Q: Ladies and gentlemen, year on year Kimi has been voted the most popular driver in Formula One and you have your fans here.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I’m very happy that I have here support but whatever country they come from I’m very happy to have the. Unfortunately today we could only give third place but we try next time more so.
Q: We have to talk about the podium and the lock-out on the front row. We weren’t sure how it would wind up and today both of you are on the podium. It shows a great sign for the future of this season and the championship and the excitement of it?
KR: Yeah, I think I have had a little bit of a rough start to the season. Far from ideal but this weekend for sure has been a step forward. We have been more happy with how things have been running but we still only finished third. We lost out at the start and then not a lot happened after that. We keep trying and keep improving and I’m sure we’ll get there, but it’s all about… all the small details have to be exactly there and then you will get the first place. The four or five of us are very close most of the time, so it’s the small differences that make a big difference in the end.
Q: Kimi, coming to you, similar problems to Sebastian at the start? Just talk us through your getaway.
KR: I had a pretty poor start, comparing even to Seb. Got wheelspin straight away and then I really thought I was going to lose a lot more but then luckily, both of these cars went side-by-side and I started to get the tow and I managed to stay ahead of Lewis in the end. But, I don’t know what happened. It was slippery and lost a lot, so, not ideal. If you look last year it’s all about starts, and if you lose a place in those, it’s going to be a boring race. Not a lot happened after that. Mercedes, Valtteri was a bit too fast but then we were kind of holding our positions but nothing really happened the whole race, so, yeah, all about the start. Happy for Valtteri. People always think that we have something against each other because we have come close to each other and into each other a few times but no, I’m very happy for him to win. It doesn’t mean that I’m not happy if Seb wins. It’s good for him and things will turn out to be for sure good for him. It’s going to be close between both of the Ferrari and both of the Mercedes drivers this year, so it will be exciting – but unfortunately a lot of times it will depend of what happens in a first lap. That’s how it’s going to play out. Hopefully it goes better. I’m more happy this weekend but obviously not happy to be third but this is how it goes sometimes.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) To both Ferrari drivers: do you think if you had jumped in front of Valtteri and Lewis do you think you could have kept the leadership of the race considering the pace of Bottas with the ultrasoft – if you were surprised with that. And also, for you Kimi, were you surprised that Bottas was in front of you?
KR: At what point?
During the race you said on the radio that you were surprised that Bottas was in front of you.
KR: Yes, because I was not sure which one it was in the front of the race. I was asking – I was not sure because it was a bit confusing for me after the pitstops. Obviously I realised straight after. For me it made no difference: there was one Mercedes in front of us. I didn’t ask before.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) For sure you don’t have a crystal ball but next race most of the teams will present very different cars and these changes have been conceived using all the knowledge gained in the first four races of the season with these new regulations. What do project for the next phase of the season with all these cars? Do you believe it’s possible there can be some dramatic changes to what we have been seeing until now?
KR: We’ll see what happens in two weeks at the next race. There’s always a lot of talk because it’s the first real European round. Let’s wait and see.
Russian Grand Prix: Bottas resists Vettel for first Formula 1 win
Valtteri Bottas fended off a late charge from Sebastian Vettel to secure the first Formula 1 victory of his career in the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.
Mercedes driver Bottas crossed the line just 0.617 seconds ahead of Vettel’s Ferrari with Kimi Raikkonen taking his first podium of the season with third.
Lewis Hamilton finished a muted fourth.
Bottas made a blistering start from third on the grid, benefiting from a slow-starting Raikkonen and then passing Vettel on the run to Turn 2 to take the lead.
The race was then neutralised shortly after when the safety car was deployed following a collision between Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer at Turn 2.
At the restart, Bottas put the hammer down and gradually went about building up a lead over Vettel that grew to just over four seconds.
Bottas caught traffic ahead of the pitstops, allowing Vettel to cut the deficit to 2.5s before Mercedes called Bottas in at the end of lap 27 of 52 to swap ultra-softs for super-softs.
Vettel stayed out for an extra seven laps, with his pace remaining competitive, and rejoined just over four seconds adrift of Bottas following his stop for the super-softs.
Championship leader Vettel slowly chipped away at that deficit, getting the gap down to just under a second at one stage to set up a grandstand finish.
But Bottas, who asked for "less talking" on the team radio in the closing laps, kept his composure to fend off Vettel and take his first victory in his 81st F1 start.
Hamilton had a frustrating afternoon, making a good start initially but struggling in the second phase of acceleration as he stayed in fourth.
The three-time world champion complained consistently that his car was overheating in the first half of the race and after the stops, he was unable to catch Raikkonen and ended up a distant fourth.
Max Verstappen was out on his own, too, in fifth, well adrift of the leading quartet but comfortably ahead of Sergio Perez.
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo retired with an early rear brake problem.
Force India scored points with both cars for the fourth race in succession as Esteban Ocon took seventh behind team-mate Perez.
Nico Hulkenberg was eighth, with Felipe Massa on-course for sixth before he was forced to make a second stop late on because of a slow puncture that dropped him to ninth.
Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10.
Rookie Lance Stroll finished his first grand prix, just missing out on a point in 11th after a first-lap spin..
It was a miserable weekend for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso failing to start the race after stopping his car at the entry to the pits on the formation lap.
Honda suspects the loss of power was down to an ERS issue, but is still investigating.
The other McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne was 14th, ahead of the two Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.
RESULTS – 52 LAPS:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m00.416s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.788s|
|7||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.004s|
|9||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|11||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|14||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|16||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber/Ferrari||2 Laps|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||Brakes|
|–||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||Not started|
Russian GP: Raikkonen bemoans traffic and tyres for lost pole
Kimi Raikkonen believes traffic on his outlap and the resulting loss of tyre temperature cost him a shot at his first Formula 1 pole position in nine years.
The Finn held provisional pole position after the first runs in Q3, but failed to improve on his second attempt and was jumped by Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel after making a mistake at the final corner pushing to make up for lost time.
The gap between the pair was just 0.059s at the end of qualifying, meaning Raikkonen could have taken pole with even a slender improvement had the tyres been as good as they were on the first run.
"We just had traffic on the outlap on the last set and couldn’t make the tyres work as well as the first run," said Raikkonen, who has not started on pole since the 2008 French Grand Prix.
"It was a bit more tricky. I tried to get it back in the last corner and it didn’t pay off.
"I am happier than previous qualifying [sessions], but we had all the tools to be in the front today.
"One-two for the team is not bad."
The French round in 2008 was also the last time Ferrari locked out the front row.
Vettel admitted that he had an untidy run on his first attempt in Q3, which put the pressure on for his second run as he attempted to improve on third place.
"I had a good start to the session and was feeling reasonably comfortable, and in Q2 lost lost the rhythm on my final run, which would give me the idea for the first of Q3," said Vettel.
"I locked up, and on my first run in Q3 it wasn’t tidy, so I made up for it in the second run.
"I knew we could do well and the car was good, but didn’t know what they [Mercedes] might be able to find in the last bit of qualifying.
"I knew we were strong, I knew we could do it, but didn’t know how strong in relation to them."
Vettel accepted that the Mercedes tyre troubles and the track configuration had potentially helped Ferrari’s qualifying pace.
In the previous three races of 2017, Mercedes had the edge in qualifying, and Vettel admitted Mercedes looked strong heading into the Russian Grand Prix weekend.
"Coming here, on paper they looked very strong and they were strong yesterday, but as Valtteri [Bottas] said maybe they were not comfortable with the tyre treatment and temperatures," said Vettel.
"I think the track, the layout, is not bad for us. Last year we were strong here.
"We didn’t have any problems, we had smooth sessions so far this weekend and the car felt very good."
Q: Many congratulations. Coming to you Kimi, your second place gives Ferrari it’s first front row lock-out since the French Grand Prix in 2008. You were so close to Sebastian. How frustrated are you to be on pole?
Kimi Raikkonen: Obviously the aim is to be on the front. The feeling has been more better this weekend and now we just got some traffic on the pout lap on the last set and couldn’t really make the tyres work as well as the first run and it was a bit more tricky. It was thereabouts and then I just got it back in the last corner but it didn’t pay off. I’m happier than previous qualifyings but obviously I think we had all the tools to be in the front today but a one-two for the team is not bad.
Q: Kimi, different strategies for Ferrari and Mercedes during that session, you guys going out on the supersoft tyres at the start of Q1. Just talk us through how the whole qualifying session played out.
KR: It played out as we planned it. We did what we planned to do and obviously the end result turned out to be pretty OK for the team. We’ve seen often people run different tyres in the first qualifying. Doesn’t really matter which tyres you run most of the time. That’s what we chose to do and then just go from there.
Q: How’s the race pace of the Ferrari?
KR: I think it was good yesterday but obviously tomorrow is the race and we have to see. I’m sure it’s going to be a close fight and we have to make a good job out of it, so let’s see.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) I have a question for Sebastian and Kimi. Sebastian, do you feel that you are in the same condition you were in at Red Bull during their dominant era. Is Ferrari starting a new dominant era like Red Bull when you were there. And for Kimi, if you think this Ferrari seems very close to the Ferrari in that fantastic years 2007-2008.
KR: They’re all different cars. There’s no way that we can compare. It’s ten years ago so different rules, different tyres, different a lot of things. So, maybe we have a good package. Estimating how does it feel comparing to the old cars… doesn’t really matter how that plays out as long as we can be faster against the cars that we are racing now.
Q: (Kiril Zaytsev – 66.ru) Question for both Ferrari drivers about team orders. Seb, if tomorrow will be in front of you, will you ask the team to pass, and Kimi, will you let Seb pass you without fighting?
SV: I think it’s simple. If I’m in front then he wants to pass me, if he’s in front I want to pass him. I don’t think it makes any sense to ask for help from outside. We know that we’re free to race and that’s what I believe and I know we’re both here to do. Today obviously was very close, I expect it to be very close tomorrow and we see how the race goes.
KR: No more to say about it. We know what we do and we race for Ferrari and that’s it.
Q: (Jelena Leppanen – Ilta-Sanomat) Question to Kimi, you said already yesterday that you’re pretty happy with how the car works out. In which way does it feel better compared to the previous races?
KR: It’s always specific for each circuit so you cannot really compare how it is in one place – because what you need in other circuits might be a completely different story. Overall it’s just been more easy to… normal to drive. I think we started well, in the correct areas, so it’s always more easy to go from there. That side has been much better this weekend so I’ve been happy and doing some changes and improving. Small things but it makes a big difference in the end.
Q: (Slava Karpov – Radio Sport) Kimi, you are a favourite driver among the Russian fans; what do you think of this and do you feel this support?
KR: Obviously I’m happy to have the fans here or anywhere around the world. I must say it’s nice to come here. There are not many places that have beautiful mountains behind and snow. The weather is perfect this weekend so it’s a great place to come in my view and the circuit is fun. Like I said, I will take any fans that I have, here or anywhere else.
Q: (Kiril Zaytsev – 66.ru) To both Finnish drivers: why are you so successful on this track? We remember Valtteri was on the podium in Sochi, Kimi has been on the podium in Sochi. Why are you so successful here, maybe because it’s slippery asphalt and Finnish people love sliding and slipperiness?
VB: It’s not actually that slippery asphalt compared to Bahrain, for example. I think we have had more grip here so that’s not the explanation. Obviously you like some tracks more than the others but I think in the past, for Williams, this used to be a good track in general and I don’t know if I can explain it more than that. I think the track is nice and I enjoy it.
KR: I don’t think I have had very good results here. In the past years it’s been very slippery, at least for me, but this year the rules and conditions are better. It’s not really any different here to any other place.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) To the two Ferrari drivers: the only negative – if you can say that it’s negative – point of this weekend is that you have to again change the turbocharger and it’s the third element. Do you believe that it will be an issue for the end of the season?
KR: You’re always very good to always find negative things about us.
SV: He’s Italian, he should be over the moon. Everybody in Italy I’m sure is very happy now and you’re the only Italian in the world that finds a reason to be negative. You should be ashamed.
KR: It’s a planned change and I’m sure we’ll be fine with it. Obviously I’ve had one failure that we will not be able to use but the others are still fine and we will run it as we want and they are there to be used and re-used whenever you feel like it.
SV: Maybe I think you will have a great chance to get a German passport because usually Germans always find a reason to complain. If there’s a hard time when you get back to Italy you’re welcome to Germany.
Sebastian Vettel keeps Ferrari on top in final Russian GP practice
Sebastian Vettel continued Ferrari’s dominance at Sochi as he set the pace in final practice for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.
The German clocked a 1m34.001s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres, 0.337 seconds quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas was Ferrari’s closest challenger, 0.363s adrift in third and two tenths ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari and Mercedes set out on the ultra-soft compound early in the session as they battled to understand how to use their tyres in the most effective away ahead of qualifying.
After the first runs, Hamilton was quickest, 0.105s faster than Vettel with Bottas third, a further tenth-and-a-half adrift.
With 20 minutes to go, Mercedes headed back out first with Bottas going quickest with a 1m34.681s on his second timed lap, having done a build-up lap to get heat into the tyres.
Hamilton was on course to go quicker, using the same warm-up strategy, but made a series of mistakes in the final sector.
Raikkonen then put Ferrari top with a 1m34.338s before Vettel clocked the fastest-ever lap at Sochi with a 1m34.001s.
He was on course to go even quicker and break the 1m34s-barrier, but lost two tenths in the final sector.
Both Mercedes drivers improved on their second flying laps, but they stayed in third and fourth respectively.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was best of the rest in fifth, but he was 1.451s off the pace, a few thousandths clear of Felipe Massa.
Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who momentarily stopped on track in the closing minutes of the session before getting going again, was seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.
Jolyon Palmer was the only driver who failed to set a time with his Renault team deciding to change his engine ahead of qualifying.
That came after its mechanics worked well into the night to complete a precautionary chassis change for the Briton after an exhaust leak on Friday.
PRACTICE THREE RESULTS:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.452s||1.451s||21|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.830s||1.829s||24|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.164s||2.163s||20|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.676s||2.675s||22|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.846s||2.845s||18|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.962s||2.961s||21|
Russian GP: Vettel leads first all-Ferrari front row since 2008
Sebastian Vettel claimed Ferrari’s first pole position of 2017, as both he and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen defeated the Mercedes drivers in a tight Russian Grand Prix qualifying battle.
Ferrari had led the way throughout free practice, but trailed Mercedes through Q1 and Q2, when both Vettel and Raikkonen made an extra run compared to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the latter segment.
But Ferrari turned things around in Q3, when Raikkonen sat on provisional pole after the initial runs, just ahead of Bottas and Vettel, with Hamilton trailing in fourth after twice snatching the inside front brake on his hot lap.
Raikkonen looked set to claim his first pole since the French GP of 2008, which was also the last race Ferrari locked out the front row, but went wide at the final corner on his last lap so failed to improve.
That allowed Vettel to snatch pole by just 0.059 seconds with a last-gasp effort of 1m33.194s.
Bottas also failed to find time on his final run, but his earlier lap was still good enough for third on the grid, just 0.036s adrift of Raikkonen – albeit slower than he went in Q2.
Hamilton’s first run in Q3 was compromised by a track position squabble with Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault. Hamilton improved on his final run, but dropped a lot of time in the final sector and ended up almost half a second slower than the sister Mercedes of Bottas.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth in the best of the Red Bulls, over a second slower than Hamilton, while Felipe Massa squeaked his Williams into sixth, just 0.051s ahead of the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Hulkenberg was eighth in the best of the works Renaults, just over a tenth further back, while the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.
Both Force Indias made Q3 for the first time this season, Ocon claiming the final spot in the top-10 shootout by 0.219s from the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, who complained of a "very strange" lack of grip on his final set of tyres.
The second Williams of Lance Stroll split Sainz from his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat, as all three drivers lapped within 0.020s of each other.
Kevin Magnussen’s Haas was less than half a tenth further back in 14th, well clear of the underpowered McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso, who maintained his 100% record of getting McLaren-Honda into Q2 at every race so far this season.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer missed the cut by less than a tenth, but had already failed to improve on his final run before crashing heavily at Turn 4 after clipping the inside kerb.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who will start last after a grid penalty, found time on his final run but it was nowhere near enough to escape Q1. He wound up 17th fastest and six tenths away from the Q2 cut off.
Pascal Wehrlein was 18th in the best of the Saubers, lucky to survive a spin unscathed at Turn 13 at the end of Q1.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was just under two tenths further back, while Romain Grosjean’s Haas brought up the rear of the grid.
Grosjean struggled with the brakes and balance of his car throughout free practice, and was also unhappy at the start of qualifying, but was on a better lap before Palmer’s crash nullified the end of the session.
RUSSIAN GP STARTING GRID:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.711s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1.967s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2.143s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||2.236s|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.774s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.754s|
Russian GP: Vettel keeps Ferrari on top in second practice
Sebastian Vettel set the pace in second practice for the Russian Grand Prix, as Ferrari started the weekend with the edge over Formula 1 rival Mercedes.
Vettel, whose team-mate Kimi Raikkonen led the way in first practice, used a fresh set of ultra-soft Pirellis to clock a 1m34.120s at Sochi.
The German reported an "engine hesitation" on his outlap and after a conservative first flying lap, put the hammer down on the second to go 0.263 seconds quicker than Raikkonen.
Mercedes appeared to be quicker in the first sector, but both Lewis Hamilton’s and Valtteri Bottas’s laps fell away thereafter.
Bottas was Ferrari’s closest challenger in third, 0.670s off the pace, with Hamilton a few thousandths further back in fourth.
It was a scrappy session for Mercedes as both drivers struggled to get their Pirelli tyres into the right operating window, their quickest times coming several laps into the run.
Max Verstappen got the better of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and ended the day fifth fastest, just over three tenths clear of the Australian.
However Verstappen’s session ended 20 minutes early when he parked at the side of the track and reported he was "out of power".
The close battle in the midfield looks set to continue with only half-a-second separating Williams’ Felipe Massa in seventh and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer in 13th.
Between them was Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
Romain Grosjean, whose Haas team tried a different brake supplier in Friday practice, complained of understeer throughout as he finished 14th.
Toro Rosso had a tough session with Carlos Sainz Jr and home favourite Daniil Kvyat 15th and 17th respectively after their runs on the ultra-softs.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who sighed "incredible" as one of the Force Indias breezed by, ended up 16th, just under four tenths adrift of Alonso.
The McLaren driver is set to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid after the team changed the entire Honda engine ahead of FP2 following more problems on Friday morning, earning a 15-place grid penalty.
Lance Stroll was 19th, 1.5s slower than team-mate Massa, but he was the only driver who did not run the ultra-soft tyre.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.540s||1.420s||15|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.910s||1.790s||26|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.600s||2.480s||38|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.654s||2.534s||39|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m37.083s||2.963s||36|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m37.300s||3.180s||35|
Russian GP: Ferrari’s Raikkonen fastest in first practice
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace for Ferrari in first practice for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.
The Finn used Pirelli’s super-soft tyres to post a 1m36.074s, outpacing Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas by 0.045 seconds as Ferrari enjoyed another strong start following its victory in Bahrain.
Lewis Hamilton finished third, over sixth tenths off the pace, after going off track several times during the 90 minutes, with championship leader Sebastian Vettel fifth after a less-than-perfect session of his own.
Following a brief yellow-flag period early when Sergey Sirotkin stopped on track in Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault, Hamilton moved to the top of the times with a 1m39.558s in his first run on soft tyres.
Vettel posted his first time nearly 25 minutes in, the Ferrari driver going quickest with a 1m38.709s.
He did not last long on top, however, as Bottas used the super-soft tyres to outpace the German by more than 1.3s with a 1m36.998s, but Vettel stayed on track and improved to halve that margin.
Before the 30-minute mark, Hamilton moved into second in the super-soft-shod Mercedes – six tenths behind his team-mate – but Bottas went even quicker on the fourth lap of his run to set a new benchmark of 1m36.119s.
Hamilton also improved, but fell 0.562s short of Bottas’s best.
Daniel Ricciardo and Bottas fell victim to the slippery track surface, both running off track, while Hamilton had a bigger scare, becoming the first driver to hit the newly-installed speed bumps at Turn 2 as he overshot the braking point.
Halfway through the session, only the Mercedes drivers and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr had run on the super-softs, before Sergio Perez joined them with 30 minutes remaining to jump up to third.
At the same time, Raikkonen moved to the top with his 1m36.074s on the same compound, before the Force India of Perez’s team-mate Esteban Ocon shed its engine cover at Turn 2, bringing out the red flag.
Vettel was one of the first drivers to leave the pits as the action resumed, on super-softs, but a mistake on his first flying lap at Turn 13 meant he failed to improve despite setting the quickest time in the middle sector.
His second attempt did not go to plan either, spinning at Turn 16 after running too aggressively over the kerbs and managing to keep the car off the kerbs.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen improved late in the session to move up to fourth, jumping Vettel with a run on super-softs.
Ricciardo was sixth in the second Red Bull, ahead of Perez, Williams pair Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll, and Ocon.
Fernando Alonso was the best of the McLaren-Hondas in 13th, while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne’s morning finished early, reporting "no power" as he cruised back to the pits in the closing minutes.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.174s||1.100s||19|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.290s||1.216s||19|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.457s||1.383s||29|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.065s||1.991s||28|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.496s||2.422s||17|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.976s||2.902s||17|
Q: Kimi, you’ve been knocking on the door of a podium at every race this year – but judging by your radio messages, you’re still not happy with the car. What feeling is it giving you and how does that change over the course of a Grand Prix?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: I’m more happy now that I was probably first race. I think in the last race it was pretty good, I was very happy with it but qualifying not so, but the race itself was good. Then we had pretty average Saturday, so the starting place already was not very good. Then pretty bad first lap so was a bit off. Bad start then couldn’t really get past Felipe in the beginning. Then got past him, we had very good speed but then Safety Car was a bit unfortunate after our pit stop. Then the feeling was pretty good. So, you know, you have to make the Saturday better and then obviously you can use the speed.
Q: How do you see things panning out this weekend between Ferrari and Mercedes?
KR: I don’t know, you tell me. We’ll see tomorrow how it goes. It’s been pretty close between everybody so far, it the first three. You wouldn’t expect it to be a whole lot different here – but who knows.
Q: Can you say that there are still a few things for you to iron-out with the car? But is this still the best Ferrari you have raced in Formula One?
KR: You cannot really compare from the early days but comparing the last few years, then yes. I drove a very good Ferrari when I came first time in Ferrari and, you know, it’s a good car, good package but we have to improve it all the time like anybody who does it but yeah, we just need on my side to put things a bit more better where we want it to be and I’m sure we’ll get the results that we want.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Dieter Rencken – Racing Lines) The latest information from the FIA says that the cockpit shield has received the nod over the halo for 2018. First of all, which of the two systems do you prefer, what do you think of the shield in any event?
KR: Well, I have seen a bit of the shield, of what they showed to us. Until we try, it’s very hard to say how it is. Is it better than the halo? I don’t know. Look-wise, I don’t think there’s much difference between either of them.
Q: (Simon Lazenby – Sky Sports) Kimi – a similar question that I put to Valtteri – 34 points between yourself and your teammate right now. Have you had a conversation with management about your role in the team this year? Has Sebastian been identified as the number one driver?
KR: No. Obviously we have our talks at the beginning of the year. We know exactly what we are supposed to do between us as drivers and that hasn’t changed. If it comes to that at the end of the year when either one has no chance, purely on points, then obviously things will fall into place but apart from that, I don’t see anything happening until then.
Q: (Kiril Zaytsev – 66.ru) Kimi, can you tell us more about your businesses outside of F1? Is it true that you have a karaoke bar in Helsinki? And how can your fans find it to sing some songs, maybe? And do you sing yourself?
KR: I do some other stuff than F1 in my life but I’ve no interest to tell what I do or where I do. Do I go in bars? Yes, lately less, no time, unfortunately. I’m involved with a few things.
Q: But Kimi, can you sing?
KR: Can I sing? Badly. But I can sing. But I don’t think it’s the point of that. It’s more fun than actually trying to sing.
Q: (Lasse Lehtinen – Ilta Sanomat) Kimi, you’ve been pretty frustrated in the races during this season. What has helped you to handle these disappointments?
KR: No, it’s the normal story I would say. Every year… in any race that you don’t do as well as you hope it’s never going to be fun or easy. It can look either way. I’m lucky that I haven’t been in the position that I have won all the time, so that you get used to these things but on the other hand you would rather be in that position. It’s worse fun. It’s very normal stuff, you know. I want to do better and the fact is that if you don’t do as well as I want then for myself it’s never going to be fun. It’s always more fun when we do have a good result. It’s just go to the next race and try to do better.
Q: (Marco Mensurati – La Repubblica) Kimi, in Shanghai, Marchionne was not so fine with you. We heard him talking not so gently and I would like to know about your relationship with him and with the team? And the second one: how long do you think your career will last?
KR: As far as I’ve spoken to our personnel it has always been fine. I know that there’s some things that have been said and written but for me, you can find so many nonsense stories in newspapers, on the web, that I trust much more how my relationship is personal with the team or with him. For me it’s all fine. Like I said before, I expect a good result from myself; when I don’t get them I’m unhappy with myself so if the people aren’t happy that’s fine because I’m not either so it’s not really a big deal for me. What comes to my future I don’t know. There’s always a lot of talk on that since years. I’m not going to try and I’m not going to do this and that. My first thing is that I want to do well and then we’ll see what happens after this year. It’s definitely not the first thing in my mind right now. My first thing in my mind is to do well and here and then the next race and whatever that brings we will see in the future. I have a good relationship with him, I know him well and it depends on many things.
Q: (Flavio Vanetti – La Corriere della Serra) Again for Kimi: can we say that Ferrari is definitely at the same level as Mercedes or is Mercedes still having something more than your team?
KR: I think there are many different ways to look at things. If you look at pure results, if you look at qualifying results. It depends what you look at but I think as a team they have done a very good job for us to bring the car to the level that we have and obviously it’s up to us to make the best out of it. Seb has done good races. As a team I think we’ve come a long way from the last few years. Yes, there are still things that we have to improve all the time and do better but that’s the same with everybody. Are we at the same level as them, Mercedes? I don’t know. It’s not far off, let’s put it that way. In qualifying, I think they’ve been a bit stronger I would say but then in the race it seems to even out. That’s a bit the same trend as it’s been the last few years, that they seem to find something extra on one lap and then it evens out a bit in race conditions. I think it depends a bit on the circuits where we go but we have a good package and we have to make the best out of it.
Q: (Angelina Grebtsova – Nation Magazine) To you all: which is your favourite track?
KR: I don’t think there’s one bad circuit but I enjoy maybe Spa, Monaco. I guess they’re quite opposites. There’s a lot of nice places but maybe those two.
Q: (Darya Panova – F1 Only) What is the main feature of Sochi for you?
KR: I think it’s a nice place to come. The circuit is quite good. It’s been a bit tricky over the last three years. It’s just been very slippery – at least for us – but it’s a nice place to come. Everything is new, everything is well done and I enjoy coming here. It’s a beautiful place.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) Kimi, we saw in the tests in Barcelona, bends number nine, ten that you could brake on the entry, you didn’t have a lot of understeer, and this year you have complained on the radio – we have heard that – that you suffer with understeer. Maybe it’s one of the reasons for a lack of performance between you and Sebastian. What has happened from the winter test to now? And to Daniel, you said about the development of the car; what about the power unit? Is there a development from Renault, from Australia to now?
KR: I think people always look at the lap times in testing and obviously if you’re the fastest they think everything is perfect but I think the problem is also that you do testing in one place, one circuit and any other circuit is usually a chance to set up and we’ve been not far off but off enough to not be 100 percent happy and like I said, last race already we were a lot happy so let’s hope that this weekend we are even better off and go from there. So just small things but they all make a difference.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, last week or two weeks ago you were in Holland to see the motocross World Championship because you have a team there. Could it be possible to see you there, managing the team when you finish Formula One? You are 37-years old, you said before you are focused on the season to improve yourself but you are in your mind drawing that line to say OK, now that’s enough for me, I want to change my life?
KR: I don’t want to change my life. I’m happy with my life. I’ve had the World Championship team for many years. I enjoy going there when I have time. Unfortunately I’m quite busy with a lot of stuff so not enough time to go often but it’s good fun, it’s different to here so I enjoy it also on that side but like I said, we will see what happens in the future. I’ve been in the same position for many years. People always question me on many things but I’m not in a hurry to decide anything and whatever the future brings is what I want also and we will see.
Russian Grand Prix – “The best we could achieve today”
Kimi pleased with handling throughout the race
Overall it hasn’t been a very easy weekend, but today we tried to make the best out of it. I had a good start and managed to get second position but then, like last year, after the Safety Car I could not hold up the Williams behind me on the straight. After that I was trying to fight them back, but I lost one place to Hamilton. So we decided to run longer to gain positions and we did quite a pretty good job. The car was handling very well through the whole race, even if we were forced to do some fuel saving and this affected our laptimes. The third place we managed today is what we were able to achieve, but is not ideal, because we want to be at the front with both cars. It’s a pity not to be fighting for the win, but we take this result and keep on working to put ourselves in a better position.
Thank you. Over to Kimi. Kimi Raikkonen your third place man today. Very popular man out there, Kimi, and you have the honour today… this is the 700th podium for the Ferrari team. How are you feeling about third place in particular today?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Of course it’s not exactly what we want. We want to win races and put the two cars as far up as we can. We tried to today. I had a pretty OK start, managed to get Valtteri on the first lap but again after the restart, same like last time here, we just don’t have the speed. He managed to get me and then when I tried to get past him obviously Lewis got past me, but we just had to try to run a bit longer and pass them and we managed to do the Williams but not fast enough for Mercedes. Then we had a good speed but with the fuel saving we had to take some measures, so obviously you cannot push as fast as the car can go.
Lewis says he’s not sure you knew he was coming through. Did you know?
KR: yeah, I could see him. When I tried to pass Bottas then I was obviously close to him in there and got some understeer and ran wide, so he got a good run on me. I tried to block a little bit but it was too late, so I had to let him go.
Q: Kimi, you obviously had a good battle with Valtteri at the beginning and then you were slightly ambushed by Lewis after the restart. Beyond that it seemed to be a pretty regulation race for you. Was it a lonely experience to some degree?
KR: I think a little bit yes – but the start is so important here because it’s such a long straight to the first corner, so I got a very good – well not very good but as good as the other two in front of me – start and then you get the big tow effect and I managed to get past Valtteri. I was surprised how little Nico pushed, or went fast in the first lap and obviously it was a Safety Car and after the Safety Car the same happened as last year, that Williams with the long straight just towed past me and nothing that I could do on that. Then I was able… speed-wise the lap time was good. I was able to follow and then I tried once to overtake in the first corner and was a bit unsure. I lost some speed a few corners later and made some small mistakes, so Lewis got next to me. I tried to squeeze him a little bit but then he was there and I had to let him go and the only chance was to follow them and run a little bit longer and push when we had free traffic. We managed to get Williams. Think the car behaved pretty nicely but there was quite a bit of fuel saving to do, limiting us on the lap time. But it was a fine race. Definitely want to be more higher up with two cars – not ideal on that side. I had quite a big struggle the whole weekend so I’ll take third place but in the race the car was good, like I wanted, but qualifying we struggled, and in the practice. OK, fine but not what we want.
Q: (Kirill Zaytsev – 66.RU) Kimi, will we see you here next year?
KR: I don’t know.
Q: (Kirill Zaytsev – 66.RU) What about your contract, I mean?
KR: I have a contract until the end of this year so who knows what will happen next year but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy what I do. Obviously I have a passion for racing but many things are not in our hands. We can only try to do our best and then see what the future will bring. We go race by race. I’m sure at some point this year, latest next year we will know.
Q: (Angelique Belokopytov – AutoDigest) So before the season began, there was some expectation that Ferrari’s performances which were announced and now after a few races we see that it’s not really achieved so my question is for you Kimi, I’m asking for your point of view, what Ferrari is missing to be a real threat to Mercedes?
KR: I think it’s not very easy to pinpoint what we need but I’m sure we know quite a few small things that we want to improve and we know that there’s some improvements coming but Mercedes were very fast for the last few years and they are fast this year. I don’t think that so far this year we have ever really put together a really clean weekend either so that doesn’t help. You cannot give anything away and expect to beat a team like them. We definitely have it to be done but I am quite confident that once we get everything as we want that we can be very strong as a team. We’ve been failing to finish with two cars in the position that we probably deserve so yes, it’s been disappointing but now we have a good way of doing things. We are behind where we want to be but I’m sure as a team we will get there.