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Raikkonen: driving style hurting form

Kimi after the Chinese GP 2014

Kimi Raikkonen suspects his Formula 1 driving style was the reason for his lack of competitiveness in the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Finn finished eighth at the Shanghai circuit, while Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso battled Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and the Red Bulls to record the Scuderia’s first podium of 2014.

“It’s probably more to do with my driving style plus these cold conditions and not getting the tyres to work properly,” said Raikkonen, when asked if a new chassis – given to him after his old one developed a crack while Alonso was testing in Bahrain recently – had possibly developed a problem.

“If there was an issue with the car it would not be fast on new tyres.

“I think it’s a combination of cold conditions, circuit layout and my driving style.”

Ferrari has upgraded the front suspension on Raikkonen’s car in an effort to make him feel more comfortable in the F14 T, but the 2007 world champion struggled for grip in China and reckoned his driving style failed to generate sufficient front tyre temperature for him to be competitive.

“I don’t think I work the tyres very hard, so when it’s wet and cold it’s hard to get the tyres working,” he said.

“The new tyre works well until the grip from the rear tyres goes away, then you have to go slower and you start cooling down the tyres more and everything goes around and around and you cannot fix it.

“There’s not just a magic thing I can suddenly change in my driving and fix. It works for you in some places and against you in some.

“We just have to work and find some solutions when we have this and hopefully not end up in similar situations.

“Once you end up there it’s hard to get out – especially in the race.”

(Source: autosport.com)


 

Leo Turrini, avid Raikkonen supporter and journalist, thinks Kimi will bounce back.

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CHINA GP – RACE RESULTS

Report: First podium of the season for Scuderia Ferrari which comes as a great relief after the very difficult race in Bahrain. Fernando Alonso took third place after attacking all the way from the start. It was at this point that he had his most worrying moment, colliding with the Williams of former team-mate Felipe Massa, but the F14 T proved to be strongly put together.

Kimi Raikkonen had a more difficult time, as he is still not feeling totally comfortable at the wheel. The Finn got away well making up a place to sit in the points positions right from the opening lap, but in the end, he could do no better than eighth.

For Scuderia Ferrari there is still plenty of work to do to close the gap to the best, but this podium is some small reward for all the hard work everyone in Maranello has contributed to improving the F14 T.

The race was won by Lewis Hamilton taking his 25 win, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

FINAL RESULTS

Pos  Driver             Team/Car                  Time/Gap
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1h36m52.810s
 2.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes                  +18.686s
 3.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                   +25.765s
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault          +26.978s
 5.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault          +51.012s
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes      +57.581s
 7.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes         +58.145s
 8.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                 +1m23.990s
 9.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes    +1m26.489s
10.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault          +1 lap
11.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes            +1 lap
12.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault          +1 lap
13.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes            +1 lap
14.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault               +1 lap
15.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes           +1 lap
16.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
17.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault            +1 lap
18.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari            +1 lap
19.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari           +2 laps
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault           +2 laps

Retirements:

     Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault              27 laps
     Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari              4 laps

Drivers' standings:

Pos  Driver            Points
 1.  Nico Rosberg      79
 2.  Lewis Hamilton    75
 3.  Fernando Alonso   41
 4.  Nico Hulkenberg   36
 5.  Sebastian Vettel  33
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo  24
 7.  Valtteri Bottas   24
 8.  Jenson Button     23
 9.  Kevin Magnussen   20
10.  Sergio Perez      18
11.  Felipe Massa      12
12.  Kimi Raikkonen    11
13.  Jean-Eric Vergne  4
14.  Daniil Kvyat      4

Pos  Team                  Points
 1.  Mercedes              154
 2.  Red Bull-Renault      57
 3.  Force India-Mercedes  54
 4.  Ferrari               52
 5.  McLaren-Mercedes      43
 6.  Williams-Mercedes     36
 7.  Toro Rosso-Renault    8
 8.  Lotus-Renault         0
 9.  Sauber-Ferrari        0
10.  Marussia-Ferrari      0
11.  Caterham-Renault      0

TEAM RADIO

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “This has been a really difficult weekend. Right from Friday morning, I suffered with problems that we didn’t manage to solve completely and today in the race, I couldn’t get the result I wanted. The start was good, I made up two places but then I couldn’t make up any more ground, as I just didn’t have the pace, nor much grip at the front or the back. In the final stint on new tyres, the car handled better, but then, as the tyres degraded the situation got complicated again. I think the difficulties I encountered here stem from a combination of various factors, from my driving style combined with the low temperatures and the characteristics of the track. Today, we brought home valuable points thanks to the intense efforts of the whole team and now we will continue to work ceaselessly to improve. Fernando’s result is very encouraging and proves we are moving in the right direction.”

Driving style, not motivation, the issue: “My view is that it’s probably more to do with driving style, plus the weather with the cold conditions and not getting the tyres working,” he said. “Obviously if there was some issue then we would not be fast or happy with the new tyres, so I think it’s a combination of cold conditions, the circuit layout and my driving style. I don’t think I work the tyres very hard, so when there are cool conditions and wet conditions … for many years it has been hard to get the tyres working. Today it feels that when you have a new tyre it works well until the grip from the new tyres goes away and then you struggle and you have to go slower and the tyres cool down more – everything goes round and round and you cannot fix that. It’s a thing that everybody hates, but there is not a magic thing and I cannot necessarily change everything with my driving. At the last race I could have done two stops [and gained an advantage] but the safety car changed [the race], so it works for you at some places and then against you at some. We just have to work and find some solutions when we have this and hopefully not end up with similar issues. Once you end up with that it’s hard to get out of it, especially in the race.”

Asked if his lack of results affected his motivation, Raikkonen said: “I don’t know why you always come up with motivation. If I didn’t have motivation I wouldn’t be here answering these kinds of questions. It’s fuck all to do with that. We have bad races and it’s an unfortunate thing, but the aim is to improve and get where we want to be.”

Pat Fry: “Today’s result is a reward for the effort that all the team is putting into every area. Both drivers got away well, managing to make up two places immediately and, luckily the collision between Fernando and Felipe Massa’s Williams left the F14 T undamaged. In the first stint, with Kimi we lost a bit of time behind Grosjean and that prevented him from making up ground on his rivals, in a race where tyre degradation and graining played an important role. The choice made at Fernando’s first stop saw him take second place: from then on, we concentrated on managing the gap to the Red Bull and tried to keep Rosberg behind us for as long as possible. This weekend we made some progress and in general, the speed of the car has increased, both in the corners and on the straights, but we have to be realistic about our current potential and continue working, because the gap to Mercedes is still big and no one within our team has any intention of giving up.”

VIDEO

 

 

Kimi: a pretty painful couple of days

0574988_KRS

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)

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