My race wasn’t going too bad until a few laps before the end. I suddenly had the problem, my front left tire let go with no warning; the air stayed in the tire but the rubber part, came off. It’s disappointing because without that issue the second place was secured, and we deserved a better result. We had made some changes to the car and they seemed to have improved the feeling. When it’s like this you are confident and you can push; I hope that it will be a similar story in the future races. However, today we were lacking a little bit of speed against our rivals. We did what we could but obviously there’s some work to be done to catch up the Mercedes in places like this. This is definitely not our strongest type of circuit. I’m interested to see what happens in the next race, I guess the Hungarian track should suit our car better.
Ferrari’s Raikkonen, Vettel had no warning of British GP tyre drama
Kimi Raikkonen says "everything felt normal" before the front left tyre on his Ferrari Formula 1 car suddenly failed and cost him second place in the British Grand Prix.
Raikkonen was running a comfortable second to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in the closing stages of the Silverstone F1 race, when a delamination of the front left soft Pirelli on Raikkonen’s Ferrari forced him to make an unscheduled second pitstop.
The problem meant Raikkonen ultimately trailed home third, allowing Valtteri Bottas to complete a one-two result for Mercedes and help Hamilton close to within a point of Sebastian Vettel at the head of the drivers’ championship.
Vettel also suffered a front-left tyre failure, which dropped him from fourth to seventh in the race results, while Red Bull had to bring fourth placed finisher Max Verstappen into the pits for a precautionary stop.
Both Vettel and Verstappen complained about blistering on their front tyres in the second half of the race, but Raikkonen said his rubber failed without warning.
"Everything was going more or less normally," Raikkonen explained. "The gap was fine for us. Two laps from the end, I don’t know what happened – before Turn 6 [Brooklands], under the tunnel, the tyre didn’t explode but the rubber part came off suddenly.
"I don’t think I hit anything, everything felt normal before, luckily I came back.
"I struggled a bit after that because the tyre was flapping around, [but] we managed to get a decent position.
"I was very unlucky and, in a way, lucky, but didn’t want to see the same happen to Seb and then a lap later – I don’t know what happened."
Vettel was holding fourth place behind Bottas when his left front tyre deflated through Brooklands and caused Vettel to run off the track at Luffield.
He tumbled down the order as he limped the Ferrari back to the pits and saw his championship lead almost evaporate completely as he fell outside the top six.
Vettel said the tyre failure also caught him by surprise, despite feeling those vibrations during the second stint.
"I don’t think there’s anyone particularly to blame," he said. "Hindsight is great, with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt OK.
"Kimi had similar issues and his tyres were at least five or six laps fresher, so I think it caught us both by surprise."
Raikkonen spent the entire race in fruitless pursuit of Hamilton and said Ferrari simply lacked the pace to challenge Mercedes properly at Silverstone.
"It wasn’t the easiest feeling," Raikkonen added. "We had all weekend a few places that were quite difficult for us and in the race it was similar to Friday.
"I tried to hang on to Lewis, tried to keep the gap, but just didn’t have enough speed. We could have been second, but we have some work to be done.
"We had a decent start, but once we fall behind, we had no real chance to beat them."
Raikkonen says he’s doing his best after Marchionne ‘laggard’ claim
Kimi Raikkonen says he is doing his maximum to get better Formula 1 results following comments from Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne saying he was a "a bit of a laggard".
Marchionne told reporters at the Red Bull Ring that Raikkonen needed to show a "higher level of commitment", having been overshadowed by teammate Sebastian Vettel so far this year.
Asked about Marchionne’s comments, the 2007 world champion, who finished fifth in the Austrian Grand Prix, insisted he is trying as hard as possible to get his season back on track.
"Obviously I want to do well," said Raikkonen.
"My team wants to do well, and I can only do the best that I can. It’s not like I’m not trying.
"Unfortunately it’s not been very straightforward sometimes, but that’s part of the plan and we keep pushing and I’m sure things will work out better."
The German has won three races and leads the championship with 171 points, while Raikkonen is on 83 down in fifth position.
Raikkonen’s contract with Ferrari expires at the end of the season, and Marchionne’s comments keep up the pressure on him.
"I think Kimi has got to show a higher level of commitment to the process," Marchionne told Reuters before the start of the Austrian Grand Prix.
"There are days when I think he’s a bit of a laggard, but we’ll see."
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen saw a steady improvement after a not-so-easy start: “The whole weekend had been quite tricky so far and yesterday, for certain reasons, we did not have a very good day. This morning, we basically started from zero. The feeling with the car was getting better and better, but it was not easy to recover from yesterday. The qualifying session was a bit messy, with the traffic and the yellow flags. I’m not very happy overall, but considering how tricky it has been , third place is not bad. It could have been much worse. Later this evening and tomorrow morning we will go through all the different scenarios and we’ll try to pick the best one, depending on what happens in the first lap, how the weather will be and other factors”.
Kimi had a slightly more troublesome day, but in the end he was not worried about the remainder of the weekend: “It was a very normal day, trying different solutions and seeing how they went. We struggled a bit with some things, but we know what is going on and we should be able to fix it. It was one of those Fridays, not great and not bad either. Obviously it could have been a bit better and straightforward, but it’s only the first day of practice. I don’t think it will be very difficult with tires as long as we do the normal things; it’s a very similar story as any other race. Now we have to go through everything and improve for tomorrow”.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen hits out at Valtteri Bottas after Baku hit
Kimi Raikkonen has blamed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas for their collision on the first lap of Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver tried to pass second-placed Bottas round the outside of Turn 2 after his rival suffered excessive wheelspin on the exit of the previous corner.
Bottas kept the inside line and bounced over the kerb, pitching him into Raikkonen and pushing the Ferrari into contact with the wall.
"Not much I could have done," said Raikkonen. "I got hit at Turn 2 and there was quite a lot of damage on the car already on the left-hand side."
Raikkonen had retired from this season’s Spanish GP after contact with Bottas sent him into Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, and the Ferrari driver said the incident was similar to the one in Baku.
"He [Bottas] braked very early, again – and I think he knows it was way too early braking – and I went just outside and it was fine, and suddenly I got hit from the other side.
"So I think he noticed he braked too early and just let the brakes go, and came way too fast into me.
"It was completely his fault, but obviously I paid the price."
The stewards took no action on the coming together with Raikkonen dropping to fifth and later retiring after hitting debris from the Force India clash, while Bottas went on to finish second after passing Lance Stroll ahead of the finish line.
Bottas said that he could not have backed out of the Turn 2 battle and was surprised it ended in contact.
"From my side, you know, I was on the inside, he was obviously outside, he did brake later and he was kind of ahead but I was on the inside. So then normally… inside you have the line.
"He was turning in the corner so that for me there was nowhere else to go other than over the kerb. And for me it was not an option to back off at that point.
"So yeah, just went over the kerb, bottomed out, the car jumped and hit him and I got a puncture.
"I don’t know really, I need to have a bit more [of a] look at the videos and stuff and review it a bit more but for me it was no option to back off.
"For me I was on the inside, I thought I had the corner, there should have been space for two cars to go around.
"He was anyway a bit further ahead so maybe he could’ve kept his position anyway."
Collisions between Bottas and Raikkonen go back to 2015, when the two fought for the podium in the Russian Grand Prix before they then made contact in Mexico.
"You know, it’s a bit of a shame it’s again me and Kimi but we’ve been fighting for similar positions and it’s just unlucky that it’s us again," said Bottas.
Today many things happened that were out of our hands and unfortunately we paid a big price. After the start, at the second corner, I got hit by Bottas; I don’t know what he was doing, he braked very early but probably he noticed that and let the brakes off, went too fast and hit me. Because of that the rear end of my car hit the wall and I had a massive damage. We were able to keep going but then I was unlucky. The two Force Indias collided, some debris flew off and destroyed my rear tire. As a consequence my whole floor and the rear wing were damaged and we decided to retire. When the red flag stopped the race we thought that we might try and go back on track. The mechanics did and amazing job, managed to change the floor and the endplate in a very short time. But obviously my car was still not perfect and we decided to stop. It’s not a good day when your car retires twice in a race. I’m disappointed because, without all these things happening, my car would have been good. There’s nothing else we could have done, we tried our best.
Q: Kimi, if we can start with you. We’re back at a street track this weekend. You took pole position in Monaco a couple of races ago – how confident are you of a repeat here?
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: Unfortunately it doesn’t give you any guarantees. It’s in the past, and a completely different circuit. Not really any similarities than Monaco, but nevertheless I think we have a good car everywhere. We’ll see how it goes, we can only give our best. Hopefully we’ll be at the front again; we’ll see what happens.
Q: Pirelli are turning up this weekend with slightly harder tyre compounds than in Monaco. How do you think that’s going to affect the battle between Ferrari and Mercedes?
KR: I don’t know. It’s been close, more or less every race this year. Obviously, like I said, the circuits are so much different and it’s not a big surprise that the tyres are slightly different here. I don’t know. I’m not really interested in guessing what will happen, but I guess it’s going to be close like it’s been at other races; I’m surprised if it’s only one team is way ahead of another.
Q: You don’t want to guess what’s going to happen this weekend, but after the technical problems you had in Canada last time out, do you feel you’re due a lucky break here?
KR: No, not really! It’s not something you can count on it. I’ve had some not so good luck for quite a few times, but it’s an unfortunate thing to happen, something completely new that we never found out and it’s fixed now. Things usually go wrong when it’s the worst time it could happen, but at least we managed to finish the race and at least score some points. Obviously it was far from ideal, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Q: (Ben Edwards – Channel 4) Question for Kimi, the situation in the championship between Mercedes and Ferrari is obviously pretty tough; it’s very tight at the moment. Are you in a position where you have to play a support role to Sebastian now in the way that in the past things have happened when you’ve been at Ferrari? Obviously Felipe helped you a bit in 2007, you returned the favour in 2008. Are you in that position now of having to help Sebastian?
KR: I think we have very clear roles in the team — what we’re allowed, what we’re not allowed, and what the team wants us to do. You know, it goes by those rules and, I don’t know. I don’t know if I have any interest of, to do, to tell what we talk inside the team in here. I think Maurizio has said something and nothing has changed and we know exactly when things will go either way. That’s fine, that’s how it’s always been, at least in the teams where I’ve been. When I don’t have a chance mathematically anymore to fight for the championship, for sure I will help him. I have no issues with that, I never had in the past. I think it’s just a very easy decision for all of us, at least in our team, and obviously the first thing is to try to make sure that we can be on the top with Ferrari. That’s the most important thing. And then obviously if Seb can win, then fine. If I don’t have any chance then that’s how it goes. The first thing is to work for Ferrari, to put them in the best possible position.`
Q: (Livio Orrichio – Globosport.com) Kimi, using the same subject. In your view, what is the reason for the difference in points? You have some difficulty with this car? You were unlucky in some races? Because it’s big difference.
KR: It’s a big difference. When you have bad races, you adapt, and obviously Seb has done very good races so far and has been strong everywhere. I was not starting very well the first races — I was not too bad, but I was not where I want to be. Here and there little problems, we have one DNF, the last race was not ideal. That’s how it goes, unfortunately. When your teammate is on the podium more or less every time, a lot of points quickly. That’s racing.
Q: Just as a follow up to the towing in qualifying that Daniil was asked about, is it something, given the length of the straight here this weekend, that you’re going to work with your team-mates during qualifying to get a tow to improve your lap-time? Kimi, perhaps you could answer that one?
KR: No, we haven’t had any plans. I mean, we haven’t really done it in any place so I don’t see that’s going to happen. Probably the biggest reason is that it’s very difficult to manage with all the cars you get. The most important thing is to try to get the free lap for yourself. When you try to plan it like that it’s actually quite difficult to make it happen every time and it can easily make more harm than good for both of you. So…
Raikkonen says he paid the price for a mistake in F1 qualifying
Kimi Raikkonen said he "paid the price" for a mistake when it counted in the closing moments of Formula 1 qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Finn, who set the pace during Friday practice, had to settle for fourth on the grid, and he believes he was capable of more than that if he hadn’t made an error on his final run.
"There was a lot of speed on the last lap, but I made a mistake in corner two," said Raikkonen.
"I improved a little bit, but I couldn’t make the lap very good, and I paid the price for it.
"It was a little bit more tricky today than yesterday just to get a good feeling with the tyres, but that’s how it goes."
While his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel ended up three tenths of a second adrift of an inspired Lewis Hamilton in the fight for pole, Raikkonen was nearly eight tenths back, which he described as "not a surprise".
"At places like this, if you get one corner wrong, you’re going to lose massive lap time," he said.
"Our car has been good, but for whatever reason we’ve struggled a bit in qualifying."
However, Raikkonen believes the race "will be a different story", with the Montreal venue traditionally throwing up unexpected circumstances and incident-packed grands prix.
"Often it’s quite a hectic race here, a lot of things happen," he said.
"You never know here, it’s one of those places things can change quite quickly.
"We’ll try again, we’ll see what happens. We should have good speed."
Kimi Raikkonen pushes for F1 to change its blue flag rules
Kimi Raikkonen has called for a change to Formula 1’s blue flag regulations after he was caught behind traffic in the Monaco Grand Prix while fighting for the win.
Raikkonen felt he lost too much time behind backmarkers around the pitstops in Monaco, which cost him time relative to team-mate and eventual race winner Sebastian Vettel.
The subject came up in Friday’s drivers’ briefing in Montreal, where Raikkonen raised it with F1 race director Charlie Whiting.
Under the International Sporting Code drivers have "to allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity" after the FIA blue lights in their cockpits are illuminated.
Drivers first get a "pre-warning’ when they are three seconds ahead of a car almost a lap ahead, which the FIA says "should be used by the team of the slower car to warn their driver he is soon going to be lapped and that allowing the faster car through should be considered a priority."
Last year the FIA changed the gap that automatically triggers the signals that a driver has to move over for the leading cars, reducing it from 1.5s to 1.0s.
While the reduction in time gap worked well in 2016, some drivers have reported that it has become more problematic this season because of the difficulties inherent in following other cars with the current aero package.
Following Raikkonen raising the issue in Canada, Whiting told the drivers that the gap won’t be changed, reportedly pointing out that drivers don’t seem to have any trouble when they are racing the car ahead.
Also discussed in the briefing was the question of drivers going very slowly at the approach to the final corner in Montreal as they try to create a gap in front before starting their flying lap – something Lewis Hamilton was keen to discuss with Whiting on Friday.
Carlos Sainz Jr received a reprimand after slowing and not realising that Kevin Magnussen, who was behind, was on a flying lap.
One suggestion was that drivers create their gap earlier, and don’t go slowly beyond the DRS line, which is around a third of the way along the preceding straight.