A proposito di Kimi

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A proposito di Kimi, parlano gli ingegneri–29/08/2016


Tanti gli ingegneri contenti del rinnovo di Raikkonen per il 2017

Il mese scorso la Ferrari ha ufficializzato il rinnovo del contratto di Kimi Raikkonen anche per la stagione 2017, tra i tanti pareri contrastanti del paddock e dei tifosi.

Da una parte c’è chi crede che il finlandese possa dare ancora molto alla Rossa e mantenerlo anche per la prossima stagione possa essere una mossa volta alla continuità e al tenere un pilota che, in questa stagione, sta dimostrando di saper correre ancora ad altri livelli. Dall’altra parte c’è chi sostiene che il finlandese non sia la persona giusta per la squadra di Maranello e avrebbe preferito vedere un altro pilota in Rosso.

A favore della scelta, però, ci sono diversi ingegneri che hanno avuto modo di lavorare con il finlandese nel corso della sua carriera, tra questi Mark Slade, Chris Dyer e Andrea Stella.

Mark Slade ha lavorato con il finlandese in McLaren e in Lotus e ha così commentato il rinnovo al quotidiano Turun Sanomat: “Il fatto che sia stato confermato anche per il 2017. Kimi sembra andare d’accordo con Sebastian Vettel e penso che una buona atmosfera all’interno della squadra aiuterà la Ferrari a migliorare. Quando si vuole cambiare pilota, bisogna essere sicuri che stai prendendo qualcuno migliore”.

Chi ha visto Raikkonen nel suo anno migliore è Chris Dyer, ingegnere di pista del finlandese nella stagione 2007, quella del titolo mondiale: “Dall’esterno, Kimi non sembra essere cambiato dal pilota che conoscevo nove anni fa. È sempre stato in grado di fare grandi risultati quando la vettura si adattava al suo stile di guida. Durante questa stagione ha avuto lo stesso passo di Vettel, anche quando la vettura non funzionava come voleva, che in passato sicuramente non è stato il punto forte di Kimi”.

Anche Andrea Stella, ora in McLaren dopo aver seguito Fernando Alonso, non è rimasto sorpreso dal rinnovo di Raikkonen, con cui ha lavorato nel 2008 e nel 2009 in Ferrari: “Non sono sorpreso di veder Kimi continuare. A me sembra sempre lo stesso. È ancora un pilota molto forte e credo che sia addirittura migliorato dall’anno scorso” ha poi concluso l’ingegnere italiano.

Da f1grandprix.motorionline.com


GP Belgio, commenti post gara–28/08/2016


Raikkonen: Verstappen will have massive crash if he doesn’t change

Kimi Raikkonen believes Max Verstappen will have a "massive accident sooner or later" if he doesn’t change his behaviour in on track battles in Formula 1.

The Ferrari driver was furious with Verstappen for the way he defended on the Kemmel Straight in the Belgian Grand Prix, feeling the teenager moved too late to cover the inside line.

"The problem is when I came with DRS I am 15-20kph faster than him and once I turn he waits and waits and turns after me," said Raikkonen.

"The speed difference is quite high so I have to brake and slow down to avoid him.

"It’s not what should happen at full speed, but for whatever reasons the stewards say it is OK.

"If I would not have braked we would have had a massive accident and I’m sure it will happen sooner or later if this doesn’t change.

"It seems to be OK [because Verstappen was not penalised], so it’s interesting to see once something happens who is to blame.

"Maybe it needs an accident before things get more clear to everybody, but hopefully not because it can be bad for somebody and nobody wants to see something like that happen.

"Fighting hard is fine but something like that should not be correct."

Raikkonen’s Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who was caught up in a first-corner tangle with Verstappen and Raikkonen at the start, says he will talk to the Red Bull racer about his driving.

"I’m not a fan of penalising people, it’s not the way to educate," said Vettel.

"We need to talk to each other, we need to have respect.

"The best way to educate is to talk rather than create a fuss in the media.

"We are men and it is best to stand in front of each other and talk to each other.

"It’s right to criticise but it’s wrong to try and make too much of a story.

"I get along with him, I like him, but certain movements, especially under braking – which I faced when I was racing with him – are not correct.

"It’s probably something that needs to click and he needs to understand."

Speaking about the first corner incident specifically, Vettel described Verstappen’s move on the inside as "bold", and explained that he turned in on the two cars to his right because they were in his blind spot.

"With hindsight it was easy – if I’d turned in later or wider only those two would be making contact and I’d get away with it," he said.

"But the problem is that you can’t fit three cars in that corner and the inside one is able to trigger trouble on the outside, which is what both Kimi and myself suffered from."

Da Autosport.com

 


Max Verstappen slams Ferrari’s Vettel/Raikkonen after Spa collision

Max Verstappen has hit out at Ferrari Formula 1 drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel after an incident-packed Belgian Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Verstappen collided with the Ferraris at the first corner as all three cars tried to get around the La Source hairpin side-by-side, and he had more run-ins with Raikkonen as they fought back through the field later in the race.

Raikkonen was heavily critical of Verstappen on the radio, saying "his only interest is pushing me off the circuit completely" and later calling his driving "fucking ridiculous".

Raikkonen was particularly unhappy with Verstappen moving late to defend his position on the Kemmel Straight, which he claimed forced him to brake at full speed to avoid an accident.

When asked by TV crews if he needs to tone down his driving, Verstappen said: "To be honest, it’s a big lie.

"I’m just defending my position and if somebody doesn’t like it it’s his own problem.

"After Turn 1 when they do something like that, I’m not going to give up my position that easily afterwards."

Raikkonen added: "I’m all up for fair battles and close racing but when I have to back off on the straight when I’m making my move, that’s not correct.

"I had to brake from full speed. I haven’t had that with any other driver."

The teenager put most of the blame for the "ridiculous" first-corner collision on Vettel, who was on the outside going into the corner, with Raikkonen in the middle.

"My start wasn’t great but I dived on the inside, I didn’t lock a wheel, so I was easily making the corner," said Verstappen.

"But they just kept squeezing me and at one point I was on the inside, Kimi was squeezing, but then Sebastian just turned in on both of us.

"He knows he is on the outside and he just turns into the corner where there are two other cars.

"That took my front wing, I had a lot of damage and my floor got destroyed, so from there the race was gone."

Verstappen could only recover to 11th, missing out on points, as he struggled for pace with his damaged car.

Da Autosport.com


GP Belgio, gara–28/08/2016


Nico Rosberg wins Belgian GP as Lewis Hamilton charges to third

Nico Rosberg clinched his first Belgian Grand Prix victory as Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton claimed a podium from 21st on the grid in a chaotic race at Spa.

Rosberg has now closed the gap to Hamilton in the F1 title race to nine points, but would have been hoping for more given the reigning champion’s back-row start due to numerous penalties accrued for three power unit changes.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was sandwiched by the Mercedes duo to solidify his third place in the drivers’ standings ahead of Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who could only manage sixth and ninth following numerous incidents.

The field was reduced to 17 cars within just five laps and was red-flagged on lap nine for barrier repairs after a frightening crash that sent Renault’s Kevin Magnussen to hospital.

At the start, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was slow away from second and swallowed up on the short run down to the La Source hairpin by both Raikkonen and Vettel.

As Vettel dived down the inside of Raikkonen and Vettel turned in, Raikkonen was left with nowhere to go in the middle and the trio made contact.

Vettel spun to the back, while Verstappen and Raikkonen were forced to pit due to damage sustained, with the Ferrari developing a small underside fire to add to the drama.

Later on the opening lap Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein ran into the back of Jenson Button’s McLaren coming out of Les Combes, with both retiring.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr was next out on lap two after sustaining a puncture along the Kemmel straight, and although the Spaniard tried to continue, he only succeeded in further damaging the car before pulling off track.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, who had started the race from the pitlane due to the team working on cooling issues, also soon retired after losing sixth gear.

Penalised tail-end starters Fernando Alonso and Hamilton had reached 10th and 11th by lap six, when Magnussen ploughed into the Raidillon barrier.

Hurtling up through Eau Rouge, Magnussen appeared to take too much kerb on the exit, sending the Dane into a high-speed spin across the track before ramming into the wall, resulting in a safety car period.

A flurry of stops for fresh tyres followed over the first two laps under yellow, promoting Alonso and Hamilton up to fourth and fifth as they had no need to change rubber given they had started on the mediums at the back.

But with the barriers severely damaged, FIA race director Charlie Whiting took the decision to red flag the race for 17 minutes to allow repairs to be carried out.

The running order at that stage was Rosberg ahead of Ricciardo, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Alonso and Hamilton, with Vettel 11th, Verstappen 16th and Raikkonen 17th.

Raikkonen and Verstappen would make contact again soon after the restart.

When Verstappen blocked Raikkonen on the following lap at high speed down the Kemmel straight, the Finn again expressed expletive-laden anger.

Up front, Hamilton moved up to third on lap 18 of the 44 by passing Hulkenberg into Les Combes.

A slow pitstop three laps later dropped Hamilton to ninth, but as those ahead made their stops soon afterwards he rose back into the top three behind Rosberg and Ricciardo.

The out-of-sequence championship leader then had to overtake Force India’s Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg again after his third stop to clinch the final podium position, as Rosberg took the chequered flag by 14.1s from Ricciardo.

Hulkenberg and Perez finished fourth and fifth, bringing Force India ahead of Williams to fourth in the constructors’ championship by two points.

The recovering Vettel and Alonso were sixth and seventh, with Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa eighth and 10th either side of Raikkonen.

Verstappen tried a different strategy for his comeback drive but could only reach 11th.

On his F1 debut, Esteban Ocon held off Felipe Nasr to claim 16th.

RESULTS – 44 LAPS:

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h44m51.058s
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 14.113s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 27.634s
4 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 35.907s
5 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 40.660s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 45.394s
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 59.445s
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m00.151s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m01.109s
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m05.873s
11 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m11.138s
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m13.877s
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m16.474s
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m27.097s
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m33.165s
16 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1 Lap
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
Kevin Magnussen Renault Spun off
Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari Retirement
Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari Retirement
Jenson Button McLaren/Honda Collision
Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes Collision

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 232
2 Nico Rosberg 223
3 Daniel Ricciardo 151
4 Sebastian Vettel 128
5 Kimi Raikkonen 124
6 Max Verstappen 115
7 Valtteri Bottas 62
8 Sergio Perez 58
9 Nico Hulkenberg 45
10 Felipe Massa 39
11 Fernando Alonso 30
12 Carlos Sainz 30
13 Romain Grosjean 28
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
24 Esteban Ocon 0

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 455
2 Red Bull/Renault 274
3 Ferrari 252
4 Force India/Mercedes 103
5 Williams/Mercedes 101
6 McLaren/Honda 48
7 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 45
8 Haas/Ferrari 28
9 Renault 6
10 Manor/Mercedes 1
11 Sauber/Ferrari 0

Da Autosport.com


GP Belgio, commenti post qualifiche–27/08/2016


Kimi Raikkonen feels Belgian Grand Prix F1 pole position was possible

Kimi Raikkonen believes pole position for Sunday’s Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix was possible had he not lost time because of understeer in the final chicane.

The Ferrari driver made a mistake on his first run when he ran through the gravel at Stavelot, but he regrouped to finish third quickest with his final attempt, just 0.166s adrift of pole-sitter Nico Rosberg.

"The second run was pretty good but comparing to my Q2 lap, I lost two tenths in the last chicane," said Raikkonen.

"I got understeer. Obviously pole position was there. We had a good chance.

"It would have been more easy not going off on the first run and have a decent lap but that is how it is.

"It’s disappointing because we were close and it would have been nice to get it.

"Compared to the previous few races, we can be satisfied with where we are with qualifying.

"But we are not in front so we cannot be too happy."

Ferrari went aggressive with its tyre strategy, choosing seven super-softs, five softs and just one medium set for this weekend.

But despite the super-soft expected to only last a handful of laps in the unusually hot conditions at Spa, Raikkonen – who will start on the soft – remained confident in Ferrari’s strategy.

"We should be just fine," he said. "It has been probably more tricky than anyone expected because the conditions are not exactly normal Spa conditions.

"What we have, it’s enough for what we want to do so it should be fine."

Da Autosport.com


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


Nico Rosberg beats Max Verstappen to Belgian Grand Prix pole

Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, but was pushed hard by Red Bull Formula 1 rival Max Verstappen.

With Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton choosing not to try for pole, on account of a 55-place grid penalty for multiple F1 engine changes so far at Spa, Rosberg looked set to face a relatively unchallenged run to pole.

He was fastest in Q2 on the soft tyre with a 1m46.999s lap, which was quicker than Verstappen could manage on the super-soft.

Rosberg bolted on the super-softs for Q3, but couldn’t find much more time on them.

He improved to a 1m46.744s best on his first run in Q3, which was enough to beat Verstappen to pole by 0.249 seconds when neither driver managed to go faster on their final runs.

Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest for Ferrari, almost two tenths clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who lost time to a big oversteer moment at the Bus Stop chicane on his final flying lap. Raikkonen also dropped time at the end of his lap, and felt that cost him a shot at pole.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest in the second Red Bull, just over three tenths down on Verstappen.

Ricciardo endured a poor first run in Q3, but improved enough on his second to make the top six.

Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg took sixth and seventh places respectively for Force India, while fellow Mercedes customer team Williams suffered software problems with both cars in Q3.

This meant it couldn’t run full qualifying mode on the engines, restricting Valtteri Bottas to eighth and Felipe Massa to 10th.

Massa also locked his brakes heavily at La Source on his single Q3 run, and Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda was able to squeak ahead of him into ninth place.

Button’s place in Q3 came at the expense of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, which ended up missing the cut by 0.265s.

Renault delivered its best qualifying performance of the season so far with Kevin Magnussen 12th fastest and team-mate Jolyon Palmer 14th.

They were split by the second Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, which faces a five-place grid penalty for impeding Pascal Wehrlein’s Manor at Raidillon in final practice.

Wehrlein made it through to Q2, but wound up last in that segment, after a disappointing run in which he went slower than he did in Q1.

Carlos Sainz Jr was just ahead of him in the first of the Toro Rossos, also unable to improve on his Q1 best.

Felipe Nasr failed to escape Q1 in the heavily revised Sauber by just 0.048s and wound up 17th overall, a tenth ahead of Manor debutant Esteban Ocon.

Daniil Kvyat endured yet another Q1 exit for Toro Rosso, ending up 19th fastest, fractionally ahead of the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.

Reigning world champion Hamilton set the 20th fastest time in the second Mercedes, completing a leisurely run to simply register on the timesheet knowing he will start at the back of the grid.

Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda broke down before he could complete an out-lap in qualifying, so he failed to set a time.

Honda found what it described as a "data anomaly" with Alonso’s engine after the final practice session, but elected to send him out without making an engine change.

PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m46.744s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m46.893s 0.149s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m46.910s 0.166s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m47.108s 0.364s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m47.216s 0.472s
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m47.407s 0.663s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m47.543s 0.799s
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m47.612s 0.868s
9 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m48.114s 1.370s
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m48.263s 1.519s
11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m48.316s
12 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m48.485s
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m48.888s
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m49.038s
15 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m49.320s
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m48.949s
17 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m49.050s
18 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m48.598s
19 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m49.058s
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m49.071s
21 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m50.033s
22 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda

Da Autosport.com


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


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