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Mattiacci strongly believes in Kimi

Raikkonen & Mattiacci

Watch the full interview with Ferrari team principle Marco Mattiacci by Martin Brundle:

Martin Brundle: Kimi Raikkonen, last time he was at Ferrari, he was basically paid to go rallying. Then he came back and did a great job at Lotus. He’s had a difficult season back here at Ferrari, how do you view his performances?

Marco Mattiacci: “I see this like when you hire a great striker in football and for the first six, seven matches they are not striking and you are waiting and then suddenly they will do an amazing season. I think Kimi, we have seen in Hungary, we have seen even in the last 48 hours (during practice and qualifying at Spa, where he went on to finish fourth, his best result of the season so far) we have seen he is an extremely talented driver.

“I don’t think we did an excellent job in putting him in condition to express the best of him. For sure, he has been suffering a little bit the car that we have for his driving style that he has, but I think it’s a combination of factors that didn’t bring him in the top five, six drivers. But I strongly believe in Kimi.”

MB: Will you have the same driver line-up next year?
MM: “Yeah.”

MB: Unquestioned?
MM: “Yes.”

MB: And maybe 2016 too?
MM: “Listen, I need to think about what is going to be the race tomorrow [in Belgium]. As I said, we have two great drivers. My focus at the moment is to lay down a great strategy to make sure that all the team share the same vision and the will to succeed in an environment that puts them in a condition to be back to the top and getting everybody motivated in a moment that definitely is not the easiest one for Ferrari.”

[ Source: skysports.com ]

BELGIUM GP – RACE RESULTS

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Report – Kimi Raikkonen came very close to a podium finish in the Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track. Having started eighth, the Finn did an excellent job of making the most of every opportunity that came his way in an action-packed race, in which he spent much of the time in third place. Fernando Alonso on the other hand, had a decidedly difficult time of it, eventually finishing eighth.

A problem on Alonso’s F14 T before the start meant the mechanics had to stay on the grid over the time allowed. He managed to get away before the last car passed him and so was able to take up his correct fourth place on the grid. However, because of the rule infringement, the Spaniard was given a 5 seconds stop-go penalty, which he took at the first pit stop.

The opening laps were action packed, as the two Mercedes collided, so that Hamilton had to pit with a puncture and Rosberg struggled with front wing damage. That meant it was all very close at the front, with both Scuderia Ferrari drivers in the mix, as the top six were all within 3 seconds of one another.

Raikkonen was always a front runner, even getting as high as second for a while, spending much of the race in third. However, in the closing stages, Kimi had to give best to the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and settle for fourth, which is nevertheless his best result of the season so far. Alonso paid a heavy price for that 5 second penalty, finding himself locked in battle with Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren who was still in front of Fernando after the second pit stop. That cost the Spaniard a lot of time and in the closing stages he was involved in a four way fight, but had to also give best to Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Jenson Button (McLaren) thus finishing eighth. Daniel Ricciardo took the third win of his career. The next round is at Monza in a fortnight’s time.

Magnussen handed 20-second penalty:

Revised Results:

                                          
Pos Driver                Team                    Time/Gap    
 1. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault        1h24m36.556s
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                +3.383s     
 3. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes       +28.032s    
 4. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                 +36.815s    
 5. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        +52.196s    
 6. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        +54.580s    
 7. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 +1m01.162s  
 8. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes    +1m04.293s  
 9. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m05.347s  
10. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    +1m05.697s  
11. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m11.920s  
12. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes        +1m14.262s  
13. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes       +1m15.975s  
14. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari          +1m22.447s  
15. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          +1m30.825s  
16. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari        -1 lap      
17. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault        -1 lap      
18. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari        -5 laps

Race Results:

Pos Driver                Team                    Time/Gap
 1. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault        1h24m36.556s
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                +3.383s
 3. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes       +28.032s
 4. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                 +36.815s
 5. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        +52.196s
 6. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes        +54.262s
 7. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        +54.580s
 8. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 +1m01.162s
 9. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes    +1m04.293s
10. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m05.347s
11. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    +1m05.697s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m11.920s
13. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes       +1m15.975s
14. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari          +1m22.447s
15. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          +1m30.825s
16. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari        -1 lap
17. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault        -1 lap
18. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari        -5 laps

Retirements

    Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                 38 laps
    Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault            332 lap
    Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault            1 lap
    Andre Lotterer        Caterham-Renault         1 lap


Drivers' championship              Constructors' champiuonship: 

 1. Nico Rosberg         220        1. Mercedes               411          
 2. Lewis Hamilton       191        2. Red Bull/Renault       254      
 3. Daniel Ricciardo     156        3. Ferrari                158
 4. Fernando Alonso      119        4. Williams/Mercedes      150
 5. Valtteri Bottas      110        5. McLaren/Mercedes       111
 6. Sebastian Vettel     98         6. Force India/Mercedes   100
 7. Nico Hülkenberg      69         7. Toro Rosso/Renault     18 
 8. Jenson Button        66         8. Lotus/Renault          8  
 9. Kevin Magnussen      45         9. Marussia/Ferrari       2  
10. Felipe Massa         40        10. Sauber/Ferrari         0  
11. Kimi Räikkönen       39        11. Caterham/Renault       0  
12. Sergio Pérez         31                                        
13. Jean-Éric Vergne     11                                        
14. Romain Grosjean      8       
15. Daniil Kvyat         7       
16. Jules Bianchi        2

QUOTES

Kimi: clean race all I needed – “The race was clean, no issues like in the past, we always had something happen. It was probably the first [clean] race of the year. That helps. We could do our own race, and the result was a bit better. At the last few races we had a better feeling, but a lot of things happened in qualifying and the races. We had some damage on the wings by getting hit by other cars, and it compromises your race because you can’t run your own speed. The main thing is we had a clean race with no issues. We could push. There was still difficulties with the car handling-wise, but we expect that. Sure there are things that we have to improve, but the feeling has been there for a while, it’s just been comprised by the mistakes or things happening to us. Hopefully we start getting more clean weekends. It would make life easier, and probably the results better.”

Raikkonen added that fourth was the best he could achieve today, and that he did not consider himself to be battling with Valtteri Bottas for third place, given the Williams’s superior straightline speed.

“Not much of a fight, really. In a straight line they are much faster. One lap he almost got me, but I could keep him behind, then on the next lap there was no chance. For me, it doesn’t count. We are a bit down on power. For sure we don’t have the horsepower or the engine that they have, and the recovering that they can achieve, and that’s the bigger problem right now. But we’ve improved that, for sure it is better than at the beginning at the year.”

Kimi: we didn’t deserve any better – “We had good races before and the feeling has been better in the last few races but we put ourselves in a very bad position in the last qualifying and the last race. Obviously when you start behind you’re f****d already at that point so there’s not much we can do. [This weekend] the qualifying wasn’t ideal but at least we were up there. We had no problems in the race and it’s probably the first race this year that is a clean race; we didn’t have damage on the car or any other issues so we could just do our own race. The speed wasn’t too bad but this is still not good enough. I don’t think we deserved any better, if we deserved it we would get it but today we missed by a few laps. They were a little bit too fast for us.”

Kimi: not much of a fight – “It was not much of a fight really, I mean in a straight line they are much faster. On one lap he almost caught me and I could keep him behind but the next lap there was no chance. For me it doesn’t count as a fight. This is what happens [when you are slower]. I think we ran the proper downforce we should have to do our maximum speed over the lap and in qualifying conditions, over one lap, it isn’t too bad. But over the race we are suffering more against those cars, they can charge more and have a bigger advantage than over one lap. We don’t have the horsepower in the engine they have but what they can recover compared to us is probably the bigger problem right now.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “We had decided to tackle this race more aggressively, making an early stop to get ahead of the cars that had yet to pit and that meant I was able to stay with the leaders for much of the race. When Bottas in the Williams began to close on me, I knew I didn’t have the speed to defend on the straight and with a few laps to go, he managed to pass me. In general, I’m happy with how this weekend ended. We knew it would not be easy on this circuit, but we did our utmost and for the first time, we managed to have a clean race without any problems. The car has improved and today the pace was good. Fourth place shows we are going in the right direction, but it doesn’t mean we can settle for that. Today, we scored a good number of points, but we are here to win and we will continue to work to reach the top.”

Marco Mattiacci: “At the end of a weekend in which the topic of young drivers was very much in the news, I want to start by congratulating Raffaele Marciello on his first GP2 win and Jules Bianchi for his strong showing in yesterday’s qualifying. As for the race, we are very pleased for Kimi: today, he came close to the podium and scored his best result of the season, a result which sees us maintain third place in the Constructors’ classification. Unfortunately, Fernando’s race was compromised by a problem at the start. Without that, I firmly believe the podium was within his reach. We know we have missed out on a great opportunity, but we will learn from this incident to pay obsessive attention to our procedures, as we strive to improve reliability. The next race will be complicated because top speed is a strong point of the Mercedes-powered teams. We will try and defend with every means available, because the efforts of the team in terms of improving the car are producing encouraging signs.”

Pat Fry: “Fourth and seventh places can’t be seen as satisfactory, especially given that circumstances today meant we could have delivered more as a team. Clearly, Fernando’s penalty, because of a problem with the charge from the external battery we use on the grid, cost him the chance of fighting for a place on the podium and from this incident we must learn to improve our procedures. From then on, his race was compromised and whatever strategy we went for would have seen him in traffic: that’s how it turned out and unfortunately, he suffered a lot behind Magnussen, who could count on better straight line speed. Despite this, Fernando pulled off several overtaking moves and drove a great race. It’s a shame about the contact with Vettel at La Source, which cost him places right at the end. Kimi ran a clean race and we are pleased his feeling with the car is improving. It was precise and he made no mistakes: we came close to a third place with him, which he maybe deserved. Now we will continue to develop the car to give both our drivers an ever more competitive package, even if we have to be realistic when it comes to the rest of the season. Monza will be a very tough race, but there too, we will try and get the maximum out of our available package.”

VIDEO

BELGIUM GP – QUALIFYING RESULTS

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Report – At 2pm tomorrow, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will start the Belgian Grand Prix from the second and fourth rows, after the Spaniard was fourth fastest in qualifying, 69 thousandths off third placed Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull,) with the Finn in eighth spot on the grid.

Rain affected qualifying, having fallen before the start and then intermittently during the session. Neither Ferrari man had any trouble in Q1, getting through with Kimi sixth and Alonso ninth. Q2 also went smoothly, with Fernando making the cut to Q3 in third place, with Kimi fifth. In the top-ten shoot-out, the sun reappeared and the track gradually dried out.

Final Times:

Pos Driver                Team                  Time       Gap   
 1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              2m05.591s            
 2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              2m05.819s  +0.228s   
 3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      2m07.717s  +2.126s   
 4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               2m07.786s  +2.195s   
 5. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault      2m07.911s  +2.320s   
 6. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes     2m08.049s  +2.458s   
 7. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes      2m08.679s  +3.088s   
 8. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari               2m08.780s  +3.189s   
 9. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes     2m09.178s  +3.587s   
10. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      2m09.776s  +4.185s   
Q2 cut-off time: 2m09.272s                                 Gap **
11. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault    2m09.377s  +2.768s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault    2m09.805s  +3.196s
13. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes  2m10.084s  +3.475s
14. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari        2m10.238s  +3.629s
15. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         2m11.087s  +4.478s
16. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari      2m12.470s  +5.861s
Q1 cut-off time: 2m11.081s                                 Gap *
17. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault         2m11.261s  +4.131s
18. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  2m11.267s  +4.137s
19. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari      2m12.566s  +5.436s
20. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari        2m13.414s  +6.284s
21. Andre Lotterer        Caterham-Renault      2m13.469s  +6.339s
22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault      2m14.438s  +7.308s

QUOTES

Kimi admits mistakes made difference: “They were quite difficult conditions and I made quite a few mistakes on the last lap. I was held up on the out-lap by a few cars, which affected the way I wanted to start the whole lap and get the tyres ready, but I just made some mistakes and didn’t get a good lap on that last run. In the wet conditions, it’s a bit more tricky to say. They were difficult conditions and I was sliding a lot, so it was quite tricky. In the dry yesterday, I had so many problems that we couldn’t really do much. This morning, [in FP3], it didn’t feel too bad – the lap probably wasn’t anything good, but the car felt quite good, so everything seems to be okay. Obviously, the wet is always wet and bit tricky, but it was not a disaster. Running [on Friday] was a bit limited by the issues on my side and, this morning, there were just two or three laps [in the dry], so not many, but I think we should be okay knowing what we should do. The weather can change a lot here – and quickly, as we have seen – so we’ll try to make the right decisions at the right time and hopefully get a good result. Obviously, the weather will be the same for everyone, and sometimes it works for you and sometimes not. Hopefully, whatever the conditions are, we’ll make the right call and get a good race. It’ll be a long race and different conditions from start to finish, so let’s see how it is.”

Kimi thinks race could be different story: “You would think here and in Monza that the Mercedes [power unit] should have more advantage, like in the beginning of the year in Bahrain. But obviously we improve things all the time and small things here and there, so it’s getting better, but the race will tell the true story. You can get a good lap time but in the race, it’s very difficult to fight when the others are faster in a straight line – even if your actual lap time can be exactly the same as them. We’ll see how it goes, but it’s been surprisingly nice not to see a massive difference. In the wet Mercedes has the best grip, but in the dry it’s been okay.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “After lots of unforeseen incidents on Friday, this morning I was reasonably happy with the handling of my car. In the afternoon, the arrival of the rain made everything more unpredictable, the car was sliding all over the place and putting together a good lap wasn’t easy. On my last run in Q3, I tried my best, but some mistakes cost me a few places. Even if I’m a bit disappointed, now I want to just think about tomorrow’s race, which will be a long one, with the chance of very variable weather. I will try and make up as many places as possible and in order to do that, it will be very important to make the right decisions at the right time.”

Pat Fry: “We are reasonably pleased with the outcome, even if we cannot ignore Mercedes’ performance, given that we want to get back to being in the top positions. Fernando only just missed out on third place, having produced a fantastic lap. I hope he can have a good race from fourth on the grid. Kimi lost out a bit in all three sectors, but I believe he drove as hard as he could, even though he wound up eighth. Certainly, we can’t forget all the difficulties he experienced yesterday, because I’m sure that with a bit more track time, he could have been a bit higher up the order. Tomorrow’s race will be long and difficult: the forecast is for less chance of rain than today, but here at Spa, it’s impossible to be sure. The important thing is to be ready to adapt our strategy to whatever conditions we encounter.”

BELGIUM GP – FINAL PRACTICE RESULTS

dpl1423au014_KRS

PRACTICE THREE

Report – The track was damp at the start after earlier rainfall and hardly anyone went out on track therefore for the first 30 minutes. With 25 minutes left, the track was dry enough for slicks and the track finally got busy. Raikkonen and Alonso did 9 laps each, first on the Medium tyres and then simulated qualifying on the Softs. Kimi’s best time was a 1.49.817, while Fernando stopped the clocks in 1.49.890. The fight for pole gets underway at 2pm when rain might well be on the agenda again.

FP3 Times:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m49.465s           12
 2.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m49.733s  +0.268s  9
 3.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m49.739s  +0.274s  13
 4.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m49.817s  +0.352s  9
 5.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m49.817s  +0.352s  13
 6.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m49.890s  +0.425s  9
 7.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m49.893s  +0.428s  11
 8.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m50.203s  +0.738s  11
 9.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m50.423s  +0.958s  11
10.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m50.535s  +1.070s  10
11.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m50.592s  +1.127s  12
12.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m50.748s  +1.283s  11
13.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m50.814s  +1.349s  10
14.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m50.866s  +1.401s  11
15.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m50.962s  +1.497s  12
16.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m51.509s  +2.044s  9
17.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault         1m51.610s  +2.145s  10
18.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m51.898s  +2.433s  15
19.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m52.457s  +2.992s  14
20.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m52.984s  +3.519s  14
21.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m54.294s  +3.829s  11
22.  Andre Lotterer     Caterham-Renault      1m55.008s  +5.543s  13