Report – The Ferrari F14 Ts of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen set the second and seventh fastest times respectively, in the final free practice for the Italian Grand Prix. In total, the Scuderia cars covered 28 laps of the Monza track. Both men started on Hard tyres, switching to the Medium compound, the softest of the two tyres supplied by Pirelli, after half an hour.
Fernando Alonso did 13 laps, the fastest in 1.25.931, while Kimi Raikkonen did 15, the best being a 1.26.327. Around halfway through the session, President Luca di Montezemolo arrived in the garage, before crossing the pit lane to wave at the fans, to warm applause. He then stayed to watch the rest of the session.
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.290s||0.771s||17|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.437s||0.918s||21|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.482s||0.963s||16|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.608s||1.089s||17|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.312s||1.793s||10|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.479s||1.960s||22|
Report – Kimi Raikkonen set the third fastest time in the second free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix, while Fernando Alonso was fourth. Temperatures were slightly higher this afternoon than in the morning at Monza, as the F14 Ts completed a total of 57 laps between them, which is more than a race distance. Kimi and Fernando continued to work on set-up and ran a comparison between the two compounds Pirelli has supplied this weekend: the Hard, which was also tried in the morning and the Medium, which is faster over a single lap.
Raikkonen did 31 laps, the best in 1.26.331 and Alonso did 26, the fastest being a 1.26.565. In the final half hour, both Scuderia drivers did long runs so as to evaluate the behaviour of the car and tyres over a long run.
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.762s||0.537s||27|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.992s||0.767s||37|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.079s||0.854s||42|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.227s||1.002s||39|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.476s||1.251s||37|
|15||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.929s||1.704s||33|
Report – Under overcast skies, but in dry conditions, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen completed 23 and 27 laps respectively, working on set-up, while also starting work on evaluating the Hard Pirelli tyres. Fernando’s best time was a 1.27.169, which puts him fourth, while Kimi stopped the clocks in 1.27.493 to take seventh place on the time sheet.
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.271s||1.084s||27|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.687s||1.500s||13|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.741s||1.554s||33|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.112s||1.925s||23|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.300s||2.113s||30|
|15||Giedo van der Garde||Sauber/Ferrari||1m28.429s||2.242s||19|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m28.487s||2.300s||12|
|17||Daniel Juncadella||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.192s||3.005s||10|
Kimi Raikkonen: “That was a very busy day, but a positive one. We made the most of every minute available to us in both sessions, managing to try everything we had on our programme. In the morning, we concentrated on assessing different aero configurations, in search of the best level of downforce. Then in the afternoon, we opted for an intermediate solution that seemed to produce the best results on both compounds. The difference between the Medium and the Hard is more or less what we expected; the softer one behaves well, but in terms of driveability, I found the Hard wasn’t bad either.”
Pat Fry: “Monza is a special circuit with unique characteristics. The long straights and the small number of corners mean that on Friday one has to work on finding the best aerodynamic configuration. Even if in general, the cars have less downforce, this year it’s more complicated than usual to find the right set-up and decide what is the right level of downforce for the fast corners such as Ascari or the Parabolica. Therefore, in the morning and the afternoon, we worked to improve the cars’ stability and now we will try and optimise our package based on the data gathered from both drivers. Fortunately, we encountered no problems today and it was important to get through the programme, including evaluating tyre performance, as the ability to generate grip from the tyres is even more important when the cars are running in low downforce configuration. Overall, we are pleased with today’s work, but we know we still face a particularly demanding weekend.”
Kimi Raikkonen says he is encouraged by the progress he has made over the last few races even if it took until the Belgian Grand Prix to really show in terms of results.
Fourth place in Belgium was Raikkonen’s best result of the season as he held third for much of the latter stages of the race before losing out to Valtteri Bottas. However, Raikkonen said it wasn’t just in Spa that he was noticing an improvement and insists he won’t put too much importance on the result in Monza, though he hopes for another clean race.
Asked if Spa marks a turning point in his season, Raikkonen replied: “I hope so.
“We had a pretty OK feeling in the other races before Spa but always something happened. Some damage to the car in Germany, being hit by other drivers sometimes, some other small issues with certain things… Then in Hungary we put ourselves in a pretty bad position after qualifying, so when you produce those kinds of issues or mistakes it’s very hard to try and get results afterwards trying to pass people.
“I think in Belgium we still had a lot of issues in Friday practice which we have to get rid of, but the race itself was probably the first race where we had no issues at all so we could kind of run our own speed and do the things we planned to do. Obviously the result was a bit better but who knows? Hopefully we have a good race here but for some reason if we retired here or at the next race people will say it’s back to what happened before.
“The feeling has been better for a while but we have to make sure we have no issues and we make a clean weekend and can run our normal program on Friday. It’s small things but they can make a big difference in the end so that’s the aim. I think we’ve been improving things all the time so we should get a bit better [results]. This race might be a bit more tricky with the top speed but overall it’s getting better.”
Focusing specifically on the Italian Grand Prix, Raikkonen said he does still hold out hope of being competitive despite Monza’s long straights.
“We expect to have a more difficult race here because mainly the straight-line speed is what we’ve been lacking. Not so much in qualifying but in the race condition I think we have a bigger disadvantage than the Mercedes cars and probably Renault. But we thought that also in Spa and it was surprisingly good for us so hopefully we’ll find out that it’s a similar case here but we have to really see once we get running tomorrow how it is.”