Mercedes’ Russell ends Hungary F1 test on top with unofficial record
Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell ended the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test with the fastest time and a new unofficial circuit lap record.
Russell’s first day at the Hungaroring was compromised by a gearbox problem but he hit back with a 103-lap Wednesday and beat Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to top spot.
Raikkonen led the way in the morning before he and Russell traded fastest times at the beginning of the afternoon.
Russell, the 2014 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, first hit the summit with a 1m16.050s, which Raikkonen quickly toppled with a 1m15.805s.
But the Mercedes driver was able to improve again on hypersofts to a 1m15.575s to edge Antonio Giovinazzi’s Tuesday benchmark by less than a tenth.
Russell’s effort was almost 0.6 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel’s lap record, set last Saturday during FP3 for this year’s grand prix.
Raikkonen appeared at the very end on hypersofts but fell 0.074s short of Russell with his last-gasp effort.
Jake Dennis made it a brace of Award winners in the top three.
The 2012 MABA victor, driving for Red Bull, clocked a 1m17.012s to end the day 1.4s off the pace.
Giovinazzi completed his two days of testing in fourth place, having swapped Ferrari’s SF71H for Sauber’s C37 on Wednesday.
The Italian posted a 1m17.558s on hypersoft tyres, more than half a second quicker than regular Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson managed the day before.
Nikita Mazepin took the undesirable honour of causing red flags either side of lunch, but shot up to fifth with a flying lap on hypersofts right at the end of the day.
After stopping midway through the first session, the GP3 race winner finally emerged an hour and a half into the afternoon’s running.
He got down to a 1m18.732s on hypersofts but then stopped on track again, this time on the exit of Turn 13 and in sight of the pitlane with a small amount of smoke coming from the rear of his car.
He emerged in the last 20 minutes to vault up the order, with his final improvement coming inside the final five minutes and leaving him on a 1m17.748s.
Robert Kubica did not improve on the time that put him second-fastest in the morning, and thus fell to sixth in the final standings. The Pole’s morning effort of 1m8.451s on ultrasofts was faster than the best Williams time in FP3 last Saturday.
Lando Norris was seventh-fastest based on a 1m18.472s set in the final 15 minutes on softs, having avoided serious performance runs.
The McLaren reserve was followed by Renault driver Artem Markelov, who enjoyed multiple hypersoft runs in the afternoon and worked his way up to sixth place, ending up 2.9s off the pace after two late improvements.
Toro Rosso trio Sean Gelael, Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley ended up at the foot of the times.
Gasly and Hartly were conducting Pirelli tyre testing and were four seconds slower, with Gelael focusing on the team’s own programme and 3.4s off the pace.
Kimi conclude i test: quasi 1000 Km in due giorni per la SF71H
Mogyorod – Seconda e ultima giornata di test “in-season” all’Hungaroring. Al volante della SF71H è salito Kimi Raikkonen, mentre Antonio Giovinazzi, che aveva girato ieri, ha avuto a disposizione un altro giorno di test con l’Alfa Sauber. Le temperature si sono mantenute alte, oltre i 35 gradi, e l’asfalto ha toccato i 54 nel corso della giornata.
Ad attendere Kimi un intenso programma di prove, focalizzato su diverse soluzioni di assetto e prove di pneumatici che hanno riguardato cinque mescole: Medium, Soft, Supersoft, Ultrasoft e un set di pneumatici Pirelli sperimentali e per questo non marcati in colore.
A fine giornata, e nonostante diverse interruzioni causate dalle bandiere rosse, Kimi aveva percorso 131 giri, il migliore dei quali con il tempo di 1’15”649 ottenuto con gomme Hypersoft usate (si tratta del set utilizzato ieri da Giovinazzi).
“In fondo non è molto diverso da un venerdì di Gran Premio”, ha commentato il pilota, “quando si fanno esperimenti su soluzioni diverse. Anche per questo, essendo un test, i tempi sul giro non hanno un gran valore”.
Nei due giorni di test, la SF71H ha percorso un totale di 227 giri, pari a 994 Km. Adesso i motori in pista tacciono e alla fine di questa settimana si arresterà quasi totalmente anche l’attività dei team, per riprendere nei giorni precedenti il GP Belgio, l’ultimo weekend di agosto.
Testing ends at Catalunya: 157 laps for Raikkonen
Montmelò, 9 March – The second and final winter test at the Catalunya Circuit has now ended. Today, Kimi Raikkonen was behind the wheel of the SF71H, having recovered, after being indisposed over the past few days. He rattled off 157 laps, the best of them in 1’17”221, set using the Hypersoft tyres. Scuderia Ferrari’s programme included set-up work and a race simulation, running different types of tyre and fuel loads. This was the hottest day of the entire two weeks of testing, with temperatures over 20° and the track around the 37 mark.
“Overall, I feel we have a good package,” was Kimi’s assessment. “For sure the weather at the start of testing wasn’t ideal, but we have finished with a couple of pretty good days. The car gives me a good feeling and, even if there are still a lot of things to improve, its reasonably easy to drive and it reacts to the various set-up changes. However, no one can say where we really are, compared to our rivals. We’ll have a better idea in a couple of weeks in Melbourne and then, in general, after the first few races of the season. I like racing and I can’t wait to start.”
Over the two test sessions, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers covered a total of 929 laps (286 for Kimi and 643 for Sebastian) equivalent to 4324 kilometres.
F1 testing: Raikkonen keeps Ferrari on top on final day at Barcelona
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen ended the final day of Barcelona Formula 1 testing with the fastest time, as McLaren and Renault both made up for lost ground on Friday afternoon.
Raikkonen’s morning effort of 1m17.221s was not threatened in the final afternoon of pre-season running, although a spate of late runs in the final hour did shake up the order behind the Finn.
Daniel Ricciardo was the first to make a big move with 45 minutes of the session to go, jumping up to second in the Red Bull on supersofts, before he was usurped by both Carlos Sainz Jr and Fernando Alonso.
Sainz did not get his day going properly until around two hours were left, after Renault had to replace his RS18’s gearbox, but went second fastest with 30 minutes to run on hypersofts.
But the Spaniard was beaten to the runner-up spot before the end of the day by compatriot Alonso, who was making up for lost time after a turbo issue caused the McLaren to stop on track in the morning and lose over five hours while its Renault power unit was changed.
Using hypersofts, Alonso posted a 1m17.981s to go second and then improved to a 1m17.784s to end the day 0.563 seconds slower than Raikkonen.
Alonso did briefly jump to the top of the times in the final 10 minutes, but had his lap deleted for cutting the final chicane.
He ended the day with a total of 93 laps to his name.
Romain Grosjean was the day’s most productive runner for Haas with a tally of 181 laps, the best of which was good enough for fifth-fastest behind Ricciardo using ultrasofts.
Valtteri Bottas took over testing duties from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon, going sixth fastest on mediums and giving the champion outfit a combined session-topping total of 201 laps.
After his morning spin, Charles Leclerc used hypersofts to move up to ninth in the Sauber behind Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso) and Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) completed the top 10 after handing over to Lance Stroll for the final few hours, with the Canadian again setting the slowest of the day behind Hamilton using softs.
Friday testing times
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.327s||1.106s||92|
|7||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.949s||1.728s||156|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.967s||1.746s||163|
F1 testing: Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo top, McLaren loses time
Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest ever time around the Barcelona circuit on the second day of the final Formula 1 pre-season test, as McLaren missed most of the running.
With the exception of the drivers who only appeared in the afternoon, most focused on performances run in the morning before switching to race simulations later in the day.
That meant Ricciardo’s 1m18.047s, set just after 1pm, remained unbeaten as the rest of Wednesday was dominated by long runs.
Ricciardo’s effort usurped Felipe Massa’s time from 2008 as the fastest lap of this configuration of the Spanish Grand Prix circuit.
The Red Bull driver used the new hypersoft tyre for the first time to overhaul Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, which had topped most of the morning across medium, supersoft and ultrasoft tyre runs.
Hamilton ended up 0.353s adrift on a 1m18.400s on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas taking over for the afternoon and lapping a further 0.160s slower on hypersofts.
Ferrari rejigged its plan and only ran Kimi Raikkonen in the afternoon because the Finn was unwell, so Sebastian Vettel had an unexpected extra morning in the SF71H.
He posted the fourth-best time, 1.494s off the pace on soft tyres, and concentrated mainly on long runs.
Raikkonen only made it as high up the leaderboard as eighth when he emerged, and added just 49 laps to Vettel’s tally of 66 in the process.
Behind Vettel came Brendon Hartley, who improved late on a mixed day in which he had a spin and a stoppage at the pitlane exit but still completed 118 laps.
Toro Rosso driver Hartley posted a 1m19.823s on hypersofts to vault up the order in the closing stages, and give Honda another boost as its old partner McLaren suffered miserable day.
Fernando Alonso was quickest for part of the morning during a very productive opening two hours.
Alonso racked up 47 laps and set a 1m19.856s on hypersoft tyres, but then slowed to a halt on the run to Turn 7 after his Renault-powered MCL33 suffered an oil leak.
An engine change consigned Alonso to the garage for six hours and a half hours, though he emerged in the final 15 minutes to take his final tally to 57 laps.
Alonso ended up a couple of tenths quicker than the works Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr, who completed 88 laps over the first four hours before handing the RS18 to Nico Hulkenberg.
His team-mate was 0.8s slower as he focused on longer runs to rack up an even more impressive tally of 102 laps, making Renault the day’s most productive team.
Those two were split by Romain Grosjean’s Haas, Raikkonen and Lance Stroll, a trio covered by barely a tenth of a second.
Williams, Force India and Sauber did not make an impact on the leaderboard, although Sauber’s Charles Leclerc did bring the meaningful running to an early end when beached his car into the gravel at Turn 12.
The test did resume briefly once it was cleared, but only to complete more FIA-mandated practice starts.
Wednesday test times
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.047s||–||165|
|5||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m19.823s||1.776s||119|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.805s||2.758s||130|
Seb and Kimi share the driving on the second day of testing
Montmelò –It was a bit of an unusual Wednesday at the Catalunya Circuit, as both drivers had a turn behind the wheel of the SF71H. Scuderia Ferrari completed 115 laps, equivalent to a distance of 535 kilometres. Sebastian Vettel did 66 laps in the morning, the German’s best being a 1’19”541. Kimi Raikkonen was only able to drive in the afternoon, feeling unwell and staying in his hotel room until lunchtime. The Finn managed 49 laps, with a fastest time of 1’20”242, as he continued with the programme that had been affected by last week’s bad weather. Both men set their best times on the Soft tyres. Tomorrow, testing continues with Sebastian Vettel driving, so that Raikkonen can make a complete recovery. Kimi will return on Friday, thus bringing the second and final winter test to a close, prior to heading off to Melbourne.
Testing wiped out by bad weather. Ferrari and Kimi take a break
Montmelò –Meteorologically speaking, spring starts tomorrow, but it seems that doesn’t apply to the Catalunya Circuit. The third day of testing was wiped out…following snowfall this morning. And even when it turned to rain in the afternoon, temperatures never reached the sort of numbers required to run a Formula 1 car. Air temperature just crept over two degrees with the track a fraction more.
Come the afternoon, Kimi Raikkonenn and Scuderia Ferrari took the only reasonable decision, namely to write off the day, which under the current regulations cannot be recovered later. Tomorrow, Sebastian Vettel will drive as planned, to round off the first test session. So the SF71H spent the whole day in the garage. There was no point in venturing out, because with such low temperatures, even the Wet tyres would not work properly and furthermore, running would not generate any worthwhile date on how the car was performing.
“Today, it felt more like being in Finland than Spain,” quipped Kimi. “And everyone knows there’s no Formula 1 in my country.” He will be back at the wheel next week, with the T2 session getting underway on Tuesday 6th March, running for four day. This time, the Scuderia Ferrari programme has Sebastian driving on the 6th and 8th, with Kimi getting his turn on Wednesday 7th and Friday 9th, that being the final day of winter testing.
A cold debut for the SF71H with Kimi at the wheel
Montmelò – While Italy is freezing, the Barcelona area is not doing much better, even if the trees are already in blossom here. After a sunny Sunday, which meant that Scuderia Ferrari was able to comfortably complete its Filming Day, the “real” debut for the SF17H took place in plunging temperatures, with rain arriving towards the end of the session. However, by the end of the day, Kimi Raikkonen had completed 80 laps of the Catalunya Circuit, the fastest of them in 1’20”506 on Soft tyres. He worked through the first part of a programme that, over the course of this week, is given over mainly to acquiring data.
“The real problem, the only one today, was the weather,” summarised Kimi. “My first impressions with the new car were OK, but it’s still too early to make any judgement, especially given today’s conditions. These tyres aren’t designed to work at 8 degrees and it was difficult for everyone. As for the rest, our work had nothing to do with lap times and we just ran and changed a few things, trying to understand the car, which doesn’t seem to have any faults. Now we must try and do more kilometres.”
The first long run with the Halo protection fitted over the cockpit went off without any problems. “Compared to the tests we did in previous years, this time the Halo had been conceived as an integral part of the car design, which had not been possible before. I didn’t notice anything different to driving the car without the protection.”
Testing continues tomorrow, with Sebastian Vettel, while it will once again be Kimi’s turn on Wednesday, with Seb then rounding off the first winter test.
F1 testing 2018: Red Bull’s Ricciardo ends Barcelona day one on top
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo ended the first day of 2018 Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona with the fastest time.
Cool temperatures and a late rain shower made for a relatively uneventful afternoon of running, with the top four remaining unchanged from the morning.
It meant Ricciardo ended the day fastest by 0.178 seconds ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who both used medium tyres, with Kimi Raikkonen third for Ferrari on softs.
Nico Hulkenberg completed a top four split by less than four tenths in the Renault, also using mediums in the morning before handing over to Carlos Sainz Jr for the afternoon.
Ricciardo put Red Bull on top of the lap count as well as the timesheets, becoming the only driver to breach triple figures with 105 laps complete.
Renault’s RS18 got closest to breaching the 100-lap mark, with Hulkenberg and Sainz managing 99 between them.
Sainz was fastest of those whose running was restricted to the afternoon in fifth place, ahead of reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, who clocked 25 laps after taking over driving duties from Mercedes team-mate Bottas.
After losing three hours of running in the morning, Fernando Alonso set the fifth fastest time – a 1m21.339s – on a set of super-softs, but later had that effort disallowed for cutting the Turn 14 chicane near the end of the lap.
His second best lap of 1m22.354s instead placed him seventh.
The Spaniard managed 41 laps in the afternoon, bringing his tally to the day up to 51.
Brendon Hartley and Lance Stroll were eighth and ninth fastest on the strength of their times from the morning, while Haas man Romain Grosjean made a modest improvement in the afternoon.
He was 10th fastest, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.
Nikita Mazepin did not run at all in the afternoon after a spin in the morning in Force India’s VJM11 and ended up 12th fastest.
The team reported that a "sensor issue" hindered its morning running, causing brake cooling problems, and by the time it had the situation resolved conditions had deteriorated too much.
Propping up the timesheets was Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin, who took over from team-mate Stroll in the afternoon but did not set a representative time.
Day one times
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m20.179s||–||105|
|8||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m22.371s||2.192s||93|
|12||Nikita Mazepin||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.628s||5.449s||22|
Ferrari’s Raikkonen fastest on first day of Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on day one of the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pirelli Formula 1 tyre test, as Robert Kubica completed his first run in a 2017 Williams.
The Ferrari driver clocked a 1m37.768s on the new-for-2018 hyper-soft tyre to finish 0.298 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who hands over to Max Verstappen on Wednesday.
Raikkonen, who recorded 99 laps, is splitting driving duties with Sebastian Vettel at the test, with the German to take over for the final day on Wednesday.
All of the current race drivers will get at least some running on the 2018 tyres as they are keen to get some mileage on Pirelli’s new range, which will be softer next season.
World champion Lewis Hamilton ended the day third quickest, 0.782s off the pace, after clocking up 136 laps.
Romain Grosjean was fourth for Haas ahead of Fernando Alonso, who crashed during the morning session, damaging the front wing of his McLaren and bringing out a red flag.
The Spaniard got back out again and ended the day with 111 laps on the board.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was sixth, with a tally of 80 laps, ahead of Force India development driver Nikita Mazepin.
Kubica amassed 100 laps in an incident-free session, with a best lap of 1m41.296s to end up ninth quickest.
He finished 1.2s adrift of Lance Stroll, who took over running for the final couple of hours, but the two were believed to be running different programmes.
The Pole will be back in the car for the final couple of hours on Wednesday, with the focus expected to be on performance runs.
Williams is using the test to evaluate whether or not to sign Kubica for next season, alongside Stroll.
Kubica is understood to be favourite for the seat.
Sean Gelael was 10th fastest in the Toro Rosso, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, with Oliver Turvey 11th for McLaren.
McLaren was permitted to run two cars to make up for the loss of running when the recent Pirelli test at Interlagos was cancelled because of security concerns.
All of the day’s fastest times were set on the hyper-soft tyre except for Kubica’s lap, which was completed on the soft tyre.
Kimi Raikkonen: Mercedes’ Abu Dhabi GP dominance ‘a one-off’
The Mercedes Formula 1 team’s dominant pace advantage in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a "one-off", according to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton secured a comfortable one-two for Mercedes at Yas Marina, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finishing 19.330 seconds off the pace in third.
Raikkonen was a further 26s adrift and said his race to fourth was "boring" and like "endurance racing" because the Yas Marina track requires significant fuel-saving.
When asked if he was concerned about the deficit to Mercedes, Raikkonen said: "I don’t think so. It’s just a one-off race.
"Obviously we’ve seen in some other races that one team is stronger than others.
"At the last race of the year obviously we want to do as well as we can but they were strong."
Ferrari looked a match for Mercedes in the 2017 title fight until a turbulent September in which both its cars were eliminated in the Singapore GP start crash and then a run of reliability woes began.
But Ferrari still came from a win-less 2016 to take five GP victories this season.
Raikkonen is optimistic about Ferrari’s chances of challenging next year and going the distance, having just had its best season since 2008.
"Next year, new cars for everybody, new things and I don’t think we should worry too much," he said.
"We always try to improve in all areas and obviously be the fastest and we’re not going to be happy until we are one-two all the time. But it’s not going to be easy.
"For sure [Mercedes] were strong [in Abu Dhabi] but I’m not really worried for next year.
"We had a pretty strong car everywhere [this year]. Obviously some places were stronger than others. Some the other way around.
"We’ll do our job and we have to improve here and there and minimise the issues and apart from that we should be up there."
F1 testing: Raikkonen puts Ferrari on top on final day at Barcelona
Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari ended Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona fastest, despite causing a red flag during the final afternoon.
Following the pattern of the first three days of the second test, the morning’s best times were not beaten in the afternoon session, as the majority of F1 teams turned their focus towards longer runs.
That meant Raikkonen’s morning effort of 1m18.634s, set on super-soft tyres, stood as the best time of the day, as well as overall after eight days of winter testing.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Ferrari however, as Raikkonen caused the first red flag of the afternoon – and the fifth of the day – when he stopped pointing the wrong way on the disused section of track by the chicane complex at the end of the lap.
The SF70H had suffered a problem earlier in the lap, with Raikkonen using the old circuit layout as he cruised back to the pits, only to lock the rears and spin to a halt.
The Finn returned to the track for the final 15 minutes, and completed 111 laps in total.
Max Verstappen stayed second for Red Bull, 0.804 seconds behind Raikkonen on the same tyre, followed by Carlos Sainz Jr, who put Toro Rosso third with a late-morning run on ultra-softs.
The Spaniard was responsible for the sixth and final red flag of the day when the STR12 eased to a stop along the start/finish straight at the start of the last hour.
Valtteri Bottas stayed fourth, a mere 0.005s ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who took over the W08 for the afternoon and posted a best of 1m19.850s using ultra-softs.
Morning times were enough to put Nico Hulkenberg and Force India’s Sergio Perez sixth and seventh, while Hulkenberg’s Renault team-mate Jolyon Palmer slotted into eighth on ultra-softs with a time set in the afternoon
Lance Stroll was ninth for Williams on his final test day before his grand prix debut in Melbourne, topping the lap count with a total of 132 laps.
Romain Grosjean completed the top 10 for Haas, enjoying a smoother afternoon after causing two red flags in the morning, just ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
After a morning disrupted by a pair of electrical problems that also caused red flags, Alonso improved on his best time from the morning with a 1m21.389s on ultra-softs, although he was baulked by Stroll on that particular lap.
The two-time champion ended up with a total of 43 laps to his name, with McLaren again completing fewest laps of any outfit.
Sauber team-mates Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein completed the times, the latter taking over the C36 for the afternoon and ending up just under five seconds off the pace on softs.
1 TESTING RESULTS:
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.438s||0.804s||71|
|3||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m19.837s||1.203s||132|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.116s||1.482s||128|
F1 testing pacesetter Raikkonen believes Ferrari had more speed
Kimi Raikkonen claims he could have gone faster on the final day of Formula 1 testing, despite finishing with the quickest time of the pre-season.
The Ferrari driver became the first and only F1 driver to lap the Barcelona circuit beneath 1m19s in the two weeks of testing, when he posted a 1m18.634s on Friday’s final morning.
He set that time on super-soft tyres, and could not improve on ultra-softs but did crack the 1m19s barrier again.
A day after Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton said Ferrari was "bluffing", Raikkonen admitted there was more speed to extract from his car.
"If we want, we can go faster but that’s not the purpose of the test," said Raikkonen.
"Obviously you try to go as fast as you can whatever we decided to do.
"There’s a lot of things that we can improve and do better, but that’s a part of testing.
"We can be quite pleased with how it felt this morning. It’s one of the better days that we’ve had these two weeks.
"But it’s early days. So far it’s OK but let’s see when the season starts."
Ferrari finished the pre-season having topped four of the eight days, with Mercedes setting the pace on three and Williams one.
Raikkonen’s best lap was 0.676 seconds faster than the fastest from Mercedes, logged by Valtteri Bottas on Wednesday, also on super-softs.
The 37-year-old said the 2017 pre-season had gone much better than last year’s in many ways, although he insisted there was no way to know how competitive Ferrari is.
"I think it was all more or less pretty positive," he said.
"The car has been running well and the feeling since the first day has been pretty good.
"The team has done a good job over the winter preparing the car and making it reliable.
"Compared to a year ago we feel it’s much, much better in many ways, but where we are going to be in the first race I don’t know.
"It’s the same story every winter and we’ll see in three weeks."
Kimi: “Un grazie a tutta la squadra”
10 Mar 2017
“Il feeling c’è, ma è presto per le previsioni”. Un pensiero per Surtees: “Aveva le corse nel sangue”
Montmelò, 10 marzo – “Il feeling con la macchina c’è, ed è la cosa più importante. Siamo stati quasi sempre affidabili in questi test e anche questo è un segno del grande lavoro fatto dalla squadra durante l’inverno. Partiamo da una base più forte rispetto all’anno scorso: ma quanto la macchina sia veloce rispetto alle altre, è veramente troppo presto per dirlo. Forse nemmeno Melbourne darà un quadro preciso al 100 per cento della situazione, perché la prima gara è sempre un po’ particolare. Forse bisognerà aspettare la Cina. In ogni caso ringrazio i ragazzi della squadra, perché sono sempre riusciti a intervenire per risolvere i piccoli problemi che proprio i test servono a risolvere”.
Così Kimi Raikkonen, alla fine della sua seconda giornata che chiude i test invernali sul circuito di Montmelò. 111 giri per lui e la SF70H oggi, in un programma che comprendeva anche una simulazione di gara. La prova è stata interrotta verso le 16 da un problema elettrico, quando mancavano una quindicina di giri al “traguardo”. Riportata ai box, la Ferrari è uscita di nuovo a poco meno di 20 minuti dalla fine delle prove.
Appresa la notizia della morte di John Surtees, campione del mondo F1 1964 con le monoposto del Cavallino, Kimi ha voluto ricordarlo così: “L’ho incontrato un paio di volte, era un tipo ‘easygoing’, con cui era facile andare d’accordo E si capiva che aveva nel sangue la passione per le corse. Sono cose tristi, il mio pensiero va alla sua famiglia”
Nei quattro giorni di prove di questa settimana, la SF70H ha percorso con Kimi e Seb un totale di 488 giri, pari a 2271,64 Km.