Latest

Kimi admits relief after ‘pretty hard time’

Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir 16 - 19 April 2015

“Obviously it’s much nicer than being out of [the podium] but, you know, you come second and obviously we got quite close to the Mercedes but it’s a bit disappointing after that … but I’d rather take this one than something else,” Raikkonen said. “You cannot feel happy. We are happy to be second but it’s still disappointing; it’s not what we want to do.

“Big thanks to the team, I had a pretty hard time last year. This year in the beginning, just some bad luck in the races but, you know, the team has done a great job over the winter and everybody is pushing together, in the same direction and I’m sure we are only going to get stronger and better as a team and improve the car. So, it’s a great place to be.”

| Source: f1i.com |

Arrivabene: Contract chase a motivation for Kimi

GP BAHRAIN F1/2015Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene is refusing to bow to pressure to extend Kimi Raikkonen’s contract and is instead using it as a motivating tool for the Finnish driver.

Raikkonen’s contract expires at the end of the year but he has an option to continue into 2016 based on his performance. Speculation about his future stepped up a gear over the weekend as he arrived in Bahrain with three consecutive defeats to team-mate Sebastian Vettel, but on Sunday he arguably gave his best performance since returning to Ferrari last year.

Arrivabene said he was not ready to offer Raikkonen the contract just yet, but would instead dangle it over his driver as motivation to deliver more results.

“I’m happy with the drivers that we have, but this does not mean that I am going to sign with Kimi tomorrow,” Arrivabene said. “We are very clear, I repeat again: I said to Kimi, ‘Look, it depends on your performance’ and he has demonstrated that he’s a great driver.

“So if you ask me now, does he deserve to renew the option, now today I am going to say yes. But if I am going to say yes, I don’t want the driver to fall asleep. So I want to keep him up.

“Kimi is giving the best when he is a bit in trouble. This is a psychological approach. So the [contract] paper at the moment is white. Sometimes I have to offer the pen [to sign], then I take it back. And Kimi is going to the podium.”

Asked whether Lewis Hamilton, who has yet to sign for Mercedes for next year, is being considered as a possible replacement, Arrivabene said: “Does Lewis Hamilton call you? Because he never calls me.

“Every driver here in the paddock wants to drive for Ferrari, this is normal. Even the guys who were quite a lot of time world champion.”

| Source: espn.co.uk |

BAHRAIN GP – POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

kimi-bahgp-190415-krs50PODIUM INTERVIEWS

(Conducted by Sir Jackie Stewart)

Well, congratulations on a fantastic race, you must be very happy and it’s a hell of a season you’re having. Well done. Kimi – terrific. Happy?

Kimi RAIKKONEN: Obviously you’re never happy when you finish second but I think after a difficult start to the year I’m a bit pleased to get some result – a bit better result. Obviously we came through in the end very quickly but we run out of the laps but I think we have to be happy after where we qualified, after we finished, but obviously we’re looking for a bit better results still.

Well, it’s a terrific success for Ferrari to come back as strongly as this. You must be pleased about that?

KR: Yeah, I’m very happy how the team is working and obviously after last year where we are now is a big step and everyone is working very well together. The atmosphere is good now and we have a good direction to keep pushing. It seems to be working well and things are improving, so I’m sure as a team we’ll get there and to be able to be all the time fighting for wins, but it will take a little more time.

Q: Kimi, fourth on the grid, second at the finish, first podium since Korea 2013. Alternative strategy for you. Obviously the middle stint was the key to your grand prix. Tell us about that and the pace that you were able to maintain against everybody else on the softer tyre. But also, you questioned at the end the decision to go onto the soft tyre – how did that work out, was it the right thing to do in the end?

KR: I think we had a few different plans. How to run the race and obviously this one was one of them. It all really depended where we are after a few laps. But I think we did a very good job out of it and the medium tyres worked very well for me in the second stint and I could pretty much… quite easily keep up with them, even catch them. They were working fine so obviously I was wondering if it’s the right choice to go on the soft at the end – but obviously it was the correct choice, they were much faster still. So, I was able to catch Nico and got past him. We did more or less the maximum that we could do today and obviously if you think that we were ahead of Nico earlier, he got past me on lap two or three or something, so we lost some time but I think we had a pretty good race and hopefully we can have many more.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, after being fourth in Malaysia and China and being out of top three for 18 months, how much do you appreciate this comeback to the podium?

KR: Obviously it’s much nicer than being out of it but, you know, you come second and obviously we got quite close to the Mercedes today but it’s a bit disappointing after that always – but I’d rather take this one than something else. You cannot feel happy. We are happy to be second but it’s still disappointing. It’s not what we want to do. Big thanks to the team. I had a pretty hard time last year. This year in the beginning, just some bad luck in the races but, you know, the team has done a great job over the winter and everybody is pushing together, in the same direction and I’m sure we are only going to get stronger and better as a team and improve the car. So, it’s a great place to be.

Q: (Khodr Rawi – F1Zone.net) Kimi, do you think the only possibility to beat Mercedes is by trying a different strategy, trying to undercut them because beating them on track seems a bit difficult now?

KR: Well, I don’t think it’s the only way. Obviously on some circuits we can get closer, some not, but I think obviously the first step is to improve our package, that will happen in the future and hopefully get closer. One step is to qualify more higher up, make better starts and go from there. I think we had a pretty decent speed today but obviously if you’re behind any cars and you lose any seconds, you will pay a price for it in the end. I think we just have to keep working and improving the whole package and how we do things. I’m sure we will get there and we can fight for wins every weekend after that.

Q: (Michael Schmidt – Auto, Motor und Sport) Kimi, you were flying in the second and third stints on both type of tyre but you struggled in the first stint. Have you any idea why?

KR: I wasn’t struggling really. I didn’t feel that it was much problem. I got passed by Nico, I passed him at the start and I got passed by him and obviously you lose quite a bit of time and Page ? of ? 3 4 then he passed Seb and we were pretty close to each other. I felt I was faster but obviously it’s pretty hard to pass. I think that we did the maximum, more or less. Yesterday we lost a place to Nico, but after that, once we got the mediums and the new set of softs at the end, the car was very good, so I could keep up good speed and everything was running smoothly, but already at that point we were a bit too far off first place.

Q: (Matt Youson – Racetech) Kimi, can you tell us how this year’s car is an improvement on last season’s. Everybody talks about the power unit but is it just that or is there a lot more?

KR: Obviously a big chunk of it is the engine itself. It’s a big improvement on horsepower plus reliability but you cannot just give all the credit to them. The car has improved a lot: much more downforce, the car is handling much better because of that, and obviously how the whole package has been done and put together. I think the big key is that all areas have improved quite a bit plus the people have been working more closely, as one team putting it together more nicely, so obviously the end result is what we have now and then as I said earlier, I’m very happy how things are going, very happy with the team and I think not many people expected after last year that we can be in this kind of position this early and now we are going in the right direction, so I’m sure we will get there but we want to start winning races more often and we just have to have some patience and do the work that we’ve done so far and we will get there.

Q: (Khodr Rawi – F1Zone.net) To all three of you: is the challenge of the championship against the rival teams more difficult than against your teammate, because you don’t know what others have or what others are planning in terms of strategy and that sort of thing?

LH: It’s all hard. It’s difficult to say which one is harder. When you’re fighting the guy in your team with the same car you’ve got the data. Sure it’s more on the limit when you’re fighting another team. There’s pros and cons, there are advantages and disadvantages on each side. You just try to do your best job, that’s what motor racing is all about, to be fighting other teams, that’s what we’re here to do.

NR: It’s both different but both tough. It’s difficult to go into the details but it’s tough to battle Lewis last year and this year and it’s tough now to battle the Ferraris now that they’re in the mix.

KR: I think it doesn’t make a lot of difference. Obviously with your teammate you more or less know what he’s doing and in the race when he’s going to stop but you have to beat all of them so it’s really the same end result.

| Source: fia.com |

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BAHRAIN GP – RACE RESULTS

Formula One World Championship 2015, Round 4, Bahrain Grand PrixOne runner-up spot and one fifth place for Ferrari come the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen staged a great climb up the order, which ended in him passing Nico Rosberg two laps from the end.

The Finn crossed the line 3 seconds behind the Mercedes of race winner Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel finished fifth, spending much of the race trying to pass Valtteri Bottas in the Williams, while never having a real chance to attack. Now the Formula 1 circus has a three week break before the action resumes at the first European leg of the 2015 Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix at the Barcelona circuit. [ferrari.com]

Final Results:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 1h35m05.809s
2 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 3.380s
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 6.033s
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 42.957s
5 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 43.989s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1m01.751s
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Lotus/Mercedes 1m24.763s
8 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
9 Daniil Kvyat Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1 Lap
10 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
12 Felipe Nasr Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Lotus/Mercedes 1 Lap
16 Will Stevens Manor Marussia F1 Team Marussia/Ferrari 2 Laps
17 Roberto Merhi Manor Marussia F1 Team Marussia/Ferrari 3 Laps
Max Verstappen Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Jenson Button McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda Not started

QUOTES + STUFF

From richlandf1.comKimi: “Obviously we came through in the end very quickly, but we ran out of laps. I think we have to be happy after that and where we qualified. I’m very happy with how the team is working. After last year, where we are now is a big step. Everyone is working very well together, and the atmosphere is very good now. We have a good direction to keep pushing. It seems to be working well. Things are improving. I’m sure as a team we will get there and be able to be fighting for wins, but it will take a bit more time.”

From espn.co.uk (podium comments) – Kimi: “Obviously you are never happy when you finish second but after a difficult start to the year I’m a bit pleased to get some result. We came through in the end very quickly but we ran out of laps. I think we have to be happy after where we qualified but we will be looking for better results soon. I think we did more or less the right calls. We lost a bit of time at the beginning with Nico getting past. Obviously afterwards it’s easier to say, but that’s how we planned it and I think it worked out pretty well.”

From autosport.comKimi: “We had decent speed today, I think we just have to keep working and improving the whole package. I’m sure we will get there and we can fight every weekend after that. I’m very happy with the team and I think many people didn’t expect after last year that we would be in this position this early. We will start winning [more] races. We have to be patient and do the same work as we have done so far and we will get there. The whole package has gone forward. A big chunk of it is the engine but you cannot give all the credit to them. The car has improved a lot, there’s a lot more downforce, it’s handling a lot better. All areas have improved, that is the key. People are working more closely, which has helped us get to where we have now. I think we had a few different approaches of how to run the race. On the medium tyre it was quite easy to catch up to them. In the end it was the right choice to go soft – we were much faster still. We did more or less the maximum we could have done, we had a pretty good race and hopefully we can have a few more.”

From ferrari.comKimi: “After a difficult year last year and a beginning of the season that was a bit unlucky, it’s great to be back on the podium. I have mixed emotions, it’s a great feeling to be back, but we want to be on the top. The start was really good , I managed to pass Nico, but then I lost the position and there I lost a bit of time. The strategy was perfect, we did the right calls and the right tyre choice , I was happy with the car , we kept up a good speed through the whole race. In the last laps I was getting closer and closer and could see Hamilton, but the race was at its end, we would have needed more laps to try to do something. I think we are still a little bit behind the Mercedes but in some circuits and some conditions we ca be very competitive, especially in the race. Today we did our best , we have to be happy with the result , we did the maximum and took some good points for the team. We keep improving step by step, we just have to keep working doing the same things in the same direction,and I’m sure we’ll get there.”

From crash.netArrivabene: “I am delighted. I am happy for Kimi because now we have two drivers and this is what I am looking for. I’m happy for Kimi because now I can say officially that Kimi is back and we have two strong drivers. We had a clear strategy for the two drivers and then Seb made two little mistakes. The big one was at the beginning so we were obliged to change the strategy for Seb. Kimi, we told to follow our strategy. At a certain point he was not really convinced and we said ‘no, we stay as we are’ and he was brave enough and disciplined enough to follow. It was a good result. Regarding Seb, I have to say he made two big mistakes but we don’t have to forget what he has done up to now. He won one race and two podiums so sometimes it happens. We are humans, thank God and that is the beauty of the sport.”

From ferrari.comArrivabene: “I am really happy for Kimi: today I can officially state that he’s back. He showed what a race animal he is, and if he had had a few more laps perhaps… Also, I am happy for the team, because they worked really well. Sebastian made a couple of mistakes today, one at the beginning, which forced us to change his race strategy, whereas in the case of Kimi we followed our plans. He was not totally convinced about it at a point, but showed a great deal of discipline in following instructions from the pit-wall. As for Seb, he actually made something wrong, otherwise we could have had two drivers on the rostrum; but he’s a human being as we all are. He’s a fantastic driver and let’s not forget now what he has already achieved so far. I wish to thank everybody back at Maranello, because they were able to work on the engine development, but also on every single component, achieving over three months what normally would have required twice as much. I can’t tell if we are going to catch the Mercedes, but I do like the idea of putting some pressure on them. Today we were aware of the gap between them and ourselves, and that required an aggressive strategy. Having said that, with regard to the Friday log runs where we had showed a good pace, the temperature was much lower today, and we had to react accordingly.”


VIDEO


GALLERY

2015 gp gallery-3

This slideshow requires JavaScript.