Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci says the team is seeing Kimi Raikkonen’s pace improving even if the results are yet to follow.
Since Raikkonen finished fourth in the Belgian Grand Prix he has appeared more competitive at most races but is only able to boast a best finish since then of eighth place. While the results have not been impressive, Mattiacci says Ferrari can see the reasons that have prevented Raikkonen from scoring more points but has noted the step up in pace.
“There have been a series of events,” Mattiacci said. “[In Sochi] Kimi had good pace but unfortunately the start was not a happy start. [Daniil] Kvyat pushed him backwards, so he had a different race to catch up but definitely we see the pace of Kimi improving.
“So does it translate immediately to more points during the race? It’s evident it does not. But there are a series of events that didn’t allow this. But he’s keeping the pace and increasing the speed.”
Raikkonen himself said he has been learning from his tough season and has felt the difference in competitiveness in recent races.
“For sure you learn things but obviously I learned a lot of things in the past and I learned also that sometimes we have difficult times,” Raikkonen said. “The key is to keep working and trying to improve things and get things sorted out. There has been many, many small things that have cost us a lot of points and made our life very difficult.
“Lately we have had some success at improving things and for sure the car has improved a lot since the beginning of the year. The direction is right but obviously it doesn’t help much right now. The season has been disappointing overall but I have full belief in all the people and I’m sure we can be much, much better and where we should be next year.”
[ Source: crash.net ]
Report – Sixth and ninth places for the Scuderia Ferrari drivers in the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso got a great start, while Kimi Raikkonen fought tooth and nail to defend a points place finish to the very end.
Fernando got away perfectly, making up two places, while Kimi, who also got off the line well, then saw his efforts thwarted as he was squeezed against the wall.
Fernando was a front runner in the early stages even fighting for a podium place, but the switch to the Medium tyre meant he was unable to match the pace of the five Mercedes powered cars that would finish ahead of him. A bit further back, after his pit stop, Kimi fought off Sergio Perez in the Force India and Felipe Massa in the Williams, to successfully hang on to ninth place, these two also Mercedes-powered.
Lewis Hamilton won the race thus equaling Nigel Mansell’s total of 31 victories, while his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was second ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. Next up were the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen and then behind Alonso came the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. Sergio Perez took the last point on offer behind Raikkonen. The next round is the United States Grand Prix on 2 November.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||-||23h28m09.s|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||-||23h28m09.s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||-||23h28m09.s|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||-||23h28m09.s|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||-||23h28m09.s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||-||1 Lap|
|15||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber/Ferrari||-||1 Lap|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||-||1 Lap|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||-||1 Lap|
|18||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Renault||-||1 Lap|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham/Renault||-||2 Laps|
Kimi: start compromised race – “It was a pretty normal race. Obviously it was pretty difficult to overtake for us and after the start I got a pretty good jump off the line. But then I had to back off because of a Toro Rosso coming left more and more. I had nowhere to go and lost a lot of places. After that it was just following people and not really having a chance on a straight line. But the car felt okay. It was just slow. In the end I had to fuel save for most of the race and a lot more near the finish. The car felt good, but when you fuel save you cannot push a lot. I thought that the car was behaving pretty well since Saturday. [But] it is the lack of speed that we have on a straight line, I think, that cost us a lot of lap time. In the end though this is the result and hopefully the next race suits us a little bit better.”
Kimi Raikkonen – “We knew we could expect a very demanding race and that starting from far back it would not be easy to move up the order, but at the start we did very well. Unfortunately a Toro Rosso squeezed me towards the wall once we were on the straight. Because I had to brake hard, various cars passed me and I lost any chance of having a good race, because from then on I was always stuck behind other cars. The car handled well and with a clear track I had a good pace, but we lacked top speed with which to try and overtake on the straight and having to save fuel meant I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to. We are aware that this year it’s hard to fight for the top places, but all the same, we will continue to try our best, starting with the very next race in Austin. That track is very demanding and interesting and I hope I don’t have the same problems I had here, so that I can aim for a good result. However, what I wish for most is that all our prayers help Jules at this difficult time.”
Marco Mattiacci: “Once again, we find ourselves confronting a result that is a long way off our goals, but today, we must congratulate Mercedes who, after five years of hard work, have taken a well deserved Constructors’ title. The back-to-back Japan-Russia trip has been a difficult one for our team, both on and off the track. In both races, we have learned a lot that will be useful for the future, in terms of how to improve on a technical level, but also when it comes to safety. I’m sure the final three races will provide an opportunity to try and get the most out of the team and the car, in order to end the season achieving better results. While my thoughts and those of everyone are still with Jules, today I would like to thank Luca di Montezemolo, at what has been the final Grand Prix under his Presidency at Ferrari. I think we have been fortunate to work with a great manager like him and it will be exactly the same with a successor of the calibre of Sergio Marchionne.”
Kimi Raikkonen has admitted it would be “nice” if he is paired at Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel next year.
The Finn said in Russia that he has heard the same rumours as the rest of the F1 paddock — that outgoing world champion Vettel’s Red Bull exit means he is replacing Fernando Alonso at Maranello in 2015.
Although he has underperformed this season, Raikkonen has a contract to stay at Ferrari next year.
“I don’t know if he (Vettel) is coming to the team,” the 34-year-old told Russia’s Championat.
“There are a lot of rumours, people expect it to happen, but I don’t know yet,” said Raikkonen.
“He is my closest friend among the drivers, a very honest and straightforward guy.
“I’ve never worked with him, but he’s four-time world champion, he is certainly good in every area. We’ll see how everything goes,” the 2007 world champion added.
“It would be nice if he would come,” said Raikkonen. “I think it will bring a good atmosphere to the team.
“I hope that together, if he does come, we can achieve good results. But I don’t know anything.
“Like you, I just read about it in the news,” he insisted.
[ Source: f1zone.net ]