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Kimi: a pretty painful couple of days

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Kimi Raikkonen described his Chinese Grand Prix weekend as “painful” thus far, after failing to make it into the top 10 in qualifying.

The Finn lost most of Friday’s dry free practice sessions to technical problems with his Ferrari and failed to graduate to the final segment of qualifying for the second time in four races on Saturday.

He will start 11th for Sunday’s race at Shanghai, after struggling with the gearshifts on his F14 T.

“It’s been a pretty painful couple of days,” said Raikkonen.

“In the morning [free practice] it felt a bit better but obviously it didn’t turn out to be a very good day. But that’s how it goes.

“[I had] some issues upsetting things with the gearshift. It felt OK at some points but I lost quite a lot of time in the last sector.

“It’s been a pretty bad weekend so far. I didn’t get much running yesterday and it seems to get more difficult all the time. I don’t really understand why.

“There are moments it feels pretty good but then days like this.

“I’m sure there is something we can do to get things running nicely all the time, but obviously the issues we had yesterday didn’t help to start with.

“[It's] not easy with the weather to pick it up and turn it around. It looks pretty bad right now, but I have had difficult years with other teams and with Ferrari – I think 2009 was even worse.

“[It's] not ideal, but there’s only one way we can go and I’m sure we can turn it around.”

(Source: autosport.com)

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CHINA GP – QUALIFYING RESULTS

Tough time for Raikkonen: In the third wet qualifying out of four races so far this season, Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest, while Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for eleventh place. The Spaniard did not have much difficulty getting through to the final part of qualifying, but in the last 12 minute session, he struggled on his first run, while on his second set of intermediates, he set a time of 1.55.637.

Raikkonen had a much tougher time, failing to make the cut to Q3 by just 13 thousandths of a second, with a time of 1.56.860. The Finn got caught up in traffic, which wiped out any advantage from having fitted new tyres. Kimi ended up in a train of cars, which is always a problem in the wet as visibility is so restricted.

Lewis Hamilton took the 34th pole of his career for Mercedes. He will share the front row with Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. Ahead of Alonso are Sebastian Vettel, third and Nico Rosberg fourth.

FINAL TIMES

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m53.860s
 2.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m54.455s  +0.595s
 3.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m54.960s  +1.100s
 4.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m55.143s  +1.283s
 5.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m55.637s  +1.777s
 6.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m56.147s  +2.287s
 7.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m56.282s  +2.422s
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m56.366s  +2.506s
 9.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m56.773s  +2.913s
10.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m57.079s  +3.219s
                        Q3 cut-off time:      1m56.847s
11.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m56.860s  +2.831s*
12.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m56.963s  +2.934s*
13.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m57.289s  +3.260s*
14.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m57.393s  +3.364s*
15.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m57.675s  +3.646s*
16.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m58.264s  +4.235s*
                        Q2 cut-off time:      1m58.411s
17.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m58.988s  +3.472s**
18.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m59.260s  +3.744s**
19.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m59.326s  +3.810s**
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      2m00.646s  +5.130s**
21.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      2m00.865s  +5.349s**
22.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “The past two days have been difficult, because after yesterday’s technical problem, this morning I also only did a single run, but overall, I felt more comfortable in the car. Unfortunately, on my last run in Q2, when I was on my quick lap, I lost a lot of time in the final sector and that meant I didn’t make the cut to Q3. The car’s handling was inconsistent, as it was stable in some parts of the track and less so in others. I had some problems with the balance and this had an effect on my performance. It’s too early to say what happened, but the time lost yesterday definitely didn’t help. Now I want to concentrate on tomorrow’s race and try my best to end this weekend with a good result.”

Raikkonen – Inconsistent handling: “The car’s handling was inconsistent, as it was stable in some parts of the track and less so in others. I had some problems with the balance and this had an effect on my performance. The past two days have been difficult, because after yesterday’s technical problem, this morning I also only did a single run, but overall, I felt more comfortable in the car. Unfortunately, on my last run in Q2, when I was on my quick lap, I lost a lot of time in the final sector and that meant I didn’t make the cut to Q3. It’s too early to say what happened, but the time lost yesterday definitely didn’t help. Now I want to concentrate on tomorrow’s race and try my best to end this weekend with a good result. I have had difficult years with other teams and with Ferrari. I think 2009 was even more worse. It’s not ideal but there is only one way that we can go. I’m sure we can make things better and make me happier and make better results.”

Pat Fry: “The weather forecast for today proved to be right and a light but persistent rain had a significant effect on both sessions. In the morning, we chose to run as little as possible so as not to use up the rain tyres in order to have as many new sets as possible for qualifying and the race. Kimi unfortunately did not get past Q2. Yesterday he lost the first free practice session and today he was fighting with the balance of the car, especially in the slow corners. As for Fernando, he managed to get through the three parts of qualifying without any particular problems and fifth place on the grid tomorrow will mean he can be in the leading group. With him, we will try and exploit any opportunity to attack while with Kimi we will try and move him up the order to take as many points as he can. In both cases, the opening two laps will hold the key.”

VIDEO

CHINA GP – FINAL PRACTICE RESULTS

PRACTICE THREE

Report: A puzzling session for everyone including Scuderia Ferrari as the track was damp in this third practice session, while much more rain is expected for qualifying. Therefore most people did little more than an installation lap, as there was little to learn from using fuel and tyres to no avail. Fernando Alonso, like many of the field only did an installation lap, while Kimi Raikkonen also went out in the final minutes to learn more about the track in the wet and set the fifth fastest time on his only timed lap in 1.55.062. Alonso however stayed in the garage. Fastest, for what it’s worth, was Daniel Ricciardo, who did a 1.53.958 early in the session, when it was less wet in the Red Bull.

FP3 Times

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m53.958s           5
 2.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m54.492s  +0.534s  5
 3.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m54.514s  +0.556s  4
 4.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m55.032s  +1.074s  6
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m55.062s  +1.104s  4
 6.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault         1m55.228s  +1.27 s  12
 7.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m55.235s  +1.277s  7
 8.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m55.381s  +1.423s  5
 9.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m55.673s  +1.715s  4
10.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m56.019s  +2.061s  6
11.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m56.233s  +2.275s  8
12.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m56.380s  +2.422s  9
13.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m56.760s  +2.802s  8
14.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m56.841s  +2.883s  13
15.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m57.468s  +3.51 s  9
16.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m57.812s  +3.854s  12
17.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m57.976s  +4.018s  14
18.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m59.507s  +5.549s  6
19.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes                                  4
20.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes                          3
21.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                                   1
22.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes                                  3

 

CHINA GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE RESULTS

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PRACTICE TWO

Report: Second and seventh places for Scuderia Ferrari in the second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix, in which Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was fastest with a 1.38.315. Fernando Alonso was second in 1.38.456 ahead of Rosberg in the other Mercedes. The Spaniard completed 28 laps.

As for Raikkonen, his session was much more productive than the first, when he only did one lap. This time he did 25, with a best of 1.39.293, good enough for seventh on the time sheet.

Both Scuderia Ferrari men worked on long runs on the soft tyre to check its performance over a good distance. Alonso then ran the harder Mediums only in the final minutes and they were naturally more consistent.

FP2 Times

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m38.315s           25
 2.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m38.456s  +0.141s  28
 3.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m38.726s  +0.411s  30
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m38.811s  +0.496s  30
 5.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m39.015s  +0.700s  31
 6.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m39.118s  +0.803s  25
 7.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m39.283s  +0.968s  25
 8.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m39.491s  +1.176s  29
 9.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m39.537s  +1.222s  36
10.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m39.648s  +1.333s  26
11.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m39.736s  +1.421s  30
12.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m39.744s  +1.429s  29
13.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m39.759s  +1.444s  28
14.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m39.830s  +1.515s  25
15.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m40.124s  +1.809s  32
16.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m40.359s  +2.044s  32
17.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m40.395s  +2.080s  30
18.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault         1m40.455s  +2.140s  12
19.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m42.327s  +4.012s  27
20.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m43.473s  +5.158s  30
21.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m43.530s  +5.215s  32
22.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m43.679s  +5.364s  32

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a difficult day, that began with a technical problem in the morning session, which meant I only did an installation lap. Once that was sorted out, in the afternoon, we tried to make up for lost time, concentrating mainly on getting the set-up suited to this track, sacrificing some of our race simulation. It’s difficult to give an overall assessment and I definitely missed out a bit because of the lack of track time. This evening we will concentrate on analysing the data we have gathered and tomorrow, we will try and make the very most of the final free practice session to get the car as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race.”

Pat Fry: “It’s been a particularly demanding Friday, both for the drivers on track and for the guys in the garage. In the first session, Kimi’s car stayed in the garage throughout the session after completing his installation lap. With Fernando we managed to complete several aerodynamic tests and carry out some checks on the power unit. The afternoon ran more smoothly and with both cars we worked on balance and power delivery. Even if we are making progress on all fronts, we are well aware that it’s always hard to know where you stand on a Friday. Today’s low temperatures affected tyre performance and even if we can expect the track surface to be in better condition tomorrow, the rain expected for qualifying could turn the session into a real lottery. But more important than making predictions is to stay concentrated on our work.”


PRACTICE ONE

Report: Mixed fortunes for Ferrari in the first practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, as Fernando Alonso was fastest in 1.39.783, the only man under the 1m 40s barrier, beating Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes by four tenths. Third was Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, in a session where several teams seemed to be playing their cards close to their chest.

In the other F14 T, Kimi Raikkonen failed to set a timed lap, only managing one installation lap before having to spend the rest of the 90 minutes in the garage with a technical problem.

Alonso managed 20 laps working on set-up and tyre evaluation. Towards the end, he also did a first long run on a morning when air and track temperatures were particularly low.
FP1 Times

Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m39.783s           20
 2.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m40.181s  +0.398s  16
 3.  Daniel Ricciardo     Red Bull-Renault      1m40.772s  +0.989s  23
 4.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m40.970s  +1.187s  23
 5.  Nico Hulkenberg      Force India-Mercedes  1m41.175s  +1.392s  16
 6.  Kevin Magnussen      McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.366s  +1.583s  20
 7.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.505s  +1.722s  26
 8.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m41.560s  +1.777s  9
 9.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m41.629s  +1.846s  19
10.  Felipe Massa         Williams-Mercedes     1m41.699s  +1.916s  14
11.  Daniil Kvyat         Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.977s  +2.194s  23
12.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m42.090s  +2.307s  24
13.  Felipe Nasr          Williams-Mercedes     1m42.265s  +2.482s  13
14.  Giedo van der Garde  Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.615s  +2.832s  16
15.  Sergio Perez         Force India-Mercedes  1m42.733s  +2.950s  13
16.  Pastor Maldonado     Lotus-Renault         1m43.731s  +3.948s  22
17.  Kamui Kobayashi      Caterham-Renault      1m44.038s  +4.255s  16
18.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m44.162s  +4.379s  17
19.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Ferrari      1m44.270s  +4.487s  7
20.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Ferrari      1m44.782s  +4.999s  20
21.  Marcus Ericsson      Caterham-Renault      1m44.835s  +5.052s  22
22.  Kimi Raikkonen       Ferrari                                   1