Losing Ferrari 1-2 in Hungarian GP painful – Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen said it was painful to miss out on completing a one-two result for the team in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Finn jumped to second from fifth on the grid at the start, and was running comfortably behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who went on to take Ferrari’s second win of the season.
But with 28 laps to go, Raikkonen experienced a problem with his engine’s MGU-K and though Ferrari attempted a fix, it led to other problems and the team decided to retire the car.
It was Raikkonen’s third retirement of the season and comes as his F1 future remains the subject of speculation, with Ferrari yet to decide whether to keep him for next year.
"We’ve had bad races, that is one more," said Raikkonen.
"Obviously it would have been much greater for the team to have a one-two, but as a team we still won with Seb so it is good for the team.
"It was a pain for us not to be one and two because we easily had the speed and everything was there, we just got done by a problem with the car.
"Unfortunately that’s part of the luck for us and part of the business and part of the racing and there is nothing we could do.
"The car went wrong but we did the maximum level we could at the end of the day."
Raikkonen is now 86 points behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel but he is hopeful things will get better when the season resumes after the summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix next month.
"When you look at the end result it’s not such a great thing but it looks far away from the disaster of last year," said Raikkonen.
"We’ve had all the issues and problems and now we keep pushing and hopefully we get a little bit of luck.
"We showed that we can do a great result, great races, but we just have to make sure we don’t have any issues in part of the weekend."
Ferrari’s Formula 1 pace has been hidden, says Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen believes the 2015 Ferrari Formula 1 car’s true race pace has been hidden because it has rarely been able to get ahead of pacesetter Mercedes to show it.
Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen jumped the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the start of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix and had the speed to pull away.
Vettel converted that into a second GP win of 2015, holding on despite losing a large lead to a late safety car, while Raikkonen retired with an MGU-K problem while on course for second.
"We had good speed and we pulled away from them, not easily, but we were consistently faster than them," said Raikkonen.
"I don’t know what would have happened if we were behind them, probably we couldn’t have used our own speed because it is hard to overtake.
"There have been many times this year when we feel we had more speed than we have been able to show because we were stuck behind another car and not been able to overtake.
"So the benefit of making good starts made a big difference and it was nice to have a good start with both cars because it hasn’t been our strongest point this year.
"It shows that we are doing things right and that the car is not too bad."
Ferrari has rarely been able to threaten Mercedes in qualifying this season and its lower grid slots have hampered its ability to make progress on Sunday.
"It’s true that when we start as we started in Hungary, in the open air, the car is giving you more chance," said Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene.
"At the back conserving the tyres is quite hard, but it happens sometimes that we are at the back and our consumption is higher. Today we were in front and it was OK."
Sebastian Vettel wins thrilling Hungarian Grand Prix
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel took victory in a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix, as Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg suffered their worst race of the season.
It was the German’s first victory at the Hungaroring and second of the season, bringing his career tally to 41 to equal three-time world champion Ayrton Senna’s mark.
It was also the first time since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, a run of 29 races, where Mercedes failed to score a podium finish with either car with Hamilton sixth and Rosberg eighth.
Hamilton was on course to lose his championship lead, first after running wide at the chicane on the first lap when he felt Rosberg crossed his line and then losing time when he pitted for a new wing and then having to a drive-through penalty after contact with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
But in defending second with a few laps to go, Rosberg clashed with Ricciardo at Turn 1, giving the Mercedes a puncture and damaging Ricciardo’s front wing.
Rosberg was forced to pit and rejoined eighth, two places behind Hamilton who had fought his way back through the field to increase his championship lead to 21 points.
Hamilton and Rosberg both bogged down from the front row at the start, allowing Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to get ahead, with Rosberg running third ahead of Hamilton.
Ferrari looked on course for its first one-two since the 2010 German Grand Prix before a MGU-K problem cost Raikkonen power. He eventually retired after the team were unable to fix it.
The virtual safety car was called into action when Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India suffered a front wing failure, pitching the German head-on into the tyre barrier at Turn 1.
When it became clear there was too much debris on the track, the real safety car was sent out, bunching the field up to cost Vettel his sizeable lead – setting up a thrilling finale.
Daniil Kvyat scored a career-best second, to become the youngest driver to score a podium since Vettel in Italy 2008, the Russian benefitting from Ricciardo’s clash with Rosberg late on.
Ricciardo survived the contact, which the stewards decided to take no further action on, with Rosberg to give Red Bull a double podium with third.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, who had a drive-through penalty for making contact with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, battled his way up to a career-best fourth place.
The drama in the second-half of the race allowed Fernando Alonso to finish fifth, scoring McLaren-Honda’s best result of the season, with Jenson Button finishing ninth.
Romain Grosjean was seventh in the Lotus while Marcus Ericsson gave Sauber an unlikely point with 10th, a few seconds clear of team-mate Felipe Nasr.
Williams failed to score for only the second time this season, with Massa – who was given a time-penalty for being out of position on the grid and forcing an aborted start – 12th and Bottas 13th.
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||69|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||69|
|4||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||69|
|–||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||60|
|–||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||53|
|–||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||41|
Hungarian GP qualifying: Lewis Hamilton takes comfortable pole
Lewis Hamilton comfortably claimed pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, by beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for the ninth time in 10 Formula 1 qualifying sessions this season.
Rosberg complained about the handling of his car throughout the different stages of qualifying and couldn’t recover sufficiently to put up much of a fight.
Hamilton and Rosberg were separated by 0.358s after the first runs in Q3, and the German ended up over half a second adrift of Hamilton, who set the fastest lap of the weekend so far on his final effort to claim his fifth career pole in Hungary.
The expected close fight for best of the rest behind Mercedes materialised, as less than half a second covered Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams in Q2.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ultimately claimed third on the grid, but he ended up only 0.035s clear of the improved Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen finished up 0.246s further back in fifth, while Valtteri Bottas was fastest of the two Williams drivers in sixth.
The second Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat joined the second Williams of Felipe Massa on row four, just ahead of Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso, which only made one run in Q3.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus rounded out the top 10, over half a second adrift of the next fastest car.
Neither Force India made it through to the top-10 shootout, along with the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz and Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus.
Hulkenberg and Sainz were less than a tenth away from Grosjean’s 10th placed Lotus in Q2, while Perez was almost six tenths further back in 13th.
Maldonado was top-10 fast in Q1, but he locked up at Turn 1 on his final flying lap in Q2, which contributed to him missing Q3 by 0.804s.
McLaren headed into qualifying hoping to challenge for a place in the top 10, but could do no better than 15th and 16th after both drivers encountered technical trouble.
Fernando Alonso made it through to Q2, but stopped at the entry to the pitlane during his first run, bringing out the red flags and ending the Spaniard’s session early.
An earlier problem with ERS deployment on Jenson Button’s car meant the Briton missed the Q2 cut by lapping just over a tenth of a second shy of Sainz’s Toro Rosso.
The Briton estimated his problem cost him 0.3s on his final flying lap.
The 2009 world champion joined the Saubers and Manors in dropping out during the first phase of qualifying.
Felipe Nasr felt he "lost it in the last two corners" and finished up 0.154s adrift of Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who felt he drove a good final flying lap in the sister C34.
Roberto Merhi comfortably out-qualified his team-mate Will Stevens by 0.533s, as the Manor cars filled their customary place on the final row of the grid.
HUNGARIAN GP GRID
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.754s|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.312s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.659s|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.806s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.849s|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2.441s|
Hungarian GP FP3: Lewis Hamilton marginally ahead of Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton goes into this afternoon’s qualifying session for Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix as favourite for pole position after setting the pace in third free practice.
The Mercedes driver set the pace early in the session when everyone was lapping on the slower medium-compound Pirellis, just over a tenth faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg.
With most leaving it until the final 15 minutes before bolting on the softs and completing qualifying simulations, Hamilton was then knocked off top spot by Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Hulkenberg was shuffled down to sixth by the end of the session, with Rosberg the first to relegate him after setting a 1m22.997s lap with 12 minutes remaining.
Three minutes later, Hamilton completed his ‘qualifying’ run, outpacing Rosberg by 0.098s to complete the preparation for his bid for a fifth Hungarian GP pole position.
Rosberg’s session ended with two minutes remaining when his engine stalled at the end of the pitlane when he was about to attempt a practice start.
The two Mercedes drivers were untouchable at the front, with Sebastian Vettel best of the rest in third, nine-tenths off Hamilton’s pace.
Daniil Kvyat edged the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz with his final lap of the session, putting the Red Bull fourth ahead of its sister car.
Kvyat’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was unable to match the Russian, ending the session ninth after both Red Bulls started late to manage their engine mileage.
Max Verstappen also performed well, ending up seventh behind Hulkenberg and one place ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso.
Alonso had been among the earliest drivers to set a time on the soft Pirellis, which put him third for a spell before he was shuffled back.
Behind Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean completed the top 10 for Lotus, 12-thousandths of a second ahead of team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
Williams had a quiet session, with Felipe Massa 12th and Valtteri Bottas – running the latest-specification front wing – 14th.
Perez, who had been as high as fourth by taking the soft tyre early, was 15th fastest ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
The Finn was unable to complete a qualifying simulation run because of a water leak, but he would have been comfortably in the top six had he done so given the performance gain of soft tyres.
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.218s||17|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.329s||22|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.486s||30|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.681s||22|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.932s||12|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2.396s||25|
Hungarian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton leads Red Bull drivers in FP2
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in second Formula 1 practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull emerged as Mercedes’ closest challenger.
Hamilton clocked a 1m23.949s on the soft compound tyres, 0.351 seconds clear of Daniil Kvyat with the Red Bull driver’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo 0.151s further adrift.
Nico Rosberg, in the other Mercedes, was 0.719s off the pace in fourth ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who maintained his advantage over team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Red Bull’s day was tainted when Ricciardo’s engine expired with 20 minutes remaining, the Australian pulling off the track at Turn 11 to bring out the red flag.
Hamilton set the early pace as the field ran the medium compound tyres and increased that advantage on his qualifying simulations on the softs before the teams turned their attention to long runs.
Carlos Sainz continued Toro Rosso’s strong form so far at the Hungaroring with the sixth quickest time with team-mate Max Verstappen, who missed a chunk of the session with a technical problem, 11th.
Vettel, who had two spins (at Turn 12 and Turn 1), was seventh quickest, just over half a second slower than team-mate Raikkonen.
McLaren’s hopes of a stronger weekend were boosted with Fernando Alonso finishing FP2 in eighth, 1.8s off the pace, and team-mate Jenson Button two tenths further back in 12th.
The Williams of Valtteri Bottas, who was running the team’s new front wing, and Felipe Massa completed the top 10.
Lotus bounced back from a troubled first session to get more than 70 laps on the board between Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, with the duo finishing 13th and 15th overall.
The team’s tyres were late arriving for first practice, in what is understood to be a consequence of a late payment, and as a result it lost track time while they waited for the tyres to get into their working range.
Sauber’s team principal Monisha Kaltenborn conceded on Thursday that it would be a tough weekend for her team and it proved to be the case with Felipe Nasr 14th and Marcus Ericsson 16th.
Roberto Merhi ended up 17th quickest, just 0.002s ahead of Manor team-mate Will Stevens.
Force India chose to sit out the session as a precaution while the team continued to investigate an apparent suspension problem that caused Sergio Perez’s crash in first practice.
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||0.351s||29|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.502s||16|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.650s||37|
|11||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.986s||19|
Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest, Sergio Perez rolls in F1 FP1
Lewis Hamilton topped the first Formula 1 free practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix, which was interrupted by a dramatic roll for Sergio Perez after hitting the barriers.
Hamilton’s Mercedes was fastest in the first half-hour, when all drivers were on their first set of medium-compound Pirellis, and he had yet to use his second set when Perez crashed shortly before the one-hour mark.
The Force India driver had just emerged from the exit of the Turn 11 right-hander and was on the exit rumble strip when the rear snapped on him and pitched the Mexican into a spin.
Replays suggested that this was caused by a failure in the right-rear suspension, although this has yet to be confirmed.
Perez spun across the track and hit nose-first into the barrier, damaging the front-right suspension.
As he rebounded into the track, the deranged front wheel folded under the car and tipped him into a roll.
The Force India came to rest upside down, although Perez was able to get out quickly and was taken to the medical centre for a check-up before he returned to the pits on foot just over 10 minutes after the crash.
There, he was met by a pack of TV and radio crews – although he was still unsure as to the cause of the accident when it was put to him that he had a failure.
"It was a really bad accident, really unlucky," he told Sky Sports F1.
"I went in at the wrong angle, which made the car roll over, but everything’s all right.
"It was a bit of a strange accident, I thought I was under control but I guess the Astroturf was very dirty and that’s why I went into the wall, but we have to check everything in detail."
The session was restarted after a 15-minute halt, and after the stoppage Nico Rosberg worked his way down to a 1m25.250s, which was just under half-a-tenth faster than Hamilton’s early mark.
But at the same time, Hamilton improved to a 1m25.141s to end the session 0.109s faster than Rosberg to consolidate top spot.
The session was then interrupted by another red flag for debris on the track from the front wing of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, which failed as he was exiting the Turn 12 right-hander.
Although the Finn made it back to the pits, the track needed clearing and the session did not get back underway in time for any more improvements to be made, meaning only five drivers left the pits for the last 60 seconds of track time.
Raikkonen set third-fastest time before his incident, putting him ahead of the two Red Bulls of Daniels Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat.
They were the only three non-Mercedes cars within a second of the pace, as sixth-quickest Sebastian Vettel, who missed much of the first half-hour with an electrical problem, was 1.254s down.
Toro Rosso had another strong Friday session, with Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen seventh and 10th respectively.
They sandwiched Perez and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas on the timesheets.
McLaren suggested that its hopes of a slightly improved performance at a less-power-dependent circuit are justified with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button 11th and 12th fastest.
Lotus had a troubled session as a consequence of not getting hold of its tyres on Thursday, as would be usual. This is understood to be a consequence of a late payment.
The team got its tyres this morning, but while both cars completed an installation lap during the first half-hour running was restricted, with Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer – two of the drivers who did return to the track during the final one-minute mini-session – managed only 13 laps between them.
That meant Maldonado ended up 17th, while Palmer – who only did four laps – did not set a time.
He ended the session last, behind F1 weekend debutant and former GP2 champion Fabio Leimer.
The Swiss driver took over Roberto Merhi’s Manor and lapped 1.1s off the pace of team-mate Will Stevens.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.912s||20|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||0.929s||17|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.586s||25|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.635s||14|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.793s||27|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||2.176s||11|
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.
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.”