Kimi Raikkonen feels Ferrari will have to improve the Energy Recovery System on its car if it is to close the gap to its quicker Formula 1 rivals.
The Scuderia has struggled for straightline speed all season and suffered a disastrous home grand prix in Italy recently, where it failed to qualify inside the top six and recorded a best result of ninth with Raikkonen.
Fernando Alonso’s ERS failed at Monza, causing his first mechanical retirement as a Ferrari driver since 2010, while Raikkonen struggled to make progress from 11th place on the grid.
The Finn also found wheel-to-wheel battle difficult during the previous race in Belgium, and said energy recovery and deployment was a particular weakness of the F14 T compared to the Mercedes-engined cars and the Red Bull-Renaults.
“I think in the race conditions it’s one point that we have to look at,” said Raikkonen, when asked by AUTOSPORT if a weak ERS was why Ferrari struggled for straightline speed in races.
“But during the season it’s not so easy [because of the engine freeze].
“I’m sure we can make a 100 per cent improvement over the winter.
“We have made some improvements already and I think if you look at certain engine manufacturers [compared to us] over one lap it’s not too bad, but then in a race distance we seem to be struggling a bit in certain places.”
Raikkonen said he expected upcoming races on more twisty circuits than Spa and Monza to suit Ferrari’s F14 T better.
When asked whether he expected stronger form from Ferrari during the next race in Singapore, Raikkonen said: “It’s hard to say as it’s a different year and different car [fore me].
“We expected this here [Monza] to be difficult, but I think the next few circuits will suit us as they’re not so long or so fast.
“We have to go there and see how the car is, but I expect to be in a stronger position.”
[ Source: autosport.com ]
There’s a reason they call Kimi Raikkonen the ‘Iceman’ so it’s no surprise the Ferrari driver isn’t allowing rumors surrounding his retirement to get him hot and bothered.
Raikkonen’s future has been the subject of much speculation with talk of him leaving the sport sweeping through the paddock over the past few weeks.
But the 34-year-old Finn, who sits 10th in the drivers’ championship, says he is only concentrating on finishing his career with Ferrari.
“I’m not a young guy anymore so obviously I want to do something more in my life than just Formula One,” Raikkonen, who is set to become a father early next year, told CNN’s The Circuit.
“But I have no plans, I will finish my career at Ferrari, we’ll see in the future.”
Ferrari is enduring a difficult time with the team having failed to win a drivers’ title since Raikkonen triumphed in 2007, while it currently trails Mercedes by 292 points in the constructors’ championship.
On Wednesday the Scuderia announced changes to its management structure, with Luca di Montezemolo, the man who presided over two decades of great success since taking up the role of chairman in 1991, to step down on October 13.
Two years after becoming world champion, Raikkonen quit the sport after being pushed out of the team following Fernando Alonso’s arrival.
He spent two years trying his hand at rallying before returning to the sport with Lotus in 2011.
It was during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July that rumors of Raikkonen’s impending retirement began to surface.
But Raikkonen, who began his F1 career with Sauber in 2001, says suggestions he is planning to leave the sport before his deal expires in 2015 are wide of the mark.
“No I never said that,” responded Raikkonen after being asked if he had said he was ready to quit the sport.
“The only thing that I said was that I will finish my career in Ferrari, F1 career in Ferrari, then people came up with ‘it’s end of this year, it’s now, it’s then’.
“With newspapers they just try to make rumors, wanting to be the guy that writes something up, it’s just rumors.”
[ Source: cnn.com ]
F1 Racing October 2014 issue includes a good chat with Kimi about his season, car troubles and future plans:
Report – The Italian Grand Prix proved a bitter pill to swallow for Scuderia Ferrari, as the team leaves Monza with a meagre two points courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen’s ninth place. Fernando Alonso failed to finish, after a technical problem saw him retire at the start of lap 29.
At the start, the two Maranello team drivers were unable to make up any places and after the only pit stop they dropped a few. When he retired, Fernando was lying tenth, the position that Kimi then took over. The Finn had a difficult start but fought back in the second part of a race that featured plenty of battles. The Finn crossed the line in tenth, but was promoted to ninth, as McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen had to add a 5 second penalty to his race time.
Lewis Hamilton took his sixth win of the season, the 28th of his career, crossing the line ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. The German thus maintains the lead in the championship, while Felipe Massa was third for Williams. The next round is in Singapore in a fortnight’s time.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||50.309s|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||59.965s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m02.518s|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m11.184s|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.606s|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.093s|
|14||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Renault||1 Lap|
|15||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|16||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||1 Lap|
|17||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham/Renault||1 Lap|
|18||Jules Bianchi||Marussia/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|19||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber/Ferrari||2 Laps|
|20||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham/Renault||2 Laps|
|-||Max Chilton||Marussia/Ferrari||Spun off|
Raikkonen: Ferrari struggle inevitable – “We knew this place was going to be difficult because of the long straights. We hoped to have a better race for the team and the fans, but there were not really issues and this is where we ended up. I’m expecting to be in a more forward position at the next few races, so hopefully that’s the case. It was difficult to overtake here. Maybe with a few more laps, I could have got a few guys, but then they probably would have been able to get the position back again on the next straight on this kind of circuit. The balance was okay, but we were just lacking grip and speed, so that’s what it was. We could get close to the people, but when you are following people closely you lose so much downforce and the car gets so loose that it’s very tricky to pass them. Anyhow, the speed in a straightline is not where we want and it’s a bit difficult from that side already. So when you close and try to get a good speed out of the corner it gets even trickier. That’s what it was really.”
Kimi Raikkonen – “We knew this would be a difficult weekend and today in the race, we saw the proof of that. Overall, I was happy with the handling of the car and the balance was good, but we lacked speed down the straight and I didn’t have much grip. As soon as I got close to the cars ahead of me, I lost aerodynamic downforce and the car was sliding all over the place. I think I did the most I could today, even if unfortunately I was unable to get the result I would have wanted for our home race, for the team and all our fans. Now we must think of the upcoming races and continue to work nonstop, because we are coming up to tracks that should better suit the characteristics of our car”.
Fernando Alonso – “After a long run of trouble-free races, it’s a real shame I had to retire just here in Monza, in front of all our fans. I would have liked to have put on a very different race for them. In the first stint we were competitive, but when you find yourself in a group of cars where everyone is using DRS, overtaking becomes nearly impossible. After the pit stop, I found myself at the back of a train of cars and at that point we changed the strategy, deciding to drop back from the group to conserve the tyres and try and attack at the end of the race. But then came the problem with the ERS system. It’s never nice for the team to have a reliability problem, because the guys work night and day to give us the best car possible. What happened doesn’t change my will to win and in order to try and have that happen soon, we will continue to work as hard as we can, always giving our all.”
Marco Mattiacci (Team principal) – “In Formula 1, as in sport in general, there are days to forget and this was certainly one of them. Unfortunately, we had no way of predicting the problem that affected Fernando’s car, but I am sorry that it happened right here in Monza at our home race. Even though we are making progress, we knew that these last two races would be very difficult. Therefore, while it’s impossible to accept a result like this, now our only thought is to get back to being competitive as soon as possible. First and foremost, we must continue to work and to improve, because I’m sure the working practices put in place these last few months will help us get back to the top.”
Pat Fry – “On a weekend which we knew would suit the characteristics of our opponents’ cars, trying our best was unfortunately not enough. Having pulled off a brilliant passing move on Perez round the outside at first Lesmo, Fernando then spent the whole first stint in a group of cars all doing the same lap times, with all the drivers benefiting from the DRS effect on those cars ahead of them. Unfortunately, his race ended after the first stop, because of a failure within the ERS system. Even if it’s been a long time since we’ve had a reliability issue, this incident shows how important it is to continue to focus on this aspect. Thanks to a good getaway, Kimi managed to make up one place at the start and another by passing Hulkenberg on lap 6, but he could not make up enough ground to attack those in front. We finished in the points with him, however it’s disappointing that we were unable to do more for the fans. Now, all we can do is look to the future and try and do well starting with the very next Grand Prix in Singapore.”