Kimi Raikkonen says his 2015 F1 season has been ‘painful’ at times
The 2015 Formula 1 season has been "painful sometimes" for Kimi Raikkonen because he has been closer to the pace but still short of results, says the Ferrari driver.
After ending 2014 12th in the championship without a single podium, Raikkonen has improved to fifth so far this season, but has still only been on the podium twice compared to new team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s 13 rostrum visits – which include three grand prix wins.
Asked by Autosport how he assessed his own performance at the moment, Raikkonen replied: "In many ways a lot better, but still the results are not what I want, for many different reasons.
"As a team we have been much stronger, compared to last year, when we were struggling with the speed.
"This year the speed is pretty OK, but the results still not there where I want it to be.
"Definitely we’re doing right things. It’s painful sometimes, but that’s how it is in F1.
"You make a mistake, you pay the price and that’s fair enough.
"I’ve been in positions like this before and I’m sure we can keep going in the right direction and make sure we are more ready and making better decisions and better results next year."
He said the key to improving that form in 2016 was nothing more complicated than minimising mistakes on both his part and Ferrari’s so he could get more clean runs through grand prix weekends.
"We have all of the theories," said Raikkonen.
"Obviously we haven’t finished many races, we made mistakes, some issues myself, sometimes with the car, but we have to minimise all of the mistakes, it doesn’t matter who makes them.
"The speed is there, we just have to put the results there and I’m sure we will then get what we deserve.
"It’s just too many things have not gone as we planned. There are not a lot of things to tidy up, but I’m sure we can."
CHASSIS FOCUS THIS WINTER
Ferrari’s 2015 resurgence owed much to significant gains in engine performance.
While further development in that area is on the agenda for the winter, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said making sure the chassis matched those strides was a priority in Ferrari’s efforts to gain on Mercedes.
"We are looking forward to improve the car in every single part," said Arrivabene.
"The engine was the big improvement for this year and next year we are working very hard on all of the other parts of the car."
Brazilian GP: Ferrari F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen ‘bored’ in fourth
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen says he was bored on his way to a fourth-place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen finished where he started and was the last car on the lead lap, more than 30 seconds behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who switched from a two-stop to a three-stop strategy mid-race.
Sticking to his original strategy meant the Finn’s race was about tyre conservation.
"Quite a boring race in the end for me," he said.
"With the new tyres it was OK, but then on the used tyres I struggled with the front and the tyre behaviour every time so it was a bit tricky.
"We started fourth and finished fourth, obviously not the nicest handling throughout the race, but it was better than the last person.
"If we’d done a three-stop rather than a two-stop I don’t think the end result would have looked any different."
Prior to Felipe Massa’s exclusion, the top eight drivers on the grid finished inside the top eight in the race, in largely the same order, prompting Vettel and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton to call for initiatives to help overtaking.
Raikkonen said it simply resembled a normal, dry grand prix.
"This is how it is quite often," he said.
"We happened to have some odd conditions and then a lot of things can happen with the safety cars and stuff like that so then there is a lot of overtaking and a lot of battles.
"But quite often we can have a pretty boring race from start to finish.
"It’s one of those days."
FOURTH OR FIFTH NOT A FACTOR
After a pair of DNFs following clashes with Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, Raikkonen moved back to within one point of Bottas in the battle for fourth in the drivers’ championship.
However, he insists that fight is not on his radar.
"It’s better than fifth but does it really matter?" he said.
"People don’t really remember if you finish fourth or fifth in the end.
"I will try to do the maximum results but it’s not going to change our world wherever we finish."
Brazilian F1 GP: Nico Rosberg defeats Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos
Nico Rosberg took his second successive Formula 1 victory as he comfortably led home Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Polesitter Rosberg came across on Hamilton as the duo approached the Senna S at the start, boldly defending his position to retain the lead and from then dictated the race from the front.
Newly-crowned champion Hamilton asked his team if it could tweak his strategy to give him a chance to beat Rosberg, but ultimately the Briton shadowed his team-mate on a three-stop and crossed the line 7.7 seconds adrift.
They had briefly been nose to tail in the second stint, before Hamilton fell away with heavier tyre wear.
Rosberg’s fifth victory of the season secured second in the drivers’ championship as his main rival for the position Sebastian Vettel could only finish third for Ferrari.
It was a largely processional race with a small threat of rain in the closing stages never materialising and Rosberg lapping everyone up to fourth place.
Ferrari was unable to challenge Mercedes. Vettel tried something different by running a second stint on the softs as most chose mediums but could not get closer and finished comfortably clear of two-stopping team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in third.
Williams’s Valtteri Bottas made a brilliant getaway from his penalised seventh on the grid to squeeze past Daniil Kvyat and Nico Hulkenberg for fifth.
But that was as good as it got for the Finn, who stayed in that position for the remainder of the race and ensured his Williams team clinched third in the constructors’ championship.
Hulkenberg crossed the line sixth, ahead of Kvyat and Felipe Massa, whose Williams team was summoned to the stewards after the race in relation to a tyre pressure and temperature discrepancy on the grid.
Romain Grosjean was ninth ahead of Max Verstappen, who made a series of passes in the final stint after choosing to run the soft.
It was Verstappen’s sixth successive points-scoring finish, which is record run for a Toro Rosso driver.
It was a tougher day for his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, who had a problem on the grid and had to start from the pitlane before retiring on the first lap.
Pastor Maldonado, who ended up 11th, collided with Marcus Ericsson at the Senna S, tipping the Sauber into a spin and incurring a five-second penalty.
Daniel Ricciardo, running the updated Renault engine, was 12th, ahead of Felipe Nasr and McLaren duo Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
Ericsson, who lost five places on the first lap when he ran wide at the Descida do Lago, continued after the contact with Maldonado but lost too much ground and finished 17th.
The Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi, who will be replaced by Roberto Merhi for the final race in Abu Dhabi, completed the finishers in 18th and 19th respectively.
RESULTS – 71 LAPS:
|5||Valtteri Bottas||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|8||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|9||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|11||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|14||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|15||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|16||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||2 Laps|
|18||Will Stevens||Marussia/Ferrari||4 Laps|
|19||Alexander Rossi||Marussia/Ferrari||4 Laps|
|–||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||Retirement|
“Not too bad after all”
Kimi only rues last corners offline
Kimi Raikkonen: “I don’t think it’s ever going to be easy but you know, today it was not too bad. I went sideways in the last lap in turn 11 and this also affected the run into the last corner. So the end of my lap was not ideal and I lost time, but apart from that the car has been working well, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow, trying to make a good start and moving on from there. The balance of the car was ok, it has been behaving pretty well, although obviously not fast enough for beating the Mercedes. For sure we could have been a bit higher up the time chart, but I think it was not too bad. I’ll start from fourth anyway tomorrow and maybe the weather will be different from today. I heard about Paris this morning, it’s very sad. Unfortunately, in the world these odd things seem to happen.”
Brazilian GP: Nico Rosberg extends F1 pole streak at Interlagos
Nico Rosberg claimed his fifth Formula 1 pole position in a row by narrowly defeating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Rosberg was faster than Hamilton throughout the crucial final segment of the session, eventually claiming the 21st pole of his F1 career by just 0.078 seconds.
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari was third fastest, half a second shy of the top spot, while the Williams of Valtteri Bottas split Vettel from Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by finding slightly more time on his second run than his fellow Finn.
Bottas will take a three-place grid penalty, however, for overtaking under red flags during Friday’s second practice session.
Nico Hulkenberg impressively rounded out the top six in his Force India, narrowly faster than Daniil Kvyat in the best of the Red Bulls.
Felipe Massa’s Williams, the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo (running the updated Renault engine here), and Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso completed the top 10.
Ricciardo will drop to a provisional 19th when the penalty for his earlier engine change is applied.
Massa and Verstappen hauled themselves into the top-10 shootout with late improvements in Q2, which meant Felipe Nasr’s impressive lap for Sauber was only good enough for 11th on the timesheet.
Carlos Sainz Jr complained of problems with the dash and data in his Toro Rosso as the Spaniard ended up only 12th fastest, ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez, who was a massive 0.662s slower than team-mate Hulkenberg in Q2.
Marcus Ericsson was 14th fastest in the second Sauber, followed by the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, who spun at Ferradura on his crucial lap and then had insufficient tyre life left to get anywhere near making the top 10 on his subsequent effort.
The second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado and Jenson Button’s McLaren were next, narrowly missing out on making the Q2 cut in a tight battle during the first segment of qualifying.
Maldonado was just 0.039s slower than Ericsson’s Sauber in placing 16th, while Button reckoned McLaren went "a little bit too far with the front wing" as he ended up 17th, just 0.040s further back.
Team-mate Fernando Alonso failed to set a time after his McLaren-Honda broke down with "no power" early on in the session.
The double world champion was therefore classified last, behind the Manor Marussias of Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens, who were separated by just over a tenth of a second.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.265s||0.983s|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.322s||1.040s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m12.739s||1.457s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.045s||–|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.147s||–|
|19||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.417s||–|
Brazilian F1 GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice despite incidents
Lewis Hamilton had the final say over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg during a complicated third Brazilian Grand Prix practice session for the 2015 Formula 1 champion.
Hamilton endured a gear-selection problem and was later involved in a spin during the hour-long run at Interlagos before eventually posting the fastest time so far.
The 30-year-old set a lap of 1m12.070s, beating Rosberg by 0.123 seconds in the soft-tyre blast that closed the session.
The duo were head and shoulders clear of Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, with the former 0.690s off the pace, and the latter a full second down.
In the medium-tyre runs that dominated the opening 45 minutes, Rosberg, who did not take to the track until 22 minutes into the session, surged his way to the top on only his fourth lap, deposing Vettel by three tenths of a second.
The German then traded fastest laps with Hamilton, who had earlier prompted yellow flags momentarily when he radioed in to say he had "lost gears", bringing him to a halt on track.
Hamilton managed to get going and returned immediately to the pits, and following a quick check was back out again, with his first flying lap shaving a tenth off Rosberg’s time.
Rosberg, however, swiftly responded as moments later he again returned to the top, improving on Hamilton’s lap by almost a third of a second.
Hamilton was then poised to reclaim top spot, setting the fastest time in the first sector by three tenths of a second, only to spin into Mergulho.
Attempting to explain over the radio, Hamilton said: "Don’t know what happened there. The rear gave up real quick and I couldn’t really react to it," to which engineer Pete Bonnington replied: "Looks like the rear just spun up".
That had followed a message from Rosberg in which he also claimed the "rear grip dropped away quite a lot" on one of his runs.
After switching to the softs, Hamilton’s flier was done on his first run, and although Rosberg set the quickest time in the first sector soon after, he was unable to maintain the momentum, missing out by just over a tenth.
Behind the Ferraris were Williams’s Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, followed by Lotus pair Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado in seventh and ninth respectively, either side of Hulkenberg’s team-mate Sergio Perez.
Max Verstappen completed the top 10 for Toro Rosso, but almost 1.5s down.
Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Kvyat – who had been third at the end of the medium-tyre runs – wound up 11th and 13th, with Felipe Massa in between.
McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were a lowly 14th and 18th, the latter 2.375s off the pace.
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.345s||1.275s||19|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.506s||1.436s||18|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.548s||1.478s||21|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.572s||1.502s||23|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.829s||1.759s||17|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.959s||1.889s||23|
Brazilian GP: Nico Rosberg heads Lewis Hamilton in F1 practice two
Nico Rosberg headed Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton in second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
The German clocked a 1m12.385s on the soft Pirelli compound, 0.458 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel half-a-second further back.
Spits of rain fell throughout the session and though the track was slippery in parts, the warm conditions meant it was not damp enough for intermediates.
There was a flurry of activity at first, with everyone heading out promptly in case the rain intensified.
Hamilton, fastest in first practice, set the pace early on when the medium compound was in use, 0.136s clear of Rosberg.
Valtteri Bottas was the first to switch to the softs and went quickest by 0.031s, Pirelli suggesting there is around a one-second difference between the two compounds.
A number of other drivers headed out on the softs but had to abort their runs when the session was red-flagged to recover Fernando Alonso’s stricken McLaren-Honda.
The double world champion spun at the Descida do Lago left-hander and then pulled off track a few corners later with smoke pouring from the rear of his car.
The session restarted 10 minutes later, with Rosberg pumping in his pacesetting time on a single-lap outing.
Attention then turned to long runs ahead of Sunday’s race.
Hamilton and Rosberg were closely matched on their long run on the softs, before swapping to the mediums for the final 10 minutes.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest for Ferrari, 1.115s off the pace, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who is running Renault’s latest spec engine and will take a 10-place grid penalty due to the resultant component changes.
Bottas was sixth, having had a spin at Pinheirinho during a long run on the mediums, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg.
Daniil Kvyat, running the old-spec Renault power unit in his Red Bull, and Felipe Massa completed the top 10.
Sergio Perez was three tenths slower than Force India team-mate Hulkenberg in 11th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Nasr.
The Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz were 14th and 15th, followed by Jenson Button, who was 2.259s off the pace in the second McLaren.
Marcus Ericsson, Alonso and the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi completed the timesheet.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.585s||1.200s||39|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.710s||1.325s||43|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.848s||1.463s||40|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.056s||1.671s||34|
|14||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.226s||1.841s||35|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.326s||1.941s||45|
Brazilian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads opening Friday F1 practice
Lewis Hamilton began his bid for a first Brazilian Grand Prix victory by leading the way in the opening Formula 1 practice session at Interlagos.
The three-time champion, in the headlines over the past 24 hours following a road car accident in Monaco earlier this week he put down to "heavy partying", shrugged aside the incident to comfortably outpace Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
The German swept practice and claimed pole position en route to victory a year ago, and came into this weekend fresh from his recent triumph over Hamilton in the last race in Mexico.
But it was Hamilton, who has also been struggling with a fever this week, who set the pace with a 1m13.543s on Pirelli’s medium-compound rubber.
The 30-year-old ended the 90-minute session, run in warm, dry conditions, just over half a second clear of Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a further tenth of a second adrift in third.
Hamilton had also led after the first half-hour with the additional set of tyres, just 0.021s clear of Rosberg at that point, with Vettel almost six tenths of a second further back.
It was not until the session was 55 minutes old that Vettel jumped to the top, moving just over two tenths clear of Hamilton, only to be swiftly deposed by Rosberg.
Five minutes later Hamilton then swept the board through the sectors in posting his leading lap, although a couple of minutes either side of that he endured lock ups into the Senna S, running wide on both occasions.
With 22 minutes remaining Hamilton then complained of a "weird" feeling and vibrations in the clutch as he left the garage on another run, leading to a swift return, although he did emerge later on for a longer stint.
Daniel Ricciardo, running Renault’s upgraded power unit this weekend for which he will be hit with a 10-place grid penalty, was fourth quickest in his Red Bull, and the only other driver to finish within a second of Hamilton.
Team-mate Daniil Kvyat was two tenths behind Ricciardo in sixth, with Kimi Raikkonen splitting the duo in his Ferrari, finishing 1.006s off the pace, although with the Finn spinning into the gravel with 10 minutes remaining.
Valtteri Bottas was 1.343s down in his seventh, followed by Max Verstappen, who survived his own early spin through the sweeping Turn 3 left-hander, to eventually finish eighth quickest.
Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10.
The Venezuelan’s team-mate for next year Jolyon Palmer, again replacing the Haas-bound Romain Grosjean for first practice, finished 12th and just 0.160s behind Maldonado.
McLaren duo Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were split by a mere 0.034s in 13th and 16th, while in his last race of his short spell for Manor, Alexander Rossi got the better of Will Stevens, albeit with the duo both over four seconds down at the rear of the field.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.449s||0.906s||27|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.696s||1.153s||25|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.960s||1.417s||38|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m15.174s||1.631s||33|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m15.314s||1.771s||38|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m15.408s||1.865s||32|
“No clear picture yet” – Kimi baffled by “messy” day
Kimi Raikkonen: “In general, the two sessions were quite confusing: a lot of things happened and I don’t think we have got a clear picture. In the morning we spent the first half an hour to do some aero testing, then we had one run followed by a small issue with the set up and I spun off. In the afternoon a lot of things kept happening, always when we went out. We had some laptimes but it was quite messy in all ways. I haven’t seen what the others did in the long run, our race pace felt ok but we’re still struggling a bit. Now we have to look at what we did today and then try to fix certain issues for tomorrow. For sure we have some work to do.”