Sebastian Vettel: Image of Kimi Raikkonen’s F1 form is ‘distorted’
Sebastian Vettel believes the image of Kimi Raikkonen’s Formula 1 form in recent years is distorted and that their Ferrari team-mate battle is not as "one-sided as you might think".
Vettel has won 10 grands prix since joining Ferrari for the 2015 season but Raikkonen is still searching for his first victory since returning to the team the year before.
Raikkonen has started this season in brighter fashion, shadowing Vettel in the drivers’ championship and keeping Ferrari just ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ battle.
Asked by Autosport if he had noticed a new level of performance from Raikkonen this year, Vettel said: "I think one thing is always to look at the result and the other is if you look a little bit deeper.
"It’s been incredibly close this year so far. To be honest, most of the Fridays I think he had the upper hand so far.
"Here and there I was struggling to understand the car and feel the car. Knowing him, knowing his strength, he’s incredibly talented and able to drive around problems.
"If you look at the previous years the image is a bit distorting. It wasn’t as one-sided as you might think if you look at the results."
Raikkonen is dominated by Vettel in every major statistical comparison of their time as team-mates.
But he was Ferrari’s strongest challenger in Australia before a mid-race virtual safety car handed Vettel the win, and would have four podiums from four races had Ferrari not botched a pitstop in Bahrain.
Asked by Autosport if he agreed that the picture of his form was distorted, Raikkonen said: "The end result matters. The rest doesn’t really count.
"The people that we work with know what’s happening and what’s not.
"I don’t really care if people think you are slow. I know what we are doing."
Raikkonen scored his best result of the season with second in last weekend’s dramatic Baku race despite pitting for a new front wing after a first-lap collision.
He said he did not consider it payback for the misfortune that compromised him in earlier races.
"I don’t count on luck," he said. "You get what you deserve in a way.
"I’m more happy that I have the speed. That’s the main thing.
"We just need to put it together and I’m sure that we can do even better."
Raikkonen’s improved form means another one-year extension is not out of the question for the 38-year-old.
Speculation has linked Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to the second Ferrari seat but pairing the Australian with Vettel again would present the team with a very different dynamic after their 2014 battle at Red Bull.
Vettel said of Raikkonen: "We’re a good pair, a good match. There’s no problem at all between us, ever.
"I think that’s a really big bonus for the team and for us to just enjoy our job."
Presentata a Maranello la nuova Ferrari SF71H
Con una presentazione online pubblicata sul proprio sito ufficiale e su tutti i canali social, Ferrari ha svelato il disegno della nuova SF71-H, vettura con cui Kimi Raikkonen e Sebastian Vettel andranno all’assalto del prossimo mondiale di Formula Uno. La Scuderia di Maranello, come da previsione, ha scelto di non portare avanti una rivoluzione, migliorando un pacchetto già di base ottimo come quel del 2017.
Mattia Binotto e lo staff di Simone Resta hanno confermato il toto la configurazione del muso, ripresentando il bulbo sull’anteriore della vettura. Tantissimo lavoro sulle pance (Ferrari ha ridotto gli ingombri della power unit, creando una linea molto “filante”.ndr) e sui deflettori laterali. Oltre alle novità sotto il cofano, infatti, la Scuderia di Maranello ha cercato di migliorare l’efficienza aerodinamica, spingendo soprattutto sulle aree poco performanti del 2017. Confermato il layout delle bocche d’aerazione e della pinna, anche se, come per tutte le vetture fin qui presentate, quest’ultima segue la corda del cofano e appare meno voluminosa.
Per quanto riguarda la livrea, invece, Ferrari ha scelto di abbandonare totalmente il bianco, riportando un rosso simil a quello del biennio 2007/2008. L’effetto cromatico rende la vettura davvero accattivante e la novità del grigio, presente in nella pinna posteriore, da un effetto gradevole all’occhio umano. Da notare che la Ferrari ha scelto di verniciare l’Halo, mettendolo il linea con l’intera grafica della vettura.
Confermato il sistema push rod all’anteriore e il pull rod al posteriore. Ricordiamo che Sebastian Vettel e Kimi Raikkonen avranno l’opportunità di provare in pista la vettura già giorno 25 febbraio per una sessione di filming day. La Scuderia preparerà l’auto in previsione della prima giornata di test pre-season a Barcellona.
Vettel: Raikkonen’s lack of politics makes him best team-mate
Sebastian Vettel says Kimi Raikkonen is the best team-mate he has ever had in Formula 1 because the Finn does not try to play political games.
Vettel has not always got on well with team-mates, having famously clashed several times with Mark Webber at Red Bull.
He and Raikkonen collided at the start of the Singapore GP earlier this season, but only because the German moved across to defend from Max Verstappen.
The four-time world champion has formed a strong working relationship with Raikkonen during their three years together at Maranello, where he has comfortably asserted himself as the lead driver.
They will remain team-mates for at least next season, with Vettel signing a new deal through to 2020 and Raikkonen extending his stay at Ferrari to the end of 2018.
Asked by Autosport in an exclusive interview what sort of team-mate he prefers, Vettel said: "It’s not your decision – and I don’t think it should be. So I don’t mind.
"Obviously it makes it a lot easier if you have somebody who you are working with that you feel the respect.
"You know, many times people tend to make things much more complicated than they are, especially in Formula 1, so it’s good if you can work with somebody where there are no politics or no confusions or anything.
"In this regard Kimi is probably the best team-mate that I had. He is pretty straightforward, but I also got along well with Daniel [Ricciardo].
"Then with Mark [Webber], obviously at times we had our differences.
"Also I have to say we were different generations, so we probably from the start were not that close, but that is how it is."
Having relished his switch to Ferrari since joining at the start of 2015, Vettel says that satisfaction for him these goes beyond pure results.
"I am very happy and honoured to race for Ferrari," he said. "But I want to win. Do I measure happiness in success? Probably not.
"But what makes me happy is if I can get out of the car and say that I’ve done everything I could and I’m happy with my own performance
"I think it makes me extremely happy to see that, to have the team behind me, to see that we are all together as one team.
"And apart from the racing side, obviously all the challenges that I have at home."
Sebastian Vettel: Kimi Raikkonen was ‘a lot faster’ in Hungarian GP
Hungarian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel has admitted Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was "a lot faster" than him as he struggled with steering problems.
Vettel realised on the grid that his car’s steering was not right, but he hung on ahead of Raikkonen and the Mercedes to take a win that rebuilt his F1 championship lead over fourth-placed finisher Lewis Hamilton to 14 points.
Though Raikkonen repeatedly told Ferrari over the team radio that he was faster, they maintained position throughout.
"Kimi had good pace and could go a lot faster than me for the majority of the race," Vettel acknowledged.
He said the steering problem had worsened through the grand prix.
"It was a tough one. I was hoping for a bit more of a quiet afternoon," said Vettel.
"I felt already there was something not right when we dropped the car on the grid.
"The steering wheel was not on straight. It didn’t feel right and then it got worse.
"I did try to adapt, I knew you could not change it, and then I tried to save the rears.
"We spoke a little bit on the radio about it, talking through the problem.
"They told me to avoid the kerbs but on a track where you use the kerbs, it compromises your performance.
"In the second stint I wanted to make sure I could use the tyres so I was holding back.
"In the end I was pretty well flat out and they were behind me queuing.
"It is good you cannot overtake around his track. I had no room for error."
Raikkonen had challenged Vettel at the start but was then stuck behind him for the rest of the race.
"Our starts were pretty similar and I got a tow effect and with a team mate I am not going to force the issue at the first corner," said Raikkonen.
"We’re going to fight but fight fair, but since that moment there is not an awful lot you can do.
"We were pretty safe stint on the first stint as we pulled away from Mercedes and then I caught up at the end of the stint.
"I had the whole race following Sebastian and hoping he goes as fast as he can and not saving tyres, as the Mercedes was catching me."
Hamilton closed on the two Ferraris in the closing stages, but Raikkonen said he never felt under real pressure.
"I was not too worried because car was handling well," he said.
"I could follow [Vettel] very well.
"But it wasn’t ideal because I felt I had the speed and I was stuck in the middle."
Q: Kimi, there’s huge Finnish support here, maybe a couple of words of Finnish for your fans before we got to English…
Kimi Raikkonen: Oh, I think they all understand English. Obviously great support, unfortunately I couldn’t give them the win. We had a one-two as a team, so I had a great car today, but obviously when you… I had a mistake yesterday in qualifying. I got a good start but I didn’t want to force the issue and obviously after that just kept following the 71 laps. Not ideal, obviously I want to win, but it’s great for the team.
Q: You have been very consistent on this race track, this is your eighth podium here. Sadly, six of those have been second place. Clearly you had the speed today; it’s just impossible to overtake on this circuit…
KR: Yeah, the other guy has to do quite a big mistake or have some issue. It’s not easy to overtake and especially with team-mates you take more care. But at least they are still happy – that’s the main thing.
Q: Kimi, how do you feel after that one? You’ve said that you had a very good car, do you think you had the pace to win this grand prix?
KR: Yeah, definitely. But obviously… I had a pretty decent start, our starts were pretty similar but obviously I get the tow effect and braked slightly later but obviously I’m not going to force the issue in the first corner. We’re going to fight, but we’re going to fight fair. Since that moment there is not an awful lot you can do. I had a very good car today, like it was yesterday, but obviously my mistake didn’t help. The biggest chance was in the start and then took it quite easily at the beginning and my car was handling well and I was closing up. We were pretty on the safe side in the first stint because we pull away from Mercedes and then I catch up with Sebastian again in the end of the first stint but once he went in I had very good speed, I could have stayed longer out. I guess there are reasons – maybe the Mercedes they stopped earlier and they fresh tyres so… Anyhow, the whole race, basically, following Sebastian and hoping that he goes as fast as he can but not saving tyres because then there was a Mercedes catching me. Once you are in the middle it’s a bit awkward place, because if you get a bad exit in the last corner or something the guy behind you with the DRS might get you with a good run but actually maybe once when I got a little bit sideways. I must say the car was great today. I was just, basically, following my own rear wing, same looking at least. Obviously I want to win but great for the team.
And Kimi, that pressure from Mercedes?
KR: I was really not too worried. Obviously I talk with the team in the radio but I was not too worried because my car was handling so well. Even though I was very close, the whole race, to Sebastian, my car was still very good and no issue with the tyres. I could follow very well through the last corners. I had only one… two times a small issue in the second-last corner and then in the last corner pushed a bit too much, really the only time my car snapped, even once. But it wasn’t ideal, obviously, because I felt I had speed and I was stuck in the middle because then it’s always… we know how fast they can be on the straights sometimes, Mercedes. I also felt pretty comfortable because my car was so good that I didn’t really… once there was traffic or something and I dropped a little bit back, I could just speed up and make the gap before the last few corners. So, that was just… to know what we were going to do because I could have slowed down in the first part and speed up in the last part. It helped me a bit. Not a big worry.
Q: (Péter Vámosi – Vas Népe) Question to both Finnish drivers. Are you interested in a day competing in the Race of Champions as Team Finland? Mostly the question is for Kimi as you had opportunities with testing Peugeot at World Endurance Racing, NASCAR, whatever, so you have really tried out many cars. And Valtteri, what are you interested in more; to compete in Race of Champions or Stars and Cars?
KR: I’ve been asked to be there many times but I always said that once they go back to how it started with rally cars and then the proper circuit with the two lines, with the gravel and asphalt, I’ll be in – but before that, forget it. It’s not… it’s a show, that’s it.
Q: (István Simon – Auto Magazin) Question to Kimi. Had President Marchionne not been here today, would you have tried a proper overtaking manoeuvre against Sebastian? Because you’re car has been obviously faster today…
KR: No, it makes no difference. Obviously we know as team-mates what we have to do and like I said, I had a pretty good run into the first corner on the first lap but being team-mates… we can fight but we probably leave a bit more space and not going to force the issue as maybe against somebody else. At the end it was obviously for a one-two and I can only look what I did yesterday and complain to myself I was not in a very good chance to win the race – but nevertheless my car was good and, as I said, we had a plan as a team and, y’know, it was a fair game. Seb was yesterday first and he got away first and obviously the aim was whichever way we finish we’re going to finish one-two. That’s the aim. No difference would the president be here or not. To be honest I haven’t seen him – apart from podium. Haven’t had time so far today…
Q: (Ysef Harding – Xiro Xone News) This is for Kimi and Valtteri: after speaking with a number of Finnish fans last night who were very passionate about you guys, and finding out that saunas are a thing in Finland, they asked me to ask you guys what you plan to do for the break and how will you celebrate being on the podium today?
KR: Obviously we have the test on Wednesday so from that point there’s not an awful lot of plans. The biggest plan is to be with the family; obviously we have some time and spend time with them. We have to travel an awful lot so it’s great to have some freedom now.
Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press) We are in a unique situation in which the three podium finishers don’t have a contract for next year as far as we know. Is this going to be a priority for the next four weeks or are you happy to sort it out later in the season?
KR: No different than any year. It’s not really my decision. For the team knows what is my preferred option and then see what happens.
Q: Kimi, you have a great record at Spa; do you think Ferrari can challenge Mercedes there?
KR: For sure there are some circuits that fit us better because there are areas that we have to improve, probably especially for qualifying, the Mercedes has better horsepower but it depends on so many things. It’s not just purely that you look at the layout of the circuit – ah this is going to be good for us and this is going to be… The tyres… We can’t have it which conditions there are going to be and a lot of small things which will make a difference. Let’s have a holiday first and see what happens at Spa but obviously if you purely look now, you would say it’s not going to be as easy for us as here but obviously we try to improve and we are going to do our best.
Q: (Zsolt Godina – F1vilag) Kimi, do you feel that you could have done a better job with the strategy with the pit stop with a possible longer first stint to win this race?
KR: I wondered it but obviously I had no idea what was happening behind us when Mercedes stopped before us and then Valtteri went a lot faster with the fresh tyres so the team asked me to come in. I had good speed on the in lap so I wanted to stay longer but I have to trust what the team is telling me and obviously they see the big picture so… We got close but it’s OK.
Ferrari’s Vettel: Raikkonen has not had deserved results in F1 2017
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen has not had the results his performances so far this season have deserved, according to his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
While Vettel leads the championship after four grands prix, having won two races and twice finished second, Raikkonen has managed just one podium and is already 37 points adrift.
Raikkonen was fourth in Australia and finished more than 40 seconds adrift of his German team-mate in fifth in China, prompting Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne to say he wanted talks about the Finn’s form.
He recovered from a bad start to finish fourth in Bahrain and ahead of the Russian Grand Prix said "everything is fine" regarding his relationship with Marchionne before delivering his best weekend of the season where he finished third, just over 11 seconds behind Vettel.
Four-time champion Vettel was sympathetic to Raikkonen’s early struggles and believes his fortunes will improve as the year goes on.
"He probably didn’t have the races he deserved," said Vettel.
"In Bahrain obviously the start, the first lap cost him a lot, otherwise I’m sure he would’ve been on the podium.
"I see exactly what happens and things didn’t go 100% in his direction so far but I don’t think there’s any doubt inside the paddock that he’s one of the most talented drivers we have.
"I don’t think anybody else could go to WRC and perform at the level he did, just come back and be right up to the pace again.
"I don’t think there’s anyone who doubts his skills or his talent but, as I said, you need to have a lot of things coming your way.
"If you look back last year, I had some races where things didn’t come [my] way – it’s up and down but usually throughout the season it sort of equals out."
Raikkonen believes things can get better if Ferrari improves the "small details" given the close margins between the top four drivers.
"I think I have had a little bit of a rough start to the season," said Raikkonen.
"It’s far from ideal but the weekend [in Sochi] has been a step forward.
"We have been more happy with how things have been running but we still only finished third.
"We keep trying and keep improving and I’m sure we’ll get there, but the small details have to be exactly there and then you will get the first place.
"The four or five of us are very close most of the time, so it’s the small differences that make a big difference in the end."
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.
Singapore GP: Ferrari’s Raikkonen tipping three-team fight for pole
Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful Ferrari will be in a three-way fight with Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull for the Singapore Grand Prix pole.
Raikkonen finished Friday 0.275 seconds behind pacesetter Nico Rosberg as the top four, which included the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, were separated by just 0.4s.
"This morning was a bit tricky but the afternoon was quite decent," said Raikkonen, who was unusually upbeat after the two sessions.
"If you have a good feeling with the car, it makes all the difference around here.
"The afternoon was nice, it was quite easy and the lap time came. So far, so good."
Only at Monaco has a Mercedes driver not claimed pole position this year, but the Finn believes it could all be up for grabs on Saturday.
When asked whether Ferrari would be fighting with Mercedes and Red Bull, Raikkonen said: "Hopefully yes.
"We had a good feeling and it feels like we can do something this weekend but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
"We’ll see. Hopefully we’ll be there."
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel, polesitter and winner in Singapore last year, finished the day in fifth.
The German accepted the blame for simply not putting a good lap together but echoed Raikkonen’s positivity ahead of qualifying.
"My lap wasn’t good enough," he said. "Kimi had a very good lap.
"I wasn’t entirely happy, I was struggling a bit with the car balance and therefore not really finding the rhythm, but all in all it’s been a good day.
"Tomorrow is important – it’s very difficult to pass here so we try to trim everything towards qualifying.
"If we get everything right, it will be very tight but we have a good chance to position the car well."
Speaking about the pace of rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, Vettel said: "Both looked very strong.
"Mercedes is the favourite and we are in the same boat as Red Bull."
Kimi pleased with handling “but it’s only Friday”
“The first practice session was tricky, I struggled a little bit, but the second practice was good: everything worked and the car was handling pretty well. Here in Singapore, if you get the car right, it’s a lot easier to go faster. Today we had quite a good feeling, but for sure there is still something to improve. It’s hard to say if we can be strong, it’s only Friday, but the feeling was positive. So far so good, but tomorrow is another day, we’ll see where everybody is and then we’ll go from there. We’ll give our best and hopefully we have the speed to challenge our rivals.”