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MALAYSIA GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE RESULTS

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PRACTICE TWO

Second for Kimi

Kimi Raikkonen was again second in the second free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Finn lapped in 1.39.944, which was just 35 thousandths off the 1.39.909 set by fastest man Nico Rosberg for Mercedes. In the other F14 T, Fernando Alonso was fifth in 1.40.103, under two tenths of the fastest time. In the early part of the 90 minute session, both drivers worked on qualifying set-up, before moving on to long runs in race configuration in the second half. While also working on general set up, Raikkonen and Alonso completed 30 and 29 laps respectively, using both the Medium and Hard Pirelli compounds.

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “This was definitely a positive day and I had a better feeling compared to Friday in Melbourne. I was more comfortable with the F14 T today and even if we had no problems whatsoever, we know there’s still a long way to go and a lot to do. Our programme concentrated on car set-up and on testing the compounds that Pirelli has brought here. The handling seemed to be good even if, as we found on the race simulation, we will have to pay very close attention to degradation, which is particularly high here. Now we will spend the evening carefully analysing all the data we gathered over the day, to try and work out how to improve.”

FP2 Times:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m39.909s           30
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m39.944s  +0.035s  30
 3.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m39.970s  +0.061s  30
 4.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m40.051s  +0.142s  32
 5.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m40.103s  +0.194s  29
 6.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m40.112s  +0.203s  34
 7.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m40.276s  +0.367s  29
 8.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m40.628s  +0.719s  28
 9.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m40.638s  +0.729s  35
10.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m40.691s  +0.782s  34
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m40.777s  +0.868s  33
12.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.014s  +1.105s  20
13.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m41.257s  +1.348s  28
14.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.325s  +1.416s  32
15.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m41.407s  +1.498s  34
16.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m41.671s  +1.762s  25
17.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m42.531s  +2.622s  14
18.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m43.638s  +3.729s  20
19.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m43.752s  +3.843s  29
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m45.703s  +5.794s  31
21.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault                           0
22.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault                              0

 

PRACTICE ONE

Raikkonen in Hamilton’s Wake

Kimi Raikkonen was second and Fernando Alonso was eleventh at the end of the first free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Sepang track was still quite dirty as Kimi produced a best time of 1.40.843, 152 thousandths slower than Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.40.691 in the Mercedes. Fernando Alonso’s best time was a 1.41.923, on a morning that featured a spin at Turn 8. During the session, both Ferrari men worked mainly on system checks and getting a first look at the balance of the car, the Finn completing 20 laps and the Spaniard 14.

FP1 Times:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m40.691s           19
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m40.843s  +0.152s  20
 3.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m41.028s  +0.337s  19
 4.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.111s  +0.420s  20
 5.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.274s  +0.583s  18
 6.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.402s  +0.711s  15
 7.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m41.523s  +0.832s  9
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m41.642s  +0.951s  19
 9.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m41.686s  +0.995s  23
10.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m41.830s  +1.139s  22
11.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m41.923s  +1.232s  14
12.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m42.117s  +1.426s  20
13.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.365s  +1.674s  21
14.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m42.869s  +2.178s  21
15.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.904s  +2.213s  23
16.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m43.825s  +3.134s  18
17.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m45.775s  +5.084s  24
18.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m46.911s  +6.220s  10
19.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m51.180s  +10.489s 5
20.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes                      2
21.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault                             2
22.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault                             4
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MALAYSIA: THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

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Q: Kimi, seventh in Australia and a bulletin from the Ferrari team since then with some quotes from you saying that one of the problems was the brake-by-wire system in particular. Would you give us a bit more detail on that?
KR:
Ah, I don’t know where that came from. It’s not the issue. There is nothing wrong with the system. Somebody asked me after the race and I said ‘it’s not that’ – because they kind of said ‘is there some issue?’ It’s not true. But just mainly setup to get the car as I like it, as I wanted to have it and I’m sure once… we’re making some stuff for me, so hopefully once we get those it will get a bit more easy to get a bit more feeling in the front end. But it will take a little while. Obviously not the ideal start for the year, for the team, not what we obviously want to achieve. We want to do much better results but after all the difficulties over the weekend and how difficult it was, how many areas, just the small things. At least we got something out and it’s going to be a long year, so hopefully we can now build on it. We have plenty of good people and they’re working flat out as a group to improve things. So, we still have things to do but I’m sure we can keep progressing.

Q: With the nature of this particular circuit, do you think that you and we will be able to see more of what this Ferrari car is capable of this weekend, perhaps than we did in Australia?
KR:
I don’t know. Every circuit is different. Obviously it is very hot, humid here, slightly different tyres here I think, so I have no idea. Even from the past years it was very difficult to say from race to race and especially with this new year with new rules. It will be hard but hopefully we get a bit better feeling and overall have a bit more experience and all the things run the weekend through a little bit more cleanly and hopefully get the better results.

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QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: (Kate Walker – crash.net) For all of you: we’ve heard quite a lot of negative headlines, negative news reports about the new formula. I’d like to get some positive feedback from you on what these new cars are like to drive and how much fun they are to race.

KR: I don’t think it’s awfully different as a driver, to compare last year’s cars to this year’s. Obviously there are some small detailed issues but it’s the bigger issues that make a difference for me, just to be in a different team. Every team feels a bit different, different cars. It doesn’t really change an awful lot as a driver.

Q: (Adrian Rodriguez Huber – Agencia EFE) Kimi, how has your relationship with Fernando Alonso developed if it has, in any direction, since you guys have become teammates?
KR:
It’s good, it always been good. Now, obviously, it’s early days but there was a lot of talk in the media from you guys, different people saying different things, but it’s been good. But the team has been trying to improve things and get the team to where we want to be.

Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, did you have any temptation to go to drive the simulator to get better settings for you?
KR:
No.

Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) Kimi, can we say that Ferrari will be more able to attack Mercedes and the other teams here?
KR:
Like I said before, we don’t know how it’s going to be here. I would say it’s a different circuit, it will be very hard for the cars, the heat. We have to wait and see how we can do. Obviously we learned quite a bit on things from the last race but then it’s the same for every team. Hopefully we can be a bit more happy and see where we end up.

Q: So where do you think you are? Second? Third fastest car?
VB:
Somewhere there, hopefully. It’s been a good start for us, hopefully we can maintain it because everyone is going to improve a lot, so I would definitely see no reason why we couldn’t find four top six positions.
KR: I think we are more or less where we finished.
NR: I think we look to be the quickest at the moment which is fantastic but we need to be careful with that and the opposition is not asleep, they’re pushing like crazy.

(Source: formula1.com, ferrari.com)

VIDEO


F1 RACING: THE ICEMAN’S ARTIST

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Hi everyone, here is a cool feature on Kimi Raikkonen’s personal helmet artist and designer Uffe Tagstrom from the latest April issue of F1Racing magazine. A nice insight into the helmet evolution of one of the most iconic racing drivers in the world.


Raikkonen confident in team’s development

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The two words that spring to mind after the Australian Grand Prix are patience and work. Scuderia Ferrari’s main aim is clearly to make the F14 T more competitive. The feeling is that many teams used this first GP of the season to get a better understanding of the complicated new cars and that raises the hope that, as the races go by, the spectacle will also improve.

Kimi Raikkonen, one of the most experienced drivers on the grid also believes that patience is the key. “I think that at the start of a season like this one, with new tyres but more than that, completely new cars, the main aim has to be getting to the chequered flag. We did just that and I was finally able to run a full race distance in this car.”

“I’ve been in this game for quite a while now,” continued Raikkonen, “and I can say this is definitely not the first time that I’ve gone through a difficult first race weekend. We identified some general problems which we have to tackle in Maranello and there are other aspects linked to the set-up on my car to do with the brake-by-wire system. Getting this device working correctly is definitely something that contributes to the general feeling from the car, because it has a great effect on corner entry. Having said that, the F14 T improved right through Friday and Saturday and not getting into Q3 was not down to the competitiveness of the car.”

Kimi then returned to the key word of the moment. “First of all, we have to stay calm. The team is united, we know what we have to do and how to go about finding more performance. We also know this development process will not happen overnight and so we must be patient and concentrate hard on our work without watching what the others are doing. However, I’m sure that, if we work in the correct way, then right from the next race in Malaysia, the results can definitely be better.”

(Source: ferrari.com)


Vilander on Raikkonen’s car troubles

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MTV Sport’s F1 expert Toni Vilander [24 Hours of Le Mans winner and a close friend of Kimi's] explains the setup problems Ferrari is having with Kimi Raikkonen.

The car’s tendency to push has been causing problems for Raikkonen.

“They’re looking for better settings for the front end. They’re trying to improve the turning of the car and the issues with the locking up of the inside wheel. Kimi is having problems with braking and the fact that the car pushes quite heavily. The front end is weak and Kimi’s isn’t able to get a proper feel of it.”

Teammate Fernando Alonso’s setup is completely different.

“Kimi’s use of the steering wheel and the timing of the braking and the gear change are different. Kimi changes gear fairly late and he keeps a slight pressure on the brake all the way to the middle of a curve. This requires a responsive steering and an inside wheel that doesn’t lock up.”

“Fernando turns fast and rough. For him it’s ok that the car pushes and you’ll be able to force the car inside a curve”, Vilander compares the different driving styles.

(Source: mtv.fi, google-translated)

Melbourne GP: Kobayashi crashed into Raikkonen first

(Source: autosprint.corrieredellosport.it)


Alonso: “very strong opponent” in Raikkonen

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Fernando Alonso insists he is very happy to have a strong opponent in Kimi Raikkonen to fight against at Ferrari this year, and in fact relishes the prospect.

Some believe the Spaniard cannot possibly have supported the team’s decision to replace the subordinate Felipe Massa with the former Ferrari champion Kimi Raikkonen.

But Alonso insists Massa was no pushover.

“Sometimes he was even faster than Michael Schumacher when they were together,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. ”But my four years were fantastic with Felipe, so I expect nothing other than my coming years with Kimi to be fantastic too.”

Finn Raikkonen had a poor race return with Ferrari in Australia, but Alonso tipped him to get up to speed quickly.

“He’s very, very fast, perhaps the fastest of us all, or at least he is considered as such by some,” he said.

“Last year, he battled for the title with a Lotus, an achievement I rate highly because I do not think Lotus are so strong,” Alonso added.

“I have a very strong opponent in the team and I am very happy about that, whether you believe me or not.”

He said all the recent speculation about their relationship was “understandable”, given the new season and a “winter in which nothing much happens”.

“This has become a routine for me, especially since I’ve been with Ferrari, because it was also said it would be very difficult for me with Felipe,” said Alonso.

(Source: Welt am Sonntag Newspaper, via grandprix247.com)

Alonso complains of Raikkonen helmet privileges

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Fernando Alonso has complained about Kimi’s use of Bell helmets, while Schuberth is the team’s official helmet provider.

The two-time world champion has asked the team why Raikkonen has such privileges.

(Source: iltasanomat.fi, courtesy of FansOfKR)

 


Ferrari and Raikkonen working on fixes

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Kimi Raikkonen does not know how long it will take to fix the issues he is having getting comfortable with the set-up of his new Ferrari Formula 1 car.

The Finn endured a troubled time at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix as he struggled with the handling of the new F14 T, especially under braking and corner entry.

His problems were further exacerbated in the race by front tyre graining, which led to a number of lock-ups.

Ferrari and Raikkonen are working on fixes to the way the energy recovery systems impact on the car’s handling, but the 2007 world champion admits that things are unlikely to get better immediately.

“We know more or less what we want to do, but some things are not happening overnight,” said Raikkonen.

“It takes time to produce certain parts, or to have a certain way of putting the things on.

“We also cannot promise that it is going to fix the issues once we get something that we want.

“I have been in these situations before and sometimes it takes a while.

“Unfortunately it is not the easiest position right now, but looking at how difficult everything was, we got everything out of it.

“It is not what we want to achieve but it could have been even worse. I am sure we can only get better from there.”

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali reiterated that the team is doing everything it can to help Raikkonen, and he hopes progress can be made in time for the next grand prix in Malaysia.

“We need to help Kimi try to find the right balance in the car,” he said. “He deserves that.

“There was an improvement [this weekend], but we are still not where we want to be.

“As a team we have to make sure that everything will be done to help his driving style and I am sure for Malaysia it will be much better.”

(Source: autosport.com)

VIDEO

Kimi clearly isn’t happy…



 


Melbourne: Kimi settles for points after tough weekend

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| Source: espn.co.uk |

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Kimi Raikkonen said his disappointing performance at the Australian Grand Prix was down to a combination of small issues that resulted in front tyre graining.

Raikkonen finished seventh (due to Ricciardo’s exclusion, all drivers behind 2nd place move up one position) after a race-long struggle with the handling of his Ferrari, which saw him lock up and run wide on a number of occasions. He said it was not a specific problem with the braking system on his car, but instead a combination of issues that resulted in the surface of his front tyres graining and losing grip.

“The brakes are fine,” he said. “We had a little issue with it at the beginning of the race and then we grained the front tyre, and when you do that you don’t have the grip at the front and you lock very easily and it understeers. It’s not the brakes [alone], it’s a combination of things so sometimes it gets a bit tricky.

“Right now it’s not the easiest thing but I’m sure we will find a solution for it at some point. It’s not the first time I’ve been in a situation that’s not easy, and we will work until we fix it. If it takes a week or month I don’t know, I don’t care. It’s not the first time and that’s how it goes sometimes.

“We know more or less what we want to do, but some things cannot happen overnight and it takes time to produce certain parts or certain ways of putting the things [together]. We cannot promise that it is going to fix the issues once we get something that we want, but we can hope that it will work.

“But like I said, I’ve been in these situations before and sometimes it takes a while and fortunately it’s not the easiest position right now. Looking how difficult everything was, we still got something even though it was not what we wanted to achieve, but it could have been worse.”

Raikkonen is confident he has the potential to be much quicker if he and Ferrari iron out the issues.

“There were quite a few issues on small things but many of those and that hurts a lot. We get a bit of a clearer picture now, but if we can run the weekend without any issues then I’m sure we can be much stronger. This is how it was here and hopefully we can sort out most of the things for the next race.”

VIDEO

Pre-Race – Raikkonen: “It doesn’t work, ask them to change!”

Sky Italia interview


AUSTRALIA GP – RACE RESULTS

Close call at the race start

| Source: autosport.com | ferrari.com |

REPORT

Ferrari had a difficult time of it today in Albert Park, with Fernando Alonso coming home fifth, three places ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. The race was won by Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, the German’s fourth career victory. Daniel Ricciardo was second for Red Bull, while Kevin Magnussen was third on his Formula 1 debut with McLaren. Button was fourth in the other McLaren, finishing 6.2 seconds ahead of Alonso. The rest of the points went to Bottas, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Vergne and Kvyat.

The Scuderia leaves the Antipodes with 14 valuable points and plenty of data to analyse, as it strives to sort out a few teething troubles it encountered during this the first race for the highly complex 2014 cars.

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “That wasn’t a straightforward race. At the start, I managed to get away well and even though I was hit from behind by another car at the first corner, my car was undamaged. The speed was good, but at one point I was suffering with graining on the front tyres, I had very little grip and a lot of understeer. From then on, the car’s handling was not the same. When it was time for the first stop, we had to do a double stop and that cost me a place.”

“It’s definitely too early to make any definite judgement, because even if at the moment we don’t seem to be in great shape, we still managed to finish the race, scoring valuable points. We can’t be pleased with this result and we know there are many areas where we need to improve. But I’m sure that analysing the data from this first race will give us a clearer idea of the direction to work in.”

“The brakes are fine, we grained the front tyre and then you have no grip on the front. That is the main issue, [but] it is a combination of things. It is not the easiest thing but I’m sure we will find a solution for it at some point. We work until we fix it. If it takes a week or a month, I don’t care. This is how it goes sometimes.” (Source)

Pat Fry: “Going into this race, getting both cars to the finish seemed like the most difficult task, but in the end, we managed it. Today we saw how reliability can never be taken for granted: it caught some people out and it also affected our performance at some stages of the race. On both the F14 Ts, we had some electrical problems, especially on Kimi’s car, which meant he couldn’t use all the car’s potential. Fernando found himself behind Hulkenberg for many laps and he was only able to show what the car was capable of once he got ahead thanks to a spot on pit stop strategy. Kimi got a great start, but then for much of the race he suffered with graining on the front tyres and thus found himself having to defend, without being able to attack. There is much work ahead if we are to improve the car’s performance. We are up against several very strong opponents, but we have all the right tools to get the job done of closing the gap between us.”

Stefano Domenicali: “The first race of the championship has provided a clear picture of the hierarchy at the start of season. It’s also shown which teams appear to have done the best job of dealing with these new regulations. Today, we achieved our objective in terms of reliability, but the gap we need to make up, especially to Mercedes, was clear to see. The information we have gathered this weekend clearly points to the direction we must take and what areas need the most work. It will be important to catch up as quickly as possible and react in the way this team has always proved capable of doing. Our engineers know what the priorities are and which areas need the most immediate attention.”

RACE RESULTS

Original Result - 57 laps:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car                  Time/Gap
 1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1h32m58.710s
 2.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault          +24.525s
 3.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes          +26.777s
 4.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes          +30.027s
 5.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                   +35.284s
 6.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes         +47.639s
 7.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes      +50.718s
 8.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                   +57.675s
 9.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m00.441s
10.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m03.585s
11.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes    +1m25.916s
12.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
13.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
14.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari           +2 laps
15.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari           +8 laps*

Revised result - 57 laps:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car                  Time/Gap
 1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1h32m58.710s
 2.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes          +26.777s 
 3.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes          +30.027s 
 4.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                   +35.284s 
 5.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes         +47.639s 
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes      +50.718s 
 7.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                   +57.675s 
 8.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m00.441s 
 9.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m03.585s 
10.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes    +1m25.916s 
11.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap 
12.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap 
13.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari           +2 laps 
14.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari           +8 laps*  

* Not classified

Retirements:

     Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault               DSQ
     Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault              43 laps
     Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault              29 laps
     Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault           27 laps
     Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault            3 laps
     Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes                    2 laps
     Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault            0 laps
     Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes           0 laps

Drivers' championship:

 1.  Nico Rosberg      25
 2.  Kevin Magnussen   18
 3.  Jenson Button     15
 4.  Fernando Alonso   12
 5.  Valtteri Bottas   10
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg   8
 7.  Kimi Raikkonen    6
 8.  Jean-Eric Vergne  4
 9.  Daniil Kvyat      2
10.  Sergio Perez      1

Constructors' championship:

 1.  McLaren/Mercedes      33
 2.  Mercedes              25
 3.  Ferrari               18
 4.  Williams/Mercedes     10
 5.  Force India/Mercedes  9 
 6.  Toro Rosso/Renault    6

VIDEO

Post-race interview with Kimi, SkySports


Australia GP Team Radio Transcript

  • Kimi: At the moment we have an issue with the radio, because I cannot hear you.
  • Engineer: OK, we look into that.
  • Kimi: I need a little bit more front wing, I have front graining.
  • Engineer: We will remove the lip from the rear and the equivalent will be half a degree.

 

GALLERY

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AUSTRALIA GP – QUALIFYING RESULTS

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| Source: autosport.com |

kr-mel-qlf-2014Report: Qualifying was made particularly tricky because of rain and it ended in less than brilliant circumstances for Scuderia Ferrari. Fernado Alonso was fifth fastest, leaving the impression he could have done better with a little bit of luck, while Kimi Raikkonen is twelfth on the sixth row, having hit the wall right at the end of Q2 in Albert Park.

Everyone rushed out on track in Q1 as the rain was clearly on its way, arriving four minutes from the end: Fernando was fourth fastest with a 1.31.388 on the Soft tyres, while Raikkonen was ninth in 1.32.439 on the Mediums.

In a wet Q2, the Intermediate tyres were called into service, and the Spaniard was third in 1.42.805, six tenths off Rosberg’s Mercedes. But Raikkonen was in the wall and out of proceedings, a fate he shared with two other champions, Button and Vettel.

  • A five-place grid penalty for Bottas moves Kimi up to 11th for the race tomorrow (view full grid list here).
  • Kimi admits traffic more costly than crash: “I didn’t have any more time to do an extra lap, so on that lap I would have come in anyway. I was playing around with the switches or something, and I got a little bit of wheelspin and touched the wall. But the car is more or less OK. It was just my mistake. I got a little bit of wheelspin, I wasn’t pushing anymore, but I couldn’t catch it. That didn’t change the fact we had traffic on the previous lap. There was a McLaren going very slowly through Turn 5, and there were some other cars in front of us, but that’s how it goes sometimes. In the wet we had the speed, it was just the traffic.”
Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m44.231s
 2.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m44.548s  +0.317s
 3.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m44.595s  +0.364s
 4.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m45.745s  +1.514s
 5.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m45.819s  +1.588s
 6.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m45.864s  +1.633s
 7.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m46.030s  +1.799s
 8.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m47.360s  +3.129s
 9.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m48.079s  +3.848s
10.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m48.147s  +3.916s
                   Q3 cut-off:           1m44.331s       **
11.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m44.437s  +2.173s
12.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m44.494s  +2.230s
13.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m44.668s  +2.404s
14.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m45.655s  +3.391s
15.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m45.867s  +3.603s
16.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m47.293s  +5.029s
                   Q2 cut-off:           1m34.274s       ***
17.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m34.293s  +4.118s
18.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m34.794s  +4.619s
19.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m35.117s  +4.942s
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m35.157s  +4.982s
21.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m36.993s  +6.818s

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “Qualifying wasn’t straightforward today, especially because of traffic. When I was on a quick lap, I had a car in front of me at every corner. That stopped me getting a clean lap and at the end of Q2, I spun off damaging the front wing. I don’t think I’d have gone quicker anyway, as I had already reduced my speed at this point, because I knew already I wouldn’t make it to Q3. It’s a shame, because compared to yesterday we have made some steps forward. In the wet we were quick and I had more feeling for the car. We know we have a lot of work to do in every area, especially on car set-up, but at the same time, we are sure we are going in the right direction. Tomorrow’s race will be tough, the weather forecast is unclear and on top of that, with the new rules, it’s hard to predict how things will go. But it’s only the first race of the year and we will do our best to get a good result.”

Pat Fry: “Qualifying in the wet in Melbourne is nothing new, but today, added to the wet track, the drivers also had to deal with all the new technologies introduced in the regulations. We are not satisfied with the final result, even if the F14 T is still at the development stage and I believe the team is working in the right direction to make up ground to our rivals, especially Mercedes, who today confirmed the form they’d shown in winter testing. Our grid positions would suggest an uphill battle in the race, especially for Kimi and we can expect unknown factors linked to reliability and fuel consumption to count for a lot. As for the former factor, we are paying close attention to every little detail. At this point, we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted, because with such complicated systems, the unpredictable could come into play. In terms of race pace, we’ve seen some teams are faster than us, but I think the first race of the year could throw up some surprises, hopefully in our favour.”

VIDEO

GALLERY

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AUSTRALIA GP – FINAL PRACTICE RESULTS

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PRACTICE THREE

Report: Third and seventh times for Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen respectively in the final free practice for the Australian Grand Prix. The Spaniard took his F14 T round in 1.30.876, a second and a half off the fastest time, which was set by Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. The German was the dominant force, lapping 1.3 seconds quicker than second placed Jenson Button in the McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen’s best lap was a 1.31.156 and the Finn completed 12 laps, one more than his team-mate.

Both drivers concentrated on set-up work aimed at qualifying, in a session which was affected by a strong wind blowing across Albert Park. Heading from the nearby ocean, it brought in leaves and debris, which made life complicated in the braking areas, which explains several harmless off-track excursions, including one for Kimi.

FP3 Final Times:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m29.375s             15
 2.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m30.766s  +1.391s    20
 3.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m30.876s  +1.501s    11
 4.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m30.919s  +1.544s    13
 5.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m30.970s  +1.595s    13
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m30.978s  +1.603s    16
 7.  Kimi Räikkönen     Ferrari               1m31.156s  +1.781s    12
 8.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m31.251s  +1.876s    22
 9.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m31.665s  +2.290s    17
10.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m31.723s  +2.348s    20
11.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m31.925s  +2.550s    17
12.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m32.255s  +2.880s    14
13.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m32.417s  +3.042s    16
14.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m34.184s  +4.809s    15
15.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m34.188s  +4.813s    16
16.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m34.413s  +5.038s    19
17.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m34.717s  +5.342s    15
18.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault         1m34.754s  +5.379s    15
19.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m36.159s  +6.784s    21
20.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes                            2
21.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari                               2
22.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault                                4

KIMI’S COLUMN – AUSTRALIA PREVIEW

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| Source: kimiraikkonen.com |

Fresh and excited to start again

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Every spring it feels the same to start a new season. Nevertheless how the tests have gone, you feel fresh and excited to race again after the long winter break.

Obviously, for me it’s not that new experience anymore after spending more than a decade in this business. But this time we are heading for brand new power units with the brand new regulations. So it’s a kind of step into unknown territory for everyone.

My winter break felt shorter than usual. It was only a matter of getting healed and getting fit. I had to stop last season in the beginning of November to have my back fixed with a operation in France. Everything went well and I was able to start training normally in time.

To start the new season in a new team gives you always some kind of extra motivation and, for me, obviously going back to Ferrari means a lot as a racing driver.

Visiting the factory in Maranello has showed me how big a push there is to get us back to the very top again. There are still some familiar faces from my previous period with Ferrari, and some new ones as well. That is how it goes in every top team. People come and go.

The main focus now is to start developing the car to work better and better with the all the new systems that there are to use. The preseason testing was not that good for me. I could not drive as many miles as we planned, while with these new parts every small issue takes more time to be fixed compared to last year.

But the good thing was that there were no major issues with the car. It’s impossible to say where we are before the first qualifying session, but this weekend will tell more. We try our very best and hopefully we are able to finish the race with a good result.


AUSTRALIA GP: FRIDAY PRACTICE RESULTS

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[ Watch Kimi's first timed lap from FP1 here ]

PRACTICE TWO

REPORT: Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were third and seventh quickest respectively in the second free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix. At Albert Park the Spaniard, who did 28 laps, posted a 1.30.132, half a second off the quickest time set by Lewis Hamilton, with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg second. The Finn did 32 laps on his way to a best time of 1.30.898.

Both drivers worked on evaluating the Soft tyres for wear and performance, which appears to be almost two seconds quicker than the Mediums. They also worked on car set-up and in the final half hour, both drivers did a long run, practicing starts through the session. One small problem for Raikkonen when a failed sensor meant he could not select first gear at the end of pit lane. But the F14 T was brought back to the garage where it was fixed with no effect on the planned programme.

FP2 Final Times:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m29.625s           37
 2.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m29.782s  +0.157s  31
 3.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m30.132s  +0.507s  28
 4.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m30.381s  +0.756s  41
 5.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m30.510s  +0.885s  33
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m30.538s  +0.913s  38
 7.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m30.898s  +1.273s  32
 8.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m30.920s  +1.295s  38
 9.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m31.031s  +1.406s  34
10.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m31.054s  +1.429s  33
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m31.060s  +1.435s  35
12.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m31.119s  +1.494s  31
13.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m31.283s  +1.658s  36
14.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.355s  +2.730s  36
15.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.468s  +2.843s  26
16.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m32.495s  +2.870s  36
17.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m33.486s  +3.861s  29
18.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m33.646s  +4.021s  12
19.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m34.757s  +5.132s  29
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault                          1
21.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault
22.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault

PRACTICE ONE

REPORT: Ferraris were first and ninth at the end of the first free practice of the season at Albert Park. Fernando Alonso stopped the clocks in 1.31.840, half a second quicker than Jenson Button in the McLaren, who was followed by the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. The Spaniard did 20 laps, one more than Kimi Raikkonen, who posted a best lap of 1.32.977.

Both men did three runs, all on the Medium tyre. Both Fernando and Kimi concentrated on running checks on the car systems as well as making some changes to mapping and set-up, also doing some practice starts.

Fernando Alonso had the honour of being the very first man out on track this season, proof that he wants to get stuck in! He also went off at Turn 1, but no damage was done.

FP1 Final Times:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m31.840s            20
 2.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m32.357s  +0.517s   23
 3.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m32.403s  +0.563s   27
 4.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m32.431s  +0.591s   19
 5.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m32.599s  +0.759s   26
 6.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m32.604s  +0.764s   17
 7.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m32.793s  +0.953s   10
 8.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m32.847s  +1.007s   28
 9.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m32.977s  +1.137s   18
10.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m33.446s  +1.606s   30
11.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m33.533s  +1.693s   23
12.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m33.855s  +2.015s   24
13.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m34.272s  +2.432s   27
14.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m35.578s  +3.738s   7
15.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m36.445s  +4.605s   13
16.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m40.859s  +9.019s   6
17.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m46.922s  +15.082s  4
18.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault                           1
19.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes                                   1
20.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault                           1
21.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault                              2
22.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “That was a pretty demanding day, because although we managed to complete our programme, it wasn’t trouble-free. In the first session we lost a bit of time, but that didn’t prevent us acquiring enough data to evaluate the overall handling of the car and the Pirelli compounds. This evening there will be a lot of work to do, especially to understand what didn’t work and to try and improve for qualifying and the race”.

Stefano Domenicali: “I always have to see the negative side of the… or the empty side of the glass, so of course we need to make sure that all the things that are still not solved – not only on Kimi’s side – have to be solved or addressed very quickly because the competition is very strong and the time that we have available is not a lot. So I think that for me the most important thing is to address and to solve the issue very quickly and whatever it is, the driver is not really the problem because I’m sure that both drivers will be able to manage the situation in the best way that they can, but there is still a lot of work to do.”

Pat Fry: “Today, we tried to make the most of the good weather and track conditions to work on different strategies and mapping for the race, because this weekend the forecast is very uncertain, especially for tomorrow. During the first session, we concentrated on car set-up, especially in terms of improving the balance under braking and on optimising the drivers’ feeling. In the second session, we ran an evaluation of the soft tyre, completing the programme with a series of long runs. It’s very complicated getting the new systems to work perfectly and then, once you’ve reached that level, to get the maximum performance out of the car. There’s a long way to go and now it’s important to stay focused and pay full attention to the smallest details”.

VIDEOS

Lap with Kimi at Melbourne

 

Gear problems for Kimi

 

Kimi behind the scenes, slow-motion track shots

 

Onboard Alonso and Raikkonen


Thursday in Melbourne – Kimi ready for new era

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| Source: ferrari.com |

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Last year, Kimi Raikkonen won this Grand Prix, but with a different team and this weekend marks his return to the circuit where he also won on his debut for the Scuderia in 2007. “A new beginning of a season and we’ll just have to see how it goes,” is how the Finn summed it up when meeting the media today. “I’m with a new team but I have been here before which definitely makes life easier.”

Familiarity with the track and the team doesn’t mean the man from Espoo has a handle on how this weekend might go. “Every season there are question marks and how many depends on how the testing has gone,” he affirmed. “This year, with quite a lot of rule changes it’s a bit harder to know where we are and what’s going to happen, even if everyone has a rough idea of where we are going to be. We will have to wait until after the first few races to get a clearer picture. But there is no point guessing where we are now. Some teams have looked a bit faster than us in testing, but here we are in a different place, a very different track to Bahrain and different things can happen. Obviously I want to win and hopefully we can be up there and fight for the championship. The weather could be a bit tricky this weekend and with the new rules there could be a different scenario to the days when we raced with more fuel.”

With his usual matter of fact view of life, winning twice in Albert Park doesn’t endear the track to Kimi. “I don’t think this circuit is particularly special, although it’s a nice place for everybody to come,” he says. “As it’s the first race of the season, usually something happens and it makes for exciting racing, but just because I won here last year, it doesn’t mean this year will be just as good. You want to score as many points as you can. Hopefully we won’t have too many issues and can have a clean weekend and then we can see where we end up compared to the others.”

As for Kimi’s approach to the weekend, it’s straightforward: “there are a lot of areas where we still need to improve all the time and I hope we will be happy with the car right from the start of tomorrow’s practice.”

PRE-SEASON DRIVER PHOTOSHOOT

No hard feelings between Alan Permane and Kimi….

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Different front wings for Alo14 and KR7

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Melbourne: Kimi cautious with expectations

Kimi+Raikkonen+Australian+F1+Grand+Prix+Previews+yAn7u9jENK8x_KRS

| Source: adamcooperf1.com | autosport.com | ferrari.com |

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KIMI RAIKKONEN: “As for the others? I don’t fear them and even if anyone’s quicker than us we are only at the first race.”

“First of all I think we need to make sure we finish the races,” Raikkonen said. “And if we do that we’re already in a good position. We want to improve in all the areas, and we have to first see where we are.

“I don’t have any interest in guessing where we’re going to be or what’s going to happen. All we can do is see on Friday a little bit, and go from there. I hope that if we get everything running smoothly and do the best job we can then we should be up there.

“We didn’t have the best test in the last days, but I think we did most of the things that we were planning to do, and we have to see how we start, try to do our best, definitely try and be up there and try to finish the race, and hopefully be on the podium at least.”

Kimi was unperturbed by the prospect of rain this weekend.

“I mean rain or dry doesn’t make an awful lot of difference right now, there are much more unknown things that has to be answered. We will see how the weather is, it’s the same for everybody, so we’ll do the best whatever the situation is.”

Meanwhile regarding Fernando Alonso he said: “We have a normal team mate relationship, we both try to do our best, and help the team as well as we can.”

“It is difficult to say [if Ferrari can win],” he said. “It is the aim for sure, but there are so many unknowns coming this weekend.”

“This event is an excellent test bench for the new Formula 1 format because Albert Park is a very demanding circuit when it comes to fuel consumption. Due to the characteristics of the circuit, we have always used a lot of fuel here so to manage to be sparing with it will be a demanding challenge.”

For Kimi it’s the start of his second career at Ferrari: “Some faces have changed but even if the atmosphere seems a bit different to me it’s still the same great team and I believe it has worked very well on this year’s car.” About the race he added: “We’ve only had a few days of testing available. In an ideal world we would have arrived with many days on the track behind us, with more experience of the characteristics of the car and race strategies. That’s not how it is but it’s the same for everyone so all we can do is go on the track and try to get the best result possible.

“More than the result we know that we have a lot to come on the F14 T so we are not worried. The car seems to have a good potential but we will have work to do to get the most out of it.”

VIDEO

Shell event with the Ferrari drivers

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Italian SkySports, interview with subtitles

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VIDEO: “HORSE POWER” – FERRARI PREPARE FOR 2014

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I watched this documentary (view here) on Saturday night on Sky2 and it was a great insight to just how much passion and work goes into making an F1 car for a historic team. 2014 is a year of big changes in Formula 1 and Ferrari reveal their 3 years of planning and expectations, including with partners Shell on creating the perfect fuel mixture for a V6 Turbo engine.

With unprecedented access in the team’s Maranello factory, Ferrari team members share their thoughts and we also get to see exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso work in the team’s highly advanced F1 simulator – a pitch black room with a bunch of engineers on the other side watching everything with sharp eyes.

We also get to see behind-the-scenes at the first roll-out test in Jerez where the team met with an undesirable first taste of the car but worked hard and most importantly kept progress on track.

WhisperFilmsUK – Five years without a World Championship at Ferrari means the pressure to deliver a championship winning car is greater than ever. This is a candid, honest story following the people at the heart of Ferrari trying to bring success back to this Italian institution in the build up to the first race of the 2014 season.

Watch in full length (58mins): F1 2014 – Horse Power

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COULTHARD & VILLENEUVE ON FERRARI TEAMMATES

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David Coulthard: “Some people see it as being just a question of time for when it goes wrong, but I see it differently because I don’t think that Kimi is a political animal,” Coulthard said. “I was team-mates with him at McLaren, he was just asleep and/or driving the car quickly. I believe he will continue to do the same thing at Ferrari.

“Across the season you have to expect Fernando to be able to get more out of the package just because of familiarity with the team, speaking the language. It’s been built around him over the last few years; even though it’s a big regulation change the basis of the car which you sit in has been developed around him. But we could be surprised, they’re both world champions.”

“Whether Kimi is the wrong side of the curve age-wise; more than age really it’s about the fact that you accumulate a certain amount of negativity and disappointment during your career and that baggage builds up. No career is full of success, success, success, and it’s just a case of whether you eventually get p****d off, fed up and want to go off to do something else.

“So it will be intriguing to watch the two, but I don’t see the fireworks – negative fireworks – I see positive fireworks driving each other on.”

Jacques Villeneuve (speaking to Italian media) via LorenzoDeLuca: “Kimi and Alonso don’t have to be friends! Looking at the mess that Alonso had done last year, Ferrari could not only bet on him. If Kimi will be faster, Fernando will not be happy. But also the opposite, because Kimi pretends to be the “Iceman” but he’s hot-blooded.”

“The new regulation that requires you to save fuel, favors Kimi, who knows how to manage the consumption better. Kimi is perfect for this F1, because he knows how to manage the car in the race as few people know. while Alonso needs to push from start.”

“[For] the first time I see Kimi so concentrated, he is perhaps preparing one of his best seasons.”


VIDEO: ROB WILSON ON KIMI VS. ALONSO

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Rob Wilson was Kimi’s driving coach/mentor during his Formula Renault career and it’s safe to say he knows Kimi’s nature and driving style better than anybody in the motorsport world. Listen to Wilson talk with Peter Windsor about this year’s hottest and most anticipated pairing at Ferrari:

Rob Wilson – “Kimi can complete a single lap faster than anybody.”


KIMI ON MELBOURNE: “WINNING ALWAYS FEELS GREAT”

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| Source: ferrari.com |

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There are now only a few days to go to the start of the 2014 Formula 1 season and this year, like never before, there is a great sense of anticipation to see the cars take to the track on Friday in Albert Park. For Kimi Raikkonen, there’s an extra reason why it will feel special, because he will be starting his second stint at Ferrari. Most recently, the Finn won this race in 2013, but he also did it back in 2007, when he made his Ferrari debut, thus joining a select band who triumphed first time out for the Prancing Horse, drivers of the calibre of Juan Manuel Fangio, Mario Andretti and Nigel Mansell. Only one other driver managed it after Kimi and that was his current team-mate, Fernando Alonso.

“I remember very well my first win with Ferrari,” Kimi said. “It couldn’t have been a better start to my seventh year in Formula 1, with a dominant win from pole. Winning always feels great for me. Nothing could be better. Last year, we also managed to win, which certainly surprised people because unlike 2007, at Lotus we weren’t favourites. So, if I had to compare the two Australian wins, somehow, winning it last year for the second time felt even a little bit nicer after such a difficult pre-season testing period.

“Australia is a great place to start the season, Melbourne is a wonderful city and, for us Europeans it always feels a bit special to be in this different part of the world. Only the weather is not always that nice,” added Raikkonen. “I can remember only one GP here where there was sunshine all the time. Of course, I’d prefer dry and hot weekends, especially this year with a completely new car and so many technical aspects still to be understood completely.”

Kimi ran the Albert Park track programme on the simulator today, to try and anticipate unusual situations that could arise because of the characteristics of the 2014 car. “The track is not that difficult and it’s a combination of a street circuit and a permanent race track and the event is very well organised. Sure, if your car is not well balanced then life can get difficult because you can lose a lot of time compared to those have got it right. If it rains, then the track is very, very slippery and the white lines can be really treacherous.”

The Espoo man won’t be drawn into what could be the possible outcome of the race: “Making predictions has never been my habit and this year there is even more reason not to. We are heading Down Under with brand new cars and I reckon it is wide open and anything can happen. In Maranello, we have worked hard and the F14 T seems to be a good car, but the track will tell who is quickest. When we start running to see where we are, we will at least have some data to give us a starting point.”


KRS F1 OSCAR SELFIE

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| Source: nbcsports.com |

At last night’s Academy Awards in Hollywood, “Rush” was shut out of any nominations, which would seem to remove any racing element of the show. That said, Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt) still appeared as a presenter, and Leonardo DiCaprio has an FIA Formula E team he can still win with since he lost out for Best Actor to Matthew McConaughey.

Perhaps the biggest moment of the show though was when Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres got together with a number of A-list celebrities and took a “selfie.” That selfie generated more than 2 million retweets on Twitter, to become the most retweeted tweet of all-time.

And in the hours since, that selfie has generated hundreds of memes, where other faces are plastered onto the celebrities.

It’s at this point we show you that Fernando Alonso discovered a meme where F1 drivers’ faces are on the celebrities, originating from Twitter user @EvenstarSaima.

Those featured include Lotus’ pair of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, both looking pained. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo are on as well, with their facial expressions providing a good representation of their preseason struggles.

Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez of Force India have grumpy faces, odd considering Force India’s considerable pace in testing. Meanwhile Mercedes factory drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton look happy, again, which would match how well their preseason testing went. Hamilton’s bulldog Roscoe appears nearby.

Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen appear as well, Alonso of course with his famous “selfie” taken from the Italian Grand Prix to capture the “tifosi” Photoshopped in. Williams’ Felipe Massa rounds out the lineup.

Kudos to Alonso for discovering it and props to @EvenstarSaima for the creation.

I seriously didn’t think it would explode like this but since the original had 2 million retweets, why not :p Pity that Alonso had to use a cropped version of the image without the KRS logo and my name. Here’s a list of websites where my picture has been mentioned:

  • WTF1.co.uk: In case you missed the Oscars, allow me to sum it up for you. Leonardo Di Caprio didn’t win again, Brad Pitt ate a pizza and Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie that has now become the most retweeted tweet on Twitter, ever. While Rush got no recognition at the Oscars, EvenstarSaima of Kimi Raikkonen Space was determined to get F1 at the Oscars and put together this awesome photoshop.Enjoy the best F1 selfie since Fernando Alonso at Monza.

 


END OF PRE-SEASON TESTING

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| Sources: ferrari.com | skysports.com | formula1.com | DAY 4 times |

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Lewis Hamilton returned Mercedes to the top of the times while Red Bull’s struggles continued during the final pre-season Formula 1 test of 2014 in Bahrain.

Fernando Alonso was at the wheel of the F14 T for the final day of winter testing for Scuderia Ferrari and the other ten Formula 1 teams.

In the morning, the team worked with Fernando on fine tuning some electronic configurations linked to optimising the use of energy in the new power unit. Before the lunch break, work was halted by the need to change the gearbox on the car.

In the afternoon, the technical programme moved on to a series of short and long runs to check the management of systems on the F14 T.

Over the past four days in Sakhir, the F14 T has completed a total of 337 laps, equivalent to 1.823 kilometres.

Kimi will have a few days rest before resuming season preparations in Maranello with further simulator work.

The next time the cars will be on track will be on Friday 14 March in Melbourne’s Albert Park, when the curtain goes up on the first free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.

TEST IN NUMBERS

Top times from complete Bahrain tests

1. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 33.258s, 202 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 33.278s, 159 laps
3. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 33.484s, 192 laps
4. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 33.987s, 236 laps
5. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m 34.280s, 196 laps
6. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 35.290s, 213 laps
7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 35.426s, 141 laps
8. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1m 35.577s, 189 laps
9. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1m 35.701s, 135 laps
10. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 35.743s, 105 laps
11. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m 35.894s, 197 laps
12. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1m 36.113s, 137 laps
13. Adrian Sutil, Sauber, 1m 36.467s, 181 laps
14. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1m 36.835s, 105 laps
15. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 36.901s, 74 laps
16. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, 1m 37.087s, 153 laps
17. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 37.303s, 192 laps
18. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1m 37.468s, 77 laps
19. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, 1m 38.083s, 172 laps
20. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, 1m 38.391s, 125 laps
21. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1m 39.302s, 65 laps
22. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 40.599s, 62 laps

Total laps in second Bahrain test - by team (power unit, where different):
1. Williams (Mercedes), 438
2. Force India (Mercedes), 402
3. Sauber (Ferrari), 373
4. Mercedes, 351
5. Ferrari, 337
6. Caterham (Renault), 297
7. Toro Rosso (Renault), 272
8. McLaren (Mercedes), 271
9. Marussia (Ferrari), 258
10. Red Bull (Renault), 182
11. Lotus (Renault), 127

Mileage numbers:

NEWS

Ferrari: Mercedes, Williams look good

Domenicali: “At the end of this session we have done around 4000km, Mercedes close to 5000, Williams more or less close to that number, that mans at the end of the day they prepare better for the start of the season,” he said.

“It’s a fact, so we have to start from this consideration, knowing that there is a huge amount of work to be done.

“Williams and Mercedes seem to be in very good shape, but that’s what we have seen so far. I think we have a good base and we need to develop it.

“There is a lot of potential that needs to be discovered, that is the objective our engineers have to fix as soon as possible because the points we will score at the beginning of the season will be very heavy.”

Pirelli announce 2014 tyres for opening four Grands Prix

Australia: Medium & Soft
Malaysia: Hard & Medium
Bahrain: medium & Soft
China: Medium & Soft

BAHRAIN TEST 2: DAY 3

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| Source: autosport.com | commentary | ferrari.com |

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Ferrari had a quiet morning on Kimi Raikkonen’s final day in the car, and it finally managed to carry out some race simulation work with the Finn in the final two hours of the day.

That left just enough time for some short runs just before the end, which enabled the 2007 world champion to set the third-fastest time.

Commentary:
12:30
As the recovery truck heads back to the paddock, we have a little over two hours to go here. If we have any more disruptions that could prove costly to Raikkonen’s hopes of getting a race simulation in.

13:03 That first stint from Raikkonen was three laps longer than Alonso’s opener yesterday afternoon, and on average it was around 0.3s per lap slower than the Spaniard managed.

13:36 Raikkonen pits for a second time in this race simulation. Ferrari are running this ‘race’ slightly differently to Alonso’s yesterday, giving Raikkonen a much longer second stint than his team-mate did.

Edd Straw (@autosport on Kimi’s bad luck in testing): “Sometimes things just go that way. With only 12 days of testing, usually one driver will be the unfortunate one. For example, prior to today, with one day left for each, Nico Rosberg was about 500km up the road from Lewis Hamilton.

“Certainly, Raikkonen has been extremely unfortunate – and has had problems again today – but he’s a professional, experienced driver and it won’t disadvantage him. As he would doubtless say, he knows what he’s doing!

“Given the learning curve teams are on with these engines, it would be impossible to build your programme around trying to give one driver the more high-risk days, and there would be no benefit to doing so.”

Pos  Driver            Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Felipe Massa      Williams-Mercedes     1m33.258s           99
 2.  Nico Rosberg      Mercedes              1m33.484s  +0.226s  103
 3.  Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari               1m35.426s  +2.168s  87
 4.  Kevin Magnussen   McLaren-Mercedes      1m35.894s  +2.636s  88
 5.  Daniil Kvyat      Toro Rosso-Renault    1m36.113s  +2.855s  81
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg   Force India-Mercedes  1m36.205s  +2.947s  115
 7.  Jules Bianchi     Marussia-Ferrari      1m37.087s  +3.829s  78
 8.  Marcus Ericsson   Caterham-Renault      1m38.083s  +4.825s  117
 9.  Romain Grosjean   Lotus-Renault         1m42.166s  +8.908s  33
10.  Adrian Sutil      Sauber-Ferrari                            1
11.  Sebastian Vettel  Red Bull-Renault                          0

The sun was still shining on Scuderia Ferrari as it tackled the penultimate day of testing at the Sakhir Circuit. It marked Kimi Raikkonen’s final test appearance prior to the Finn getting back behind the wheel of the F14 T at the Australian GP in twelve days’ time.

In the morning, after a series of laps, the team had to deal with a problem relating to a connector, which meant the mechanics had to partially dismantle the car to get it fully sorted out.

In the afternoon, Kimi did some short runs as well as a race simulation, including some live practice pit stops. Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, when Fernando Alonso will be on track for the final day of the test.

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “I’d hoped to do more laps, but this wasn’t an easy day. We lost some time this morning when we had to fix something on the car, but then we managed to make up for some of it in the afternoon. Running a race distance, we continued to get more data relating to fuel consumption strategies and tyre degradation, even though the strong wind upset the driving a lot. I’d like to be able to say we did better, but there’s still one more day with Fernando to continue our preparation for Melbourne.”


KIMI: MY TARGET IS TO WIN

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| Quotes: espn.co.uk | autosport.com | ferrari.com |

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“I’ve seen much worse winters [of testing] than this one so I’m not worried about it, we would like to keep putting more mileage on the car,” he said. “We’ve learnt again today and we will see where we are on the last day. There were small changes we had to make but they all take time. There’s been no major issues, from team to team it has been difficult to get a good feeling on certain things with set up but we are getting there little by little. We need to do a little more laps of course but that’s how it is. I think we need to do a race distance on the last day, and then see how we are.”

“The feeling is ok but lap times will decide where we are and we will see in the first race where we sit. I don’t know [who are favourites]. We will see in Australia who is the best. My target is to try to win but right now I don’t know where we are. It’s going to be a long season with the new rules for everyone. It gets exciting when we get to racing again. There’s lots of things we are still trying to learn and they will get better. It’s all new stuff and hopefully we can do a good final day.”

“I think there’s been a lot [of improvement] in driveability but there is always places to improve and that’s what we are looking for really. It’s more to get the car how I like it to be but it’s difficult to know or find the right levels. The car looks reliable, we have some small issues but everyone has. I think we improve all the time, finding new things and learning more. It’s hard to say from day to day, things change always. I’m sure we learned today again.”

“We will try to do the race distance, for sure,” said Raikkonen when asked what the focus will be for his final day in the car. “

“I haven’t even tried to do it yet. I think Fernando did it so that’s something that we are hopefully going to do and just see where we are really. [Beyond that], just normal things, trying things, learning again and hopefully we will be ready for the first race of the year.”

“I am sure they [new parts] were better otherwise we wouldn’t have brought them,” said Raikkonen.

“But there are still things to improve and things to try to put things together in the final moments [of testing]. We will see where we are in the first race.”

“I’m sure if we wanted to do 100 laps today, we could do,” said Raikkonen.

“We had to do other things and try different things and try to see which way which changes go and learn a little bit because when it comes to race weekends there is not so much time to change stuff. At least I will have some idea of which way to go. I’m not too worried.”

RACE SIMULATION PLANNED

“Before I leave Sakhir, it’s planned that I should do a race distance and that’s the only thing I’m missing.”

Raikkonen seemed very relaxed about the topic of fuel consumption and how it could influence the races, when asked about it by journalists.

“It’s been years now that we haven’t been able to drive flat out from start to finish,” he replied. “First you had to look after the engines, then it was the tyres. You are never pushing 100% on every lap because there is always something you have to keep an eye on. We will also get used to the 2014 situation, but we have to start racing before worrying about it.”

As for what he thought the others were up to, Kimi gave his characteristically succinct response. “We have been on different programmes and I don’t think you can judge a car’s potential from how many laps it does in testing. We have a lot of things to test and we want to make the most of these days to check everythting, because the race weekend doesn’t last long and the hours on Friday fly by, while on the other days you are only looking for performance.”

Tomorrow, the second day of this final test, Fernando Alonso will be in the F14 T. Kimi will be back in the car on Saturday.


BAHRAIN TEST 2: DAY 1

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| Source: autosport.com | ferrari.com |

Bahrain, 27th February 2014

This morning’s work soon got delayed, because of a problem on the car that took some time to fix before the lunch break. Once back on track in the afternoon, Kimi managed to run regularly, alternating between aero measurements and a series of set-up tests over short runs.

Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, when Fernando Alonso will be on track.

QUOTES

“We had a small problem today, which limited the number of laps but still managed to learn some new things about the car” – said Kimi. “You always want to do better, but every team has unexpected things happen and we are still trying to do all we can to be ready for Melbourne.

“During the race weekends there will be little time to try different things in terms of setup, so it was important today to keep on this track to find out what’s the best direction to go in. On the final day of the test, we will put everything together that we have learned so far and will concentrate on the conditions we will encounter in the races.”

FINAL TIMES:

Pos Driver              Team                    Time       Gap      Laps
 1. Sergio Perez        Force India-Mercedes    1m35.290s           105
 2. Valtteri Bottas     Williams-Mercedes       1m36.184s  +0.894s  128
 3. Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari                 1m36.432s  +1.142s  54
 4. Nico Rosberg        Mercedes                1m36.624s  +1.334s  89
 5. Adrian Sutil        Sauber-Ferrari          1m37.700s  +2.410s  89
 6. Kevin Magnussen     McLaren-Mercedes        1m37.825s  +2.535s  109
 7. Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault        1m37.908s  +2.618s  39
 8. Max Chilton         Marussia-Ferrari        1m38.610s  +3.320s  44
 9. Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso-Renault      1m39.242s  +3.952s  56
10. Pastor Maldonado    Lotus-Renault           1m40.599s  +5.309s  31
11. Kamui Kobayashi     Caterham-Renault        1m42.285s  +6.995s  19

Oops...

EXTRA: QUOTES

Raikkonen targets race distance on final test day

Kimi Raikkonen is targeting completing a race distance on his final day of Formula 1 testing on Saturday after a difficult first day in Bahrain.The Finn managed only 54 laps today, ending the day third fastest, 1.142s off Sergio Perez’s fastest time of the day.He hands over to Fernando Alonso tomorrow but is scheduled to return for the penultimate day, which should be his last run in the car before Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix on March 14.

The Finn has completed fewer laps than Alonso so far in pre-season testing, with the Spaniard having been able to do some longer runs.

“We will try to do the race distance, for sure,” said Raikkonen when asked what the focus will be for his final day in the car. “

“I haven’t even tried to do it yet. I think Fernando did it so that’s something that we are hopefully going to do and just see where we are really.

“[Beyond that], just normal things, trying things, learning again and hopefully we will be ready for the first race of the year.”

VIDEO

MTV3 Interview with Kimi, with subtitles