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Come the end of qualifying to decide the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel (1.25.458) and Kimi Raikkonen (1.26.414) finished in third and seventh places respectively. Track conditions were still difficult this afternoon and it was in the final sector of the track that the two Mercedes carved out their advantage, on their way to locking out the front row. Nico Rosberg is on pole with a 1.24.681 ahead of Lewis Hamilton (1.24.948). []

Final Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.681s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.948s 0.267s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m25.458s 0.777s
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m25.694s 1.013s
5 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m26.136s 1.455s
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m26.249s 1.568s
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.414s 1.733s
8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m26.629s 1.948s
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m26.757s 2.076s
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m26.770s 2.089s
11 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m27.375s 2.694s
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m27.450s 2.769s
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m27.760s 3.079s
14 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m27.854s 3.173s
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.005s 3.324s
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.112s 3.431s
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m28.365s 3.684s
18 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m28.442s 3.761s
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m31.200s 6.519s
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m32.038s 7.357s


From – Kimi: “So far the weekend has been more difficult than I wanted and today I was still struggling, for some reason my car was sliding around. After a difficult Friday I decided together with the team to go back to the old package because I wanted to make sure it was fine. We knew it would be a risk and it might be difficult but I don’t think that the result would have been as bad as it was today. In Q2 the feeling was pretty ok but then in Q3 it was difficult again, I had not much grip and did a bad lap. It’s one of those weekends in which things keep going a little wrong here and there, and today we also lost one set of Medium tyres because of a burning of a blanket. Tomorrow is another day and the race is a different story, obviously we start in a position that is not ideal , but we have a good package. If we have a good start we can go from there, I’m sure we have the speed to have a good race”.

From – Kimi: “We had one new set of tyres we could have used in last qualifying but for some freak reason it got burnt in a blanket and destroyed. But that is part of the game. It’s been a difficult few days but tomorrow is the race so hopefully we can score good points.”

Ferrari brought a major update package to Spain, but after Raikkonen struggled for pace in Friday practice he reverted back to the Bahrain set-up. The Finn said it was his decision to do so and denied that had anything to do with his poor grid slot. Instead, he put the error down to the conditions and his own mistakes.

“It was my decision plus the team’s. We changed the car to the old package because I wasn’t sure about it as yesterday was a difficult day. I wanted to make sure this was OK and if the new package was working as it should.When you make the decision obviously it is a lot of work to change. There was no chance to change it back but I’m happy to take the risk. I don’t think the outcome would have been as bad but for the last part of qualifying. The car felt good in the morning and in qualifying, too, but the last set [of tyres] in Q3 gave me poor grip and it was a bad lap. I was prepared to take the risk and it was working OK up until that point. It is what it is.”

From – Kimi: “It has been a difficult few days. We kept changing things, but nothing seems to make much sense. It doesn’t make our life easy for tomorrow. Okay maybe here it should be easier to overtake, but you always put yourself in with more chances of something going wrong in the first few corners when you are more in the middle of the pack. We will just go forward and do the best we can – it is a long race and we should have the speed to do pretty well. I think we can still get a good race out of it. It is not the end of the life, but I’d rather take better positions from qualifying than this. Obviously it has been a tricky few days, but it is not the first time for me, but as I say, it’s a long race.”

Post-qualifying press conference – Q: (Luigi Perna – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Could you explain why you and Kimi choose two different configurations – aerodynamic configurations – on the car? You with the new one and Kimi the old one. The reasons and why the different choice.

Sebastian Vettel: Very simple. We didn’t have the best day yesterday I believe. We both were not entirely happy with how the car felt. I think, as I mentioned before, it was probably tricky conditions this weekend, quite windy, I think the tyres are not working for us as they maybe used to. So, we were not sure about where we were and we decided to split the cars for today.


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Sebastian Vettel was second fastest in 1.26.177, while his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth with a 1.26.944, in the third free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. The Scuderia concentrated on a comparison between old and new solutions.

Kimi ran in pre-Barcelona configuration in this final practice prior to qualifying, while Sebastian’s car was fitted with the new elements introduced for this round in Catalunya. Topping the time sheet was Nico Rosberg for Mercedes with a 1.26.021, with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton third in 1.26.222.[]

FP3 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.021s 19
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m26.177s 0.156s 14
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.222s 0.201s 10
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m26.682s 0.661s 19
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.944s 0.923s 14
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m27.048s 1.027s 19
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m27.109s 1.088s 19
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m27.132s 1.111s 18
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m27.313s 1.292s 7
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m27.809s 1.788s 17
11 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m27.938s 1.917s 17
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m28.082s 2.061s 13
13 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.096s 2.075s 23
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m28.304s 2.283s 17
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m28.578s 2.557s 17
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m28.618s 2.597s 18
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.788s 2.767s 20
18 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m28.996s 2.975s 14
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m31.125s 5.104s 16
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m31.749s 5.728s 17


Full team radio from FP3: “Excellent, excellent”



kimi-spagp-080515-2015-krs17PRACTICE TWO

Sebastian Vettel was second fastest with a 1.27.260 and Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in 1.27.780, in the second free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. This afternoon, both drivers used the two compounds available – Medium and Hard – working on set-up and car balance. In general, the high temperatures did not help in terms of grip nor with the way the tyres were standing up to the conditions. Once again, Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes with a 1.26.852, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg was third in 1.27.616. []

That phase was interrupted about 15 minutes when Romain Grosjean’s engine cover became dislodged, scattering large chunks of debris across the track. A brief red flag period ensued and after another spell on the hard compound Pirellis, it was the Ferrari drivers who first made the move to medium tyres for a performance run. []

FP2 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.852s 26
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m27.260s 0.408s 37
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m27.616s 0.764s 35
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.780s 0.928s 36
5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m27.943s 1.091s 25
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m28.017s 1.165s 32
7 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m28.494s 1.642s 31
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m28.525s 1.673s 39
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m28.674s 1.822s 31
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m28.712s 1.860s 36
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m28.723s 1.871s 28
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m29.086s 2.234s 14
13 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m29.098s 2.246s 4
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m29.217s 2.365s 34
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.333s 2.481s 37
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.361s 2.509s 34
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m29.601s 2.749s 38
18 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m29.707s 2.855s 35
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m31.929s 5.077s 30
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m32.751s 5.899s 23


From – Kimi: “I don’t know if it was the wind conditions or the circuit, but we have a lot of work to do. It’s not too bad on laptime, but I couldn’t put the lap together because it just didn’t feel very nice at all. We have to see what we can do because the feeling was not good.”

Kimi Team Radios:

FP2: ”I get absolutely nothing out of this” – full radios here.
FP1: “The seat is getting very hot”


The Spanish Grand Prix, the first of the European races on the Formula 1 calendar, got underway this morning, with the first free practice session. Nico Rosberg was fastest round the Catalunya circuit, with a best lap in 1.26.828. Behind the German came his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton (1.26.898.) Next up where the two SF15-Ts of Sebastian Vettel (1.27.806) and Kimi Raikkonen (1.27.832.) Both men ran Hard tyres, as they tackled an initial evaluation of the new aerodynamic package. []

FP1 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.828s 28
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.898s 0.070s 27
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m27.806s 0.978s 21
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.832s 1.004s 16
5 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m28.132s 1.304s 27
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m28.529s 1.701s 23
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m28.785s 1.957s 7
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m28.831s 2.003s 21
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m29.075s 2.247s 9
10 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.140s 2.312s 14
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m29.409s 2.581s 20
12 Raffaele Marciello Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.630s 2.802s 15
13 Jolyon Palmer Lotus/Mercedes 1m29.676s 2.848s 21
14 Susie Wolff Williams/Mercedes 1m29.708s 2.880s 22
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m29.813s 2.985s 22
16 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m29.817s 2.989s 22
17 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m30.096s 3.268s 19
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m30.110s 3.282s 7
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m32.471s 5.643s 22
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m32.647s 5.819s 20


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Thursday in Barcelona



Kimi: “It was nice to have a good result in Bahrain and now we keep working always with the same approach, always trying to improve. It is also nice to come back to European races: here we have some upgrades but we don’t know what the others are doing, so let’s wait and see what’s happening in the next races. The car package is quite good this year and the we’re all working very well together: The team gives me and Sebastian the same chances and obviously we try to beat each other for the Drivers’ championship, but in a good and fair way, in the interest of the team. It is clear that we also want to win the manufacturers’ title and for this purpose, having two cars always there in the points is crucial. Compared to Mercedes there have been improvements, but we know we’re still behind. We need to work to further improve the whole package.”

Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has taken the right approach to let him race Sebastian Vettel as equals this season.

Ferrari has previously allocated priority to one of its drivers at a certain point in a season, with former president Luca di Montezemolo previously saying the team did not want “two roosters in the same hen house”. However, having paired Raikkonen with Fernando Alonso last season, Ferrari now has two world champions again as team-mates who are allowed to race each other and Raikkonen says it is the best approach in his view.

“Every team boss is different and you can have a different feeling or relationship with a different guy, a different boss,” Raikkonen said.

“I know Maurizio from before and we had a good relationship but yes it’s different how the team is being run this year, how things are being done in the team and I think it’s only good changes.

“It’s the only way how it should be run and it will be good for the team.

Asked if the current situation hadn’t always been the case, Raikkonen replied: “It’s different than last year and it’s a lot better.”

“In the end in the team there is two cars, yes we fight for the world drivers’ championship as drivers’ but the team wants to win the manufacturer championship and you need to have two cars for that, to be able to fight for the title.

“Ferrari will give us both the same chances and fair treatment, so it’s up to us. We try to behave as well as we can against each other if we have to race. We try to beat each other but in a good way and with the interests of the team in mind. Everything works and how the team is being run is really good for all of us.”

Although Raikkonen is seemingly enjoying a stronger relationship with Arrivabene than his short-lived predecessor Mattiacci, Ferrari’s new team principal has still made clear in recent weeks that the Finnish veteran has to earn a contract renewal.

Ferrari have an option on the 35-year-old’s services for 2016 and Arrivabene said at the last race in Bahrain that he was in no hurry to tie up Raikkonen for next season as “I don’t want the driver to fall asleep, I want to keep him up”.

Speaking on Thursday, the driver himself said he was happy to wait for Ferrari’s call.

“It is their decision and obviously it depends what they feel is right or wrong. I don’t think about it, let’s wait and see,” Raikkonen insisted.

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kimi-spagp-070515-2015-krs4Sebastian Vettel says he wants Kimi Raikkonen to stay at Ferrari next season following speculation regarding his future.

Raikkonen said in Bahrain it is up to Ferrari whether he is retained for an extra year or not, with the team holding an option for 2016. With Valtteri Bottas having been linked with a move to Maranello as Raikkonen’s replacement, Vettel says he wants his current team-mate to be retained.

“I don’t mind too much, obviously my contract is a little bit longer than Kimi’s contract but I think if he continues here it will be positive for the team because they know him from the time he was here before and over the past few years,” Vettel said. “It is important that you work well together as a team and as far as those first couple of races have been that is the case for the both of us.”

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