Kimi Raikkonen, whose gamble on making an early switch to intermediates did not pay off, dropping him to eighth, agreed that Ferrari struggled for top speed.
"We were faster than [Nico] Hulkenberg in the first stint but I couldn’t get past," said the Finn.
"We weren’t fast enough on the straights, where you really have the chance to overtake.
"The car was fine. It felt better than yesterday, all was OK, just the laptime was missing.
"I don’t know for what reason, but the handling was as good as it could have been.
"Then the rain came and we chose to do something but it was too early.
"I thought it would keep raining, but it was four laps too early.
"It was the wrong choice, but it’s what we tried."
British GP – An early call-perhaps too early
Kimi rues his decision not to stay out longer
Kimi Raikkonen: “In the early part of the race we were stuck behind Hulkenberg’s Force India, they were too fast on the straight and in the places you could pass, while we lacked some speed. It’s a pity because the handling of the car was good through the whole race and the behavior was definitely better than yesterday. When it started raining heavily, the track became very slippery, especially in Turns 7 and 8; so I took the decision to come in the pits for Intermediate, but then the rain stopped. Probably I made the call three or four laps too early. But in general, this kind of track is not ideal for us, and this is something we have to work on.”
British GP: Lewis Hamilton takes hard-fought home Formula 1 win
Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the third time with a battling drive to victory in a rain-hit race Silverstone Formula 1 race initially led by Williams.
Mercedes’ F1 champion recovered from a poor getaway, in which he dropped from pole position to third, and then drove confidently when rain fell in the second-half of the race before timing his switch to the intermediate tyre well.
Nico Rosberg finished second, the German able to pass both Valtteri Bottas and then Felipe Massa, who struggled in the wet conditions after leading the first stint for Williams, to limit the loss to Hamilton in the championship, with the gap now 17 points.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel benefited from an early switch to the intermediates to leapfrog both Williams as the rain intensified to finish third.
Massa made an explosive start from third on the grid, slicing through the middle of the slow-starting Mercedes to take the lead into Abbey, with Bottas slotting into second ahead of Hamilton and Rosberg.
Hamilton reclaimed second with a pass on Bottas into Village, but the race was then neutralised when the safety car was called into action following collisions in the midfield.
The Lotus of Romain Grosjean appeared to tangle with the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, which speared the Frenchman into his team-mate Pastor Maldonado, putting both out of the race.
That incident caused a secondary accident behind with Fernando Alonso taking avoiding action and hitting his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, which put the Briton out of the race and left Alonso needing to pit for a new nose.
At the restart, Hamilton launched an attack on Massa into Club, but ran wide as the Williams defended the lead.
That opened the door for Bottas to nip in and take second, with Hamilton having to fend off Rosberg.
Bottas closed on Massa and while the team initially told both drivers to work together, it then allowed Bottas to attack but the Finn could not find a way through.
Hamilton was the first to pit, crucially rejoining in front of the longer-running Force India of Sergio Perez, with Massa and Rosberg pitting together the next time around.
Massa exited his pitbox alongside Rosberg and kept his nose in front on the exit but by then, Hamilton had gone through.
Bottas then pitted and rejoined between Massa and Rosberg, meaning Hamilton inherited the lead, the Briton leading for the 18th race in succession to break Sir Jackie Stewart’s 45-year-old record.
The rain added a further headache later, but gave Rosberg a chance to fight pass both Bottas and Massa before closing on Hamilton.
The leader then timed his switch to intermediates perfectly and re-established a gap over Rosberg, who came in one lap later and had to settle for second.
Williams’s race unravelled when the rain came, with Massa and Bottas struggling for pace and ending up fourth and fifth, jumped by Vettel as Ferrari made an earlier dive for intermediates and then pulled clear.
Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was sixth and nearly caught Bottas at the end.
Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez ensured Force India’s B-spec car had a double-points haul on its debut by finishing seventh and ninth respectively, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen splitting the duo, the Finn losing ground by taking intermediates too soon.
Alonso, who was one of several cars who pitted for intermediate tyres early, scored his first point of the season – after four successive retirements – with 10th.
It was a disastrous race for Toro Rosso, which had showed such strong pace early in the weekend.
Max Verstappen’s weekend ended in the gravel when he spun off on cold tyres after the early safety car came in.
Carlos Sainz Jr was running ninth when he stopped out on track at the final corner, banging the steering wheel in disbelief, with the virtual safety car being called into action briefly as a result.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, who ran in the points for much of the race, struggled in the wet conditions and dropped to 11th with Manor’s Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens – who required a late nose change after an off in the wet – the last of the finishers in 12th and 13th respectively.
Ricciardo retired his Red Bul before the halfway point with what he suspected was an electrical problem.
Felipe Nasr did not make the start after the Sauber driver stopped on one of his reconnaissance laps on the way to the grid. The team was unable to fix his problem in time.
RESULTS – 52 LAPS:
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m03.955s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.744s|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1 Lap|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|10||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|11||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|12||Roberto Merhi||Marussia/Ferrari||3 Laps|
|13||Will Stevens||Marussia/Ferrari||3 Laps|
|–||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||Retirement|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||Retirement|
|–||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||Spun off|
|–||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||Not started|
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.
British Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg for home pole
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the 2015 British Grand Prix, after narrowly defeating Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying.
Rosberg led the way through the first two segments of the session, but Hamilton leapt onto provisional pole during the first runs in Q3, which proved enough to take pole by 0.113s when neither improved later on.
Mercedes ended up with a substantial seven-tenth gap to the rest of the field, as Williams got the better of Ferrari to be best-of-the-rest at Silverstone.
The Grove outfit locked out the second row of the grid, with Felipe Massa improving on his second Q3 run to edge out team-mate Valtteri Bottas by less than a tenth.
Kimi Raikkonen outqualified Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel for only the second time this season by setting the fifth fastest time.
Vettel dropped time in the final sector on his first Q3 run and was then baulked by traffic on his final effort so failed to improve.
Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat edged out the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr by just 0.013s to qualify seventh fastest, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo wound up slowest of the top-10 runners after losing his best lap in Q3 to a track-limits offence and a late improvement on his single new-tyre run by the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
The second revised VJM08 of Sergio Perez missed out on a chance to make the top-10 shootout after running wide at Copse on his best lap.
The Mexican ended up 11th fastest, fractionally clear of Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, until the Franco-Swiss had his best time deleted for a track limits offense at the final corner.
Fortunately for Grosjean, his second best lap was still good enough for 12th, ahead of a frustrated Max Verstappen.
The teenager complained vociferously about a lack of rear grip from his Toro Rosso throughout his qualifying session, which ended disappointingly after the STR10 showed strong form throughout free practice.
He was close to dropping out in Q1 after having his best time deleted for exceeding track limits at Copse, then struggled to 13th in Q2.
The second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado was penalised for track limits offenses in Q1 and Q2 and wound up 14th fastest overall, fractionally slower than Verstappen but over three tenths clear of Marcus Ericsson in the best of the two Sauber-Ferraris.
The Swede’s Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr, the McLaren-Hondas of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, and both Manor Marussias filled the bottom five places on the timesheet.
Both Nasr and Alonso agonisingly missed the Q2 cut by less than a tenth of a second, thanks to Maldonado having his best time scrubbed for running off the track at Copse.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.636s||1.388s|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m33.649s||1.401s|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.673s||1.425s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.943s||1.695s|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.268s||2.020s|
|13||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.502s||2.254s|
British GP: Lewis Hamilton leads practice, trouble for Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in final practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg recovering from another gearbox issue to finish second.
The reigning world champion clocked a time of 1m32.917s on the medium tyre, 0.552 seconds clear of Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third.
Rosberg, who has won three of the last four races, looked to have the measure of Hamilton on Friday when he topped the times in both sessions despite a hydraulics problem.
The German was confined to the garage for much of the final half of the Saturday morning session while Mercedes investigated a gearbox oil leak – but the team managed to get him back out in time to do a qualifying-simulation.
After completing an installation lap early in the session, Mercedes chose to sit in the garage for the opening 20 minutes while the track rubbered back in following overnight rain.
Rosberg was first to lay down a marker with a 1m34.436s on the hard tyres but Hamilton was able to pip the German by 0.037s.
Rosberg improved, clocking a 1m33.731s but again Hamilton responded, going four tenths quicker.
The Briton then waited until the final few minutes to do his low-fuel run on the mediums and promptly went quickest, with Rosberg slotting into second having failed to edge Hamilton in any of the three sectors.
Sebastian Vettel, who was one of a number of drivers who ran wide at Copse corner, was fourth, three tenths adrift of Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen.
Max Verstappen claimed Toro Rosso had the second-fastest car in terms of race pace behind Mercedes and proved it is pretty handy over one-lap, too, with the fifth fastest time, fractionally quicker than team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr in sixth.
The Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who admitted to struggling with tyre temperatures on one-lap runs on Friday, were seventh and eighth respectively.
Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10 with Nico Hulkenberg, whose B-spec Force India showed promise on Friday, 11th.
Daniel Ricciardo, who like team-mate Kvyat and the two Mercedes sat out the opening part of the session while the track rubbered in, was 12th, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.
Romain Grosjean was 14th, half a second adrift of his Lotus team-mate Maldonado but ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.
Jenson Button was the lead McLaren in 16th, with his team-mate Fernando Alonso 18th having managed just six laps as he ended his session early.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was 17th with the Manors of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi completing the timesheets in 19th and 20th respectively.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES:
|5||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.147s||1.230s||20|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.282s||1.365s||23|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.545s||1.628s||16|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.886s||1.969s||21|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.896s||1.979s||15|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.121s||2.204s||22|
The harder the rubber, the harder it gets
Kimi ‘struggles a bit’ with the Prime tyre
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today we tried to do the maximum in the practice and it looks good, but it’s only Friday. It was not an easy day, anyway we learned something. We still have to improve and try to make it a bit more straightforward. We have no idea what the others were doing in the long run, we were focused on our session. The medium compound seems to be pretty ok, while the hard one is more difficult. For some reason I struggled a bit with that, but I don’t know if it was down to that set in particular or if the compound itself is more tricky here.”
British GP: Nico Rosberg leads practice, Lewis Hamilton only fourth
Nico Rosberg set the pace again in Friday afternoon British Grand Prix practice at Silverstone, with his Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton only fourth behind the Ferraris.
Rosberg, quickest in first practice, clocked a 1m34.155s on the medium compound tyres to finish 0.466 seconds and three places clear of Hamilton, who made a mistake in the final sector on his low-fuel run.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who has endured torrid weekends at the last two races in Canada and Austria, was second quickest, 0.02s clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
It was a frustrating day for Hamilton, who was unhappy with the stability of his Mercedes and reported during his long run that "the car is all over the place", although he had been quickest on the hard tyres at first.
The session, held in beautifully sunny conditions with air temperatures hovering around 23C, was red-flagged early on when Romain Grosjean beached his Lotus at Luffield.
On the resumption, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat popped up into second on the hard tyres. Though he was unable to improve on mediums, that time still kept him fifth until the end, a tenth clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Toro Rosso’s strong day continued as Max Verstappen finished seventh and Carlos Sainz Jr ninth with Nico Hulkenberg splitting the duo in eighth in the revised Force India after an early spell in third behind the Mercedes.
Felipe Massa was the highest-placed Williams, which does not traditionally show its true pace on Fridays, in 10th with Valtteri Bottas, who missed first practice as Susie Wolff was in the car, 12th.
Pastor Maldonado was 11th, two seconds off the pace, with Grosjean rejoining the fray after his earlier off to end the session 14th, one place behind Force India’s Sergio Perez.
McLaren continued its plan to limit its running, after both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button changed engines to older units, with Alonso 15th and Button 17th and just 34 laps between them. Alonso had a minor excursion at Luffield but avoided getting stuck.
Sauber expected the sweeping turns of Silverstone to prove challenging for its car and so it proved with Felipe Nasr 16th and Marcus Ericsson 18th.
Roberto Merhi brought out a second red flag when he spun at Luffield, beaching the Manor in the gravel.
But he was able to get going again when marshals pushed him back onto the track.
The Spaniard propped up the timesheets, 5.7s off the pace and 1.6s slower than his team-mate Will Stevens in 19th.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.009s||0.854s||25|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.153s||0.998s||22|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.300s||1.145s||36|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.387s||1.232s||34|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.866s||1.711s||37|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.351s||2.196s||29|
British GP: Nico Rosberg recovers from problem to top practice
Nico Rosberg recovered from an early hydraulic problem to top the first free practice session for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix with a series of late fast laps.
The German was ordered to stop the car with a loss of hydraulic pressure on his sixth lap of the day shortly after the 15-minute mark, having just set the fastest first-sector time seen to that point.
While Rosberg was recovered to the pits, the way seemed clear for Lewis Hamilton to top the 90-minute session.
He was fastest during the first 30 minutes, when everyone was on their first set of hard-compound Pirellis, improving by just under eight tenths on his second run.
That looked to be enough to guarantee top spot, only for Rosberg to hit the track late on after time in the pits ensuring his car was operational.
By that time, Rosberg had slipped to seventh, but on his first serious flier he jumped to second before banging in two laps quicker than Hamilton’s best – the first one hundredth faster, the second seven hundredths quicker.
Having expected to go well on the high-speed track thanks to the strength of the chassis, Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr backed up their claims by showing strong pace in third and fifth places respectively.
They were down in seventh and eighth after the first runs, but both set their best times on the second set of tyres early in the final hour.
It seemed they would end the session third and fourth only for Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who lost time on his second set of tyres with an MGU-H problem, to improve his pace late on and split the pair.
Sebastian Vettel was not able to match his team-mate’s raw speed, ending up in sixth place.
Red Bull’s lead driver, Daniel Ricciardo, was 1.5s off the pace but not far behind Ferrari in seventh place, with team-mate Daniil Kvyat barely slower.
Nico Hulkenberg, in the much-vaunted B-spec Force India, was ninth fastest ahead of Williams driver Felipe Massa.
Several non-race drivers ran during the session, with Susie Wolff the best-placed in 13th overall for Williams, just under eight tenths off Massa.
Lotus reserve Jolyon Palmer was just two hundredths behind, with Sauber’s Raffaele Marciello 15th.
McLaren endured a troubled session. Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button completed only 22 laps between them and outpaced only the two Manor entries of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.
Button lost time with a leak, while Alonso trialled an experimental suspension configuration that then had to be changed once the team had gathered data on it.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|3||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.530s||1.256s||18|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.669s||1.395s||33|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.818s||1.544s||26|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.876s||1.602s||22|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.157s||1.883s||28|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.889s||2.615s||26|
Sebastian Vettel hopes Ferrari keeps Kimi Raikkonen for F1 2016
Sebastian Vettel has no doubt Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen "knows what he’s doing" and hopes Ferrari keeps the 2007 Formula 1 world champion next year.
The Finn’s lap-one crash in the Austrian Grand Prix last time out has only added fuel to speculation he will be replaced for next season, with Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg all touted as suitors for his seat.
Four-time F1 champion Vettel vehemently backed his team-mate and referenced the Finn’s famous radio remarks from his 2012 Abu Dhabi GP victory with Lotus.
Asked whether he would advise Raikkonen during his ‘negative period’, Vettel replied: "We all have races in which we have crashed before, so I don’t think you need to call it that.
"If you look at the way Formula 1 is you have two or three races where you don’t get a result and people call it a negative period.
"I had the same last year [with Red Bull] where a lot of things didn’t come together for me for many different reasons and it was called a negative period.
"In the end Kimi is a champion and he knows what he’s doing – he has said this before over the team radio…
"I don’t need to give him any advice or talk to him."
While Vettel concedes he has no say over who should be his team-mate, he has made it clear to team principal Maurizio Arrivabene Raikkonen should stay.
"I’ve said many times I’m very happy with Kimi because since day one when I got to know him he’s always been very straight, he hasn’t changed," added Vettel.
"Becoming world champion in 2007 didn’t change him; all his years in Formula 1 haven’t changed him.
"It’s been good for Formula 1 to have him back, he’s straightforward, there’s no bullshit, which are qualities I really enjoy.
"Seeing him as my team-mate it’s been the first time I’ve been able to compare what he does on track.
"We’ve been very close to one another, with corners where I have the upper hand and corners where he has the upper hand.
"It’s a good challenge, but there is also a lot I can learn from him as he has a different approach to things.
"I know we have this season left, and I don’t know what the contract for next year entails, but it would be nice to have him on the team for next year."
FERRARI’S ALTERNATIVES ON THEIR CHANCES
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Williams’s Valtteri Bottas are tipped as the main contenders should Ferrari drop Raikkonen.
Ricciardo and Hulkenberg were both quizzed on their 2016 Ferrari prospects at Silverstone on Thursday.
Hulkenberg on Ferrari rumours: "That’s usual. You do two good races and that’s what happens.
"You check the market, check the options as to what could become available, of course. It would be silly not to do so.
"The most important thing for me is to keep performing, to reach my maximum every weekend.
"Other things will fall into place, but t’s not fully in my hands. Other things and factors play into it."
Ricciardo: "I don’t even know where the rumour started, actually. It’s really exploded. It’s a bit of a laugh.
"There’s not much more to say, to be honest. It’s nice to be regarded by a top team like that.
"Obviously I’m with a top team, but to know that there’s interest and support from other teams is nice.
"Ferrari’s the only top team now with potentially a seat open, so I guess that’s why my name and a few others have been mentioned.
"We’ll see what happens next year, it will be nice to see someone stop Mercedes’ dominance."
Ferrari F1 pressure affecting Kimi Raikkonen, says Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa reckons Formula 1 rival Kimi Raikkonen is struggling to deal with the pressure of driving for Ferrari, following a recent run of bad grands prix.
Raikkonen has had a tough start to the 2015 F1 season in the improved SF15-T, qualifying behind new team-mate Sebastian Vettel for seven of the eight races held so far and trailing him by 48 points in the championship.
There has also been speculation about the Finn’s future in F1, following two particularly difficult races in Canada and Austria, where Raikkonen spun away a podium in Montreal and then crashed out on the first lap at the Red Bull Ring after being eliminated in Q1.
Williams driver Massa, who was replaced by Raikkonen at Ferrari after the 2013 season and was his team-mate there from 2007-09, said his rival’s difficulties were down to negative pressure affecting his mentality.
"Definitely, he’s suffering more with the pressure than other things," said Massa, when asked by AUTOSPORT about Raikkonen’s current predicament.
"Like everybody says, ‘the Iceman’, he’s not really like that.
"For sure, he can suffer as well with the pressure and he’s shown that in some results.
"So he just needs to relax and do his best, because he’s definitely a big talent and can do a lot better than what he’s doing."
Massa said the expectation of driving for a team as big as Ferrari makes the pressure even more difficult to deal with when results are not going your way.
"Ferrari is a big company, so every day you are in the media, for good or for bad," he added.
"Sometimes this is not helping the driver.
"Sometimes this is not helping even the team to control the driver in the best way as well.
"But definitely we know that Ferrari is one of the biggest teams – it’s the [most] famous team in Formula 1, so definitely you have a lot more pressure than maybe in another team."