Archive for July 7, 2012

Silverstone: post-qualifying interview with Kimi

Source: lotusf1team.com

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A strong performance from Kimi this afternoon sees the Finn sit in P6 on the grid for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix, despite running without KERS throughout the session having had relatively little experience on the Pirelli wet tyres. Now, the Finn is eager to take advantage of what could be a frantic race here at Silverstone tomorrow…

Q: Kimi, P6 on the grid for tomorrow’s race ; what are your feelings after qualifying ?

KR: It was ok but could have been a bit better. We should probably have started on the intermediates in the last part of qualifying ; then we could have got more heat into them and gone for more than one lap. It’s impossible to say how much difference it would have made, but it was a difficult call and we made the best we could of the situation.

Q: Did you feel the track was ready for intermediates from the start of the final session ?

KR: Like I said, it was a tricky decision. Where there’s standing water the intermediates don’t work so well as the full wets, but there were also a lot of places where it was not so wet and they worked much better than the other tyres there. It’s always going to be tricky in some places with whichever tyres you choose so it’s just about picking the ones that will be better overall. The last lap I did was definitely much better, even though it started raining again in the last few corners which made it quite slippery, even on the full wets.

Q: How much did losing the KERS affect your pace today ?

KR: We didn’t have KERS for the whole session. The effect is not so big in the wet as you can’t use it as effectively as in the dry, where it would cost maybe four tenths. You feel it most on the straight – the loss of power – so it still has an effect, but not so much as in normal conditions. We tried changing the battery twice but it looks like that wasn’t the problem. We’ve been working hard to figure it out and we’re confident it will be fixed for tomorrow.

Q: How difficult were the conditions out there today ?

KR: It’s not ideal to have so much rain as there’s so much spray and you get a lot of aquaplaning, but it is what it is and it’s the same situation whenever you have weather like this. We’d never start a race in the conditions we saw today. When there’s a lot of water at the beginning of the race you can run under the safety car until there’s not much aquaplaning and the track is almost ok for intermediates, but the spray will be the big issue ; it’s there no matter what which makes it tricky as you can’t see the standing water and it’s harder to spot your braking and turn-in points.

Q: Have you been happy with the E20 so far this weekend ?

KR: The car is strong in the high speed corners and we’ve shown good speed here ; it would be better for us if it was dry but we look pretty strong. In these conditions you can get it right or quite easily get it wrong ; sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t with the rain. The race could be quite tricky if the weather stays the same, but for sure it’s been much easier for me here than in Malaysia which was the first time I had used the Pirelli wet tyres. We’ve had a good amount of wet running today so we have a better idea of how far to push the car which always helps. Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

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British Grand Prix – Qualifying: P6 without KERS

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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An incredible qualifying session for the British Grand Prix saw dry, intermediate and full wet conditions, a ninety minute break due to a waterlogged circuit and both E20s progressing to the top ten shoot out; but unfortunately only one taking a shot at pole.

Qualifying 1 – Key Moments:

0mins: Both drivers out on intermediate tyres; Kimi without the use of KERS
5mins: The team-mates nearly collide; very tight call with one of the Saubers
10mins: Kimi pits for fresh intermediates, emerging with 4mins remaining for a second run
20mins: Both progress to the second session; Kimi P12 Romain P8 at the flag

Qualifying 2 – Key Moments:

0mins: Full wets for both drivers; straight out of the box for initial runs
9mins: Red flags; intense rain stops the session. Green flags finally emerge after a 90min break; intermediates for Kimi and Romain
15mins: Kimi makes it through to Q3 in P7, Romain in P5; the latter spinning into the gravel on his final lap, thus being ruled out of the next phase

Qualifying 3 – Key Moments:

0mins: Kimi out on full wets, Romain in the garage; ineligible to take part
6mins: Pit stop; intermediates for the Finn in his final run
10mins: Chequered flag; Kimi takes P6, Romain confined to P10

Summary:

Impossibly tricky conditions for the pole position shoot out saw a mixture of tyre choices emerge as the drivers took to the track; Kimi opting for the full wet rubber.

Almost immediately it became clear that the intermediates were the faster choice; the Finn pitting for a fresh set of the green marked boots with three minutes remaining, providing just enough time for a final flying attempt.

A flurry of progressively faster times for every driver remaining in the fight brought a frantic end to the session. Kimi eventually brought his E20 home in sixth place – a fine performance given his lack of running on the intermediate tyres – with his team-mate of course remaining tenth after failing to set a lap.

Pos--Driver----------------Team---------------Time----------Gap 
 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m51.746s   
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m51.793s  + 0.047 
 3.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m52.020s  + 0.274 
 4.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m52.199s  + 0.453 
 5.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m53.065s  + 1.319 
 6.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m53.290s  + 1.544 
 7.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m53.539s  + 1.793 
 8.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m53.543s  + 1.797 
 9.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m54.382s  + 2.636 
10.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        no time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m56.931s Gap **
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m57.009s  + 2.112
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m57.071s  + 2.174
13.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m57.108s  + 2.211
14.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m57.132s  + 2.235
15.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m57.426s  + 2.529
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m57.719s  + 2.822
17.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m57.895s  + 2.998
Q1 cut-off time: 1m47.105s Gap *
18.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m48.044s  + 1.765
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m49.027s  + 2.748
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m49.477s  + 3.198
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m51.618s  + 5.339
22.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m52.742s  + 6.463
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m53.040s  + 6.761
24.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m54.143s  + 7.864

Team Quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 6th: “We made a slightly wrong decision by using the full wet and I only had one lap in the restarted final qualifying session with the intermediates, otherwise I think it was possible to have gone faster. We also had a problem with the KERS which we tried to fix during the red flag break. We’re in sixth place, which is certainly not a disaster; but it could have been better. The weather makes it a bit tricky for everybody. It’s not easy, especially with the spray and this is even more difficult in race conditions when everyone is fighting for the same piece of track. On the plus side for the fans, it’s good fun to watch, even if it’s not the nicest weather if you’re in a grandstand.”


British Grand Prix – Final Practice Results: 5th

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

As a rare dose of sunshine flooded the Silverstone circuit during FP3 for the British Grand Prix this morning, Kimi and Romain showed good pace to bring their E20s home inside the top 5 in the last session before qualifying begins this afternoon.

Summary:

A dry and bright start at Silverstone this morning was a welcome sight for the team, as the final practice session for the British Grand Prix got underway.

Kimi and Romain joined a lengthy queue at the end of the pit lane as the green flags were waved; every team seemingly keen to condense as much running as possible into the ninety minute session having lost the majority of Friday testing to inclement weather conditions.

Matching sets of yellow marked soft compound Pirelli tyres adorned the E20s as both drivers took to the track for their opening stints, racking up the laps in the early stages with further rain predicted to interrupt running at the mid stage.

With the halfway point approaching, it was in fact a different issue which brought the session to a halt; the Marussia of Charles Pic stopping out on track and subsequently bringing out the red flags.

Kimi charged out of the garage for his second run

No sooner had running resumed than Kimi charged out of the garage for his second run, immediately jumping up to P2 with his first attempt on the silver marked hard compound Pirelli tyres.

Romain joined his team-mate on track a matter of minutes later; his initial effort moving the Frenchman up to P4 – just above his team mate on the same rubber – before setting the fastest time of the session shortly afterwards.

With just over ten minutes remaining, both E20s were circulating for their final runs; both using the soft tyres to end the session and running strongly in the top five.

As the final runners crossed the line to bring proceedings to a halt for lunch, Kimi found himself in P5 with a best time of 1:32.454 from 25 laps, while Romain’s best effort of 1:32.358 from 25 laps saw him end the morning in P3.

Pos--Driver---------------Team------------------Time---------------Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m32.167s            21
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m32.320s  + 0.153s  20
 3.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m32.358s  + 0.191s  25
 4.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m32.420s  + 0.253s  21
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m32.454s  + 0.287s  25
 6.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m32.477s  + 0.310s  20
 7.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m32.622s  + 0.455s  21
 8.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m32.940s  + 0.773s  19
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m33.046s  + 0.879s  20
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1m33.150s  + 0.983s  19
11.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault       1m33.267s  + 1.100s  25
12.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m33.367s  + 1.200s  20
13.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m33.398s  + 1.231s  24
14.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m33.462s  + 1.295s  24
15.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m33.673s  + 1.506s  22
16.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m33.674s  + 1.507s  21
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m33.707s  + 1.540s  21
18.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m33.733s  + 1.566s  15
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1m34.298s  + 2.131s  18
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1m34.781s  + 2.614s  20
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1m36.605s  + 4.438s  18
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1m37.060s  + 4.893s  14
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1m37.269s  + 5.102s  23
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1m37.429s  + 5.262s  17

Video:


Raikkonen sure more to come in 2012

Source: autosport.com

Kimi Raikkonen says it is a case of ‘good, but could do better’ when assessing his performance in the first half of his comeback season on the eve of the ninth round of this year’s campaign at Silverstone.

The 2007 world champion, who has finished on the podium three times since he came back to Formula 1 following a two-year spell in the WRC, says that while he is pleased with the results he has achieved so far with Lotus, he is also frustrated by the knowledge that he could have done even better.

“You always prefer to be higher up and if you would have told me before the season that I would be on the podium a few times and I had this many points I probably would say that yes that’s great,” he said.

“But then of course you get there and you know that with certain things we could have done better and we would probably have had better results so then you are always a bit disappointed.

“But no I am still happy and as a team we are in a pretty good position, but still we could have done better, so it is just the fact that we haven’t achieved what we probably should have achieved.”

Raikkonen added that he is still working towards a better feeling in the E20 and admitted that disrupted race weekends are hindering him from achieving that goal.

“If you make a small error somewhere or have a small issue at a certain point of the weekend then it can easily cost you a lot of time,” he said. “It looks like a small thing but it might make a big difference in the end.

“It is difficult to always get the perfect weekend, it’s not the easiest thing.

“We have to still find on the set-up side something that we are 100 per cent happy with, and we are looking for it and we have some ideas. But every time when it’s wet like this we have to wait and it’s not so simple to say okay we’ll try this and this. The weather can change or you have a small issue and then you cannot do anything.

“We just have to be patient and try to get as good a result as we can and try to just work on the small details that we have to improve.”