After two races in 2015, Ferrari is happy with its driver lineup.
Having struggled alongside Fernando Alonso last year, Kimi Raikkonen went into the last year of his current contract in 2015 admitting he is not sure if he will still be wearing red next season.
But so far, although Alonso’s successor Sebastian Vettel has the upper hand after two podium appearances including a win, Raikkonen seems much happier with his new Ferrari.
The Finn was quick in Melbourne but ran into trouble in the race, and he had a similarly troubled Sunday in Malaysia but ultimately finished fourth.
Understandably, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene focused on the importance of Vettel’s breakthrough victory after the Malaysian grand prix.
But after speaking to reporters late on Sunday, the Italian remembered: “One more thing, and it’s important to me that you write it.
“Kimi has shown with his great comeback what a fabulous driver he is,” Arrivabene is quoted by Speed Week.
“I cannot imagine a finer driving pairing.” [Source: grandprix.com]
The German chose to stay out during an early safety car period and assumed the lead. Vettel then made a two-stop strategy work while Mercedes did three stops with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. It proved to be the wrong call for the world champion team as neither Hamilton nor Rosberg had the pace, tyre longevity or enough laps to catch and pass Vettel in the final stint.
It was Ferrari’s first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, and Vettel’s first since that year’s season finale in Brazil.
Kimi Raikkonen recovered to a strong fourth in the second Ferrari having dropped to the back of the field following a puncture sustained in contact with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber on the first lap.
Scuderia Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix for Ferrari at the wheel of his SF-15T. Having started from second on the grid, the German managed to finish ahead of the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth, after having to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 2, because of a puncture. He then fought his way back up the order to finish just off the podium. The Formula 1 circus will be back in action after a two week break, at the Shanghai circuit in China.
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.085s|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|11||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|12||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|15||Roberto Merhi||Marussia/Ferrari||3 Laps|
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From motorsport.com – Kimi: “I think it might be the conditions,” said Raikkonen of Ferrari’s form. “It was very hot and that’s good for us, but I think even in Melbourne if we could have got behind them [Mercedes] at the beginning I don’t think they would have pulled away a lot. We know that we are not exactly as fast as them over one lap, but we are working on that. But comparing where we finished last year and where we are this year it’s a big step. I think we did the maximum we could after that [being hit and punctured by Nasr]. There’s not much that I can do when I get touched from behind. It is what it is. Luckily there was a safety car and we had pretty okay speed although we had had damage from the car flapping around. Like I said, we did the maximum that we we could. It’s a very good result for the team with the win.”
From autosport.com – Kimi: “We’ve had a very poor weekend in the sense of things going wrong. I got a very bad start, wheelspin off the line and then the first corner I didn’t get a very good positions and lost some places. Then I gained some positions and was catching people, but then I got a puncture at the last corner so I had to do the whole lap. Luckily we had a safety car so that helped. But then I don’t know what the guys in front of me were doing because they were not going full speed to catch up so we were like one straight behind. I was asking if I could pass them but there was some confusion with the Sauber in front of me. That didn’t help either. Obviously for the team it’s a pretty good result. It could have been better but I think we did the maximum with what we had today.”
From ferrari.com – Kimi: “We had a pretty poor weekend in terms of things going wrong. I had a good speed but in qualify it didn’t go well and then today, after a poor start where I had too much wheelspin right off the line, I found myself fighting with all the other drivers and I had a puncture on the rear left tyre while battling Nasr at the last corner, which means I had to go one full lap before coming back to pits with no tyre. At that point my floor had got a little bit damaged, I had to do a full lap with no tyre and then, even if the safety car helped us, I had to start from way back behind. We did our best and the forth position was the maximum we could achieve. The win of Sebastian is a very good thing for him and for the whole team , knowing how difficult the last year has been; it’s a very good job what the team has done. We knew from winter testing that we have a good car, so it did not come as a total surprise, and probably the track with these high temperatures suited us. I don’t know how it will be in other circuits, but the car has been strong so far, not yet as we want but we have a good package, and we are getting stronger”.
From espn.co.uk – Arrivabene: “I have to say the discipline of the guys was amazing and the job of Seb was unbelievable. I have to congratulate also Kimi because he caught bad luck but still, from last position, was able to do a good job. During the race I was thinking about the briefing of this morning and I was looking at the discipline of the guys, drivers, engineers, and how they were working like a Swiss watch. But in this case it was a perfect Italian watch!”
Onboard Raikkonen – Start
Onboard Raikkonen – Puncture
Scuderia Ferrari: The Ferraris finished third and fourth in the final free practice session at the Sepang circuit, with Nico Rosberg once again fastest. Kimi Raikkonen posted a 1.40.245 in his SF15-T, fitted with Medium compound tyres, finishing behind the two Mercedes (Rosberg with a 1.39.690 and Lewis Hamilton in 1.39.875). Raikkonen only did 9 laps, as he had a puncture on his left rear when running the Hards, apparently caused when he ran over a piece of carbon on the track. In the other Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest in 1.40.266.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.590s||0.900s||19|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.601s||0.911s||19|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.989s||1.299s||18|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.775s||2.085s||14|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.804s||2.114s||15|
|16||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.099s||2.409s||14|
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