A Mouthful of Oxygen
Let’s say that I’m not too thrilled about sixth place, but considering the circumstances I’m glad I gained these three points, the first of this season for me and the team. It wasn’t the start to the season as we had expected, but that’s how it went. Three points are not much, considering that the championship leader won the race but it’s still better than nothing. Finally, bringing home both cars, we’ve made a small step foward. Now we’re ready to make the most important thing, hoping that it will enable us to fight for the top positions.
The race at Sahkir was the hottest of the season. It was really hard work, but I did not have any problems; I really liked it, because that means that the hard preparations during the winter bears fruits.
The F60 did fine in Bahrain, although we lacked some speed. The set-up was good, especially with the softer tyres. The trend seems to be confirmed that our cars run better in higher temperatures. A fifth place might have been possible, but we lost some precious seconds due to the small problem during the final pit-stop, otherwise I would have rejoined infront of Rubens although then it would have been difficult keeping him under control. I fought with Glock’s Toyota, although I had the harder compound, but my car was faster on the straight; that was enough to keep him behind me.
I’ve been asked how many points we’ve thrown away during the first races. It’s difficult to reply, but most of all I don’t want to continue talking about the mistakes and problems that we’ve had. As usual, we have to look ahead; the past is the past and we can’t change it. The most important thing is that now there is an important development of the car coming up. The Team works an awful lot to improvement the performance for the next race in Barcelona, although we know that the other teams are doing the same. Let’s hope that we can make a bigger step forward than the other teams. If we manage to gain at least three tenths of a second then we will be able to fight for more than just sixth place.
Before we start thinking again about the championship, we’ve got to see what we can do at Barcelona. It’s obvious that the situation in difficult, especially because there is a driver who has won three out of four races. Obviously I won’t surrender, but we’ve got to get back onto the podium as soon as possible and make the car faster so we are able to fight for the win as of mid-season.
These days I’m following one of my preferred sports; ice-hockey. The world championships are held in Switzerland and Finland is playing at an ice rink close to my house. I hope my team will continue to win, as last night against Denmark, the first match I’ve watched. I’ll try to go to the stadium as often as possible, I know several players and I’m really enjoying watching them playing live.
I’m glad he didn’t find the heat in Bahrain too bad, as he trained a
lot in the season preparations he said. I felt bad to see Alonso was so
badly dehydrated, as he had no water!
Anyways, Kimi is so mature and he has a well-thought out
mentality about the championship situation – I can’t believe people
question his attitude towards the team. I doubt he’ll be treated any kinder despite scoring the first points for Ferrari but watch the 2009 Bahrain GP Highlights that i posted last night and you’ll hopefully share in my sense of feeling better things to come. Of course, he has to mention the ice-hockey in this column and it was just so cool to see Kimi so happy and relaxed:
The Iceman was at the ice-hockey match between Finland and
Denmark in Switzerland yesterday evening. Kimi, sitting in the audience in
his black cap and jeans, was shown on television with the "Formula One
Champion 2007" tagline and he happily waved back with a mate (more pictures here courtesy of Vakie, including the video below). Kimi rushed from Bahrain
to Switzerland to make it in time for the game. Ain’t that sweet, the
lad’s enjoying his time and he loves his ice hockey so goes to see it
whenever he can. Kimi is awesome! And he’ll probably be at the next match this Wednesday. Keep Flying Kimi!
Autosport’s full race report | Formula1.com Results & Fastest Laps Classification | FIA Race Lap Analysis
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Button Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1h31:48.182
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 7.187
3. Trulli Toyota (B) + 9.170
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 22.096
5. Barrichello Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) + 37.779
6. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 42.057
7. Glock Toyota (B) + 42.880
8. Alonso Renault (B) + 52.775
9. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 58.198
10. Piquet Renault (B) + 1:05.149
11. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1:07.641
12. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 1:17.824
13. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1:18.805
14. Massa Ferrari (B) + 1 lap
15. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) + 1 lap
16. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) + 1 lap
17. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 1 lap
18. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 1 lap
19. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 1 lap
Fastest lap: Trulli, 1:34.556
Not classified/retirements:Driver Team On lap
Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 49
Breaking News & Quotes (Autosport.com):
Howett wary of McLaren, Ferrari
Montezemolo blames rules for poor start
Ferrari clarifies Schumacher's role
Massa bemoans very troubled race
Bahrain Sunday quotes: Bridgestone
Q & A with Stefano Domenicali
Ferrari Team Quotes: Kimi Raikkonen - 6th: "I am happy to have picked up a few points but I can't be that pleased with our performance level. I've been around long enough not to get very excited about a sixth place. We are well aware we have to improve. In theory, the new package we will have in Barcelona should see us make a good step forward, but we won't know just how big it will be compared to the others until we are on track in Spain. Today, we got the most out of the F60's current potential, even if I lost a bit of time in my final pit stop because of a problem with a part of the fairing on the left front wheel which cost me the chance of exiting pit lane ahead of Barrichello."
Nice one Kimi! I know 6th place and three points seem like nothing after such a long and hot race but that was a relief! Well done my boy. I do find it funny that Ferrari seemed to have performed better as Luca di Montezemolo made his appearance this weekend. He was on the pit wall watching everything. But well done to the team for turning a difficult situation into some points. A big warm congratulation to Brawn GP and Jenson Button - they really rubbed it in today, by giving that flawless performance in a much more challenging race with Red Bull and the Toyotas. This is what winning truly feels like, Jenson! Vettel also showed further excellence in driving a hard and competitive race in the dry and not only the wet. Trulli could've won today but it still would've been hard against Button, so Trulli's third place isn't so bad. I believe Toyota still need to learn a lot during races before they actually start winning. Hamilton on the other hand has been there, done that, and his fourth place for McLaren was a great effort. But an even better effort came from Kimi...
I'd like to go through Kimi's race in detail for a change. So Kimi started 10th, on the inside behind Massa. And off Kimi went; he had a much better start despite being heavier on fuel and, like I guessed he would, made a dash to the outside to pass as many cars into braking for T1. Massa was on Kimi's target and Kimi gave him a nice birthday present - "kiss my ass!". Quite literally as Massa was being squeezed from Kimi on the left and another car on the right, Massa's front wing clipped Kimi's rear right tyre. Whoops. Then Kimi made it past Barrichello and was in 5th place after the first two corners! Wow! But then Barrichello was close enough to fight back and re-took 5th position. Massa's wing was damaged and he soon had to pit for a replacement, rejoined back into 16th, and his whole race was effectively ruined by that contact with Kimi but that wasn't Kimi's fault at all. It was more to do with Big Nose Barrichello butting in all the time. Anyway, the Bahrain GP start was one of the best I've ever seen, this year at least. There were three groups of fighting going on, fantastic.
Since Barrichello re-took position from Kimi, the front field were disappearing and Kimi was soon left on his own with Fernando Alonso a few seconds behind. Kimi was heavy on fuel, heavier than everyone else infront. His first stint was very important, so while he was distant, he kept pushing. It was soon lap 15 where Kimi was up into second place after the rest had their pitstops, and he was 13 seconds off Vettel in the lead. Kimi was doing good, making most of the strategy he was on. Lap 19 showed Kimi leading the race - yay! Alas, it weren't to remain that way as the car's slow and shit and Kimi was yet to pit obviously. I could daydream for a moment though, on this lovely, sunny and hazy Sunday afternoon. At least the KERS wasn't anything to daydream about - it was performing well today, for Kimi at least! Meanwhile, as Kimi was leading, Massa was down in 15th. The time finally came then on lap 21, as planned, for Kimi's pitstop. He was pitted for 10 seconds and 28 laps worth of fuel was injected, his tyres were changed to used softs, and Kimi rejoined the race into 8th place. Massa lingered in 14th.
All was going well - Kimi moved up to 7th position on lap 23, 27 seconds off the lead and Kimi's fastest lap classified at 1.35.716. He moved up another spot for 6th position and Kimi wasn't going to pit for another 20 laps or so. Kimi was lapping faster than Timo Glock infront and once Glock pitted, Kimi was back into that lovely 5th position he had for a moment at the start of the race. Massa at this time was worse off in 18th place, showing considerable brake dust from his front left tyre after the pits straight.
As three other cars pitted, Kimi was in 3rd position by lap 37 and he was looking strong for a good bag of points, granted nothing went wrong with the car. Thankfully, the car was safe in his hands. Around lap 40, Kimi was in 2nd place, 22 seconds behind leader Vettel and Massa was struggling in 13th. Kimi then set his personal best lap time. Our Flying Finn was getting faster at this stage of the race. As Vettel pitted from the lead, Kimi was leading the race! Oh my God! It's been a long time. Ahhhh. Kimi only just managed to stay infront of Vettel as the Red Bull came out the pits. By then, Massa was in 11th position.
Kimi's second and final pitstop arrived on lap 44 and medium tyres were thrown on and he was pitted for the end. He could have been in the fight for fifth with Barrichello if he "had not encountered a problem at his final pit stop because of the fairing on the left rear wheel." Timo Glock in the Toyota looked to be infront of Kimi as the Ferrari exited the pits and rolled down to T1 but Kimi kept it together and used the benefit of the KERS to pass Glock for 7th place. From then on, Glock was on Kimi's tail and it seemed Kimi wouldn't be able to hold onto 7th place for much longer. Another car pitted, so Kimi and Glock moved up to 6th and 7th position. David Coulthard and Martin Brundle still managed to say something against Kimi today, saying he was asleep after he pitted and didn't see Glock. Oh for heavens sake, just shut up. He wasn't asleep, he very well knew where Glock was but didn't want to be too drastic in defense or offense. Kimi got so far already in that Ferrari and he didn't want to be aggressive and ruin his race by damaging his car over a single point. A two-stop strategy worked out nicely for Kimi and the team.
In the final stage of the race, it was Glock versus Raikkonen and Kimi did his best to stay infront, even when Glock braked very closely to Kimi, sliding into the last corner, and they nearly touched but Kimi was unharmed and now Glock had a bigger gap and so this battle ended there. With a big sigh of relief, Kimi finished the race in 6th place with Glock just behind. Well done Kimi! I know that was tough! Massa finished 14th after desperately pushing Fisichella in the Force India off track.
There you have it. Ferrari have scored their first points of the 2009 championship with Kimi Raikkonen. This was Kimi's 100th Grand Prix finish and his 85th finish in points, so congratulations to him for that (even if he doesn't care for statistics, the number 100 is always nice, hehe. Kimi's total career points is at 534). I'm looking forward to Spain as hopefully Kimi can continue to improve and score more points and it won't be too long before a podium comes along, with some luck. Kimi's post race comments are that of a champion - he's not excited like us with a 6th place. He wants better results and that itself should be enough motivation for the team to start scoring podiums and winning when we get to Europe next.
That was a great start of the race by Kimi, so that was the highlight of the day for me. Most race pictures are already uploaded in the Bahrain GP photo album and catch the race videos, including Kimi's re-pass on Glock. I can't wait to work on the highlight video! Keep Flying! ~
Full qualifying report can be read here
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3Breaking News & Quotes:
1. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:32.779 1:32.671 1:33.431
2. Glock Toyota (B) 1:33.165 1:32.613 1:33.712
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:32.680 1:32.474 1:34.015
4. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:32.978 1:32.842 1:34.044
5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:32.851 1:32.877 1:34.196
6. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:33.116 1:32.842 1:34.239
7. Alonso Renault (B) 1:33.627 1:32.860 1:34.578
8. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:33.297 1:33.014 1:34.818
9. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:33.672 1:33.166 1:35.134
10. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:33.117 1:32.827 1:35.380
11. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:33.479
12. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:33.221
13. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:33.495
14. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:33.377
15. Piquet Renault (B) 1:33.608
16. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:33.722
17. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:33.753
18. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:33.910
19. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:34.038
20. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:34.159
Hamilton targets podium finish
Button says Brawn no longer ahead
Delighted Trulli fears more brake issues
Bahrain Saturday quotes: Bridgestone
Webber angry after qualifying 'disaster'
Alonso stays realistic for the race
Post-qualifying car weights - Kimi: 671.5kg, Massa: 664.5kg
Ferrari to use KERS on both cars : At Sakhir the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s
technicians decided in the usual meeting for the debriefing in the
evening after Friday’s free practice sessions that the F60s driven by
Massa and Raikkonen will be fitted with the KERS as of tomorrow. The
kinetic energy recovery system, the Scuderia has been testing during
the winter here in Bahrain, will be present on both cars as of
tomorrow, just as the two drivers have hoped for.
Ferrari Team Quotes: Kimi Raikkonen: "It would have been difficult
to do better than tenth. In the first two parts of qualifying, the car
handled better than we had expected, but in Q3 I no longer had any new
soft tyres, having already used all four sets. The car's performance
has improved with KERS. Tomorrow, the race will be very tough because
of the high temperatures. Let's see what we manage to do. The aim is to
finish in the points."
That was a really good day for Kimi I think, based on what the results
alone show. He showed good pace in both Q1 and Q2, lapping his times
infront of Massa. Both Kimi and Massa were using KERS and they will be for the race too. So that was pleasing to see!
Kimi's doing well. For Q3, he definately took on a lot more
fuel than Massa for the race. Check the post-qualifying car weights! Apparently, this just in, according to
the Finnish media Kimi actually had to do his final run on used soft
tyres as the team made him use the rest in extra attempts during Q1 and
Q2. Oh dear. That's not a good call by the team. They must have worried
about missing out on Q3 like Massa did in Malaysia? But Kimi wasn't
Massa today, Kimi was actually showing better pace. So
on worn out soft tyres, Kimi couldn't do better than 10th, obviously.
Thanks a lot Ferrari! Courtesy of Wolfie, here is what Kimi told
reporters after qualifying:
"I wouldn't have wanted to come out to the track
for the second time in the 1st and 2nd stint but the team wanted me to
go. After that there wasn't any new tyres left," Räikkönen said about
the Italians' tactic in MTV3 Max."
Meanwhile, until further quotes and information are released, check out the high resolution pictures from Bahrain! Couple of cool shots in there. The
Toyota team must be so happy for getting an all front row, so congratulations to them. Hamilton did
a good job today by keeping his nose in the action at the front. The
Brawn GP cars are obviously not as powerful as we feared. I'm sure
Ferrari will join in the fun very soon. Looks like Kimi and the Robertsons met David Coulthard in the paddock today, I wonder what were the words being exchanged here? It looks pretty healthy: "Hey David, piss off!"
both Ferraris made
it into the top 10. Massa has always been strong at Bahrain so it's
good for him that he's been able to show that today. But like I said,
Kimi was clearly outpacing him in the first two qualifying sessions, so
I don't think Massa is that faster than Kimi at Bahrain actually! In
2007 and 2008, Kimi was always behind Massa, for various reasons
(tyres, understeer, set-up). But I think Kimi seems to perform much
better with the F60, handling wise - it has more oversteer and that
helps him in the slow corners that he struggled in before. Yes the
car's slow anyway, but that's different from telling whether the driver
is comfortable or uncomfortable with the car. Also, it's hot and dry
and now we can see what the cars are really like, hopefully if the race
stays dry and hot too. The Ferrari isn't that bad at all, and without
the mistakes and suitable conditions they can do quite well. Kimi and
Massa will start the race on the inside line of the straight, a bit
dusty there so not expecting an awesome get away towards turn 1. I
expect Kimi to try and get onto the outside line as soon as possible to
gain positions through turn 1 and 2. It's now revealed that Kimi will
be using KERS tomorrow for the race, so that should help pass a few
cars on the first lap. Hoping for a podium isn't asking
for a miracle, certainly if how the Ferrari are performing this weekend
is anything to go by. Whatever happens, I believe in Kimi and that
belief will never stop. Keep Flying Kimi ~