Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – “Not an easy race”
Kimi: car was ok but suffered with tires
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was not an easy race for me, the car was pretty ok, but I suffered with the tires, to make them last. I was constantly trying to keep the fronts alive. After the start I was in a good position, but I struggled with the first set of Softs: at the end of the stint they kind of came back and improved, but we kept losing places. When Seb came close to me, I knew that he was on a different strategy and I let him go. Obviously it has been quite a tricky year, far from what we want as a team, but lately we have been working well, doing the right things. Now we need to keep working this way and hopefully next year, with the new car, we’ll be where we want to be.”
Nico Rosberg seals 2016 F1 championship, Lewis Hamilton wins race
Nico Rosberg clinched his maiden Formula 1 world championship by holding off Sebastian Vettel to finish second in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as rival Lewis Hamilton won the race.
Rosberg entered the 21st and final grand prix of the season with a 12-point lead and simply needed to be third or higher to take the title no matter where Hamilton finished.
Hamilton kept the pace slow in the final stint when leading Rosberg, backing the German into the pack, despite persistent calls from his Mercedes team to up speed.
But the tactic failed to pay off, with Rosberg soaking up the pressure from Vettel to guide his car home second.
As a result, Rosberg won the world title by five points at Yas Marina to become F1’s 33rd world champion, 34 years after his father Keke achieved the feat.
Hamilton led Rosberg away at the start but the duo did not pull away from Kimi Raikkonen, who jumped Daniel Ricciardo, and Vettel.
Rosberg pitted a lap after Hamilton, ditching the ultra-softs for the softs, and like Hamilton was held in his box while a Ferrari entered the pits.
He rejoined behind Max Verstappen, who had spun at the first corner after contact with Nico Hulkenberg and had cut his way back through the field on the super-softs and was looking to extend his stint.
Mercedes told Rosberg he needed to pass Verstappen because the Dutchman was driving purposefully slow, setting up a tense couple of moments as the two went wheel-to-wheel with the Red Bull holding firm.
After backing off for a few laps, Mercedes told Rosberg to attack again and this time, the German made a pass stick through Turns 8 and 9 before covering the line into Turn 11 to retake second.
The second stops for both Hamilton and Rosberg were smooth, with the duo retaining formation as they rejoined second and third behind Vettel, who was running a long second stint, until the German pitted.
The gap hovered around the one-second mark for much of the remainder of the race, with Hamilton appearing to attempt to back Rosberg into the chasing pack.
The main threat was Vettel, who was last of the frontrunners to make a final stop and took on fresh super-softs. He passed both Red Bulls and closed in on the two Mercedes, bringing Verstappen with him.
Rosberg complained Hamilton was too slow while Mercedes instructed Hamilton to up the pace, including a message from technical boss Paddy Lowe, but the Briton replied at one point "let us race".
Ultimately, it didn’t pay off as Hamilton crossed the line to win his 10th grand prix of the season, compared to nine wins for Rosberg, with his team-mate second.
Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen completed the top six.
Force India’s Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were seventh and eight respectively, securing fourth place in the constructors’ championship for the outfit for the first time.
Felipe Massa finished the final race of his F1 career in ninth, with Fernando Alonso completing the top 10.
The Spaniard’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button had a disappointing final race before his likely retirement, the Briton hitting a kerb at Turn 10 hard, causing damage to the steering and forcing him out.
Carlos Sainz Jr retired with a gearbox problem, moments after he was hit by Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, while his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat also failed to finish.
RESULTS – 55 LAPS:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes|
|–||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari|
|–||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari|
FINAL DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
FINAL CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS:
Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Abu Dhabi GP F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for his Formula 1 world championship showdown with Nico Rosberg, with a commanding performance in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton held provisional pole after the initial runs in Q3, just over three tenths quicker than Rosberg, and eventually completed two laps good enough for pole by breaking into the 1m38s on his final run.
Championship leader Rosberg also improved on his second Q3 run, but ended up more than three tenths behind Hamilton.
If Hamilton wins Sunday’s race, Rosberg only needs to finish third to clinch his first F1 world title.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified his Red Bull third fastest, nicking ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari by just 0.015 seconds on his final Q3 run.
Ricciardo and his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, who qualified sixth fastest, will both start the race on the super-soft tyre, after progressing through Q2 without the ultra-soft favoured by Mercedes and Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest in the second Ferrari, less than a tenth slower than Raikkonen.
Vettel suggested he lost time in Turns 16, 17 and 18, and that he went the wrong way on set-up for qualifying.
The Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez locked out row four, just 0.018s apart, while Fernando Alonso qualified his McLaren a tenth faster than Felipe Massa’s Williams, which rounded out the top 10.
Massa’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas just missed out on making Q3 in the second Williams, finding time on his final Q2 lap but narrowly losing out to Alonso, who was quicker than Bottas by just 0.040s.
Jenson Button qualified 12th in the sister McLaren, dropping two tenths to Alonso in the middle sector and suggesting his car picked up understeer in the cool conditions.
Esteban Gutierrez beat Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean to 13th on the grid by just under a tenth of a second, while Jolyon Palmer was 15th in the best of the Renaults, 0.175s clear of Pascal Wehrlein, who put his Manor into Q2 for the fifth time this season.
Both Toro Rosso drivers fell in Q1, after losing most of Friday’s second practice to FIA safety checks to its cars, following punctures suffered on Daniil Kvyat’s car.
Kvyat was only 17th quickest, a tenth slower than Wehrlein, while Kvyat’s team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr qualified on the last row of the grid.
Renault apologised to Kevin Magnussen after he failed to go quicker on his final Q1 run and wound up 18th, ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, who complained of an ERS problem exiting Turn 14.
Esteban Ocon was 20th in the second Manor, after a slow first sector, while the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson qualified last, the Swede apologising to the team for locking up under braking for Turn 17 and ruining his final flying lap in Q1.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.589s||0.834s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.818s||1.063s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.501s||1.746s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.519s||1.764s|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m42.003s||3.248s|
|21||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m42.393s||3.638s|
Abu Dhabi GP FP3: Sebastian Vettel tops F1 final practice
Sebastian Vettel was a surprise fastest in the final Formula 1 free practice session ahead of the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had set the pace with just over half of the one-hour session completed having been among a group of drivers to set times on ultra-soft Pirellis early on, which included Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel.
With just over forty minutes to go, Nico Rosberg, who had been fifth fastest behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with both using the slower super-soft Pirellis early on, went fastest after bolting on the fastest tyre.
Seconds after Rosberg knocked Raikkonen off top spot, Hamilton posted a time 0.103s quicker to take top spot.
But Vettel, on a fresh set of ultra-softs, then went 0.137s faster than Hamilton with 11 minutes remaining to secure top spot.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Raikkonen slotted in second and third on their late runs on ultra-softs, which left Hamilton and Rosberg, who remain favourite to qualify on the front row, down in fourth and fifth after completing their qualifying simulation runs before everyone else.
Ricciardo ended the session a distant sixth, a second off the pace, after failing to exploit the potential of his ultra-soft tyres.
Force India driver Sergio Perez was seventh fastest, less than a tenth off Ricciardo, while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg ended up eighth after missing half of the session with a fuel system problem.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas and Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez, who took a fresh Ferrari engine ahead of this session, rounded out the top 10, ahead of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was 12th fastest ahead of Jenson Button, while Felipe Massa didn’t get the best out of his final set of tyres after a spin at Turn 6 right at the start of his run.
Toro Rosso returned to the track after stopping running in yesterday’s session amid concerns it and the FIA had about safety following two punctures believed to be car-related.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat completed only 23 laps between them, with Sainz best placed in 18th place.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||0.137s||21|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.056s||20|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.110s||19|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.292s||13|
|18||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2.526s||10|
|21||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||3.330s||13|
Q: Thank you for that you two. And Kimi, nice to see you here. Max Verstappen had that third place bought and paid for for most of the qualifying session but you pulled it right out at the end. Where did that come from?
Kimi Raikkonen: I struggled the whole qualifying in a few places, in a few corners in the middle sector. To be honest the last lap it was pretty average from my viewpoint. Obviously it was enough to be in third place. The Mercedes seems to be a bit too far. I struggled the first two corners with the tyre warm-up a bit. Even in the middle I wasn’t really happy but I don’t mind, it was good enough for this and we’ll see what we can do.
Q: Kimi, just looking at the way you’ve performed today in particular, you were quickest in practice in Sector One and Sector Three, which was interesting. And then obviously it took a little while to get it all together but what is it about Sector Two that was causing you problems and Ferrari problems today that you managed, I guess, to finally put right.
KR: I think we’re lacking a bit of downforce overall there, comparing maybe to the guys in front of us – but you know the car’s been behaving today, pretty good and just been struggling on the tight corners to turn around the car and a bit of front-locking so obviously it’s been a bit guessing whether we can turn or not. As I said, it was not ideal, the lap, but it was good enough for third place and even making a perfect lap it wouldn’t be fast enough for Mercedes today. But, y’know, tomorrow is another day and we try to improve.
KR: For me, it’s another race. I’ve had some good memories here but also some not so good. It will be interesting to see how it goes tomorrow and obviously with Felipe, he’s made his decision to do something else with his life and I’m sure he will enjoy it and all the best for whatever he does.
KR: Obviously it’s not up to us. I think if it was up to the drivers we would come back but this is how it seems to be in many places. The drivers like the places but there’s always a question mark whether we’re coming back or not. Sadly, it’s all about money unfortunately. The best amount gets the race.
Q: (Silvia Arias – Parabrisas) Kimi, congratulations for this position. We are used to seeing Red Bull in this position. I would love to know what difference has been the factor that has made Ferrari much better this weekend, because so far it’s really good?
KR: Yeah, but it’s been very close. I think it’s been very close most of the year and obviously sometimes we’ve been a bit behind, sometimes in front but I think we’ve done a very good job in the recent races as a team and improved in certain areas and trying new things. We’ve learned some positive things and as a team we’ve worked very well in recent months and I think it’s helping us to get back to where we were at the start of the year so hopefully we can have a good strong race tomorrow. It’s all about learning from what we’ve done and improving things. All of us have been pushing in the same direction and it seems to start paying off a little bit.
Kimi Raikkonen surprised ‘average’ lap put him third on Brazil grid
Kimi Raikkonen called the qualifying lap that put him third on the Brazilian Grand Prix grid "pretty average", despite beating Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel and both Red Bulls.
Raikkonen was the only one of that quartet to improve during their final runs in Q3 at Interlagos, which vaulted him from sixth to third in the final classification, behind only the dominant Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Raikkonen has shown improved form on Saturdays recently in F1, and has now outqualified Vettel at the last four races in succession.
Ferrari congratulated the Finn on a job well done after the session, but Raikkonen admitted over team radio to being surprised the lap was good enough for third on the grid.
"I struggled the whole qualifying with a few corners in the middle sector," he explained.
"We’re lacking downforce compared to the guys in front.
"I struggle in the first two corners with tyre warm up. In the middle, I wasn’t happy either, but I don’t mind, it was good enough for this.
"The car has been behaving today pretty good, just struggling a bit in the right corners to turnaround the car, and [with] front locking. It’s been a bit of guessing.
"To be honest, the last lap was pretty average in my view, but it was enough to be third.
"Mercedes seem to be a bit too far [in front] – even if we made the perfect lap it wouldn’t be fast enough."
Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Brazilian Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix, a tenth of a second faster than Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.
With rain threatening, but never arriving beyond a few spots, throughout qualifying, Hamilton had the advantage after the first runs in Q3.
While Rosberg did make a small improvement on his second run, Hamilton was fast enough to defend top spot – with his pace in the long middle sector particularly strong.
Kimi Raikkonen capitalised on the two Red Bull drivers and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel failing to improve on their second runs to jump to third late on, 0.668s off pole.
Max Verstappen shaded Vettel for fourth by just a hundredth of a second, complaining about losing rear grip mid-way through his second flier, with Ricciardo aborting his final quick lap in the middle sector and not able to do better than sixth.
Two weeks after qualifying last in Mexico, Romain Grosjean equalled the Haas team’s best grid position of the year as he went seventh fastest.
Nico Hulkenberg had the edge in the Force India battle, lapping half-a-tenth faster than team-mate Sergio Perez, with the pair in eighth and ninth place.
McLaren-Honda returned to Q3 after a three-race absence, Fernando Alonso ending up 10th.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were both eliminated in a late flurry of improvements in Q2 as some spots of rain fell.
Bottas missed out on the top 10 by just 0.060s to Hulkenberg, while Massa had a poor first run then was unable to make a big enough improvement to do better than 13th.
The two Williams cars sandwiched the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, with the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr 14th and 15th, and Renault driver Jolyon Palmer 16th after several lock ups on his only Q2 lap on fresh rubber.
Jenson Button was the highest-profile casualty in Q1 in 17th place, lapping almost six tenths slower than team-mate Alonso and complaining of a lack of front grip having failed to improve his time on his second run.
Kevin Magnussen did improve on his second run having been slowest on the first, but that was only good enough to jump up to 19th, ahead of the Manors of Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon.
Ocon complained about Wehrlein holding him up on his final run, while Wehrlein complained about being overtaken by his team-mate.
But Ocon was the only driver to get in trouble with the stewards, who will investigate whether or not he impeded Palmer as the Descida do Lago downhill left-hander during the session.
Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr annexed the back row, with the Swede finding a bigger improvement on his second run to jump ahead of his team-mate by just 0.058s having earlier been over three tenths slower.
Nasr complained about traffic during his second run, although he was still able to improve on his first-run time by over four tenths.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.485s||0.749s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.540s||0.804s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.104s||1.368s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.165s||1.429s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m12.726s||–|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m12.920s||–|
Rosberg outpaces F1 title rival Hamilton in Brazilian GP practice
Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg beat title rival Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at an overcast Interlagos.
Rosberg, who can clinch the title by winning Sunday’s race no matter where Mercedes team-mate Hamilton finishes, posted the quickest lap of the weekend so far with a 1m11.740s effort.
Hamilton, who was quickest in both Friday practice sessions, had to settle for second, just 0.093s slower than Rosberg.
Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed the cooler conditions compared to Friday’s session to finish third and fourth, 0.219s and 0.287s down respectively on Rosberg.
Behind the leading quartet came Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who had hoped the drop in temperatures would help their cause, but they were 0.337s and 0.547s off the pace ultimately.
Following the scorching temperatures for second practice that rose to 31C, with the track hitting a peak of 52C, FP3 was run in very different conditions.
Heavy overnight rain resulted in a grey start to the session and a damp circuit in places that started off at 22C and rose to a high of 25C.
A handful of drivers conducted exploratory laps on full-wet tyres early on, before Hamilton pitted for slicks, claiming the track was "pretty dry" despite light drizzle in some places.
Hamilton went off on his first flying lap on softs, before setting the first competitive time of the day with a 1m16.980s.
There was a momentary disturbance 15 minutes into the session that resulted in double-yellows flags being waved in sector one, when an umbrella blew onto the track at the Senna S, but this was swiftly dealt with.
Others soon followed Hamilton’s lead by venturing out on either soft or medium dry tyres, leading to the times tumbling as the rain eased off.
Raikkonen set the benchmark time on soft tyres with a lap of 1m12.530s before Ricciardo beat that by almost a quarter of a second with 17 minutes remaining, effectively sparking the start of the qualifying simulation runs.
Rosberg eventually emerged as the fastest driver of the session, posting a time of 1m11.740s that Hamilton couldn’t quite reach.
Valtteri Bottas was seventh in his Willliams, and the only other driver to finish within a second of Rosberg.
Bottas was almost four tenths of a second ahead of Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, while Felipe Massa’s Williams and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda rounded out the top 10.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson finished bottom of the standings, the only driver without a time to his name.
He completed only one lap due to technical issues, necessitating an engine change.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.077s||0.337s||19|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.287s||0.547s||21|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.203s||1.463s||14|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.231s||1.491s||19|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.293s||1.553s||20|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.609s||1.869s||13|
Brazilian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg in F1 FP2
Lewis Hamilton edged out Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to finish quickest in second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m12.271s on the soft tyre to finish 0.030s clear of title rival Rosberg, who can win the title with victory at Interlagos on Sunday.
Williams provided the strongest challenge, with Valtteri Bottas half a second off the pace in the third, a few thousandths clear of team-mate Felipe Massa.
The medium compound was the tyre of choice early in the session, with Hamilton outpacing his team-mate by 0.198s on those runs.
When the pair fitted the softs for their qualifying simulation around the halfway point of the session, Rosberg briefly went quickest only to be usurped by Hamilton.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fifth quickest, 0.557s off the pace, a tenth ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen.
The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were seventh and eighth respectively, seven tenths off the pace with Nico Hulkenberg one second adrift of Hamilton in ninth.
Jenson Button completed the top 10, but his session ended early with just 19 laps on the board.
His McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso also struggled, with his session ending prematurely when he was told to stop on track because the team had found a data anomaly in the ERS water pressure.
The Spaniard, who achieved the 11th quickest time, was restricted to just 18 laps.
Rather than heading back to the garage, Alonso took control of one of the trackside cameras, with some of the footage being used in the FOM broadcast.
It came a year after he sat in a deckchair after his McLaren ground to a halt in Q1, with pictures creating a social media sensation.
Daniil Kvyat outpaced his Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz by just over a tenth of a second to finish 12th quickest.
The Spaniard went wheel-to-wheel with Raikkonen through the infield early in the session, with the latter then cutting across the Toro Rosso on the main straight as he dived for the pits.
The stewards will investigate the incident after the session.
Romain Grosjean had a frustrating afternoon, complaining of having no power and then reporting that "something is wrong, very strange" as he went through Turn 1.
BRAZILIAN GP FP2 TIMES
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.828s||0.557s||43|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.928s||0.657s||45|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.299s||1.028s||42|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.689s||1.418s||46|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.801s||1.530s||47|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.918s||1.647s||38|
Brazilian GP FP1: Lewis Hamilton fastest ahead of Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton started his bid for a maiden Brazilian Grand Prix victory with the fastest time in the opening Formula 1 practice session.
Mercedes driver Hamilton, who has failed in his previous nine attempts to win at Interlagos, finished the 90 minutes a tenth of a second quicker than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with a lap of 1m11.895s.
That was set on the soft tyre, the quickest of the three Pirelli compounds available this weekend, with Verstappen 0.096s behind, and championship leader Nico Rosberg 0.230s off the pace in his Mercedes.
Rosberg can clinch the title with a third successive win in Brazil, no matter where Hamilton finishes.
Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest in his Red Bull, almost half a second behind Hamilton, with the leading quartet comfortably ahead of the remainder of the field spearheaded by Valtteri Bottas’s Williams.
The Finn finished 1.234s down, while team-mate and home hero Felipe Massa was eighth, a further two tenths of a second off the pace.
Force India pair Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were sandwiched in between the Williams duo, split by just four thousandths of a second.
Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were down in ninth and 10th positions respectively, both 1.6s adrift, although neither driver used the soft tyre.
With three minutes remaining Vettel finished the session in ignominious fashion by spinning off at Mergulho on a set of fresh medium tyres.
The Ferrari pair were followed by Toro Rosso drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat, the latter suffering a right-rear puncture after an hour that brought an end to his session.
Given Haas’s brake problems of late, Romain Grosjean tried two different suppliers – Brembo, with which the team has had its issues, and Carbon Industrie.
On his first timed lap with the latter Grosjean locked up into Turn 1, and he suffered another lock up later in the session, with the Frenchman finishing 15th, 2.6s down.
Grosjean was joined on track by Charles Leclerc, who replaced Esteban Gutierrez, who is on his way out of the team to make way for Kevin Magnussen next year.
The 19-year-old GP3 points leader finished 21st, 3.496s down, one place ahead of Renault’s Sergey Sirotkin, who replaced Magnussen for FP1.
Sirotkin managed just 10 laps for Renault before encountering a technical issue after 28 minutes.
Sirotkin was forced to park his car at the entry of the pitlane from where he was collected by a team of mechanics, but Renault was unable to get him back out on track.
BRAZILIAN GP FP1 TIMES
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.991s||0.096s||29|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.371s||0.476s||27|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.289s||1.394s||31|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.293s||1.398s||33|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.711s||1.816s||22|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m14.090s||2.195s||15|
Ferrari F1 personnel changes key to Raikkonen’s 2016 gains
Kimi Raikkonen believes changes to the team of people he works closely with inside Ferrari this season have been key to turning his Formula 1 form around.
The Finn was comfortably outperformed by new F1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel last term, scoring just over half the number of three-time-winner Vettel’s points and failing to win a single race.
It followed a disappointing season in 2014 when he finished 12th in the standings, managing just over a third of then team-mate Fernando Alonso’s tally.
This year, Raikkonen has improved his pace, performance over weekends and consistency on Sundays, and sits just seven points behind Vettel with two grands prix remaining.
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said last month Raikkonen now feels he has the trust and commitment of his mechanics.
In Mexico, Raikkonen revealed he has been working with new personnel this year.
"There were some changes with the people that I work and they have been very good," he said.
"The guys are very good at what we do and we all work together very well, in a very good way.
"We understand each other well and we have the same idea how we want to do stuff."
Raikkonen says that resulting precision and sound decision-making process is paying dividends.
"With very small details, we are making sure they are correct and that they are not almost there or roughly there, but they are exactly like they should be.
"When you have that mentality, it pays off.
"Because you have a lot of the small things, if they are correct it’s going to make a big impact in the lap time.
"If they are not, you are adding two or three things and suddenly it’s going to have a lot of lap-time effect.
"The car has been good in the way I can drive it, that helps."
Despite his personal progress, Raikkonen admits Ferrari still has a lot of work to do, especially as it is currently behind Mercedes and Red Bull in the constructors’ championship.
"It hasn’t been such a good season," he said. "We want to be in the front and fighting for wins.
"When you don’t achieve that, you can’t say it’s a good season.
"The end result is not what we want as a team."