800s||18|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m46.352s||0.850s||22|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m47.446s||1.944s||22|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m47.670s||2.168s||27|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m47.851s||2.349s||20|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.452s||2.950s||19|
Ferrari’s Raikkonen insists he can still win F1 races and titles
Kimi Raikkonen says he would not have committed to a fresh Formula 1 deal with Ferrari if he did not believe he could still win races and championships.
Ferrari confirmed earlier this week that it had extended Raikkonen’s contract for a further season.
Raikkonen, who has not won a race since returning to the outfit in 2014, says he is still capable of being competitive and that he would walk away from F1 the moment he felt he could no longer race hard.
When asked what aspect of F1 convinced him most to stay, the Finn said: "It’s purely the racing.
"I enjoy the racing, and obviously I want to do well.
"If I didn’t feel that I can go fast, and I wouldn’t be happy in myself, I wouldn’t be here.
"As long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that is why. If I didn’t feel that, I will be the first guy to do something else."
Raikkonen said he was not aware of the specific reasons behind Ferrari’s decision to award him another contract.
"You have to ask them," he said.
"Honestly, the only thing I was interested in was to be here next year.
"I don’t really care what the rest is thinking. The team feels the same way.
"What are the reasons? You have to go and ask them. What else can I say?"
Raikkonen said he hoped his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, whose contract with Ferrari comes to an end later this year, would also commit to a fresh deal with the outfit.
"We work very well together, as does the whole team," he said.
"It’s a good way of working but obviously I am not the one who decides.
"I have no idea what will happen in this case. Hopefully it will stay as it is now."
Q: Kimi, congratulations on your new Ferrari deal. Why is it the right thing for you and your career?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Well, I wouldn’t do it if I wouldn’t want to, and be happy with it and obviously the team feels the same way so, y’know…
Q: You’ve qualified third or higher on the grid at the last four races and you’re tied three-all with Vettel in the last six qualifying sessions and obviously we all saw you had the pace to win in Hungary. Are we seeing the highest level of challenge from your since your return to Ferrari, do you think?
KR: I don’t know. It’s so difficult to… everybody has their own view of things and obviously we want to do well, we want to improve and I guess you always find things to do better and, that way, find more speed. Lately it’s been a bit better, we’ve been feeling a bit more comfortable and been able to drive as want and obviously the result suddenly looks a bit better. I’m confident we are doing the right things and getting where we want to be.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) To Valtteri and Kimi: two Finns on the podium in two successive races for the first time ever. Would it mean anything to you to make a new kind of history with a hat trick?
KR: Obviously we must try to win races. If you don’t get that then you get the next positions and would it really make us happier? I don’t think I know. I think you’re happy if you win but less if you come second or third but obviously it’s been great for Finns, for us, but I don’t think it’s something that you aim to purposely do or you get more satisfaction from that I think is purely if you do better than worse.
Q: (Marco Privitera – LiveGP.it) Kimi, in Austria Sebastian said that Kimi is my favourite teammate for the next season. Do you have the same opinion? Do you think that Sebastian is your favourite teammate for the future?
KR: Yeah, I’m sure he is. I think we work very well together, as the whole team, a good way of working, but obviously I’m not the guy who decides who does what and obviously I have no idea what will happen in his case but hopefully all that stays how it is now and it would be perfect.
Q: (Graham Harris – Motorsport Monday, Motorsport Weekly) Kimi and Valtteri, one of you has been confirmed for next year, one of you is still waiting to be confirmed. You are both at the sharp end of the grid. Do you think, Kimi, the fact that you’ve got next year out of the way and we won’t be asking you these questions any more eases the pressure on you? And Valtteri, do you think that because you haven’t been confirmed and you don’t know what is actually happening next year this puts added pressure on you in addition to winning races?
KR: I don’t think it’s serious, you know. Maybe this weekend again you guys will not ask at the next race but start again, so that wouldn’t be a big surprise for me. Obviously it’s more easy to deal with that side of the stuff and we can put all our effort into pure racing. It just doesn’t change the end result, it doesn’t guarantee better results or worse results. It doesn’t work like that but it’s a good thing to be done.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) To all drivers: how do you imagine will be your flying lap on Saturday with cars that have a minimum 30 percent more downforce, tyres 25 percent wider and ultrasoft tyres?
KR: We’ve driven these cars all year so far; some circuits you feel that for sure you will go faster everywhere and obviously it’s quite a high speed circuit so we expect to be feeling a bit faster but I think it’s good for this place to have the grip and the speed through the corners and it makes it more exciting so I would guess that it’s quite a nice feeling.
Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, what is making you carry on racing, considering that you said that you would retire at the end of your contract with Ferrari 2015? It’s because you have the same excitement as you had at the beginning or just because you have the right car to compete?
KR: It’s purely the racing. The rest not but I enjoy racing and obviously I want to do well. If I did not feel that I can go fast I wouldn’t be happy in myself. If I wasn’t driving, I wouldn’t be here. I have zero interest to waste my time or the team’s time to be a part of it, it’s not the most nicest place to just hang around. So the racing is the main thing. Yes, there’s a lot of other sides of F1 but as long as the racing is the biggest part, then that’s it and as long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that’s fine. When I don’t feel like that I will be the first guy to do something else.