Kimi Raikkonen: Max Verstappen has to accept US Grand Prix penalty
Kimi Raikkonen says Max Verstappen just has to accept his United States Grand Prix penalty, even if the Red Bull Formula 1 driver feels it was not justified.
Verstappen lost third place to Raikkonen in last Sunday’s Austin race, after transgressing track limits to pass the Ferrari driver on the final lap.
F1’s stewards penalised Verstappen five seconds for the move, which provoked a huge backlash from Verstappen, Red Bull and many fans.
Raikkonen was also critical of the stewards after receiving what he called a "pointless" yellow flag penalty in August’s Belgian GP, but says being on the receiving end of decisions you feel are poor is part of the game in F1.
"You have to accept it," Raikkonen said. "Sometimes you feel it’s harsh against you, sometimes it goes your way, but that’s how it’s going to be.
"Everyone was saying ‘oh, Mika Salo was helping Ferrari’ but in Spa he was a steward and I got a penalty for nothing, really.
"I got many penalties for reasons were a bit… you feel that is nothing. But you leave it and next time you try to do differently and get a different result.
"They do their work the best they can. I know the feeling when it’s against you is not the greatest, but that’s life."
Raikkonen said having the same group judge every race would not necessarily add consistency, and suggested other motorsport categories face similar problems.
"There’s a few different stewards around and everybody has their own opinions on everything – somebody will be happy, somebody will be sad, and that’s how it’s always going to be," Raikkonen added.
"I don’t see that changing even if we have the same guys always.
"Would we be happy with more consistency? No incident is the same as another, so the end result is not always going to be the same because there will always be differences in the things they’re going to look at.
"Unfortunately, it’s part of racing – we’ll always be discussing this, but if you go to MotoGP you have a similar story there."
The stewards were heavily criticised at Austin for not enforcing track limits consistently, and Raikkonen suggested grippy runoff areas are always going to lead to drivers taking liberties if officials are not strict.
"I think the main part of the problem is that the tracks have so much runoff areas," Raikkonen said.
"If you find a lot of grip in the run off areas, of course you’re going to go there – if you give us a little chance we start running wherever it’s the fastest way around.
"When I started, the circuits had kerbs and gravel, so you’d never think to go there, but every year you have more asphalt.
"In some places we have rules, in some corners we haven’t. Until we put gravel everywhere, it’s a never-ending story.
"It’s one of those discussions that goes on, like with the blue flags, forever."
There is only one… Kimi Raikkonen
If there is one driver who comes across as being very much his ‘own man’, it’s Ferrari’s 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen. But is Finland’s famous ‘Iceman’ really as single-minded as his laidback public persona suggests? It’s time to find out…
If you could pick just one meal to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Kimi Raikkonen: Salmon? Very Scandinavian…
If you could pick just one pizza topping what would it be?
KR: Tuna – to stick with the fish!
If you could pick just one holiday destination…
KR: Home. Who needs a holiday destination?
If you could pick just one track to race on…
KR: Spa, I guess.
If you could pick just one road car to drive…
KR: A Ferrari, of course. Any kind of Ferrari.
If you could pick just one race car to drive…
KR: Ferrari – the one I became world champion in (F2007).
If you could pick just one colour to wear…
If you could pick just one sport to play…
If you could pick just one song to listen to…
KR: Depends on the mood, so any! (Laughs) Or actually, the radio. So you see I’m not very sophisticated when it comes to music, but rather random.
If you could pick just one thing to drink…
If you could pick just one book to read…
KR: I don’t read. No books for me.
If you could pick just one city to live in…
KR: My summer place. It has a name, but I’d rather not tell you more than that it is in Finland.
If you could pick just one movie to watch…
KR: Nothing in particular.
If you could pick just one person to live with…
KR: My family – I’m unable to choose just one.
If you could pick just one team mate…
KR: This one that I have now.
If you could pick just one fruit to eat…
If you could pick just one vegetable to eat…
If you could pick just one mode of transport to use…
KR: Car – what else!
If you could pick just one F1 corner to drive…
KR: Eau Rouge.
If you could pick just one age to be…
KR: Any. I am super satisfied with my life so far.
If you could pick just one F1 era to race in…
If you could pick just one band/singer to listen to…
KR: When I was young it was Guns N’ Roses – but that’s a bit of a long time ago.
If you could pick just one piece of exercise equipment to train with…
KR: If I could I would do Motocross for exercise – all the time.
If you could pick just one thing to collect…
KR: I don’t collect anything. It’s boring.
If you could wear just one type of footwear to wear…
KR: Shoes! (Laughs)
If you could pick just one type of chocolate or candy to snack on…
KR: Finnish candy.
If you could pick just one memory from your racing career to keep…
KR: When I won the championship.
If you could pick just one other race series to watch…
KR: I watch a lot of motorsport, but my favourite is Motocross. Does that come as a surprise?
If you could pick just one person to date…
KR: I don’t need to worry about that!
Raikkonen: “Fuori dalla pista vivo senza orari. Non ho finito, magari rivinco il mondiale”
Kimi Raikkonen a Singapore è un finlandese in una sauna naturale: dopo un quarto d’ora ha bisogno di aria condizionata. «Non amo il caldo e se potessi eviterei di venire qui – dice mentre assapora un venticello gelido nell’hospitality della Ferrari -. Ma ne ho viste tante e me la caverò anche stavolta». Va diretto al punto, come sempre, però adesso sorride, scherza, suda, racconta del privato. È un po’ meno Iceman («Chiamatemi come vi pare, non mi interessa») e un po’ più pilota esperto e navigato.
Si dice che quest’anno lei vada forte perché ha fretta di tagliare il traguardo e di tornare da suo figlio.
«Davvero? No, non credo che la paternità incida sulle prestazioni di un pilota. La velocità non c’entra con la famiglia».
Comunque questa è stata una delle sue migliori stagioni in Ferrari, a parte il titolo del 2007.
«È vero, anche se il Mondiale rimane il momento della carriera che mi è rimasto più impresso».
Nel 2015 qui finì con un terzo posto suo e la vittoria di Vettel. Come sono le premesse stavolta?
«Abbiamo alcune idee su cui lavorare. Il caldo di solito è una condizione a noi favorevole, il che non garantisce che finiremo primo e secondo».
Si è allenato in modo particolare?
«No. A che servirebbe cambiare abitudini per due settimane?».
A che ora va a dormire in questi giorni?
«Quando ho sonno».
E riesce ad adattarsi al fuso orario e alle temperature?
«Tra due settimane correremo in Malesia che è anche peggio, a volte ci sono Gran premi altrettanto caldi in Europa. Quando guidi te ne accorgi poco. I momenti peggiori sono le prove libere: torni ai box e devi stare lì, con il casco in testa, in attesa di ripartire».
«Spa è il migliore, poi Melbourne perché il primo della stagione e si ha voglia di ricominciare».
Come cambia la guida nei tracciati cittadini?
«Singapore è molto diverso da Montecarlo, mi ricorda Montreal. Il giro è lungo e insidioso, l’asfalto meno regolare rispetto ai tracciati tradizionali. Comunque alla fine la pista migliore è quella in cui le cose filano via senza imprevisti».
Com’è il rapporto con il suo compagno di squadra?
«Buono fin dall’inizio. Corriamo e lavoriamo bene insieme da due anni».
E con Verstappen?
«Personalmente non ho nulla contro di lui, ma non so se sia un sentimento reciproco».
La vendita della F1: che idea si è fatto?
«Non conosco i contenuti dell’accordo. Ho letto qualche titolo di giornale e non sono rimasto particolarmente colpito. In prospettiva, l’obiettivo è quello di rendere la Formula 1 più divertente e interessante per gli appassionati. Qualcuno si è svegliato e ha deciso che questo è il momento di cambiare».
Ha già ragionato sul suo futuro oltre il 2017?
«No, non sono arrivato tanto in là. Adesso penso al weekend di Singapore, poi a finire bene questo campionato e infine a cominciare al meglio il prossimo. Magari lotterò per il titolo e a quel punto chissà. Ne parlerò con la Ferrari».
Lei è il pilota più anziano, ha quasi 37 anni ed è in F1 dal 2001…
«Sì, ma mi sono anche fatto due anni di vacanza (ride). Nei rally, intendo».
Qual è stata la macchina più divertente con cui ha gareggiato?
«La Ferrari del 2007. In quel campionato c’erano due fornitori di pneumatici, Bridgestone e Michelin, e la competizione li spingeva e produrre gomme sempre più veloci».
Che macchina guida nel tempo libero?
Forse una Giulia…
«No, no, una Giulietta. Modello base, colore viola».
Tutti si aspettano che un pilota di F1 guidi una Ferrari rossa. Soprattutto se è un pilota Ferrari.
«Me l’hanno regalata. La uso in Svizzera per andare e tornare dall’aeroporto, non ci devo fare lunghi viaggi».
Che sport pratica fuori dalla F1?
«In inverno l’hockey. Mi piace anche il calcio, ci giocavo da ragazzo».
Com’è una giornata a casa Raikkonen?
«Libera. Vede questo foglio? (mostra il programma delle conferenze stampa durante il fine settimana di Singapore, ndr). Nella mia giornata in famiglia non esistono orari. Faccio quello che voglio quando ne ho voglia».
Da La Stampa.it
From Sauber to Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen on F1’s evolution
Not only is he one of the most popular drivers on the grid and an F1 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen is also the eighth most experienced driver in history in terms of race starts. In that time, Raikkonen has raced V10s, V8s, tried his hand at rallying and is now trying to help Ferrari return to the front during the highly technological V6 era.
So what have been the big differences during his time in F1? And where are the big gains made which Raikkonen hopes will eventually see the Scuderia fighting for championships again in the near future? After signing a new contract at Ferrari, the Finn sat down with F1i to reminisce.
The Sauber and McLaren years
Raikkonen first drove an F1 car at Mugello in late 2000 as Sauber evaluated the quick youngster who had impressed during his debut year of Formula Renault. Then just 20 years old, Raikkonen admits he needed a day to adapt to grand prix machinery.
“I didn’t really have much idea because obviously I had never seen the car in real life – OK I’d seen them but not at the racetrack – apart from the day I went there and it was hard to know what to expect,” Raikkonen recalls. “I did Formula Renault, I did one test in Formula 3, OK it’s a bit faster than Formula Renault but not so much. The first test I did at Mugello, I was at the circuit earlier that year with Formula Renault but it’s a slightly different story with the F1 car!
“I think I went into it very open-minded because I didn’t really know what to expect so I just wanted to see how it is. Obviously it was a bit tricky because the conditioning for F1, my neck couldn’t handle it – any other circuit would have been a lot easier – so I could do maybe three laps and then I would box and wait. Obviously at that time there was no power steering in the car so that was a bit hard.
“I didn’t feel that it was so difficult to drive, it was just more the speed, to get used to the speed. Everything happens much faster and obviously it takes a while to get used to how hard you can brake. I would say the first day was a bit tricky because of that, just because everything happens so quickly, but then already after the first night it was a lot like everything slowed down and got more normal like you would drive a Formula Renault. It just slows down and it’s so much easier. It was an amazing feeling.”
The move to McLaren came about just a year later, with Raikkonen having impressed in his debut F1 season. You’d think the change to a front-running car was a noticeable one for a young driver, but the Finn says his first F1 car was still a competitive chassis.
“In a way yes, but I think we had a pretty good car at Sauber. It wasn’t like a completely bad car and we finished fourth in the championship so it was not a bad car at all. They did the best with their budget. McLaren is how it comes, a big team and so many people, it used to be in their old factory and not where they are now. English and Swiss teams have slightly different ways of working to achieve the same results.
“Car-wise every car is different, but I think we changed to Michelins as well at that time so I think that was the bigger difference to try and learn the tyres from Michelin. So the car was hard to compare really. It’s still a top, top team comparing with Sauber, but it was like you’ve jumped from one year to another year, it wasn’t like a completely new thing.
“So it was exciting, nice and new but I didn’t really find it so hard. There was always a lot more help from the team because they have more people and more money to use so in a way things got easier because of that. And then with experience it was also quite a lot different.”
Sat in the Shell track lab in the Ferrari trucks at Silverstone, the surroundings highlight just how much more support front-running teams can get in F1 thanks to close partnerships. Raikkonen says those sort of details stepping up from Sauber to McLaren are what start to make a big difference.
“You have a lot more resource for the team to develop the car, engine, fuel, oil, everything. More so electronics because it was a big part of that time [in the early 2000s]. In Sauber we got the power steering in Monza I think and obviously it was quite a nice thing, but all the small details that can make a lot of lap time – the diff, traction control and stuff – even then we had all the gearboxes that you could have, but the upshifts and downshifts, if you have more people you can put into those things it can make up a lot of lap time.
“So in that way it was also easier because there was not the knowledge and not enough people to do those things [in smaller teams]. It was just more people but they are trying to achieve the same result in two different companies. So McLaren took me in very easily and I felt straight away good. I had very good engineers there and it was just a new challenge.”
A first switch to Ferrari
Still searching for the drivers’ championship, Raikkonen moved to Maranello in 2007 to replace the outgoing Michael Schumacher. They were huge shoes to fill, but the first season brought the success Raikkonen had been searching for. So was that year’s Ferrari F2007 the best car he has driven in F1, or is that too simplistic given his title victory?
“Again the big difference was to change tyres,” Raikkonen explains. “To go from using Michelins for many years and then go back to Bridgestone; and it wasn’t the Bridgestone that it used to be before, it was completely different because everybody had the same tyres. So it was nowhere near as good or as special tyres as when there were two manufacturers fighting against each other. That made a big difference and also how you can drive and how the tyres work. So if you could have had the same tyres I don’t think it would have been so tricky, because it was not easy.
“Obviously between all of the cars I have driven, comparing the Ferrari it has always been harder to get it working, it takes more time to get it how you want. Once you get it then it’s fine, but it’s different. In those years when the tyres changed and went backwards – when I jumped to Michelin there was more grip and they made better tyres and kept improving – so it was a bit going the opposite way.
“Again a different country and different people, but I really enjoyed it. I was many years with McLaren and once I came to Ferrari I had a contract knowing I was going there for a long, long time and it was nice. You dream – or maybe you don’t dream – but Ferrari’s Ferrari, you know? And the other teams, they are not Ferrari. I don’t care how much they have won and all that.”
The season itself was a dramatic one, which Raikkonen admits was far from easy even if it resulted in championship success at the final round in Brazil.
“Obviously I struggled a bit in the beginning during testing, finding a lot of different ways of doing similar things. Then we found our way, then we had some struggles but we managed to turn everything around and make a good season out of it, but it wasn’t easy in any way. We started well, maybe too well, because then it went back to normal and we knew we were not where we wanted to be at the start. We hung in there, we had some issues but we came back very strong but it was an amazing year.
“You always wish it could be more smooth sailing because it was a lot of up and down but we managed to do it in the end and we won more races than the other guys and had more points. I didn’t expect to win the championship straight away, especially with Ferrari, and it hasn’t been easy at any point but I think we’re getting back to where we feel that it’s going in the right direction and it has been going well for a couple of years. I’m sure we can get back to where Ferrari used to be and where we should be.”
A break and a return with Lotus
Having already enjoyed nine consecutive seasons in F1, Raikkonen took a break and went to compete in other motorsport categories – mainly rallying – for two years. He had only experienced one year of new aero regulations when he left, and in a less competitive Ferrari than he had been used to.
Returning to F1 two years before the V6 turbo engines were introduced, Raikkonen had to adapt to another new team in the form of Lotus, and a new tyre manufacturer in Pirelli. It’s a period he feels improved him as a driver, as he had to learn additional skills on top of his raw driving talent.
“Obviously I had my doubts because I hadn’t driven for a few years in F1 but I also knew more or less how it’s going to be,” Raikkonen says of his return to the sport. “Every year there are rule changes, this and that, tyres change, but I was pretty sure that as long as the front is somewhere there with the car we’ll be just fine with it.
“When I drove a two-year old car – the first Lotus – with the demo tyres in Valencia it felt good straight away. There were some issues we had to fix with the steering and stuff, some minor details, but it felt very normal from the first lap. So I think it was a good place to start. In Valencia I haven’t done too many laps in my life because it’s a short circuit and not the fastest circuit but after ten laps it felt very normal and I knew it would be just fine.
“Then there is a question mark over how is that year’s car comparing to the others, but when I came back I didn’t have many worries. OK you always have something in your mind about how it’s going to be but I would never have signed a contract if I didn’t think that it would be fine. One big benefit that I felt was that I was driving all the time, I was racing and in the rally – whatever people say – it teaches you a lot. Even when I did rallies in 2009 with Ferrari I felt that it was only helpful.
“Obviously there are dangers and stuff like this but you can get hurt anywhere so I think it teaches you a lot because you have to be so precise and concentration has to be even higher because you have to listen all the time. It’s not just listening but driving too, so you have to mix a few things and until that gets completely normal to the point you’re not thinking about it you will never be fast enough.
“I could be as fast as the others on test roads because you know it and it’s not an issue. But then to do it from the notes – and you have to build the notes up – I felt that it teaches you a lot. And it helps for sure to be driving because it’s a very hard sport, so that’s why if I was not doing anything for two years for sure it would take time but I felt like it was not such a big deal.”
Ferrari comes calling again as V6s arrive
At the start of the new power unit era, Raikkonen returned to Ferrari for a second time. While the team is familiar, the regulations and the sport itself is very different from the last time at Maranello.
Nowadays, it is not just new front wings or engine updates which help increase the car’s competitiveness, with Shell providing Ferrari with 25% of its overall performance gain in 2015 through fuel and oil. Guy Lovett, Shell’s Innovation Manager for motorsport, works out of the track lab where Raikkonen is sat, and explains the improvements all come within very strict regulations.
“In Formula 1 the fuel is really tightly regulated, which is a good thing because it means that the fuel we’re using here for Ferrari in Formula 1 is very, very similar to the fuel you can buy out in a gas station,” Lovett says. “It’s 99% the same. For Shell that is absolutely imperative because all the technology and all the innovation that we yield from working in Formula 1 and motorsport we can then transfer to our road-going products. That is of fundamental importance to us.
“Nevertheless, the regulations do allow for a degree of innovation, which again is important to us to be able to trial new concepts, new technologies and new additives here in Formula 1 in quite controlled yet incredibly extreme conditions.
“Right now there are no limits to the number of formulations you can bring and there’s very little regulation governing the oils. There is a bit on fuel but still there is enough scope for us to innovate. Fuel and oil have always been relatively unconstrained in a good way to push forward development, where engine regulations have been somewhat more fixed in the past. So, looking at the V8 era, again there were very little regulations governing fuel and oil whereas the engines were pretty much fixed towards the end of the V8 time.
“It’s opened up a lot more from an engine perspective with the V6, it’s starting to be more prescribed. Next year is going to get a little bit more interesting, a little bit freer but it will be the same for us and that’s what we want. We’re here to innovate and develop and learn. Our mandates are to help Ferrari win and transfer technology from track to road. Kind of simple in that respect!”
When Raikkonen jumps in the car, he admits the performance gains are difficult to notice, but that again is a product of the evolution in F1 as teams and suppliers rarely get the chance to do back-to-back comparisons of upgrades.
“It’s hard to feel the difference,” Raikkonen says. “In the past it was much easier when we were testing between races because you could do one run with this fuel and then change it for the next run so you can really feel it or maybe or not. Obviously if it’s just one horsepower or two then you will probably never feel it because you can have one lap with the wind blowing one way and then the other on the next lap!
“But you could often feel it, whereas now it’s either one race weekend or another, different places, different wing levels, often different conditions, so there’s so many variables that it has to be a big, big change on anything that we bring to the car to really pinpoint ‘OK, yes I can feel it’, because we don’t do that kind of testing. Like when we used to do tyre testing we would do one run and then do the next run with a different tyre so you could get a good idea of things.
“Now it’s more like we trust the numbers, that’s why we have all these things [in the lab]. Obviously Shell has been a long partnership with Ferrari and even when I was with them in 2007 and 2008 and 2009, in 07 we made big, big gains in fuel and oil and lots of horsepower. So I knew how it works, and obviously now with the new rules and everything it is a big benefit to have this relationship because obviously certain years you get close to the maximum you can achieve under those rules. Now everything has been mixed up with new rules, you again have more opportunities to make a big difference. So for sure we get a lot of help from Shell.”
Having been through so much in his career already and having to adapt to new ways of working, does Raikkonen find the current formula in F1 enjoyable? Put simply: “Yeah.
“When it came in in 2014 everything was new and probably not at the level we wanted. OK, some teams were at the level they wanted, but for sure we were not happy with where we were. Drivability was also depending on how good your car is or the grip on the circuit or conditions, it wasn’t always easy [to judge] because it made it quite tricky. But now after a few years everything has improved so much.
“Driving-wise the sound is different but the driving itself hasn’t changed. You drive the same way, OK you have fuel saving but in the past you had brake saving or something, so it’s the same thing just affecting different things. So I wouldn’t say there’s an awful lot different apart from the sound and I guess a certain feeling around you, but for me it’s good already again that it’s normal now.”
Happy to disappoint by keeping Ferrari seat – Kimi Raikkonen Q&A
Barely 24 hours after signing a contract extension for 2017 with Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen came out of a scrappy qualifying session at Silverstone with a half-second advantage over team mate Sebastian Vettel. Cause for celebration? Not exactly, according to Raikkonen – although he is happy to have put to bed the constant speculation linking other drivers to his seat with the Scuderia…
Q: Kimi, let’s start with the obvious: you have been confirmed for another year. Does that make things easier?
Kimi Raikkonen: For sure it makes things easier. Because people will stop asking the same question over and over again! And that makes a huge difference. (laughs) It also gives me pleasure that it is disappointing a lot of people who had high hopes. So it was good that there was a decision now and not towards the end of the season, because from now on we can fully concentrate on the remaining 2016 season and the changes for 2017. The rest – the racing and working with the team – doesn’t really change. Of course I am very happy to stay with Ferrari. Also I am interested to experience the changes of 2017. Faster cars and wider tyres – that sounds pretty good to me.
Q: Coming to today, what do you make of the gap to Red Bull and Mercedes?
KR: Well, it is not ideal. But the conditions have also been pretty tricky. There was simply not enough speed and with the wind that is here we probably knew that we would suffer a bit. I hope the race will be much easier, at least concerning the wind.
Q: And what about your gap to Sebastian Vettel – more than half a second. What do you make of that?
KR: Ah, I don’t make anything out of that. I know that the media jump on things like that. But for me it is completely irrelevant. If it would be about pole position and P2 I probably would waste a thought on it. But it is about P5 and P6 – and that is not worth thinking of.
Q: You just mentioned that the conditions were not easy for Ferrari. Did you come here expecting to face some oddities?
KR: Well, we probably knew that there would be some issues in the handling of the car. But then you come here and find conditions that make it a bit harder to handle than expected. Overall we are where we expected to be. No big disappointment – and no miracles.
Q: Was there a particular reason for your spin?
KR: It was just going over the kerbs – but it didn’t have any impact other than probably losing some time.
Q: What kind of difficulties are you facing here exactly? Is it the set-up, the temperature of the tyres? Can you say? And are they Silverstone-specific, or more generic?
KR: It is the same story at all the races so far this season. We want more downforce and find it hard to settle on the right set-up in that situation. And then if you have conditions like today it adds fuel to the fire. But that is how it is and we know that not enough downforce is one of our weaknesses – but we also know that you don’t fix that in the blink of an eye.
Q: So the set-up issues are at every circuit, or particular to Silverstone?
KR: It is basically just here. On top of that we had some small issues here and there to be really comfortable. That adds up. And on top of that we suffer from the wind. Everybody is suffering from it – maybe us more than others.
Q: When you look at the race tomorrow, do you expect to suffer more than others again then – at least if the conditions stay dry?
KR: Ha. I have not driven other cars so how would I know? And as for suffering from the wind, the key question is always the direction it blows. Maybe we will see tailwind tomorrow – who knows?
Ferrari president says Raikkonen must prove he deserves new F1 deal
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne believes Kimi Raikkonen needs to prove he is worthy of a contract extension for 2017 if he wants to remain in Formula 1.
Raikkonen’s F1 future has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, with Ferrari in no hurry to resolve who will drive alongside Sebastian Vettel next season.
Speaking to Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport, Marchionne called on Raikkonen to perform "like the world champion he is".
"We are under no illusion with Kimi, his stay at Ferrari depends on the way he races," he said.
"He really needs to show he deserves a Ferrari, otherwise I would think that to leave is his choice.
"If we can’t give a positive contribution then it’s not worth staying, and Kimi knows that.
"So, either he races like the world champion he is, otherwise…
"But I’m confident he will. Let’s support him."
Ferrari is 81 points behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship and is yet to win a race in 2016, with Red Bull beating it to victory at Barcelona when Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton clashed.
Having set high hopes after making a big step forward in 2015, Marchionne conceded its SF16-H is not making life easy.
"Their secret is the car’s stability," he said of Mercedes.
"The Ferrari SF16-H came to being with new ideas compared to 2015.
"On paper, when it was designed, it had an aesthetics and engineering beauty that, once on the track, had different behaviour from what was expected.
"We are trying to tame the car in order to understand what it needs to be productive on the performance level.
"It’s a very difficult car."
Faccia a faccia con Arrivabene: "Ci credo, non firmerei per tre vittorie!"
Passiamo agli attuali piloti Ferrari. Il tuo approccio con loro è identico o cerchi di andare incontro a due personalità estremamente differenti?
“E’ un compromesso. Ho un rapporto molto diretto e sincero con loro, e viceversa. Ci confrontiamo in modo molto chiaro, senza giri di parole. Non c’è mai stato bisogno di imporre nulla, si arriva insieme a ciò che va fatto. Poi i caratteri sono diversi. Kimi è più introverso, ma in questo ultimo anno e mezzo ha dialogato sempre di più, ed è molto preciso quando fornisce delle indicazioni”.
“Sebastian è aperto, meticoloso, maniaco dei dettagli. Entrambi sono dei grandi professionisti, e lo si vede quando le cose non vanno bene. In certe situazioni verrebbe da demoralizzarsi, ma subito dopo si analizza l’accaduto e si riparte. E se ci si ritrova a cena, si scoprono ragazzi simpatici, intelligenti, persone cha lavorano in Formula 1 ma con cui puoi affrontare tanti temi, che leggono molto ed hanno occhi che vanno al di là del paddock”.
Quando la Ferrari ha un pilota in scadenza di contratto non può sottrarsi al gioco dei pronostici in vista della prossima stagione. Resterà Raikkonen o guardate oltre?
“Ho detto più volte che abbiamo due piloti campioni del Mondo. Sebastian ha voluto la Ferrari, era una sua aspirazione come lo è di tantissimi altri piloti. E’ concentrato sul suo lavoro e credo che voglia rimanere qui a lungo. Kimi sta dando il suo contributo anche per la classifica costruttori, e nelle prima parte del Mondiale 2016 sta andando bene. Quando la macchina è a posto, non credo che sia inferiore a nessuno. Ma è presto per dare risposte definitive in vista del prossimo anno, abbiamo quasi due terzi di campionato davanti a noi”. […]
Secondo Prost cambiare Raikkonen è un rischio per la Ferrari
La Ferrari potrebbe trovare un pilota più veloce per sostituire Kimi Raikkonen nel 2017, ma una mossa di questo tipo potrebbe non essere la cosa migliore secondo Alain Prost.
Il contratto di Raikkonen con la Casa di Maranello andrà in scadenza alla fine dell’anno e hanno preso sempre più piede gli interrogativi su cosa faranno i vertici della Ferrari, alla luce anche dei recenti errori del finlandese.
Tuttavia, la Ferrari è ben consapevole del fatto che Raikkonen è un ottimo compagno di squadra per Sebastian Vettel e, dopo che la scorsa settimana non ha avuto problemi a lasciargli strada a Baku, il team non può non riconoscere i vantaggi di avere due piloti che vanno d’accordo.
Parlando alla FIA Sport Conference di Torino, Alain Prost ha spiegato che la squadra italiana deve affrontare una scelta difficile, soprattutto vista la disponibilità di talenti promettenti come Carlos Sainz e Sergio Perez.
"Tutti possono vedere gli aspetti positivi e gli aspetti negativi" ha detto Prost sulla situazione di Raikkonen. "Ci sono uno o due piloti sul mercato che potrebbero essere interessanti per la Ferrari. Forse un po’ più veloci, anche se non lo si può sapere per certo".
"Una cosa che bisogna prendere in considerazione è la pressione della Ferrari. A volte si vedono dei piloti molto buoni in una squadra di medio livello, poi arrivano in un top team e non riescono a rendere, perché è un po’ diverso".
"L’aspetto positivo per Raikkonen è che un buonissimo rapporto con Vettel e che in questo modo c’è un numero uno ed un numero due. Non sulla carta, ma nei fatti. Per l’ambiente non è male".
"Ad essere onesti, io non biasimo la Ferrari e non la voglio criticare. Sono sicuro che prenderanno la decisione giusta".