Report – Fourth and tenth places for Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen respectively, in the third free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. This afternoon, the Scuderia drivers each had a different programme. Fernando put him in some laps right at the start of the session so that the mechanics could get an early start on the planned power unit change ahead of qualifying and the race. The Spaniard did a run on the Softs and then fitted Supersofts, completing a total of 8 laps, the fastest in 1.42.653.
Kimi continued fine tuning his car, adopting a normal programme, running 14 laps, the best one stopping the clocks in 1.43.038.
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.679s||1.255s||19|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.773s||1.349s||14|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.809s||1.385s||20|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.352s||1.928s||20|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.360s||1.936s||19|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.501s||2.077s||18|
Report – The second free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a difficult one for Scuderia Ferrari, as dusk fell on the Yas Marina circuit. Fernando Alonso had to stop out on track, between turns 19 and 20, after just 2 laps, with an electrical problem. Therefore getting through the programme was all down to Kimi Raikkonen who did 33 laps, finishing off the comparison of the Soft and Supersoft tyres and doing some long run race simulations. The Finn continued working on car set-up before fitting the Supersoft tyres, with which he set a time of 1.43.489, which was good enough for seventh.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.959s||0.846s||33|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.183s||1.070s||32|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.546s||1.433s||38|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.746s||1.633s||37|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.068s||1.955s||32|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m44.157s||2.044s||39|
Report – Fernando Alonso was third and Kimi Raikkonen twelfth in the first free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers did 22 laps each, working on fine tuning the car and beginning an evaluation of the Soft tyres Pirelli has brought here along with the SuperSoft.
The track was very dirty at first, so hardly any running was completed in the first half hour. Gradually, as conditions improved, the times began to come down. Fernando’s best lap was a 1.45.184 on his way to third place. Kimi stopped the clocks in 1.46.131, having to settle for 12th on the time sheet.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.334s||1.858s||30|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.361s||1.885s||23|
|6||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.718s||2.242s||17|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.835s||2.359s||32|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.983s||2.507s||23|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.030s||2.554s||24|
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a very busy day and, particularly in the first session, we struggled a bit to find the right balance on the car. The programme included various set-up tests and, probably partly because of the high temperatures, my car felt rather nervous. Between the two sessions, we decided to make a few changes and in FP2, with lower temperatures, things improved, also in terms of how we compared to our competitors. My best lap wasn’t perfect, I made a small mistake. Overall, the work we did today produced positive results and this evening’s analysis of the data will deliver a lot of useful information to help us improve for qualifying and the race.”
Pat Fry: “At the Yas Marina track, the first and third practice sessions don’t tell you much, because of the effect of the high temperatures on the tyres. Usually, the level of grip gets better as the sun sets and in FP2 the track and air conditions produce a more similar picture to the one we can expect in the race, allowing for a better idea of car balance and a clearer understanding of the tyres. Here, it’s important to find the right compromise between aerodynamic and mechanical grip for the twisty section, trying to make turn-in easier in the corners while also have good top speed on the long straights. As was the case in Brazil, tyre management will be a key factor. For the first time at this track we have the Soft and Supersoft tyres and this choice opens up various strategy choices, also taking into account the limited life of the softer compound. In the second session, an electrical problem meant Fernando had to park the car on track and the guys are now fixing the problem for tomorrow’s practice. This incident is further proof that reliability, down to the smallest detail, is a major challenge for all teams, even right to the last race. It won’t be an easy weekend, but we’ll be trying to score as many points as possible, given that every position is worth double.”
It’s well known that Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel enjoy a friendly relationship so, given today’s news that the German is joining Scuderia Ferrari next season, that was the first topic at Kimi’s usual press meeting this afternoon in the Yas Marina paddock. “I think it will be nice to be with him in the same team” commented Kimi. “Obviously the main objective is to get the Ferrari team in a position where we can be near the front of the field. Of course we will be trying to beat each other all the time but I think we can have fun and get things done in a good way.”
The always straightforward Finn didn’t foresee any difficulties dealing with a new team-mate. “I haven’t worked with him in the same team but I know him best of all the guys,” he continued. “Our relationship has always been very straightforward and I don’t expect any changes on that side. I expect to have a normal and good relationship and hopefully we can get the team back to where we should be. I am sure we can do that, but only time will tell. I trust the people that are designing the new car one hundred percent. We know it will be much better, but it depends what other people will do. Will it be good enough? We will find out next year.”
Two years ago, Raikkonen won here in Abu Dhabi in the season that marked his return to Formula 1. “It was a nice victory,” recalled the Ferrari man. “But it was in a different team in a different year and we must wait and see what we can do this weekend. I’m hoping to have a good race and a good feeling from the car: it all starts from there, so if we can achieve that, we can then get the maximum out of the car. We must make sure we have no issues and then we can have a strong last race.”
As someone who came from behind in the points standing to win the Driver’s Championship in 2007, he was asked which of the Mercedes drivers was in the best position this weekend. “I have been behind when I won the championship, so all you can do in that situation is win the race and hope that things fall into place for you,” replied Kimi. “Quite often in these last years, the championship has gone to the last race and that makes it more exciting, because as we have seen in the past, a lot of things can happen in one race.”
[ Source: ferrari.com ]
Raikkonen expects ‘fun’ with Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen believes his close relationship with new Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel will be a boost to Maranello’s efforts to return to the front of the grid.
Nearly two months after Vettel agreed to join Ferrari, the Italian F1 outfit finally announced on Thursday that the German would be replacing Fernando Alonso next year.
The move is one that Raikkonen is excited about, as he claimed that Vettel is the driver he knows the best in the paddock.
“Obviously I haven’t worked with him before in the same team but I know him best out of any of the guys,” said the Finn.
“Our relationship has been always been very straightforward and I don’t expect any changes.
“On that side, I expect it to be normal and good, and hopefully we can get the team where we should be.”
Raikkonen reckons he and Vettel can put their own competitive interests to one side, and actually have “fun” in their quest to help Ferrari.
“I think it is nice to be with him in the same team and obviously the main objective is to get the team, Ferrari, in the position where we should be in front,” he said.
“We try to beat each other all the time, but we can have fun and get things done in a good way.”
[ Source: autosport.com ]
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Sebastian, how do you see the co-operation with Kimi? Will it be easier for you than with anybody else?
SV: Yes. I think he would probably reply the same if you asked him. That’s what he told me, just before! I think, yes. Why? Because Kimi is probably the least complicated driver on the grid so in terms of performance on the track, when we talk about the skills Kimi has, I don’t think there is a single person in the paddock who doubts his skills, including myself, but from a personal point of view, on a personal level, very straightforward. I don’t expect any complications because I think we have a good relationship but more so, I think we have great respect for each other which I think is always very healthy to deal with in these sorts of situations coming up.