Raikkonen says he sacrificed Spanish GP F1 result to help Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen says he sacrificed his race pace by running an older spec in the Spanish Grand Prix for the good of the Ferrari Formula 1 team.
Ferrari brought an updated package to Barcelona but after running it on Friday, Raikkonen switched back to the Bahrain-spec as he and team-mate Sebastian Vettel carried out back-to-back tests in final practice.
Raikkonen stuck with the same package for the remainder of the weekend, qualifying seventh and finishing fifth while Vettel was able to score his fourth podium of the season with the updated car.
“I think we learned a lot from going for two separate cars following on Saturday and Sunday so I’m more confident we can see things more balanced,” said the Finn.
“In a test, it’s just the one car and you have to change a few things so sometimes the only way to do this and see the difference is to run with two cars at the same time on the circuit with different things.
“I was prepared to take the risk and sacrifice the result a little bit but it is what it is.
“If we can learn and we can speed up our knowledge that we gain then that will help us not doubt things so much.
“The result hurt a bit but it was just the one race.”
Despite the gap to Mercedes appearing to have increased, Raikkonen remained upbeat about the Scuderia’s prospects in upcoming grands prix.
“It has been one of those weekends so we have to see what we can do in the next races,” he said.
“But I think we will have learned a lot from this weekend and we have good things to come on the car.
“It was not what we wanted obviously but it’s still not a disaster and we know where we have to improve. It could have been a lot worse.
“The goal is to be at least as fast as them [Mercedes] and to fight with them.”
“Overall, it has been a difficult weekend, but non a disaster and we learned a lot. In the race today we gained a few places, but I was not very comfortable with my car, as it was sliding around.
Besides that, and for whatever reason, we are able catch the Williams but it’s very difficult to overtake them: they are very fast down the straights and once we get behind them, our car starts to be difficult to handle, much more than when you’re following other lapped cars. About the choice of going back to the ‘old’ aero package, I think it was good for all of us to be able to compare them on the circuit and I was prepared to run the risk.
Maybe it would have been better with the new bits, that is probably the case, but at least now we know about it. So, for the next races, we have to do a better job and we need to have more clean weekends, without any issue, even a small one, to make sure that everything works. We know where we have to improve”.
Spanish GP: Mercedes’ dominant Nico Rosberg ends F1 win drought
Nico Rosberg took his first victory of the season as the Mercedes Formula 1 team secured a commanding one-two at the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.
The German led away from pole and remained unthreatened for the duration of the race, with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton second 17.5 seconds adrift and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel 27.7s further back in third at the finish.
Rosberg closes the gap to team-mate and championship leader Hamilton to 20 points, with Vettel another 11 adrift.
The result underlined the fact Mercedes remains the class of the field on a circuit where its strong car aerodynamically gave it a larger advantage than normal.
After four exciting races to start the season, the first European race of the season will not go down as a thriller, with the Circuit de Catalunya’s layout not conducive to much overtaking.
That meant Rosberg, who had only led 10 laps this season before arriving in Spain, was always going to be favourite for the win after taking pole position and the German duly controlled the race from the front.
Hamilton lost a place to Vettel at the start and after struggling to find a way past, Mercedes called him in to try the undercut.
But a problem fitting the left-rear tyre lost Hamilton three seconds so when Vettel pitted the next lap, he easily came out in front of the reigning world champion.
When Hamilton was told he had to pass Vettel on track, he responded: "I can assure you that’s pretty much impossible. Find another solution."
When the Briton pitted for the second time, taking on the hard tyres after two stints on the mediums, it became clear he was on a three-stop strategy.
In contrast, Vettel stayed out to suggest he was on a two-stopper. When the German pitted with 26 laps to go, he rejoined behind Hamilton, who was pushing hard to try to build a gap to enable him to pit and rejoin ahead of Vettel.
And it worked out, with Hamilton exiting the pits after his third stop, and on fresher medium tyres, well clear of Vettel.
Hamilton traded fastest laps with Rosberg in the closing stages but the deficit to his team-mate was too great to close down in the remaining laps and he finished second to secure a 14th one-two as a pairing for Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas finished fourth for Williams, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and the other Williams of Felipe Massa.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo continued his solid run in the points this season with seventh, albeit it a lap down, ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, who scored points for the third successive race despite a gearbox problem and overshooting his pitbox and scattering his crew, who were unhurt.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr finished ninth, after banging wheels and passing Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat on the final lap. The Russian completed the points-finishers.
Max Verstappen was 11th in the other Toro Rosso, ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, whose team-mate Marcus Ericsson was two places adrift in 14th. Both Toro Rossos swiftly fell back from their row-three qualifying positions.
Force India, which is expecting to have its updated ‘B-spec’ car in Austria, ended a difficult weekend with Sergio Perez 13th and Nico Hulkenberg 15th respectively.
McLaren’s wait for its first points of the season continues, with Jenson Button – making his 100th start for McLaren – 16th while his team-mate Fernando Alonso retired with brake problems after a spell running seventh on an alternative strategy.
Bad luck continued for 2012 Spanish GP winner Pastor Maldonado, who ran as high as seventh. He retired having driven much of the race with a broken rear wing.
The Manor-run Marussias brought up the field, with Will Stevens three laps down in 17th and Roberto Merhi 18th, a further lap behind.
RESULTS – 66 LAPS:
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|11||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|12||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|14||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|16||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|17||Will Stevens||Marussia/Ferrari||3 Laps|
|18||Roberto Merhi||Marussia/Ferrari||4 Laps|
Spanish GP: Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen rues freak tyre blanket issue
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen said a “freak” incident with a blanket burning a set of tyres hampered him in Spanish Grand Prix qualifying.
The Finn had been third in Q2, but was only able to use one set of new tyres in Q3 after the unusual problem.
That left Raikkonen off the pace and he ended up seventh while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel qualified third behind the two Mercedes.
“We had one new set of tyres we could have used in last qualifying but for some freak reason it got burnt in a blanket and destroyed,” said Raikkonen.
“But that is part of the game. It’s been a difficult few days but tomorrow is the race so hopefully we can score good points.”
Ferrari brought a major update package to Spain, but after Raikkonen struggled for pace in Friday practice he reverted back to the Bahrain set-up.
The Finn said it was his decision to do so and denied that had anything to do with his poor grid slot.
Instead, he put the error down to the conditions and his own mistakes.
“It was my decision plus the team’s,” said Raikkonen. “We changed the car to the old package because I wasn’t sure about it as yesterday was a difficult day.
“I wanted to make sure this was OK and if the new package was working as it should.
“When you make the decision obviously it is a lot of work to change. There was no chance to change it back but I’m happy to take the risk.
“I don’t think the outcome would have been as bad but for the last part of qualifying.
“The car felt good in the morning and in qualifying, too, but the last set [of tyres] in Q3 gave me poor grip and it was a bad lap.
“I was prepared to take the risk and it was working OK up until that point. It is what it is.”
Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to F1 pole position
Nico Rosberg dominated qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to record his first pole position of the Formula 1 season.
Rosberg laid down a 1m24.681s on his first run in the top-10 shootout, and that proved enough for top spot when Hamilton failed to improve on his second run.
The Mercedes W06 had such a pace advantage over the rest that Hamilton and Rosberg could afford to run the harder tyre compound and still outpace everyone else in Q1, so it was only ever likely to be a personal battle between the two for pole – one that Rosberg won.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was best-of-the-rest, but almost eight tenths adrift of Rosberg, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen used a new set of medium tyres to guarantee passage through Q1 and paid the price.
The Finn was four tenths slower on his sole Q3 run than he had been in Q2 and wound up seventh on the grid, behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and the Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen that have looked strong all weekend.
Felipe Massa wound up ninth fastest, over a second slower than his Williams team-mate Bottas.
The Brazilian split the Red Bulls, with Daniil Kvyat getting the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.141s to qualify eighth.
Both Lotus drivers failed to make it through to Q3 by over half a second, with Romain Grosjean 11th (complaining of a lack of front-end grip) and Pastor Maldonado 12th.
Both McLarens made it through to Q2 for the first time this season, but lacked the pace to be top-10 contenders.
Fernando Alonso was 11th fastest on his first Q2 run on used medium tyres, but he failed to improve on new rubber on his second run and slipped to 13th, just ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.
Felipe Nasr’s Sauber split the McLarens in Q1, but the Brazilian lost pace in Q2 and wound up 15th.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson joined the Force Indias and Manor Marussias in falling after the first segment of the session.
Ericsson found six tenths of a second on his final run in Q1, but it wasn’t enough for him to join team-mate Nasr in Q2.
Ericsson was almost half a second slower than Nasr – lapping 0.171s shy of making the cut – just ahead of the struggling VJM08s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.
The Manor/Marussias predictably brought up the rear of the grid, almost 2.8s adrift of the next fastest car.
Will Stevens again had the better of team-mate Roberto Merhi, to the tune of eight tenths of a second.
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.136s||1.455s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.249s||1.568s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.629s||1.948s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.770s||2.089s|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.365s||3.684s|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.442s||3.761s|
F1 Spanish Grand Prix: Rosberg fastest in FP3, Hamilton spins
Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets in the third and final Formula 1 practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, while his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was third after a spin.
Rosberg clocked a 1m26.031s on the medium-compound Pirelli tyre, 0.156s clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton, who topped second practice, ended up third after a messy session that included a spin at Turn 3 and a small mistake on his medium tyre run.
Rosberg was quickest during the hard tyre runs in the opening part of the session, too, when track temperatures were 22C, nearly 30C lower than they were in FP2 on Friday.
The German, who has not beaten Hamilton in either qualifying or the race so far this year, looked smooth throughout the session as he retained his advantage when attention turned to low-fuel runs.
It was not so successful for Hamilton, who after completing just one installation lap in the opening half of the session ran wide onto the astro turf at Turn 3 and spun.
The Briton stopped the car hitting the wall on the inside of the track before engaging reverse and rejoining the fray.
Hamilton’s medium tyre run was 0.201s shy of Rosberg’s leading time, but four tenths ahead of Williams’s Valtteri Bottas in fourth.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who recovered from a disappointing day with engine issues on Friday to get 19 laps of running under his belt.
Felipe Massa had a scruffy lap as he clocked the seventh fastest time, with Max Verstappen continuing Toro Rosso’s good form at the Circuit de Catalunya so far this weekend to secure eighth.
Daniil Kvyat missed the first 40 minutes of the session while his Red Bull team fixed a water leak and he managed just seven laps and the ninth fastest time, one place clear of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
Jenson Button was the leading McLaren in 11th, ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who showed good long run pace on Friday.
Sauber is lacking updates in Spain, with Felipe Nasr down in 13th and team-mate Marcus Ericsson 17th.
Fernando Alonso was 14th in the second McLaren, ahead of Lotus pair Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
Sergio Perez was nearly a second adrift of his Force India team-mate Hulkenberg in 18th, with the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi bringing up the rear.
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.048s||1.027s||19|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.132s||1.111s||18|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.313s||1.292s||7|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.809s||1.788s||17|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.082s||2.061s||13|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.996s||2.975s||14|
Raikkonen: A strange day
“It was quite a strange day. The position and laptimes were not too bad, but I was not completely happy with the handling of the car. I don’t know if it was caused by the wind or by the conditions of the track, but I have been struggling all day. We did not see anything bad with the upgrades we brought here. It’s just the feeling that it’s not completely right, as if the car was sliding. I feel there’s a lot to improve and to gain, in the evening we’ll look more into details and see what we can do for the rest of the weekend”.
F1 Spanish GP FP2: Lewis Hamilton fastest from Sebastian Vettel
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton comfortably led the way at the top of the timesheets in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m26.852s on the medium-compound Pirelli tyre, 0.408s clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Rosberg, who was quickest in first practice, had downshifting problems on his qualifying-simulation run and ended up 0.764s adrift of his team-mate in third.
Hamilton also set the pace on the hard tyres early in the session, the Briton 1.249s clear of Rosberg, with Vettel 0.010s adrift.
Track temperatures hit 50C and ambient temperatures 29C on a glorious day at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, with conditions expected to get warmer over the course of the weekend.
When the teams switched focus to high-fuel long runs, several drivers reported a lack of grip and were warned about a crosswind at Turn 3.
Aside from a small lock-up on his medium-tyre run, Hamilton didn’t put a foot wrong with Mercedes looking like it still holds an advantage over rival Ferrari.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, the Finn securing his best time on the second lap of his run after a small mistake on the first.
While Daniil Kvyat set fifth fastest time, one second off the pace, his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo didn’t fair so well.
Having completed just nine laps in first practice, the Australian didn’t make an appearance in the second until the five minutes before the end because the team changed his engine.
Red Bull had run a power unit with higher mileage in the first session before swapping to what will be Ricciardo’s fourth of the season and he ended up 13th.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was just 1.165s slower than Hamilton in sixth, with Jenson Button in the new-liveried and upgraded McLaren half a second further back in seventh.
Valtteri Bottas was the leading Williams in eighth, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr, with the other Williams of Felipe Massa completing the top 10.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was 11th ahead of Romain Grosjean, who brought out the red flag when his Lotus’ engine cover broke off on the pit straight.
After spending nearly an hour in the garage, Grosjean emerged to run the medium tyres to finish 12th, 2.2s off the pace and two places clear of team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
The Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson were 15th and 16th ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, with Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi propping up the timesheets in the Manor-run Marussias.
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.943s||1.091s||25|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.017s||1.165s||32|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.674s||1.822s||31|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m29.098s||2.246s||4|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.601s||2.749s||38|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.707s||2.855s||35|
Nico Rosberg pipped Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top spot in the first Formula 1 free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The German ended up at the top of the timesheets, just seven-hundredths of a second faster than Hamilton, with Mercedes almost a second clear of the rest of the field.
Rosberg set the pace during the first half-an-hour, when all drivers have the use of a set of hard-compound Pirelli tyres that they cannot use once the first 30 minutes have finished.
He set a best time of 1m27.333s during this period as he and Hamilton traded fastest times on rubber enduring enough to produce good pace for multiple laps.
That was almost two-tenths faster than Hamllton could manage, with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who did briefly go fastest, ending up third and 0.8s down.
Once onto their new sets of hard Pirellis, Hamilton drew first blood, outpacing Rosberg by 45-thousandths of a second on their first flying laps, largely thanks to stunning pace in the first sector.
But with Hamilton’s second flier looking set to improve his advantage, he had a slow final sector, meaning that his first flying lap was to remain his fastest of the morning.
Rosberg then improved, finding almost a tenth of a second in the final sector compared to his first lap, to establish a 0.070s margin in first place.
Ferrari was best of the rest, with Vettel and Raikkonen separated by just 26-thousandths, but they were a second slower than Rosberg.
Scuderia Toro Rosso pairing Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen ran strongly throughout the session to seal fifth and sixth place, with the lead Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat – sporting a new nose – in seventh, just under two seconds off the pace.
It was another difficult session for Red Bull, with Kvyat’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo not able to complete any proper running until the final 10 minutes of the session.
The Australian reported a problem when he applied full throttle on his outlap, and while he soon returned to the track for another attempt, he then disappeared into the garage for much of the session before restarting late on to go ninth fastest.
As usual, Williams had a relatively low-profile Friday practice session on heavy fuel, with Felipe Massa eighth and development driver Susie Wolff, making her first FP1 appearance since last July’s German GP weekend, 14th and 0.877s off the Brazilian.
Sauber driver Felipe Nasr banged in a lap good enough for 10th, 2.312s off the pace, with 12 minutes remaining, which relegated Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg to 11th.
Reserve driver Raffaele Marciello backed up team-mate Nasr in 12th place on his second FP1 appearance, with another backup driver, Jolyon Palmer, 13th in the faster of the Lotus-Mercedes.
McLaren-Honda had a quiet start to the weekend with its upgraded MP4-30, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button setting near-identical pace in 15th and 16th places.
At one stage, Button reported that “the balance is completely wrong” over the radio with the front wing he was trying, while Alonso had a late spin at Turn 12.
Sergio Perez, who had a trip through the gravel exiting Turn 3 after 26 minutes, was 17th in the second Force India.
Pastor Maldonado was only able to complete seven laps thanks to what the team described as a “minor gearbox issue”, meaning his fastest time was his run on the first set of tyres, putting him down in 18th place and ahead only of the two Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.132s||1.304s||27|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.529s||1.701s||23|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m28.785s||1.957s||7|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m29.075s||2.247s||9|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.409s||2.581s||20|
|17||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.096s||3.268s||19|