British Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari isn’t falling back
Kimi Raikkonen has dismissed suggestions Ferrari is falling back in Formula 1’s competitive order after being outperformed by Mercedes and Williams in British Grand Prix qualifying.
Ferrari lost out in the battle to be best of the rest behind Mercedes at Silverstone, with Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel ending up on the third row behind Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
When asked if Saturday’s performance showed Ferrari is losing ground, Raikkonen said: "I don’t think so – I don’t see that we are sliding back.
"Every race is different. We didn’t get exactly what we wanted today, but in these windy conditions we know it’s not easy for us.
"But it’s not like a disaster. There’s no point to talk about if we are sliding back."
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene hinted last time out in Austria that Pirelli’s tyre compound selection for Silverstone would hurt his team, and Raikkonen believes that is one of the factors behind its performance this weekend.
"It depends on the conditions, the circuit layout, and which tyres are used," said the Finn.
"It wasn’t an ideal day for us but I don’t expect this to suddenly be the true story.
"It’s not something to worry about like it’s going to go on all year, but we can see that we have big work to do."
Vettel accepted Ferrari does not appear to have enough pace this weekend, and he expects the Mercedes-powered Williams cars to be tough to battle with in the race.
"We were simply not quick enough," he said. "We didn’t extract the best out of our car.
"We know it’s difficult to pass a Williams on track – they are very fast on the straights.
"We’ve had races where we were quicker but we’ve been desperate to pass.
"They are not the best cars to have in front, but hopefully we can have a good opening lap and turn it around."
Raikkonen also played down the significance of defeating Vettel in a straight fight in qualifying for the first time this year.
"I’ve always said it doesn’t make me any happier – I don’t care if he’s in front of me when we are in these positions," said Raikkonen.
"Yes, it makes a difference if you are P1 and P2, but it doesn’t make me happy to be in front of him in the positions we are.
"Maybe people look at it differently but it doesn’t matter."
Kimi Raikkonen Q&A: Qualifying a true reflection of Ferrari form
With media speculation about his Ferrari future swirling once more, Kimi Raikkonen has looked on the ascendant at Silverstone this weekend, out-qualifying team mate Sebastian Vettel fair and square. The bad news for Sunday’s race is that as well as the leading Mercedes, Raikkonen also has two Williams ahead of him on the grid…
Q: Kimi, would you say that it was good weekend so far? At least from the outside it has looked pretty smooth…
Kimi Raikkonen: No, not really. There were many things that we were running through and today, for example, there was one lap that was super and then the next lap was cr*p. So we had to get our game together at some point. In Q3 finally I was able to put all the sectors together – and it was okay. We did our best.
Q: Were there higher expectations after Q1 when you were quickest?
KR: No, because we ended up on the grid pretty much where we thought that we are. We keep our expectations realistic. And Q1 is never decisive, as we are all know, so to think that this could be the grid position would have been pretty blue eyed. And we are very down to earth with our expectations.
Q: You got one lap in Q2 deleted. Was there a misunderstanding on your side as to what was allowed in terms of track limits?
KR: No, not at all. We have to analyse what happened and see that we do not run into the same issues again. But it was no big drama.
Q: From what we’ve seen lately – including today – would you say that Ferrari are moving backwards in terms of relative performance?
KR: No, I definitely don’t think so. But every track produces different racing conditions – it is nothing more than that. Our car likes certain conditions and if these conditions are not there – just like the relatively windy conditions here – then we are struggling probably a bit more. Maybe you could say that we haven’t been too happy today, but tomorrow is the race and things can change pretty rapidly.
Q: What do you expect in terms of race pace compared to the Williams? They’ve shown that they will be a factor to consider this weekend…
KR: I have not looked at what they’ve done in qualifying. I was basically focusing on myself. But from my position I think it should be possible to gain some positions. But that is something that will – if at all – happen tomorrow! (laughs)
Q: It is the first time that you have outperformed Sebastian Vettel in qualifying in a situation where he didn’t have a problem. Are you dealing better with the fast corners – or what do you put it down to?
KR: Well, starting one position better than Seb doesn’t make my any happier. I don’t care whether it is fifth or sixth, this doesn’t have any impact on me. Yes, if it were first or second – that is something different. But fifth or sixth – no. That just shows that we have to work on the gap!
Q: The gap to the Mercedes is still somewhat significant for a team that wants to fight for wins. Are there any updates in the pipeline that will help you get closer?
KR: There are always bits and pieces that are new on the car at every race. Other than that I will not go into detail. We know that we have things to improve – and Ferrari was never a team that ‘forgets’ to develop. We have a clear goal and that is to fight for the championship. We know that it will not be this year, but everything that we learn and do this season will help us be more competitive in 2016. I have no worries that we will get there and improve to the point where we can challenge them.
Austrian GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to pole, both go off
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, as both Mercedes Formula 1 drivers went off during their final laps of the session.
Hamilton led the way after the first runs in Q3 by two tenths of a second from team-mate Nico Rosberg, but spun under braking for Turn 1 when attempting to make sure of the top spot.
Rosberg set a personal best time in the first sector, then the fastest time of all in the second sector, before going off at the final corner, which consigned him to second on the grid.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel improved on his final run in Q3, but his lap was only good enough for third, 0.155s slower than Rosberg’s earlier effort.
Last year’s Austrian GP poleman Felipe Massa was fourth fastest for Williams, while Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nico Hulkenberg superbly split Massa from his Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas by recording the fifth fastest time for Force India.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen shaded Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat by less than a tenth of a second to post the seventh fastest time, as behind him Sauber’s Felipe Nasr recorded his best qualifying result since April’s Chinese GP by going ninth fastest.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus failed to set a time in Q3, after a suspected brake by wire problem forced him back into the pits early on.
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado missed out on the top-10 shootout by 0.187s as track conditions improved in Q2, while Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber, the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz, and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull qualified on the same tenth of a second in 12th, 13th and 14th but some way adrift of their respective team-mates, who all made Q3.
Sainz complained of traffic on his fast lap, while Ricciardo briefly ran off the road at Turn 3 before failing to make the top-10 shootout for the first time this season.
Fernando Alonso managed to squeak his McLaren-Honda through to Q2, but the MP4-30’s lack of power left him adrift of the rest in 15th.
Improving track conditions throughout a Q1 that began damp meant laptimes tumbled as the session reached its climax, creating the potential for upsets.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the highest-profile scalp in this segment, the Finn missing the Q2 cut by 0.359s and winding up 18th fastest, much to his own surprise over team radio.
Force India’s Sergio Perez also missed out, just 0.014s slower than Alonso’s McLaren at the death, while Alonso’s team-mate Jenson Button had been fastest at one point, before slipping back to 17th at the end.
Roberto Merhi outqualified his team-mate Will Stevens, who went off early on in the wetter conditions, by more than 1.3 seconds as the Manor Marussias again qualified slowest of all 20 cars.
Both McLarens and both Red Bulls will be hit with grid penalties for unscheduled engine changes this weekend, so will drop to the back of the grid when it is finalised.
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.278s||0.823s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m09.612s||1.157s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.465s||–|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.522s||–|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m09.694s||–|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m10.482s||–|
Note: Kvyat, Ricciardo, Alonso and Button all have penalties
Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP3 before rain hits
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was quickest in final Formula 1 practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, with rain mid-session preventing the leading teams from completing qualifying simulations.
The four-time world champion clocked a 1m09.994 on the soft compound tyres, 0.017s quicker than Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen third in the other Ferrari.
With rain a distinct possibility for qualifying, several drivers went out on the full wet tyre when rain hit halfway through the session – although Hamilton was the only one of the frontrunners not to do so.
A number were caught out by the slippery conditions, with Vettel running off track at Turn 2 before recovering while Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz spun down at Turn 6.
Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg traded times at the top of the timesheets in the early part of the session before Vettel usurped them both.
Hamilton was on course to reclaim top spot, having clocked the fastest first and second sectors, but he ran wide after getting out of shape in the final corner.
Drivers were told rain was expected at the midpoint of the one-hour session, with Force India’s Sergio Perez – who had a puncture that Pirelli said was rim-related early on – reacting immediately.
The Mexican clocked the fourth fastest time on super-softs, but before Mercedes and Ferrari could get out on track on the softer tyre, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso brought out the red flag when he stopped on the pit straight.
As the marshals cleared Alonso’s car, which is heavily upgraded this weekend but will incur a penalty of at least 20 places due to engine component changes, rain began to fall.
Both Mercedes and Ferrari queued up at the end of the pitlane on the super-soft tyres, but by the time they headed out, the rain had intensified.
Rosberg and Raikkonen skated off track but kept their respective cars out of the barriers before retreating back to the pits.
Rosberg ended up fifth fastest, three tenths slower than team-mate Hamilton, ahead of the Williams’ of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was eighth with Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg – who said on Friday that it took him some time to get used to driving the car following his victory at Le Mans, was 11th with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson’s 12th.
Sainz was 13th, and was told by his engineer that he was the fastest car on the wet tyre in the closing stages, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Alonso.
Daniel Ricciardo had a quiet session in the other Red Bull, managing just 10 laps for 16th, but that was two more than Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completed in 17th.
McLaren’s Jenson Button was 18th, with the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi bringing up the rear.
|4||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||0.227s||14|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||0.442s||23|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.015s||14|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.145s||18|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.145s||14|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.825s||10|
Kimi Raikkonen: We learned from our mistakes
“The car has been feeling good all weekend. We had no problems, apart from the one Sebastian had in qualifying, and everything ran smoothly. We have been making sure that all the small details were correct, we have learned from the past difficult races how small things can make a big change and enable you to get the result you want .We still have some work ahead, obviously we are not happy to finish third in the grid but in the race we’lll try to do better.
It’s hard to say what will happen tomorrow but at least we did a better qualifying than normal and we’ll be in a better position for the race. So far it has been ok but tomorrow is the big day. I expect that we can be stronger and challenge for a competitive race . The weather has been tricky these days, so it will be a bit of uncertain tomorrow. Tonight we are going to analyse a lot of data and will try to make the right decisions”.
Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton comfortably beats Nico Rosberg to pole
Lewis Hamilton comfortably defeated Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to claim pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel failed to escape Q1.
Rosberg described the conclusion to his session as "rubbish", as he ended up second best to Hamilton by three tenths of a second.
The Mercedes drivers were the only ones to lap below 1m15s around Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and Hamilton’s 1m14.393s best on their first runs in Q3 stood as pole when neither he nor Rosberg improved on their second attempts.
With Vettel relegated to 16th place thanks to a suspected MGU-H problem, Kimi Raikkonen was the sole Ferrari representative in Q3.
The 2007 world champion had a big moment exiting Turn 4 on his best lap but it was still good enough for third on the grid.
Fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas managed a big improvement on his final run to join Raikkonen on row two for Williams and edge out the impressive Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg produced his best qualifying effort of the season to qualify seventh, comfortably beating both Red Bulls and team-mate Sergio Perez, who rounded out the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat got the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by less than a tenth to be best of the Red Bulls in eighth.
Carlos Sainz Jr was highest placed of those to miss out on the top-10 shootout by just 0.036s in a tight fight in Q2.
The Toro Rosso driver looked on to squeak into Q3 by splitting the Red Bulls until a late improvement by Kvyat.
The sister Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen was 12th fastest, but the Dutch teenager will start last on account of a 15-place grid drop for a combination of driving standards and engine penalities.
Verstappen was just 0.017s faster than Marcus Ericsson, who was 13th fastest and well clear of Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr.
The Spaniard fell just 0.016s shy of beating both in the end and was over three tenths clear of Nasr, who qualified 15th fastest after crashing heavily in final free practice. Sauber managed to repair his car for him to join in halfway through Q1.
Jenson Button’s engine problem in final practice forced him to skip qualifying, which meant only four cars were eliminated in Q1.
Vettel swore over the radio when Ferrari told him his sole run in Q1 was only good enough for 16th spot, over three tenths adrift of Alonso’s McLaren as he limped around significantly down on power.
Felipe Massa was the other shock loser in this segment, half a second further back.
The Brazilian complained of a lack of power from his Williams’s Mercedes engine and he could do no better than 17th.
The Manor Marussias were predictably the slowest of the cars that ran in this session.
Roberto Merhi was best of the two for the first time this season with a time just 0.024s faster than team-mate Will Stevens.
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m15.614s||1.221s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.079s||1.686s|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.114s||1.721s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.338s||1.945s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.042s||–|
|19||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.245s||–|
Canadian GP: Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes fastest between red flags
Nico Rosberg topped the times in final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, as two red flags limited running for the second successive session.
Teams had been hoping to gather crucial long-run data on the super-soft tyre after rain washed out more than half of second practice on Friday.
So drivers headed out onto the Montreal circuit early, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen setting the opening pace.
But the action was halted for 10 minutes when Felipe Nasr crashed heavily on the long straight as he appeared to weave aggressively in a bid to generate tyre temperature.
The Brazilian climbed out of the Sauber unscathed, but was taken to the circuit medical centre as a precaution.
There was significant damage to the front end of the car, leaving Nasr’s mechanics with a race against time to get the car ready for qualifying.
The session restarted with a little over 10 minutes remaining, with drivers bolting on the super-soft tyres to do a qualifying simulation.
But it was disrupted again when McLaren’s Jenson Button stopped at Turn 7 to being out the second red flag of the session.
Rosberg was able to get a super-soft run in to go fastest, but his team-mate Lewis Hamilton was not so successful after making a mistake on his first lap.
The session was not restarted after Button’s problem, which meant Rosberg’s time of 1m15.660s was the quickest time of the morning while Hamilton propped up the timesheets having not managed a single clean flying lap between mistakes and stoppages.
With so many drivers unable to complete a super-soft tyre run, teams will have limited data going into qualifying.
Raikkonen was second quickest overall for Ferrari, ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
Force India’s Sergio Perez managed a super-soft run to end up fifth, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat sixth and Williams’s Felipe Massa seventh.
Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jr and Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10.
Fernando Alonso managed just three laps after missing most of the session while McLaren fitted the fourth and final Honda engine of his allocation.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES:
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.993s||1.333s||16|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.021s||1.361s||19|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.396s||1.736s||25|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.876s||2.216s||14|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.892s||2.232s||18|
|16||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.492s||2.832s||18|
Kimi Raikkonen says Monaco GP F1 qualifying was “a disaster”
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen said his Monaco Grand Prix qualifying was a “disaster” as his disappointing form over one lap this season continued.
The Finn has struggled to put together a tidy lap in qualifying this year and he is the only driver in 2015 to have not out-qualified his team-mate at least once.
Raikkonen will start Sunday’s race from sixth, having finished 1.3s off pole and six tenths adrift of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who starts third.
“It was a bad result in the end as it’s difficult to overtake here,” said Raikkonen. “It’s not a very happy day.
“It’s going to be a long race if I’m stuck behind some cars, but I’ll try to get the maximum out of it.
“We had no grip on the first set [for the first run]. The second run felt normal but I had traffic.
“It was a disaster. The car felt OK but it was difficult to get heat in the tyres.”
Raikkonen hit the wall at Ste Devote in third practice but he insisted that had no impact on his performance in qualifying.
However, he said the team must get to the bottom of his qualifying struggles because it is making life in the race more difficult than it needs to be.
“We seem to manage to get it wrong every race,” he said. “We have to work on something to try and improve it.
“We don’t put ourselves in very good position for Sunday.
“It makes our races difficult when you start behind because you spend time trying to get past cars and then you drop out the fight in front.”
Ferrari looked strong in final practice, with Vettel topping the timesheets, but the temperatures dropped before qualifying which hindered the Scuderia.
But despite failing to prevent a Mercedes front row lock-out, Vettel is hopeful the team will be closer in the race.
“With higher temperatures, it could have been closer,” said Vettel.
“As it stands, we were quite far away again but tomorrow, we should be a bit closer.
“We have not been able to do long runs, no one has, but the car feels good round here.
“The start will be important. I’m starting on the inside so it gives me the possibility of a good start.”
Lewis Hamilton takes Monaco GP Formula 1 pole for first time
Lewis Hamilton comfortably claimed pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, as his Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg’s qualifying challenge went awry.
The two Mercedes drivers were once again well clear of the rest of the field on pure pace and thus engaged in an exclusive battle for the top spot.
Hamilton trailed Rosberg by nearly four tenths of a second after Q2, but reversed the positions by just over a tenth of a second after their first runs in the top-10 shootout.
Hamilton found even more time on his final run in Q3, while Rosberg abandoned his after locking up heavily at Sainte Devote.
That left Hamilton 0.342 seconds clear in claiming his first pole position in Monte Carlo.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was the only other driver to lap below 1m16s as he secured third spot on the grid, just under two tenths of a second ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who also failed to improve on his second run in Q3.
Team-mate Daniil Kvyat did find time on his second run to place fifth, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Force India’s Sergio Perez hustled the VJM08 to a superb seventh spot, just ahead of Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado and Max Verstappen, who all ended up on the same tenth in eighth, ninth and 10th.
Romain Grosjean failed to join his Lotus team-mate Maldonado in the top 10 shootout, after locking up at the second part of the Swimming Pool on his quickest lap in Q2.
An expected five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change ahead of the event means he should start 16th for Sunday’s race.
McLaren-Honda was confident of getting both cars through to Q3 for the first time this season, but neither made the cut in the end.
Fernando Alonso’s car suffered a suspected electrical problem before he could complete a flying lap in Q2, while team-mate Jenson Button was less than a tenth of a second away from making the top 10, something he described as "painful" when he learned of his fate, having had to slow for yellow flags (after Rosberg locked up and went off at Sainte Devote) on his final flying lap.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was lucky to get away with striking the wall at Mirabeau in Q1 and ended up 13th fastest overall, just under 0.2s adrift of team-mate Perez.
Williams struggled badly in Monaco, with Felipe Massa winding up 14th fastest while team-mate Valtteri Bottas ended up being the highest-profile casualty in Q1.
The Finn was more than six tenths of a second away from making the cut and wound up 17th fastest, between the Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.
The Manor/Marussias were over two seconds further back in filling the final row of the grid.
Will Stevens was three tenths faster than team-mate Roberto Merhi through the first sector of their quickest laps, which proved crucial in the final reckoning.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.041s||0.943s|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.182s||1.084s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.808s||1.710s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.957s||1.859s|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.193s||–|
|20||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.931s||–|
* Grosjean has a five-place penalty
Monaco GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest in final practice for Ferrari
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets in third and final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The German put a brilliant lap together in the closing stages to clock a 1m16.143s as Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were scrappy on their qualifying simulations.
Rosberg ended the session 0.218 seconds adrift of Vettel, with Hamilton a further three tenths further back on the streets of Monte Carlo.
After rain washed out most of second practice, teams wasted no time sending their drivers out on track to make up for lost time and gather crucial data for qualifying and the race.
Mercedes ran a different programme from most of its rivals, sending Hamilton and Rosberg straight out on the super-softs that could not be tried on Thursday while everyone else – except for Manor – focused on running the softs.
Hamilton and Rosberg did 10 laps on the super-soft rubber, performing cool-down laps in between each flying lap, with the German unable to get closer than half-a-second to the Briton.
The session was red-flagged just before the half-hour mark when Kimi Raikkonen glanced the barriers at Sainte Devote.
Quick work from the marshals meant the session was back under way a couple of minutes later, but several drivers’ super-soft tyre runs were disrupted as a result.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, the field turned its attention to qualifying-simulations on the super-soft tyres.
Hamilton was one of a number of drivers who complained about a lack of grip, with his team informing him that his tyre temperatures were a little high, and he was unable to improve on his earlier time.
And though Rosberg made a slight improvement and got ahead of Hamilton, it wasn’t enough to beat Vettel, who hooked up three impressive sectors to finish top of the pile.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest, nearly a second off the pace, with Carlos Sainz Jr continuing Toro Rosso’s good form this weekend with fifth.
Raikkonen was sixth quickest, having been unable to return to the track after his crash, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Max Verstappen, who has been impressive so far considering he had not raced in Monaco before this weekend, briefly went fourth quickest on the super-softs.
But next time around, he clipped the barrier at the final corner and ultimately finished ninth, with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was 11th, ahead of the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, Nico Hulkenberg in the second Force India and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
Williams, currently third in the constructors’ championship, never challenged the top of the timesheets with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa down in 15th and 16th respectively, two seconds off the pace.
The Saubers were fastest in the speed trap but struggled for overall pace. Felipe Nasr was 17th and Marcus Ericsson, who got his braking wrong at Ste Devote and went down the escape road, 18th.
Will Stevens was 4.950s off the pace in the Manor-run Marussia in 19th but finished more than a second clear of team-mate Roberto Merhi.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.120s||0.977s||26|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.256s||1.113s||39|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.471s||1.328s||28|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.788s||1.645s||23|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.832s||1.689s||30|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.102s||1.959s||32|
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.”