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

 

 

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12 responses

  1. rahim5077

    Well its been a painful couple of days for me too now that Alonso was on the podium..getting frustrated now seriously!!! Ferrari-Raikkonen….mistake????

    April 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

    • yuss590

      It was quite painful to see Kimi struggled in both qualifying & race in the last 4 GP. This is the first time I saw him in this situation. 1 sec slower than his teammate per lap, sitting at 12 position after 4 races… … is really painful to accept. Hope he will sort out the issue with his team soon & bounce back in Europe. Never give up!

      April 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

  2. gio

    I just dont understand how a big team like ferrari with all its technology/infrastructure cant identify what is wrong with car no.7 (driver and technical staff)
    If alonso can make it in the rain or jump 2 places during the race then kimi should be able to do something similar…I understand maybe alonso has a slight advantage but the difference should be 1 or 2 places and not 5
    Ferrari are stupid if they dont accomodate kimi’s needs, since the other big teams are bringing in points from both their cars….

    April 20, 2014 at 9:59 am

  3. TM

    Ferrari should replace Kimi’s current race engineer with Mark Slade. Very frustrating first 4 races indeed for Kimi.

    April 20, 2014 at 11:03 am

  4. JB

    I don’t know who did this interview post-race but it’s one of the most serious I’ve heard from Kimi:

    http://en.espnf1.com/china/motorsport/story/155145.html

    April 20, 2014 at 11:59 am

  5. yuss590

    The situation now is completely not good for him. Really hope he & team will figure out the solution & start catching Alonso from next race onwards.

    April 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

  6. Martin

    I am his fan since 2003 and I know him very well, he is not comfortable at all with his car.

    Kimi is struggling a lot with the handling of the car, and he has had a lot of problems at all weekends this season. Once he can sort out all the problems and Ferrari can give him the car setup like he likes, he will be up there.

    But, like he always says, it takes time. That’s fact.

    Don’t mind about journalists talking rubbish, they need to talk about something, much time to fill on TV.

    I would like to thank to you Saima for your great support, we always be supporting Kimi no matter what, and more in the bad moments, because is when he more need it.

    Some plastic fans are losing the faith -very poor memory- and leaving, but when Kimi returns to victory, they will be there celebrating.

    April 21, 2014 at 3:31 am

    • Thanks Martin. I absolutely agree with you, it will take time and we can’t expect a miracle but we can trust in Kimi and that’s what I always do!

      April 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

    • yuss590

      Martin, i agreed with what u said just hope that Kimi will not take to long to bounce back.

      May 1, 2014 at 1:36 am

  7. Thanks to Arek for gathering some info from various forums about Kimi’s car problems:

    What’s happening this year is not going to be solved easily because there are fundamental issues that exceed the car, the parts, etc.

    Pirelli brought significantly harder tires this season, and the problem is worsened by the lack of aero-grip. This means:

    a) Cars with excessive mechanical grip that would otherwise be rendered “problematic” for chewing tires like gum after a couple of laps, are now “dominant” (cough Merc, cough).

    b) Cars with ordinary mechanical load don’t have what it takes to operate the tires. Not only they don’t have what it takes, but they are actually harming the harder tires because they are sliding around with them (!).

    c) In terms of drivers: Drivers with softer driving styles are penalized and those with harsher driving style are rewarded – as long as they operate close to the window of the tire and not making them slide around.

    This situation will not be solved if Ferrari brings a better steering wheel or a nose with +5% downforce. It can only be solved if Ferrari gets Mercedes-levels of mechanical grip so that it can operate the tires within their window.

    As it is right now, both drivers will suffer but Kimi will suffer more because he has the lighter driving style. Under normal circumstances where the tire is within the operating window of the car but has been designed to degrade to improve the show (as was the case last seasons), a hard tire would mean: A slow Kimi in Q (warmup issues) and a dominant Kimi in the race as he manages the tire better. Now the tires are quite hard and they are not really within the operating window. Thus Kimi will have warmup issues for Q + he will be unable to maximize the race also because the tires are too hard and are sliding (thus getting destroyed). He can’t even play the preservation card with the tire being outside of the operating window because the tire is harmed precisely because it works outside of its window.

    If there are some GPs with softer tires, we could see a vastly different picture with cars beyond Mercedes coming alive and the softer drivers also getting comfortable.

    1) If the tire is way too hard for a given track => kimi is out of the window, bye bye. (today)

    2) If the tire is too hard for a given track but can get within the operating window => kimi might be able to play the preservation card and be fast in the race (maybe even -1 pitstop)

    3) If the track allows Kimi to use his “opening my line on exit” (Malaysia/Nirb etc) approach => kimi can work around the issue of problematic tire exploitation through his faster lines. This doesn’t work in tracks where there is no extra space for opening the line (eg Monaco).

    If the situation was reversed and the tires were too soft:

    1) If they were extremely soft: Alonso would be destroying the Q tires even in qualify runs while his races would be a nightmare

    2) If they were very soft: Alonso would be able to use his main driving style of extreme steering angles with a grippy front end, doing good in qualify, but having a preservation problem in races

    3) If they were soft enough to take a good level of abuse with the natural Alonso driving style (too much steering angle on corner entry) during the race: Alonso would do well but Kimi would still end up on top with -1 pitstop and far less degradation.

    April 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  8. rahim5077

    Amazing insight..i was already against tire change when they changed it last year mid-season…those tires were perfect…they were amazing for drama…and they showed abilities of few driver of saving rubber…likes of Raikkonen Button Diresta…anyways i hope next race it doesn’t rain…should be dry and hot for having more probability of getting the tires in the window..Kimi will bounce back thats for sure..maybe next race i think due to testing…or maybe monaco just like 2009..c’mon Kimi!!!!

    April 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm

  9. TiiuT

    To see Kimi´s struggleing, it hurts….but better time is coming, the best races are coming, I´m sure. I belive in Kimi….always!

    April 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm

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