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G.P. AUSTRALIA F1/2015 Report – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will start the first race of the year from the second and third rows of the grid. Dominating today’s qualifying at Melbourne’s Albert Park was the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton (1.26.327,) with the top three completed by the Englishman’s team-mate, Nico Rosberg (1.26.921) and Felipe Massa for Williams (1.27.718.). Vettel was fourth in his SF15-T, posting a 1.27.757, followed by Raikkonen who did a 1.27.790.

Final Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.327s -
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.921s 0.594s
3 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m27.718s 1.391s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m27.757s 1.430s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.790s 1.463s
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m28.087s 1.760s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m28.329s 2.002s
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m28.510s 2.183s
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m28.560s 2.233s
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m29.480s 3.153s
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.800s -
12 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m28.868s -
13 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m29.070s -
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m29.208s -
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m29.209s -
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m31.376s -
17 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m31.422s -
18 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Honda 1m32.037s -


Kimi Raikkonen: “On my quick lap, I lost around three tenths at turn 3 and then I made a couple of mistakes in the next two corners. We knew we couldn’t fight the Mercedes, at least not in today’s qualifying, but third place on the grid was possible. In any case, during free practice, we saw that our long runs are pretty good, so we can be confident of having a good race. All we need to do is get a good start and then give it our best, but I think we can fight for a good position. As a team, we are working well together and we have a pretty clear picture of the situation. We know we are quick, but we need to improve in all sectors and, as for myself, I have to drive better.”

Ferrari duo say mistakes hampered Q3 lap Kimi: “I had quite a big mistake, three tenths in corner three, and messed it up the next two corners. The rest of the lap was pretty good and I caught up with the laptime, but it was pretty much done. We should have been in P3 but that is how it is. And probably we would have been one second behind Mercedes. We knew we cannot fight with them [Mercedes] in qualifying, but yesterday we had pretty good long run. Tomorrow the weather plays a big part, but like last year we are more confident with the race pace and this year we improve a lot overall. So it is a bit disappointing to have a mistake and start in P5, but I think we can still do a good race.”

Vettel, who lined up fourth, thought he should have done a better job on his first set of tyres in Q3. “Felipe nailed the lap. I think it was in reach on the first set, and ideally it should have been a bit quicker, but it wasn’t. That was down to me. The second shot in terms of strategy we could have done things differently, but all in all it was a very good result to have both cars in the top five.”


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Report – Sebastian Vettel was second fastest in the third free practice for the Australian Grand Prix, the final session before the all-important qualifying. Vettel posted a 1.28.563 to split the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton (1.27.867) and Nico Rosberg (1.28.821.) In the other SF15-T, Kimi Raikkonen was sixth with a 1.29.017, as he and his team-mated worked on a qualifying set-up. Both Ferrari men completed 13 laps, running two sets of Medium tyres and one set of Softs.

FP3 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.867s - 11
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m28.563s 0.696s 13
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m28.821s 0.954s 14
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m28.912s 1.045s 14
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m28.988s 1.121s 18
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m29.017s 1.150s 13
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m29.481s 1.614s 12
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m29.864s 1.997s 15
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m29.869s 2.002s 19
10 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m29.934s 2.067s 24
11 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m29.952s 2.085s 16
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m30.613s 2.746s 21
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m30.741s 2.874s 14
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m30.993s 3.126s 17
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m31.185s 3.318s 10
16 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Honda 1m31.391s 3.524s 14
17 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m31.666s 3.799s 13
18 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m32.830s 4.963s 6


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Report – Nico Rosberg was fastest in the second free practice session just ended at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit, home to the first round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Behind the German Mercedes driver, who posted a 1.27.697, came his team-mate Lewis Hamilton (1.27.797) and the two SF15-T of Sebastian Vettel (1.28.412) and Kimi Raikkonen (1.28.842.) Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers worked on set-up, running different aero downforce levels and comparing the Medium and Soft compounds chosen by Pirelli for this track. Raikkonen, just over seven tenths slower than his team-mate, admitted over the radio that it was “not a very good lap”. FP2 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m27.697s - 29
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.797s 0.100s 25
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m28.412s 0.715s 33
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m28.842s 1.145s 33
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m29.265s 1.568s 32
6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m30.016s 2.319s 27
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m30.071s 2.374s 41
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m30.104s 2.407s 11
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m30.205s 2.508s 37
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m30.473s 2.776s 30
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m30.755s 3.058s 33
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m30.980s 3.283s 32
13 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m31.387s 3.690s 21
14 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m31.395s 3.698s 6
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m32.303s 4.606s 14
16 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Honda 1m33.289s 5.592s 4


Report – The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished the opening free practice session of the Australian Grand Prix in fifth and eighth places respectively, to get the 2015 season underway. Vettel completed 13 laps in his SF15-T with a best of 1.31.029, while Raikkonen did 14, the fastest being a 1.31.310. Both drivers used the Medium tyres, working on a programme featuring aero testing and set-up work to suit the car to the semi-permanent Albert Park circuit, which was still too dirty for any more in depth work. FP1 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m29.557s - 19
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.586s 0.029s 19
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m30.748s 1.191s 20
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m31.014s 1.457s 32
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m31.029s 1.472s 13
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m31.067s 1.510s 31
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m31.188s 1.631s 19
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m31.310s 1.753s 14
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m31.451s 1.894s 22
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m31.570s 2.013s 9
11 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m32.073s 2.516s 18
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m32.247s 2.690s 22
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m32.261s 2.704s 19
14 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m34.542s 4.985s 6
15 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Honda 1m34.785s 5.228s 7
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 2m17.782s 48.225s 5


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Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a typical Friday of free practice. In the first session I could not drive very well and it was difficult to put a good lap together. So, for the second session, we made some changes to the car before the long-runs and, in the end, the feeling was better. Now if we can put everything together and find a good lap, we should be OK. It was a positive day overall, and the feeling hasn’t changed since winter testing: I think the whole package has improved. On the other hand, it’s only Friday, and we know we still have a lot of work to do”.

Kimi’s Thursday in Melbourne



A Positive Feeling

Shortly after his team-mate Sebastian Vettel had taken part in the inaugural FIA press conference, Kimi Raikkonen also met the media, at the back of the Scuderia Ferrari garage in Melbourne’s Albert Park paddock.

“It’s a new season, a new year and we start from zero,” was the Finn’s opening remark. “We will see how it goes. Over the winter the team has done a very good job to improve the package. The new car is better in all areas. As a team, everyone is working well together and it’s been a good winter. We feel better overall and I’m sure we are much better prepared for this year. But will we always get what we want? Only time will tell. We still have a lot of work to do to be where we really want to be, but we have to be happy with where we are after testing, compared to where we finished last year.”

Kimi would not be drawn on just how competitive he might be this year. “We must wait and see on Sunday,” he insisted. “I have no interest in starting guessing and in a couple of days we will at least get an idea where we are here. Then we can wait and see how we go in different races at different circuits.”

As for this first weekend, Kimi stressed that Albert Park is not representative of the majority of tracks. “It’s not like a normal, traditional circuit, it’s the first race of the season, so usually quite a lot happens in the race. The weather can also be a bit funny here, but hopefully everything will go smoothly for us and we can do our maximum in the race and then see where we end up. Tomorrow, we will see what the car feels like and then we can go from there. I hope we have a similar feeling here to what we had in testing and have no issues. That way we should get an okay result, but exactly where we will be is hard to say.”

Finally, he was asked for a thought on the fact that his former team-mate, Fernando Alonso, is having to miss this race, after his testing accident. “It’s not ideal for him and you never like to see anyone get hurt and I hope he will be back soon,” concluded Kimi. “But that’s part of the game; you can get hurt or have problems and miss a race.”

“We feel better overall as a team and I’m sure we are much more ready for this year,” said Raikkonen, who finished a career-worst 12th in the drivers’ standings last season. We are in a much stronger position. We still have work to do to get to where we want to – but that’s part of the game. I think we have to be happy with where we are in testing and comparing where we finished last year. We have done a good job, but we have to wait and see if it is good enough or how far away we are.” []

Vettel on Kimi: “We respect each-other”

A journalist asked if Seb’s relationship with Kimi might suffer now they are team-mates. “I have known Kimi for a while now and we respect each other,” he responded. “He is very straightforward and honest. We will be trying to beat one another on the track, which is normal and if there are ever some issues we will be able to sort them out.”

Cooking Up A Recipe for Success

There was a truly exceptional setting for this morning’s special event, put on by Shell for the first Grand Prix of the season and featuring special guests, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. Kimi and Sebastian took on the unaccustomed role of assistant chefs at a well known Melbourne restaurant. There, they helped chef Guy Grossi create a special dish, intended to reflect similarities with the ingredients used in the Shell V-Power fuel.


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