TEAM REPRESENTATIVES – Maurizio ARRIVABENE (Ferrari), Frédéric VASSEUR (Sauber), Guenther STEINER (Haas), Gil DE FERRAN (McLaren)
Q: Maurizio, please can we start with you? Welcome. There have been lots of announcements coming out of Ferrari this past week. Your 2019 driver line-up is sorted, with Charles Leclerc replacing Kimi Räikkönen. Talk us through how and why that change has taken place?
Maurizio ARRIVABENE: How and why? It’s not clear? OK, I try to be clear. When you make some choices like this, that are related to the driver, you don’t have to look only at the short-term commitment but also at the long-term commitment. A long-term commitment means it’s not only for next year, it’s for the future of the team – how you are going to grow a young talent, and what you want to expect from him for the future. That’s very simple. It’s not a decision taken by Mr Simpson; it’s a decision taken by me, discuss it also with the top management, that is taking into consideration many, many factors. This has nothing to do with the respect that I have for Kimi, that is great, as a human being and a driver, but if you have to do a choice, thinking about the future of the team, I think we made the right choice, for us and for Kimi. And the way that we wrote the press release was absolutely intentional. We were using a different style, breaking a bit the rules of Ferrari, that is normally going to communicate this in one line, broke the rules, giving also tribute and respect to Kimi for what he has done with us and wishing him the best for the future, and the best for the future it’s here.
Q: Fréd, thank you for waiting. Yesterday in the press conference, Kimi wasn’t that forthcoming when asked about his move to Sauber, so can you just put a little bit of flesh on the bone for us. How did you persuade Kimi to continue his career with your team?
Frédéric VASSEUR: I don’t want to say, like my future driver, ‘why not?’ but I think for us coming from where we were last year… I had a look this morning on the FP1 of 2017, I think it is a huge opportunity to have in our car, in the Alfa Romeo Sauber, one of the three world champions who will race next year. It’s a huge opportunity for the team, for the brand, for everybody. We know that we are quite a young team also and we need to have someone leading the team with a huge experience and I think Kimi will fulfill all the parts of this.
Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC Sport) Maurizio. How concerned are you by the errors being made by your lead driver in several races this year, and questionable race management decisions by the team – and what are you doing about them?
MA: Oh my God! Again! OK, I start from the second one and I want to be clear, once and forever. I mean, I would ask some of you, all of you, who is so crazy to give team order to a driver at the start of the race? I mean, we do our thing with the maximum professional effort. Before the race we are looking at the video of the start of the race, our team manager is giving instruction on the best line to follow to the driver. The only team order you can tell to the driver at the first corner is “guys, I would like to have both of the cars OK.” All the rest, I mean, it’s nonsense. I explain you the reason why. Kimi, in the case of Monza, was in pole position. Do we agree for once on this? He was in pole position right? Sebastian was 8m from him. How you think that Kimi can look on his side where Sebastian is? In your opinion, the order is “Kimi, please slow down when you start, and don’t worry if Hamilton and all the others, they are overtaking you.” What we are discussing about? That is the answer to your question. And then, team order, do you think the team orders, they were invented in Monza last weekend? I don’t think so. It’s 28 years that I’m in Formula One and I always heard team orders. There are many ways to give it to the team: before, during, after. That’s not important. The problem in Monza is that you have no time to give team order to anyone, because at the third corner it’s happened what has happened. So, this is the reality. I mean, don’t expect me to give team orders to the driver at the start of the race, looking forward to the first corner. It’s too dangerous and it’s crazy.
Q: (Stuart Codling – Autosport) Fred, what do you expect Kimi to bring to your team next year that you haven’t got already and can’t get elsewhere?
FV: Clearly Kimi has huge experience in F1, I think he already told that yesterday. For the team, we are building up every single department and I think he will be very supportive in the process. I think from aero to design office to track engineering, tyre management, I think everybody in the team is more than welcome to have Kimi on board in the future. It’s a step forward for us for sure. This is on the technical side and on the more marketing and commercial side, for sure it’s a huge push and if you have a look at what we had last week in terms of social media, so it was probably the first time in our lives that we have so many connections. On both sides, I think it will be supportive for us.
Q: Fred, are there still a lot of people at the team who can remember him from 2001?
FV: Some, yeah. For sure, I was not there but some guys came to my office saying ‘ah, superb that Kimi’s back.’ But I don’t want to consider the fact that Kimi’s coming back that we have to think about the future, not about the past.
Q: (Jake Michaels – ESPN) Maurizio, you said earlier that Kimi’s move from Ferrari to Sauber next year is the best thing for Ferrari and for Kimi. Can you explain why that’s the case and why the best thing for Kimi isn’t to stay at Ferrari?
MA: It’s quite simple. I also said that it’s very important to look at the situation of the team in perspective, perspective meaning two or three years. So in my opinion, that is justifying enough our choice to have a young driver for next year, to grow up and that’s it. It’s not a decision that is look on the actual situation or only to next year. My job is to look forward to the future of the team. That was the justification of the choice.
Q: (Jerome Pugmire – AP) Maurizio, just to follow up on that, Kimi said yesterday it wasn’t his decision and wasn’t his choice. Can you explain how he took the decision and did he try and persuade you to change your mind? How did he feel about it?
MA: I think Kimi was funny also yesterday during the press conference. I try to be funny too. What did you expect Kimi to tell you, that Homer Simpson took the decision? Of course I took the decision but I have to say that the relationship with Kimi is so good that he understands. It’s not only a question of telling him this is the decision. If you do my job properly, it’s to take him through the process, and I took him through the process of the decision and he didn’t even try to say ‘yeah, I would like you to change your mind’ or something. He’s a professional driver. Then I heard many other things like ‘ah, you know, telling him in Monza was the wrong time.’ Think about if I had told him in Belgium and Sebastian was winning the race? Kimi was in the same position and then it was wrong to tell him in Belgium. So the right time is not written on the paper, but what is written on the paper is that when we sign contracts with a driver, we sign a contract with professional drivers. I always talk with my two drivers as professional drivers and I’m expecting from him the maximum of professional effort and to use all their professional skills and Kimi is one of them. Kimi was so nervous and so unhappy that I told him on Thursday, if I’m not wrong, in Monza but he was so unhappy that he made pole position on Saturday. We’re talking with professional drivers.
FV: I have to make him unhappy ever single weekend!
MA: Yeah, in fact that’s what I was thinking afterwards, because when I read some criticism and I said I accept the criticism, I was thinking OK, if it’s like this, I’m going to make him unhappy every weekend so he’s going to give us the pole position. Guys. We are talking about professional drivers not kids that they are driving at the luna park.
Singapore – Il primo giorno a Marina Bay è dedicato soprattutto a prendere confidenza con le insidie di un tracciato che conta ben 23 curve, dove la prima sessione si svolge alla luce del sole e la seconda già in notturna. Kimi Raikkonen ha concluso la giornata segnando il miglior tempo alla fine della P2 – tra l’altro segnando un nuovo record della pista non ufficiale, su un tracciato ridotto di 2 metri in lunghezza – mentre Sebastian Vettel è stato l’unico pilota a non trarre vantaggio dalle Hypersoft. A seguito del contatto con la barriera verso l’ultima chicane, la sua SF71H è dovuta rientrare in garage per le dovute riparazioni fino al termine della sessione. Tuttavia, la macchina sembra essere veloce e la lotta per domani è aperta.
“Oggi tutto è filato liscio”, ha detto Kimi. “Durante la prima sessione abbiamo controllato diverse cose e abbiamo fatto alcune modifiche. Nel secondo turno di prove tutto sembrava funzionare. E’ stato un venerdì normale, ma ovviamente questa pista è diversa da molte altre e la seconda sessione si svolge in condizioni differenti rispetto alla prima. Gli pneumatici si sono comportati bene come ci aspettavamo. Le Hypersoft senza dubbio permettono la migliore aderenza in assoluto, per cui sono molto utili qui, almeno per pochi giri. Ovviamente non durano come le altre mescole, ma ne siamo consapevoli. Ho provato due fondi diversi; non c’è una differenza enorme fra l’uno e l’altro, ma non useremmo qualcosa se non pensassimo che vada meglio. Adesso continueremo a fare il nostro lavoro e vedremo come andrà domani. Di certo saremo tutti molto vicini”.
Ferrari SF70H: presentata la nuova monoposto del Cavallino
La Ferrari ha presentato la nuova Ferrari SF70H, la monoposto con cui disputerà il mondiale 2017 di Formula 1. La vettura è stata svelata in diretta web da un garage della pista di Fiorano dai piloti Sebastian Vettel e Kimi Raikkonen.
Nome in codice 668 la vettura celebra i 70 anni della Ferrari. Il design risente ovviamente delle modifiche al regolamento con l’adozione dell’ala anteriore a freccia, l’ala posteriore di dimensioni maggiori e gli pneumatici Pirelli maggiorati. La vettura vista oggi, a passo “corto”, potrebbe di fatto già essere abbandonata per le prime gare europee: i tecnici Ferrari starebbero infatti lavorando già ad una versione B, profondamente rivista nell’aerodinamica.
Il muso non sembra cambiato molto rispetto al 2016 mentre è stata adottata la pinna sul cofano motore.
I tecnici, coscienti di un livello aerodinamico non ancora all’altezza della Mercedes, hanno spremuto al massimo la power unit V6 turbo ibrida, ottenendo un incremento di potenza senza sacrificare l’affidabilità.
La “Ferrari della Ferrari” copre i 100 Km del filming day a Fiorano
Maranello – Il numero richiama i settant’anni di storia di quello che, nel mondo dell’automobile, è qualcosa di più di un marchio. Le lettere della sigla indicano semplicemente la Scuderia Ferrari e la propulsione ibrida (Hybrid). Il tricolore italiano è ben visibile sulla “vela” del cofano motore, con un look che richiama gli anni ‘70. La Ferrari SF70H destinata al mondiale Formula 1 ha mosso i primi passi oggi, sullo storico circuito di Fiorano, mettendo assieme nello stesso giorno presentazione, collaudo funzionale e “filming day” per le esigenze commerciali. I 56mila pezzi che la compongono sono il frutto del lavoro e dell’impegno collettivo di oltre mille donne e uomini della Gestione Sportiva, attraverso una gestazione durata dodici mesi. Una vettura anche visibilmente diversa dalle monoposto degli ultimi anni, perché diversi sono i contenuti regolamentari, che nel 2017 pongono l’accento soprattutto sull’incremento delle prestazioni.
La saracinesca del box di Fiorano – allestito per l’occasione con un look tutto diverso – si è alzata alle 9,45, sotto gli occhi del Presidente e AD del Cavallino Sergio Marchionne, del team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, del direttore tecnico Mattia Binotto, dei piloti Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel e Antonio Giovinazzi, e di tutti i dipendenti che seguivano la presentazione dalla vicina sede di Maranello. Dopo la preparazione di routine, la monoposto è uscita dal box alle 11,20 ora italiana, equipaggiata con pneumatici “Demo” destinati ai filming day, vale a dire con le stesse misure “maggiorate” delle gomme di quest’anno, ma mescole diverse. Una visione rara, quella di una monoposto dell’anno in corso sulla pista di casa della Ferrari: i regolamenti attuali non permettono più di svolgere prove nel corso della stagione, se non quelle collettive. Fanno eccezione, appunto, i 100 Km consentiti per la giornata promozionale, che Raikkonen prima e Vettel poi hanno sfruttato nel corso della giornata, dividendosi in parti uguali la distanza massima fissata dalle regole, nonostante la pioggia che ha ritardato alle 15,40 la prima uscita di Sebastian.
A fine giornata, a tutti i dipendenti è stata data l’opportunità di vedere la SF70H da vicino, prima che la monoposto venisse imballata per essere spedita al Circuit de Catalunya, dove da lunedì 27 inizierà la prima di due sessioni di test invernali, della durata di quattro giorni ciascuna. Vettel ha in programma di guidare lunedì e mercoledì, Raikkonen si alternerà a lui martedì e giovedì. Le prove riprenderanno poi martedì 7 marzo.
Ferrari, Maurizio Arrivabene: “La SF70H è frutto del lavoro di tutto il team”
In un’intervista rilasciata ai canali ufficiali Ferrari, Maurizio Arrivabene ha raccontato le prime emozioni, le sensazioni provate durante la presentazione della nuova SF70H, la vettura con cui il team di Maranello cercherà quest’anno di conquistare quel titolo che ormai non vince da 10 lunghi anni. Per Arrivabene il lancio ufficiale della nuova Rossa è stato “Una grande emozione, la stessa che si ha ogni qual volta si scopre una nuova Ferrari sia che si tratti di una vettura stradale sia di una Formula 1″. Il team principal, inoltre, ha specificato come il risultato finale della vettura sia frutto di un grande lavoro e della professionalità di tutto il team.
Kimi Raikkonen now trusts Ferrari F1 team – Maurizio Arrivabene
Kimi Raikkonen now feels he has the trust and commitment of his mechanics and that has inspired his improved form, according to Ferrari Formula 1 team boss Maurizio Arrivabene.
Raikkonen was comfortably outperformed by team-mate Sebastian Vettel last season and Fernando Alonso the year before.
But after re-signing in July for next year, his results have improved and he now sits five points and two places ahead of Vettel in the 2016 drivers’ standings with four races to go.
Arrivabene has consistently praised Raikkonen’s performances this year, at one stage saying he is "not a world champion for nothing", but at Austin elaborated on why he thinks the Finn has got better.
"Everyone gets surprised when they are talking about Kimi’s performance but there is nothing to be surprised about," said Arrivabene.
"He’s been a world champion, with us actually, and he is quite fast.
"He was most probably suffering a bit the last few years.
"Now he can feel that the part of the team that is working with Kimi is committed to him.
"He has a very good relationship with Sebastian and that helps.
"It’s just a question for him to feel the trust of people around him and then he’s going to do his best.
"When he has to push with his feet, he’s pushing very hard."
ARRIVABENE RUBBISHES CLIMATE OF FEAR CLAIMS
Former Ferrari chief engineer Luca Baldisserri told the Italian media last week that the Scuderia is suffering from a "climate of fear" that is leaving staff afraid to take risks.
When asked for comment, Arrivabene rubbished the claims.
"The atmosphere inside the house is different to what people think about or what you are reading in the newspapers," he insisted.
"It’s an old story. Ferrari in Italy is like the Italian national football team.
"Having pressure is normal, having tension is normal, having criticism is normal so you have to live with that.
"Sometimes it’s going too far.
"Our job is to be concentrated in what we are doing, it is to follow our way.
"This is part of the job.
"If you working in Maranello, if you work for a brand like Ferrari, you have to accept all of this, like it or not."
Kimi: still work to do but no major issues
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a tricky day: in the first session, we struggled to find the right set up, and in the second practice I went off with new tires and couldn’t set a lap time. Apart from that it was a normal Friday, it looks worse than it is. We did a normal set up work and sometimes it goes like this. We did not have any major issue, we just tried to make a sense out of it and get the car exactly where we wanted. Now we have some work to do on the set up and make it correct for tomorrow. The Mercedes look very strong as they have been all year, but we’ll do our best.”
Kimi Raikkonen "not a world champion for nothing" – Ferrari F1 boss
Kimi Raikkonen is demonstrating he is "not a world champion for nothing" after his performance in the Singapore Grand Prix, according to his Formula 1 team boss Maurizio Arrivabene.
The Finn put pressure on Lewis Hamilton in the battle for third and passed the Briton when he made a mistake only to lose the position during a pitstop sequence later in the race.
He went on to finish fourth for the second successive race on a weekend when he consistently outshone his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Raikkonen is just five points behind Vettel in the drivers’ championship, having been 113 adrift at this point in the season last year.
"Talking about Kimi, he is showing he was not a world champion for nothing," said Arrivabene.
"He was very, very good, especially when he overtook Hamilton – even if Hamilton made a little mistake.
"Sometimes you make a mistake because the other guy is pushing your back.
"Kimi has enough experience to feel that and in my opinion it was great."
Arrivabene also praised Vettel’s performance after the German came through the field from the back to finish fifth.
"Sebastian had a fantastic race, the choices of strategy were correct and he was able to use that advantage to the maximum," he said. "It was fantastic."
Raikkonen’s pass on Hamilton was only the sixth time a Mercedes has been overtaken in a proper move on track, not including the start, in 2016.
In China, Hamilton was nursing damage after a first corner collision and said the car was "flexing like crazy, like a four-poster bed" when he was passed by Daniel Ricciardo and then Raikkonen.
The reigning world champion started 10th in Baku, after an error-strewn qualifying session, and was passed by Valtteri Bottas, who also got by Max Verstappen in the same move.
Nico Rosberg was "baffled" by a lack of pace in the race in Monaco, as Hamilton went on to win, and was mugged by Nico Hulkenberg on the line to lose sixth.
At Silverstone, Verstappen [pictured] pulled off a brilliant move on Rosberg in damp conditions around the outside of at Becketts.
Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene defends Raikkonen’s strategy
Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Maurizio Arrivabene insists bringing Kimi Raikkonen in for a third pitstop in the Singapore Grand Prix was correct, even though the Finn lost a podium finish.
Raikkonen ran third after a mid-race overtaking move on Lewis Hamilton when Mercedes switched strategy and pitted the world champion for fresh ultra-soft tyres.
Ferrari had the choice of leaving Raikkonen out on his soft tyres for the final 16 laps and hoping Hamilton did not make up the deficit his stop had created, or immediately pitting in response.
Raikkonen was called in but Hamilton’s out-lap was quick enough that he was ahead by the time the Ferrari left the pitlane, and he stayed ahead to the finish.
Asked by Autosport if he felt Ferrari had made the right choice, Arrivabene replied: "To be 100% sure, you have to look at the data.
"It was the right decision to take.
"If we were having huge degradation [on the soft tyres] and Mercedes were taking us, we would have been crazy.
"We took a decision looking at our data. The thing to do afterwards is verify if our data was right."
Raikkonen believes there were things Ferrari could learn from in the race, but was unsure whether staying out would have paid off or not.
"We could have got to the end," he said when asked by Autosport how his softs would have held up had he stuck with a two-stop.
"But would they have caught us or been able to pass us? I don’t know yet.
"There are certain things we could have done but obviously afterwards it’s very easy to say.
"Obviously, they managed to get in front of us again so we lost the place.
"There was not much we could do anymore by that point."
“A good and solid race”
Kimi praises speed ‘but we could have done better’
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a good and solid race, the car was behaving well and we had a pretty good speed. Obviously it was very difficult to overtake, but at one point Hamilton made a mistake and I managed to pass him, then after the pit stop he got the position back. We lost the place there, I don’t know how and why they managed to jump us, and I don’t know what would have happened if we would have stayed out. Now we have to go through everything, see what happened and what we could have done better. Today we gained one place from the starting position, but of course this is not the result we are looking for, we are trying to be in position to win, but we need to make the car a bit faster.”
Kimi Raikkonen drove like an F1 champion in Hungarian GP – Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen proved his Formula 1 world champion credentials with his performance in the Hungarian Grand Prix, according to his Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.
Raikkonen and Ferrari got their timing wrong on a rapidly drying track in qualifying, which led to the Finn qualifying 14th.
But the 2007 world champion fought his way through the field, challenging Max Verstappen for fifth when he lost part of his front wing after tapping the rear of the Red Bull.
It comes just one race after Raikkonen signed a new deal to extend his stay at Ferrari until the end of next season.
"I’m very happy because Kimi showed that he was not the last world champion with Ferrari for nothing," said Arrivabene.
"On Sunday, he was really, really a fighter."
Raikkonen felt Verstappen’s driving in defence of fifth place "was not correct" with the Dutchman avoiding investigation by the stewards.
But he was pleased with the car’s performance and the way the team responded following a poor qualifying.
"I had a very good car but unfortunately after Saturday, we were in a position where we couldn’t really get the results that with the car and what we had, we could’ve done," he said.
"We knew when we started the race that it wasn’t going to be easy.
"We did more of less the maximum we could.
"If I’d managed to get past Max it would’ve be better but that didn’t happen so we ended up sixth.
"It’s a bit disappointing in that way because the car was working well and nice to drive and more or less what we could expect."
Faccia a faccia con Arrivabene: "Ci credo, non firmerei per tre vittorie!"
Passiamo agli attuali piloti Ferrari. Il tuo approccio con loro è identico o cerchi di andare incontro a due personalità estremamente differenti?
“E’ un compromesso. Ho un rapporto molto diretto e sincero con loro, e viceversa. Ci confrontiamo in modo molto chiaro, senza giri di parole. Non c’è mai stato bisogno di imporre nulla, si arriva insieme a ciò che va fatto. Poi i caratteri sono diversi. Kimi è più introverso, ma in questo ultimo anno e mezzo ha dialogato sempre di più, ed è molto preciso quando fornisce delle indicazioni”.
“Sebastian è aperto, meticoloso, maniaco dei dettagli. Entrambi sono dei grandi professionisti, e lo si vede quando le cose non vanno bene. In certe situazioni verrebbe da demoralizzarsi, ma subito dopo si analizza l’accaduto e si riparte. E se ci si ritrova a cena, si scoprono ragazzi simpatici, intelligenti, persone cha lavorano in Formula 1 ma con cui puoi affrontare tanti temi, che leggono molto ed hanno occhi che vanno al di là del paddock”.
Quando la Ferrari ha un pilota in scadenza di contratto non può sottrarsi al gioco dei pronostici in vista della prossima stagione. Resterà Raikkonen o guardate oltre?
“Ho detto più volte che abbiamo due piloti campioni del Mondo. Sebastian ha voluto la Ferrari, era una sua aspirazione come lo è di tantissimi altri piloti. E’ concentrato sul suo lavoro e credo che voglia rimanere qui a lungo. Kimi sta dando il suo contributo anche per la classifica costruttori, e nelle prima parte del Mondiale 2016 sta andando bene. Quando la macchina è a posto, non credo che sia inferiore a nessuno. Ma è presto per dare risposte definitive in vista del prossimo anno, abbiamo quasi due terzi di campionato davanti a noi”. […]
Secondo Prost cambiare Raikkonen è un rischio per la Ferrari
La Ferrari potrebbe trovare un pilota più veloce per sostituire Kimi Raikkonen nel 2017, ma una mossa di questo tipo potrebbe non essere la cosa migliore secondo Alain Prost.
Il contratto di Raikkonen con la Casa di Maranello andrà in scadenza alla fine dell’anno e hanno preso sempre più piede gli interrogativi su cosa faranno i vertici della Ferrari, alla luce anche dei recenti errori del finlandese.
Tuttavia, la Ferrari è ben consapevole del fatto che Raikkonen è un ottimo compagno di squadra per Sebastian Vettel e, dopo che la scorsa settimana non ha avuto problemi a lasciargli strada a Baku, il team non può non riconoscere i vantaggi di avere due piloti che vanno d’accordo.
Parlando alla FIA Sport Conference di Torino, Alain Prost ha spiegato che la squadra italiana deve affrontare una scelta difficile, soprattutto vista la disponibilità di talenti promettenti come Carlos Sainz e Sergio Perez.
"Tutti possono vedere gli aspetti positivi e gli aspetti negativi" ha detto Prost sulla situazione di Raikkonen. "Ci sono uno o due piloti sul mercato che potrebbero essere interessanti per la Ferrari. Forse un po’ più veloci, anche se non lo si può sapere per certo".
"Una cosa che bisogna prendere in considerazione è la pressione della Ferrari. A volte si vedono dei piloti molto buoni in una squadra di medio livello, poi arrivano in un top team e non riescono a rendere, perché è un po’ diverso".
"L’aspetto positivo per Raikkonen è che un buonissimo rapporto con Vettel e che in questo modo c’è un numero uno ed un numero due. Non sulla carta, ma nei fatti. Per l’ambiente non è male".
"Ad essere onesti, io non biasimo la Ferrari e non la voglio criticare. Sono sicuro che prenderanno la decisione giusta".