Monaco Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton pips Valtteri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton prevailed in a battle with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas to top the second free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The duo had set the pace early in the session when on medium-compound Pirellis, but Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel took top spot on his performance run on what was his second set of softs by 45 thousandths of a second.
Mercedes was one of the last teams to send its drivers out for quick runs on softs, with Bottas the first to reclaim first position with a lap of 1m11.597s.
The Finn then improved again to a 1m11.275s, before Hamilton jumped ahead with a time of 1m11.245s.
Bottas put in a 1m11.199s to move back ahead, while Hamilton paid a visit to the Ste Devote escape road after a lock-up.
But Hamilton, on his 10th lap on softs, was able to put in a time 0.081s quicker than Bottas’s best, which proved to be good enough to top the session.
Vettel, who locked up at Ste Devote with 17 minutes to go and, after just stopping short of the barrier, had to reverse to recover, held on to third place – 0.763s down.
Pierre Gasly was fourth fastest for Red Bull, less than a tenth behind Vettel, with Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon fifth on his debut Monaco F1 weekend with a lap of 1m12.031s set with 54 minutes of the session to go.
Max Verstappen looked quick, but sat out a large amount of the session after suffering a suspected water leak on his Red Bull – ending up 0.934s with his pace on a first set of softs.
He returned to the track in the closing stages and completed a further seven laps, but did not improve on his earlier time.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was best of the rest in seventh fastest, 1.056s off the pace, which put him just ahead of the Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen.
Charles Leclerc, in the second Ferrari, was 10th and 1.232s down having complained about braking problems during the session.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean was 11th ahead of the McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Daniil Kvyat lost time in the final sector on his best lap and ended up 14th, 1.459s down and just ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez.
After a promising first practice session, the Renaults were down in 16th and 17th place, with Nico Hulkenberg the quicker by 0.016s.
That put them ahead of Lance Stroll, who was 3.440s down, and Williams pairing George Russell – who was another to visit the Ste Devote escape road – and Robert Kubica.
Practice two times
|4||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m11.938s||0.820s||39|
|5||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m12.031s||0.913s||51|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m12.052s||0.934s||17|
|8||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m12.239s||1.121s||51|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m12.342s||1.224s||51|
|13||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m12.419s||1.301s||47|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m12.577s||1.459s||39|
|15||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m12.752s||1.634s||44|
|18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m14.558s||3.440s||40|
Monaco Grand Prix practice: Hamilton fastest, Verstappen second
Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton led the way in the opening Thursday practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix, beating Max Verstappen by 0.059 seconds.
Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas spent much of morning practice maintaining a familiar Mercedes one-two, before Verstappen slotted in between the pair in his Red Bull in the latter half of the session.
Times were tumbling down quickly in the opening half-hour as drivers got acclimatised to the street circuit, but Mercedes cars swiftly assumed the lead to sit first and second after their opening run.
While Hamilton and Bottas were closely matched at that point, with the top Ferrari of Charles Leclerc just a tenth behind, the reigning champion emerged from the pits again on the same set of softs and stretched out his lead as he fired in a 1m12.932s.
Bottas, Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel all surpassed Hamilton’s earlier benchmark as they switched to fresh softs, but Hamilton responded swiftly and was back in the lead, trading a couple of fastest laps with Bottas before ending up on a 1m12.106s.
As Mercedes and Ferrari soon switched focus to long runs, this lap time kept Hamilton top until the chequered flag flew.
But Bottas, despite being just 0.072s slower than his team-mate, was shuffled down to third by Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver went down the escape road at Mirabeau after commencing his run on fresh softs, and required help from the marshals to reverse and get going again, yet ramped up his pace after that to take an eventual second place.
Local hero Leclerc wound up as the fastest Ferrari in fourth, 0.361s off the pace but over three and a half tenths up on Vettel.
Pierre Gasly, who had narrowly avoided a crash by catching a big slide in the Swimming Pool section, moved up to sixth place with 10 minutes left on the clock yet ended up a second off Red Bull team-mate Verstappen’s pace.
Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest behind the top three teams in seventh place, while Renault team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished 11th.
Haas had its session compromised by a telemetry and radio issue, which forced it to request the FIA to black-flag both of its drivers on the opening run as it could not communicate with them.
Both drivers returned to the track in the final 20 minutes, with Kevin Magnussen finishing just 0.005s behind Hulkenberg in eighth, while Romain Grosjean followed Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo in 10th.
Toro Rosso was alone in running the medium tyre in the second half of the session, and had Daniil Kvyat as its leading driver in 13th. Racing Point worked on the hard tyre late on, with Sergio Perez heading its efforts in 16th.
George Russell was the leading Williams entry in 17th, four tenths up on Robert Kubica – whose session ended with an off with just over 30 minutes to go.
Kubica spun his FW42 exiting Casino Square, and tapped the front wing against the inside barrier, subsequently returning to the pits but not reappearing after that.
McLaren was down to just one car for most of the session, with Carlos Sainz Jr sidelined with a reported electronics issue and unable to record a timed lap.
Practice one times
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m12.165s||0.059s||35|
|6||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m13.170s||1.064s||41|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m13.363s||1.257s||39|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m13.437s||1.331s||39|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m13.731s||1.625s||40|
|14||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m13.827s||1.721s||45|
|16||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m14.566s||2.460s||40|
|19||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m16.135s||4.029s||37|
|20||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||2m00.670s||48.564s||4|
Today nothing really happened in the race; to be honest, it was a pretty boring one. We know that on this track, once everybody has stopped, whoever is in the front dictates the speed and no matter if he goes four second slower on a lap, there’s no way to pass unless somebody makes a big mistake or runs out of tires. We end up following each other through the whole race. I had no problem managing my tires, in fact they were pretty good. I only had some graining with the first set, but apart from that they were ok. I was never worried about Bottas behind me, we had the speed and I could easily close up with the car in front, but there was no way to pass him. We were all the time doing our best, but couldn’t use our pace. Obviously we cannot be happy with fourth position, but as always, we try to learn from every race.
Monaco Grand Prix: Daniel Ricciardo wins despite car problem
Daniel Ricciardo survived a reliability scare to hold off Sebastian Vettel and take his second win of the 2018 Formula 1 season in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Ricciardo was comfortably in charge early on before an apparent energy recovery systems problem took hold for the majority of the race.
He managed that loss of power to the end to clinch his seventh GP victory, with Vettel dropping back in second late on and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes a distant third.
Ricciardo covered Vettel into the first corner and had built a lead of 3.6 seconds before the leaders pitted to shed their used hypersofts from qualifying.
Vettel stopped on lap 16 of 78 with Ricciardo staying out a lap later and rejoining with a lead still above three seconds.
Ricciardo then started to report a loss of power and Vettel closed in.
Red Bull indicated the problem would not get worse and Ricciardo was able to maintain the lead, albeit at a reduced pace.
That allowed Vettel to run just over a second behind him, with Hamilton gradually closing in and putting the top three within three seconds of each other.
Hamilton was complaining more about the state of his tyres and gradually slipped back to a lonely third.
Ricciardo’s loss of pace meant Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas threatened to stop privately duelling over fourth and join the lead train, but never quite managed to do so.
Bottas had briefly threatened to be a dark horse after taking supersofts at his only pitstop while the top four went on ultrasofts, and was considerably faster in clean air.
His charge ended as soon as he caught Raikkonen and found himself stuck behind the Ferrari, and although they closed right up on Hamilton at the end they held position.
Esteban Ocon just held on to finish best-of-the-rest for Force India.
Ocon pitted later than most frontrunners but not as late as Pierre Gasly and Nico Hulkenberg, who ran exceptionally long opening stints and had fierce pace in the second half of the race.
Toro Rosso driver Gasly had supersofts to the hypersofts on Hulkenberg’s Renault, but just about managed to keep seventh place as Ocon kept the pair at bay.
Max Verstappen scored points after his crash on Saturday condemned him to a back-of-the-grid start.
The Red Bull drove gradually rose up the order and finished ninth after wresting the place from Carlos Sainz Jr with a forceful move at the Nouvelle chicane.
Sainz survived one attack there by cutting the chicane, but a lap later Verstappen made it stick on the outside – he ran slightly deep into the corner and half-cut it, half-clobbered the kerb on the first right-hand apex, but kept the place.
A tame conclusion was interrupted by Charles Leclerc rear-ending Brendon Hartley under braking for the Nouvelle chicane with seven laps to go.
Hartley was running 11th with Leclerc just behind when the Sauber rookie smashed into the rear of the Toro Rosso shortly after exiting the tunnel.
Leclerc, who reported "no brakes" immediately afterwards, skated down the escape road with the front of his car deranged, while Hartley limped back to retire in the pits with a broken rear wing.
That triggered a virtual safety car, but with so little time remaining the frontrunners did not risk pitting and the order remained the same, albeit with Vettel falling further back from Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso was the race’s other retiree. The Spaniard was on course to finish seventh until he was forced to retire his McLaren, which was smoking at the rear as he came to a halt on the exit of Ste Devote with 25 laps left.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||78||1h42m54.807s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||78||23.667s|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||78||24.331s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||78||25.317s|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||78||1m10.461s|
|14||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Renault||77||1 Lap|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||77||1 Lap|
|16||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams/Mercedes||77||1 Lap|
|17||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||76||2 Laps|
|19||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||70||Collision|
“Today we struggled a bit to make the tires work straightaway in the first two corners, get them into the correct temperature window and get the car to turn where we wanted. During the lap they seemed to improve, but here at Monaco, if you are not 100 per cent sure of how it’s going to be in Turn 1, then you lack a bit of confidence. Obviously, we cannot be totally happy with this result, we wanted to be higher up the time sheet, but this what we have got today. The race is a different story. Usually it’s very tricky to overtake here, but in the past a lot of things happened. We’ll try to stay out of any trouble, make the right decisions and do the right things at the right moment”.
Monaco Grand Prix qualifying: Daniel Ricciardo on pole for Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo claimed pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix after Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen missed qualifying thanks to his practice crash.
Ricciardo topped the first two stages of qualifying, with Verstappen unable even to take to the track thanks to damage sustained in a morning accident at the second part of Swimming Pool that forced a gearbox change, before banging in a 1m10.810s on his first run in Q3 to take top spot.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton briefly threatened Ricciardo’s position with the fastest first sector time of qualifying on his final flier, but lost pace later in the lap and ended up third behind Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo, meanwhile, looked set to improve, but dropped time in the final sector and ended up posting a lap 0.036 seconds slower than his first attempt.
This is only Ricciardo’s second pole position in F1, coming two years after his first at the same venue.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest, just 0.034s slower than Hamilton, with the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in fifth place.
Of the Q3 runners, only the Mercedes drivers attempted an alternative strategy by using ultrasofts for their first runs in Q2.
But neither Hamilton nor Bottas was quick enough and had to run again on hypersofts, meaning all of the top 10 will start on the softest Pirelli compound.
Esteban Ocon won the battle for best of the rest in sixth place, with just 0.160s covering the bottom five in Q3.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr, Force India’s Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly completed the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg’s final lap in Q2 was not good enough to get him into the top 10, falling a tenth short of Gasly’s time.
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was shuffled down to 12th, having been sixth based on his time on the first runs, thanks to failing to improve on his second set of tyres – potentially as a result of a minor problem with the car.
Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc were eighth and ninth respectively in Q1, but ended up 13th and 14th overall despite both making slight improvements in the second stage of qualifying.
Romain Grosjean was 15th for Haas, just 0.014s slower than Leclerc, as the team continued to struggle. He is also carrying a three-place grid penalty from his Spanish GP accident.
Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley was fastest of those to be eliminated in Q1 in 16th place.
His first run was not quick enough to avoid the dropzone, and he was only able to make an improvement of 0.224s on his second set of hypersofts.
A yellow flag at Ste Devote because Leclerc briefly went off meant he could not make a final attempt to get into the top 15.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was 17th ahead of the Williams of Lance Stroll, with Kevin Magnussen’s difficult weekend continuing as he ended up in 19th and last place of the runners ahead only of Verstappen.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m10.810s||–|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.061s||1.251s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.154s||1.344s|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m12.221s||1.411s|
|15||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m13.179s||–|
|20||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||–|
Monaco GP F1 practice: Ricciardo fastest as Verstappen crashes in FP3
Daniel Ricciardo completed a clean sweep of Monaco Grand Prix practice sessions as his Red Bull Formula 1 team-mate Max Verstappen crashed heavily late in FP3 on Saturday.
After enjoying a one-two in FP1 and FP2 on Thursday Red Bull continued its fine form on the streets of Monte Carlo with Verstappen initially turning the tables on Ricciardo.
Verstappen set two times good enough for top spot as Thursday pacesetter Ricciardo lapped just over a tenth slower than the Dutchman.
However, when Verstappen emerged for a late run on fresh hypersofts he crashed exiting the Swimming Pool section on his first flying lap.
Verstappen had a small wobble after clearing the Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr approaching the right-left chicane, then clipped the inside wall as he turned in.
That broke the right front steering and sent Verstappen across the chicane’s run-off and into the wall heavily on the right-hand side.
It was an almost identical crash to one Verstappen suffered two years ago, and gives Red Bull significant work to do to get the car ready for qualifying.
The session was red-flagged before resuming with three minutes remaining, and Ricciardo took full advantage to improve to a 1m11.786s, just one-thousandth of a second faster than Verstappen.
Sebastian Vettel headed Ferrari’s charge two tenths back in third, with Lewis Hamilton best of the Mercedes drivers in fifth.
Raikkonen slipped in between the title rivals, a tenth back from his team-mate after a lap that looked very strong before fading in the final sequence of corners.
Valtteri Bottas struggled initially in the second Mercedes, which required a rear wing change after the Finn clobbered the barrier in the Ste Devote run-off after attempting a quick U-turn having run straight on.
He did jump up the order with 20 minutes remaining by getting ahead of Hamilton into fifth on a 1m12.356s.
Hamilton then hit back with a time less than a tenth faster despite encountering a Williams just as he approached the final corner.
Brendon Hartley took best-of-the-rest honours in seventh behind the big three teams for Toro Rosso ahead of team-mate Pierre Gasly.
Sainz, who also took to the Turn 1 escape road during the session but rejoined without damaging his car, and Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin completed the top 10.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.786s||–||23|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.787s||0.001s||14|
|7||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m12.752s||0.966s||25|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m12.761s||0.975s||23|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.940s||1.154s||23|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.025s||1.239s||22|
Monaco Grand Prix practice: Daniel Ricciardo leads Red Bull one-two
Daniel Ricciardo completed a clean sweep of Thursday practice for the Monaco Grand Prix by topping the second session of the day in another Red Bull one-two
Ricciardo had set the pace in the morning, but it was team-mate Max Verstappen that took top spot 19 minutes into the afternoon session with a lap of 1m12.468s using hypersoft Pirellis.
Verstappen eventually worked down to a 1m12.071s on his first set of tyres and was set to improve again when the session was red-flagged after 25 minutes.
This was to allow repairs to the track on the run from Casino Square to Mirabeau, with race director Charlie Whiting visiting the scene and some welding work done on what appeared to be a drain cover in the middle of the track.
When the session restarted after a 15-minute interruption, Verstappen went out on a fresh set of hypersofts and, like many, struggled with traffic.
He improved his time by a slightly to a 1m12.035s, although that run came to an end when he clipped the rear of Romain Grosjean’s Haas at the hairpin while letting past Ricciardo and subsequently returned to the pits.
Ricciardo opted to complete his qualifying simulation run later than most, eventually hitting the front with a lap of 1m11.841s with 22 minutes remaining.
This put him 0.194 seconds ahead of Verstappen, although the Dutchman would have posted a lap of 1m11.765s had he strung his three best sector times together.
Sebastian Vettel was third fastest for Ferrari with a time 0.378s off the pace set on his eighth lap using a set of hypersofts.
That put him just over a tenth ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who shaded the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen by 0.009s despite a big slide coming through the second part of Swimming Pool.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was sixth, 0.099s slower than Raikkonen, although he was set to post an improved time when he aborted a lap on his performance run and headed into the pits.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was best of the rest in seventh place, his best time set on hypersofts being 1.206s off the pace and just three hundredths faster than McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.
McLaren left its qualifying simulation runs later than most and both Vandoorne and Alonso gradually climbed the timesheets to end up eighth and ninth respectively.
Carlos Sainz Jr, in the second Renault that features upgraded bargeboards, rounded out the top 10 – 1.398s off the pace and just 0.022s quicker than the lead Toro Rosso-Honda of Brendon Hartley.
Sainz escaped a brush with the wall with his right rear towards the end of the 90-minute session.
Hartley’s time was set on his first set of hypersofts, as on his second he glanced the wall exiting Sainte Devote on his first flier and did not subsequently improve.
Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were 12th and 13th ahead of the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly, who set his best time on his first set of hypersofts.
Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin rounded out the top 15, followed by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.
Every driver set their fastest lap using hypersoft Pirellis.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.841s||–||33|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.035s||0.194s||41|
|11||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m13.222s||1.381s||47|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.370s||1.529s||39|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.382s||1.541s||47|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m13.410s||1.569s||32|
Monaco GP F1 practice: Daniel Ricciardo leads Red Bull 1-2 in FP1 – F1
Daniel Ricciardo led a Red Bull one-two in the opening practice session for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Ricciardo jumped to the top of the times in the final third of FP1 to displace team-mate Max Verstappen, who is under investigation for reversing back onto the track after an off at Ste Devote.
Lewis Hamilton was Red Bull’s closest challenger in third, almost three tenths back for Mercedes, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel fourth but 0.9s in arrears.
Red Bull first moved to the top in the opening half hour by using the hypersoft tyres to displace the ultrasoft-shod Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas had settled at the head of the field on a 1m14.347s after exchanging the place with team-mate Hamilton before Ricciardo beat him by more than two-tenths of a second.
Ricciardo and Verstappen then whittled the benchmark down, with Verstappen becoming the first to break the 1m13s barrier on a 1m12.941s.
That gave Red Bull a huge 1.2s gap over the Ferrari of Vettel, who moved into third on hypersofts, as the bulk of the track action stopped approaching the midpoint of the session.
Sergey Sirotkin was one of few outliers because the Williams driver had interrupted his earlier running when he clouted the pit wall earlier on entering the start-finish straight and deflated the right-rear tyre.
He jumped into the top 10 and stayed there as others improved to give Williams some early-weekend cheer.
At the head of the order Hamilton put Mercedes briefly back on top with his second lap on hypersofts, a 1m12.480s, but Verstappen beat that by a tenth soon after.
The Dutchman improved further to a 1m12.280s, before suffering a huge front-left lock-up into Ste Devote that put him down the escape road.
He was placed under investigation for failing to rejoin safely when he reversed on track with a Ferrari approaching the corner.
Ricciardo took a couple of attempts to take advantage after traffic in the final sector initially kept the Australian 0.056s adrift, but eventually beat him by 0.154s on a 1m12.126s.
That shuffled Hamilton to third and Vettel fourth in a Ferrari that is running pre-Spanish GP rear suspension configuration and has also come under intense scrutiny for its battery arrangement within the engine’s energy recovery system.
Vettel finished just 0.025s ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, while Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr jumped to sixth with 20 minutes to go.
Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes was dumped to seventh as the Finn, wearing a Mika Hakkinen tribute helmet, struggled to post a truly competitive time on hypersofts.
McLaren had a tricky season, with Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso ending up 15th and 17th respectively.
Alonso missed most of the session as McLaren had to change the floor after a brake-by-wire problem, before appearing late on and improving to 17th.
Spanish GP star Kevin Magnussen was slowest as he and Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean completed just 16 laps between them.
A late flier from Grosjean launched him into the top 10 behind Sergio Perez’s Force India and ahead of Sirotkin.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.126s||–||36|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.280s||0.154s||25|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.717s||1.591s||39|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.000s||1.874s||39|
|12||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m14.034s||1.908s||46|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m14.240s||2.114s||38|
“Restare in Ferrari anche l’anno prossimo? La decisione non dipende da me”
In un’intervista rilasciata alla Gazzetta dello Sport, Kimi Raikkonen ha parlato del possibile ritiro al termine di questo campionato, sottolineando come la voglia di correre sia ancora abbastanza viva all’interno della propria mente. Dalle parole emerse nell’intervista di oggi, infatti, Ice Man sembra sempre meno intenzionato ad appendere il casco al chiodo, sia per la ritrovata competitività della Ferrari e sia perchè, soprattutto durante questo campionato, sta dimostrando di poter essere della partita, mettendo in mostra prestazioni da top driver e certamente non inferiori a molti dei suoi colleghi. Kimi ha precisato di come la decisione spetterà solamente al team, ma che da parte propria, nonostante la carta d’identità riporti un’età di 38 anni, ci sia l’intenzione di continuare a divertirsi al volante di una vettura di Formula Uno.
Ecco le parole di Kimi Raikkonen: “E’ una domanda che mi pongono spesso: resti o no? Il problema è che la gente non capisce che la decisione non dipende da me, ma dal team. Loro sanno cosa voglio e ci tengo a precisare che non sarei qui se non mi divertissi”.
“Dopo la mia carriera, onestamente, non sento di dover dimostrare nulla”, ha aggiunto il finlandese. “Il piacere di sedersi in vettura è l’unica cosa che mi trattiene all’interno di questo mondo e l’impegno che ci metto è lo stesso del mio primo anno. Farei volentieri a meno di tutto il contorno, ma alla fine fa parte del gioco. Sulla decisione di proseguire influiscono tanti fattori, ma una cosa è abbastanza certa: la mia voglia di correre non sparirà da qui alla fine del campionato”.
Monaco – Come di consueto, l’attività inizia un giorno prima al Gran Premio di Monaco. I piloti della Scuderia Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen e Sebastian Vettel, insieme a tutta la squadra, si preparano ad una sfida che non può essere paragonata a nessun altro weekend del calendario F1.
“Tutto il weekend qui a Monaco è una grande sfida” conferma Kimi. “E’ una pista difficile, che non ti garantisce la vittoria anche se sei il più veloce; tante cose possono accadere e potresti non avere il tempo di reagire. Tutti questi fattori possono rendere le cose più difficili. Questo è un weekend speciale e bisogna mettere un po’ di più di impegno rispetto ad un circuito normale. Domani inizieremo le prove libere e poi adatteremo la macchina alle nostre esigenze. La pista cambia molto tra le prove, le qualifiche e la gara. Dobbiamo seguire questi cambiamenti, accertandoci di avere il giusto assetto per poter spingere quando sarà il momento di farlo. Bisogna aver fiducia nella propria macchina e avere un buon feeling. Durante i test abbiamo provato già le gomme Hypersoft, ma ovviamente le condizioni a Barcellona erano del tutto diverse. Di certo danno più aderenza. E’ impossibile sapere dove saremo, ma inizieremo domani e procederemo con il nostro solito programma, cercando di fare tutto bene”.