Rob Wilson was Kimi’s driving coach/mentor during his Formula Renault career and it’s safe to say he knows Kimi’s nature and driving style better than anybody in the motorsport world. Listen to Wilson talk with Peter Windsor about this year’s hottest and most anticipated pairing at Ferrari:
Rob Wilson – “Kimi can complete a single lap faster than anybody.”
This morning’s work soon got delayed, because of a problem on the car that took some time to fix before the lunch break. Once back on track in the afternoon, Kimi managed to run regularly, alternating between aero measurements and a series of set-up tests over short runs.
Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, when Fernando Alonso will be on track.
“We had a small problem today, which limited the number of laps but still managed to learn some new things about the car” – said Kimi. “You always want to do better, but every team has unexpected things happen and we are still trying to do all we can to be ready for Melbourne.
“During the race weekends there will be little time to try different things in terms of setup, so it was important today to keep on this track to find out what’s the best direction to go in. On the final day of the test, we will put everything together that we have learned so far and will concentrate on the conditions we will encounter in the races.”
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m35.290s 105 2. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m36.184s +0.894s 128 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.432s +1.142s 54 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m36.624s +1.334s 89 5. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.700s +2.410s 89 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.825s +2.535s 109 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m37.908s +2.618s 39 8. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m38.610s +3.320s 44 9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.242s +3.952s 56 10. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m40.599s +5.309s 31 11. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m42.285s +6.995s 19
Kimi Raikkonen is targeting completing a race distance on his final day of Formula 1 testing on Saturday after a difficult first day in Bahrain.The Finn managed only 54 laps today, ending the day third fastest, 1.142s off Sergio Perez’s fastest time of the day.He hands over to Fernando Alonso tomorrow but is scheduled to return for the penultimate day, which should be his last run in the car before Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix on March 14.
The Finn has completed fewer laps than Alonso so far in pre-season testing, with the Spaniard having been able to do some longer runs.
“We will try to do the race distance, for sure,” said Raikkonen when asked what the focus will be for his final day in the car. “
“I haven’t even tried to do it yet. I think Fernando did it so that’s something that we are hopefully going to do and just see where we are really.
“[Beyond that], just normal things, trying things, learning again and hopefully we will be ready for the first race of the year.”
MTV3 Interview with Kimi, with subtitles
If you see a Ferrari LaFerrari driven by none other than a talented F1 driver such as Kimi Raikkonen, this is something that you wouldn’t expect to see! After a few laps around track Kimi tried to play sideways with the 963hp of the LaFerrari but he ended into a massive spin out off the track! That’s not all because for the first time you see also brake disks of the LaFerrari glowing and the exhaust spitting big flames!
| Source: ferrari.com |
A second day in Maranello for Raikkonen. For much of the day, Kimi worked on the simulator, recreating the conditions he will experience in the F14 T in Bahrain for next week’s second test of the 2014 season from 19 to 22 February.
During a break, Kimi decided to take a stroll through parts of the factory he hadn’t seen for years, starting with the production line for the 8 and 12 cylinder cars, before visiting the engine assembly area and the styling centre.
Kimi has always been interested in the technical side of cars and he had plenty of questions regarding the manufacturing and styling ideas for the Ferraris of the future. The Finn, who won the championship in 2007 with Ferrari, had his photo taken with the employees who gathered around.
Apart from the inevitable requests for autographs, he was also exhorted to repeat his 2007 feat!
| Source: ferrari.com |
As Stefano Domenicali mentioned this morning in the interview he gave, Kimi Raikkonen is seen more and more often in Maranello, proof that he plans to get even more involved than in the past as he embarks on his second adventure with the Prancing Horse.
Today, Kimi’s schedule involved several meetings with the engineers to prepare the programme for the upcoming test sessions in Bahrain, as well as fine tuning his driving position in the cockpit of the F14 T.
This year’s race car was not the only Ferrari Kimi was keen to see close up and he ended the day having his first drive in a LaFerrari, the road car that represents the very essence of what makes the cars built in Maranello unique in the world. The Finn soon felt comfortable behind the wheel of the supercar, but there wasn’t enough time for him to test its performance on the Fiorano track. That will be for the next time, as Kimi feels ever more at home in Maranello!
Video: Kimi at the launch @00:47mins
Jenson Button’s McLaren topped the second day of pre-season Formula 1 testing at Jerez, as the Mercedes-engined teams demonstrated an early advantage in 2014.
Morning times: Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Jenson Button McLaren 1m36.094s 16 2. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m37.762s +1.668s 17 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m38.272s +2.178s 15 4. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m39.008s +2.914s 13 5. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.798s +5.704s 33 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes No time - 5 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault No time - 5 Afternoon times: Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Jenson Button McLaren 1m24.165s 43 2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m24.812s +0.647s 47 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m25.344s +1.179s 35 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.588s +1.423s 97 5. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m28.376s +4.211s 37 6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.270s +9.105s 53 7. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m37.975s +13.810s 11 8. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m38.320s +14.155s 8
Because of the wet start to the day, the morning programme began with the testing requested by Pirelli, relating to development of their wet weather tyres. The Scuderia was quickly able to assess the intermediate tyres, thus making the most of the time remaining and the progressively drying track to begin work on the car in preparation for the afternoon’s programme.
By the end of the day, Raikkonen had managed to complete a total of 47 laps, the fastest in a time of 1.24.812. He continued the task of checking the car’s functionality as well as trying a few set-up changes.
“Every time we go out on track we learn something new” – said Kimi. “This week the times don’t matter and the only thing that does is to do a good number of laps without any problems and fortunately, we have managed that on both days. The team is working hard and at the next test in Bahrain, we will continue to improve.”
Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, when Fernando Alonso will make his season debut on track.
Team Quotes: Kimi Raikkonen’s mileage in first F1 test pleases Ferrari
“I am reasonably happy with what we have seen so far,” said Allison. “I don’t think there are any killers we have uncovered.
“The fault list is not a short one, it never is with a new car, but we are able to keep going out of the garage and doing the laps.
“Our relative lack of laps compared with the V8 era is not about the fundamental reliability of the package, it is about us making sure we don’t make mistakes.”
Allison said the lack of running throughout the field compared to 12 months ago was evidence not of poor reliability but simply the complication of the new rules.
“The point of these first two days is to get running, get the car programmed with the gazillion of numbers that you need to make it do its thing, and to make sure that the really basic building blocks of the car are correct,” he said.
“That includes stuff that is straightforward but completely fundamental to this car like doing all the things for cooling properly.
“There are a lot of different fluids in the car and they all have to be cooled, and that is really extremely important to allow us a foundation for the next two days of testing and the next two days before the season starts.”
Commentary and timing links to follow the tests:
- BBC Sport
- Sky Sports
- Italian updates
- Swedish updates
- German updates
- Greek live timing
- Spanish live timing
Autosport.com – Kimi Raikkonen: “For sure everybody wants to see more laps and we want to do more laps, but it is pretty normal with such a big change. It will take a little bit of time before we can run 100 per cent all the time and not have issues.
I think we have started pretty okay. I think the biggest challenge is getting all the new stuff working as we want, and working together. It is much trickier than what we are used to, but from the driving side I don’t think it is an awful lot different.
It is just the first day with all new stuff so it takes time to get things up to speed. One day to go, a lot of work to do, we know that. But we expected these first test days to learn things, so I really don’t feel like it is such a big difference to this year or any previous one.”
Ferrari.com: “We had a lot of new things to learn today. Even if we would have liked to do more laps, I think that for a first day it was alright. Towards the end, when the track was damp, we chose not to take any risks. Now we have a lot of work ahead of us, but all in all, we are pleased with our first day.”
Sky Sports: “It’s just the first day, there is still a long way to go,” he told reporters. “Lap times don’t mean anything, I was just learning about the car. We have started ok.. As I’ve said before, I’ve been here before and I know most of the people. It’s just a different team from last year, it’s not a new team.”
@f1zone Kimi on whether it was emotional to drive out of the garage in a Ferrari again: “No, not really” @adamcooperf1 Kimi Raikkonen on his new car and new rules: “In an ideal world I think there would probably be less buttons to push…”
Sky Sports interview with Kimi
Kimi Raikkonen went fastest on the first day of his Ferrari return as only six drivers set times on a stunted opening to Formula 1 2014 pre-season testing.
The Finn leapfrogged Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes one hour from the day’s end, with the Briton’s session ending prematurely after a front wing failure sent him crashing into the Turn 1 barriers.
Morning Times: Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.820s 18 2. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m36.530s +8.710s 11 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari no time 2 4. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes no time 2 5. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari no time 1 Afternoon Times: Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.104s 31 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.820s +0.716s 18 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m30.082s +2.978s 7 4. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m33.161s +6.057s 11 5. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m36.530s +9.426s 15 6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.257s +15.153s 7 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault No time 3 8. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault No time 1
As usual, Kimi Raikkonen’s evaluation was short and to the point, after the F14 T’s track debut. The Finn completed 32 laps on the Andalusian track, which was more than anyone else today.
Commentary and timing links to follow the tests:
- BBC Sport
- Sky Sports
- Italian updates
- Swedish updates
- German updates
- Greek live timing
- Spanish live timing
Sound of Kimi rolling out the F14-T
Ferrari requested fans to send in their questions to Kimi via social media and email with the hashtag #AskKimi, here’s what the top 10 got out of the ever-excited and chatty Iceman… ha.
| Source: autosport.com |
Kimi Raikkonen says there is no way of telling yet how his relationship with 2014 Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Fernando Alonso will bear up to the heat of competition.
Although both drivers are excited about what their partnership should deliver, there are concerns that it could produce some tense moments if they end up battling wheel-to-wheel.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo admitted before Christmas that the line-up had its dangers, but equally he was sure both men would do what was best for the team.
Speaking to media after the launch of the new F14 T on Saturday, Raikkonen said the relationship between him and Alonso was good now – but admitted that things could be different when they are fighting on track.
“I don’t think there is any way of telling things right now,” said the Finn, who is now fully recovered from the back issues that he suffered last year.
“Every situation is different, but we know what we have to do.
“We have said before, we are going to race against each other like every year – it doesn’t matter who is your team-mate.
“We have a respect against each other and we try to come out on top, but we know what the team expects from us and time will tell what happens.
“There is a lot of talk from outside of all the problems and all those kinds of things, but inside the team we have a good feeling.
“We have to wait and see how it goes, and hopefully we can bring both titles back to the team.”
Alonso underlined that he expected both of them to do what was best for the team – even if it meant personal ambitions had to be sacrificed.
“We will follow whatever the team priority is, and we try to do our best to win both championships and bring back to Ferrari some of the success Ferrari had in the past,” he said.
“The best way to achieve that is to race at 100 per cent level every race, and try to always bring back the points to the team and ourselves.
“To do that we need to work in perfect harmony and follow what the team priority is, and what the team will tell us.”
Video: Press conference with the Ferrari drivers
| Source: ferrari.com |
Ferrari has revealed its 2014 Formula 1 car, the F14 T, that it hopes will allow it to fight for the world title this year.
The Maranello-based team’s 2014 challenger features a different nose approach to the other 2014 cars revealed so far, with a much flatter concept.
Ferrari has retained its pullrod front suspension concept in the new design.
The new car is the first that will have been influenced by incoming Ferrari technical chief James Allison, who arrived late last year following his switch from Lotus.
The car is scheduled to run in public for the first time at Jerez in Spain next week.
Ferrari is hoping that the change in regulations this year, with the arrival of 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, will help it finally deliver the world championship that has eluded it in recent years.
Last season proved a disappointment when, after starting the season with a competitive car, it failed to maintain a good enough development rate during the campaign.
As well as the all-new car for this year, Ferrari has welcomed back Kimi Raikkonen who replaces the Williams-bound Felipe Massa.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s nice to come back to the team with which I won my championship in 2007. The aim is the same: we want to do the best we can. We want to try and win races and try and win the championship if we can. I had to have a small operation, I didn’t really have a choice in order to be as pain free as possible for the coming season. It was a good time to have it done. If we are the strongest team – and I hope we’re going to be – then we both want to win. The car will tell if we can bring the championships back to Ferrari. I would say there are lots of other things, especially with the new rules, that will say what the results will be. But I think we are more than capable of being up there and fighting for the championship.”
Gallery, interview with Kimi, F14T Launch:
| Source: ferrari.com | full transcript below |
The first three “official” days of Kimi Raikkonen’s second stint with the Prancing Horse proved useful for him to familiarise himself with the technical aspects that go to make up part of a driver’s job wherever he is. In addition, it was also a chance for him to re-immerse himself in the special atmosphere only to be found at Ferrari. Below are five videos where Kimi talks about the fans, the team, F1, Maranello and the FF.
Kimi’s world – Raikkonen and the fans
Kimi’s world – Raikkonen and the team
Kimi’s world – Raikkonen and the Formula 1
Kimi’s world – Raikkonen and Maranello
Kimi’s world – Raikkonen and the FF
“My feeling is that it’s not going to be as different as people think. But I might be wrong.”
Q: How does it feel to be back at Maranello?
KR: It’s nice to come back here [Maranello], obviously it is nice to be back and seeing the people that were here when I was at Ferrari. Also some new people, but it has been so far very good. There are a lot of good people in the team, with a lot of knowledge. We have to the best and see where we end up, but there is the chance that we can do very well.
Q: What’s the target for the future?
KR: There’s only thing we try to do and that is to win championships. Hopefully as a team we can do that. It’s going to be difficult, especially with the new rules. It’s very hard to say who is where and how its going to be. Thats the only thing we try to do and that is to win championships. Hopefully as a team we can do that. It’s going to be difficult, especially with the new rules. It’s very hard to say who is where and how its going to be.
Q: Your return has made Ferrari fans very happy…
KR: As always nice to have fans and the fact that they are happy I came back to Ferrari is obviously a bonus. And hopefully we can get the results and make them even happier.
Q: How different will it be with new regulations and the all new Formula V6 turbo cars?
KR: My feeling is that driving the new cars will not be as difficult as people think. Hopefully we find out it is pretty simple. For sure it will be difficult for the technical people, all those who have to make a new engine, new gearboxes and all this. But it is not affecting so much the driver, I think. Sure we have new buttons and things to follow, let’s wait and see. It will be much easier to say after the first test.
Q: How do you feel about double points to be awarded at the final race of the season?
KR: This is the same for everybody It might help somebody or might be against somebody, and obviously people who it helps will like it. For me it doesn’t matter what it is. It’s the rule, so like it or not it isn’t going to change.
Q: What’s your favourite track?
KR: Spa is very nice track because it is sort of old fashioned, there ae some nice new circuitts too where they have done a good job. The United States track and India [were] quite nice. I quite liked it.
Q: You were in the Ferrari simulator?
KR: We did some work on the simulator and we will do more later, but mainly to check some of the buttons and see how things work.
Q: What are your thoughts on your new race engineer Antonio Spagnolo?
KR: We worked with him together before for two years, he was the data engineer for me. I know him from that time already, so basically it wasn’t too difficult and it was nice to see him. I saw him at some races and we spoke quickly when we passed each other in the paddock. For him it is a new challenge, but he knows the systems and has a lot of experience, so I thinbk it should be fine. Obviously we have to start from somewhere and then build things together. I don’t see any problems, or wy it shouldn’t be good. So it’s only exciting.
Raikkonen will be in action in a Ferrari, for the first time since 2009, during the first day of testing at Jerez on 28 January at the wheel of the team’s 2014 turbo powered car.
Since I made Prelude and the 2012 year review, Kimi Raikkonen’s 2013 season is continued in this video titled ‘Epilogue’. The Iceman’s comeback with Lotus in 2012 was great for Formula 1 and look at how time flies… It’s nearly 2014 already and perhaps the final chapter in Kimi’s career is about to begin with a return to the scene of his greatest glory, at Ferrari. But this video is ultimately about 2013 and my way of saying Happy Christmas to you guys.
Enjoy the movie! It was non-stop, day/night work I tell ya! Sit back and get your speakers ready but you might want to grab a drink/popcorn first as this is 11 minutes long!
Speaking for the first time about the matter in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Raikkonen confirmed that he did come close to not racing this weekend, and has not ruled out skipping either of the final races in the United States or Brazil.
“I came here only because hopefully we found an understanding on the certain issues we have been having,” said Raikkonen.
“Hopefully it will be fixed and we can finish the season as well as we can.”
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he would contemplate not taking part in the final races if the outstanding matters are not resolved, Raikkonen said: “For sure. I enjoy racing, I enjoy driving – but a big part of it is business.
“Sometimes when that is not dealt with like it should we end up in an unfortunate situation.
“You have to put the line somewhere, and if it goes over that… it is not really my fault any more.”
RADIO EXCHANGE NOT MAIN ISSUE
Raikkonen’s relations with the team were strained by the radio exchange in India, when he was ordered to move aside for Romain Grosjean, but his main frustration is relating to outstanding wages – which are believed to be in excess of $15 million.
Speaking about the radio discussion with trackside operations director Alan Permane, Raikkonen said: “It is a part of it. It is true those things should not happen but they have happened. That is not really the issue.
“It is all the other stuff, and all the things come together in the end. Like I said, it is easy to say that is the reason but it is not that.”
The 2007 world champion also expressed frustration at the fact that his loyalty to the team has been questioned at a time when he has not been paid.
“Sometimes it is not very nice when you hear that you are not really a team player, and you don’t have the interests of the team [at heart] – but you have been paid zero Euro the whole year,” said Raikkonen.
“It doesn’t put you in the best place, but that is how it goes and hopefully, like I said, we found an understanding on both sides on how we should deal with the situation right now and fix the issues, and try to finish as well as we can.”
When asked by AUTOSPORT if he was confident a deal could be reached with Raikkonen to ensure he races in Austin and Brazil, Boullier said: “Part of it I cannot answer you.
“There is discussion between Gerard and Kimi and it obviously involves our shareholders and parent companies.”
Although the Raikkonen situation has come just as Lotus is knuckling down for a tough fight for second in the constructors’ championship, Boullier said he was hopeful the matter would not affect its chances on track.
“We have an exceptional group of people in Enstone and they produce a car, with the last aero package based on the long wheelbase, that is delivering,” he said.
“We just do our best to be delivering on track. There is obviously some issues which we know already for a long time and we are waiting, as Gerard said, for the new investment company to close the deal with.
“And if that does not happen we will have to think about other scenarios.”
Today is the 6th anniversary of Kimi’s first and only world championship winning. On 21st October 2007, Kimi became one of the very few drivers to win the title on their debut season with Ferrari, beating McLaren rivals Hamilton and Alonso by a single point in the final race at Brazil. It was an unforgettable season for the fans and the most special day in Raikkonen’s career.
Download the full photo gallery here, enjoy!
For videos about the special ocassion, (more…)
| Source: fia.com |
Q: I’ll start with Kimi if I may. Congratulations on the move for next season. First time we’ve seen you since the announcement. If we’d have said to you at the start of the season that you’d be a confirmed Ferrari driver by September, what would have said then: no chance, no way or is it something you always thought might be possible?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: I just have to say things change in Formula One a lot. I never had a bad feeling with them really. But I mean I still have a lot friends and good memories from there. I knew that my contract will end at the end of this year so obviously I had to make some kind of decision what to do for next year and now it’s been done.
Q: Was there anything that Lotus could have done to keep you with the team or was the attraction of a return to Ferrari just to strong for you?
KR: Yeah, there was a lot of things and for sure they know what it is. It’s hard to say which way it would have gone if that would have had happened but the deal’s done now and I’m very happy with the new deal.
Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge for you then next season at Ferrari?
KR: I know the team and I know the people. Obviously there are some new people and some more have left since I was there but most are the same. I don’t think this will be too difficult to go there and do well. The car’s will be obviously different so I think that will be the most difficult thing, to get the cars right and get them running reliable and whoever makes the best car will probably make the best out of it.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Paolo Ianieri – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, you said last year that when you left Ferrari you felt liberated. So what made you decide to go back and lose your – in brackets – freedom?
KR: I always had freedom there also. There are a lot of stories from my past, from different teams but it’s all from you guys and I don’t think that you guys work in the team so you don’t really know what’s happening and you write a lot of stuff which can sometimes be true and sometimes not. I had a good time, like I said, and I’m sure we will have a good time together again.
Q: (Jacob Polychronis – F1Plus.com) Kimi, some other drivers have been quite quick to already suggest that your partnership with Fernando Alonso may not work out, namely Jenson and Sebastian. Do you care to weigh in on the issue?
KR: I don’t see the reason why it wouldn’t work. We are all old enough to know what we are doing and for sure the team is working for the right things to make sure. If there is something, I’m sure we can talk it through. It’s not like we are 20-year old guys any more. I might be wrong, but time will tell, but I’m pretty sure everything will be good. For sure there will be hard fights on the race circuits but sometimes things go wrong… like I said, I’m pretty sure it will all be OK.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, Mr Montezemolo said in an interview in our newspaper that he expected victories and poles from you, but also that you can help Alonso to develop the car. Are you ready to spend more time in Maranello, like Fernando, to stay there even more than in the past?
KR: It’s a pretty similar answer to before. There are a lot of stories but I think we’ve done pretty well in this team when we started and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be able to produce a very good car for next year and keep improving it. Obviously there are new rules so it will be more challenging for all the teams but I have no worries about those things.
Q: (Luc Domenjoz – Le Matin) Kimi, it seems that Lotus owes you a lot of money, so the question is simple: why, if the team doesn’t fulfil its part of the contract, why do you respect yours and why don’t you simply stay at home?
KR: I like to race and then obviously that’s the only reason why I’m here; it doesn’t matter which team it is and obviously the reasons why they ask from the team but the reasons why I left from the team is purely on the money side, that they haven’t got my salary so it’s an unfortunate thing but like I said, I want to try and help the team as much as I can and I like to race.
Q: (Fulvio Solms – Corriere dello Sport) Kimi, referring to your next teammate, what do you think will be possible to learn from him next year and can he learn from you?
KR: For sure, you always learn from different teammates; everyone does different things. Maybe they do something better than you but often there are a lot of things that only suit one guy and it doesn’t work if you try to do the same thing for yourself, it’s not going to work. I know the team, I know the people. Like I said, I have no worries to go there and have something that wouldn’t work. I don’t really worry about it, I’ve never worked with Alonso. I obviously know him from racing but I’m sure it will be fine.
Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Kimi, in your choice of Ferrari, is there also a technical reason? I’m thinking about the turbo era; do you think that Ferrari building both engine and chassis could be a better chance of being a competitive car than Red Bull or Lotus next year?
KR: Obviously I hope so. They built very good cars and engines in the past, they’ve won a lot of championships as a team and then you have to look on the other side at teams like Red Bull or Lotus with Renault who have done very well. It’s very hard to say which way it’s going to go with the new rules and who’s going to have the best package. There are a lot of stories about certain engines that will be much stronger than others but there are so many different things that you have to look at and go through and make sure that it works that I have no idea which team will be strongest and which team will come out on top. We have to wait and see, really, for the first few tests.
Other quotes from the paddock:
“Maybe they have fear because we are strong,” said Domenicali on Thursday. “It’s part of the psychological war that is part of this game. It’s not really interesting for me because I don’t listen. Everyone can say what they want, but that’s it.
“It is paddock life,” he said. “I am happy that two years ago we gambled on Kimi, and it was a nice honeymoon story for two years.
“Now he is moving up to Ferrari. That is life. The combination of Lotus F1 and Kimi worked well in terms of popularity and also sporting-wise, on track.
“It is in some ways disappointing but it is not a blow. Let’s turn the page and start a new story.”
“I don’t think anyone will push me more than what I push now. Two world champions, I don’t think it makes any difference,” said Alonso ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.
“Kimi will give him a good run for his money, I’m sure,” Hamilton told Sky Sports News. “It will be an incredibly strong line-up. They talk about me and Nico being the strongest package, but I think they will now have it.
“We already know that this [an all-World Champion line-up] isn’t their normal way of running things, but Stefano [Domenicali, the Ferrari team boss] is a great guy and I’n sure he will manage them very well.”
Videos: Full press conference, BBC interview Kimi, Boullier disappointed to lose Kimi
Kimi Raikkonen will return to Ferrari to join Fernando Alonso from 2014, the team has confirmed.
Ferrari’s official announcement of a two-year deal confirms a move that had seemed increasingly inevitable in recent days.
Raikkonen was in the running for the second Red Bull seat alongside Sebastian Vettel, but the champion squad chose its protege Daniel Ricciardo as Mark Webber’s replacement instead.
It then seemed most likely that Raikkonen would remain at current squad Lotus for a third season.
But assurances from the team about its future investment and technical packages were crucial to that deal, and Lotus was not yet in a position to provide those.
With Felipe Massa announcing on Tuesday night that he would leave Ferrari at the end of this season after eight years, and Raikkonen’s rival candidate Nico Hulkenberg informed on Wednesday morning that he would not be required, the 2007 world champion’s return to the Scuderia was sealed.
Raikkonen previously drove for Ferrari from 2007-09.
He came from behind to deny McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso the title in his first season in red, but had to play second fiddle to team-mate Massa’s championship push in 2008.
After a disappointing 2009 campaign, Raikkonen left Ferrari and Formula 1 for a career in the World Rally Championship.
This proved unsuccessful, and having dabbled with NASCAR Truck racing and tested Peugeot’s Le Mans car, he headed back to F1 with Lotus last year.
An immediate frontrunner back in single-seaters, Raikkonen has been among Vettel’s main opposition since his return.
RAIKKONEN’S FERRARI STATS
2007 2008 2009 Wins 6 2 1 Poles 3 2 0 Champ pos 1st 3rd 6th Points 110 75 48
Kimi Raikkonen: “I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years. I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable. I can’t wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves.”
New wallpapers – Return of the King desktops!
Video: Sky News round-up
| Source: lotusf1team.com |
For the first time in his Lotus F1 Team career, Kimi failed to finish a Grand Prix after brake failure in today’s Belgian Grand Prix. Our Finn was philosophical at the blow dealt to his championship aspirations.
Q: What happened today?
KR: I had a brake failure so there was really no point in trying to continue.
Q: How was the beginning of your race?
KR: We both got good starts off the line but there wasn’t enough space into the first corner where I went over the kerb and lost some time. After that I was pushing as hard as I could.
Q: How early did the brake issue manifest itself?
KR: There were some brake issues at the beginning of the race but we were managing them and it was going okay until we had to retire.
Q: Your consecutive run of Grand Prix and points finishes comes to an end…
KR: We’ve finished a lot of races and had some good reliability so far. One day your luck has to run out and today was that day.
Video: Kimi retires from the race
On a happier note…
Video: 60seconds with Kimi (Italian SkySports)
Sebastian Vettel took a routine victory for Red Bull in a totally dry Belgian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso was able to tiger through from ninth on the grid to second ahead of polesitter Lewis Hamilton, but fellow title contender Kimi Raikkonen’s long finishing streak ended with a brake problem.
- Visor tear-off caused Raikkonen problem – Lotus suspects that a blocked brake cooling duct caused by a loose visor tear-off led to Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement from the Belgian Grand Prix. Raikkonen suffered from an overheating left front brake duct shortly after the start of the race at Spa-Francorchamps. At the first pitstop, the team discovered the visor tear-off lodged in the cooling channels of the brake duct. Although Lotus was able to remove it, the brake disc was already too hot and could not be cooled enough. Eventually it failed completely. Investigations by the team after the race discovered no other explanation for the brake issues, which led it to believe that the visor strip was the cause.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h23m42.196s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +16.869s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +27.734s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +29.872s 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +33.845s 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +40.794s 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari +53.922s 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +55.846s 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1m09.547s 10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m13.470s 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1m21.936s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m26.740s 13. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1m28.258s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1m40.436s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +1m47.456s 16. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m50.756 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 26 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 25 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 8 World Championship standings, round 11: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 197 1. Red Bull-Renault 312 2. Alonso 151 2. Mercedes 235 3. Hamilton 139 3. Ferrari 218 4. Raikkonen 134 4. Lotus-Renault 187 5. Webber 115 5. McLaren-Mercedes 65 6. Rosberg 96 6. Force India-Mercedes 61 7. Massa 67 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 25 8. Grosjean 53 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Button 47 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 25 12. Perez 18 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 12 15. Hulkenberg 7 16. Maldonado 1
Videos: Kimi’s brake failure, Kimi post-race interview with SkySports
Kimi Raikkonen – DNF: “I had a brake failure so there was really no point in trying to continue. We both got good starts off the line but there wasn’t enough space into the first corner where I went over the kerb and lost some time, but after that I was pushing as hard as I could. There were some brake issues at the beginning of the race but we were managing them and it was going okay until we had to retire. We’ve finished a lot of races and had some good reliability; one day your luck has to run out and today was that day.”
Romain Grosjean – 8th: “We had a difficult first lap where we lost a few positions and then dropped back a couple more places in the incident with Sergio [Perez]. We decided on a one stop strategy today and with the new tyres I felt that the grip was much higher than before but I knew that it would be difficult to get the time back. We tried something different and you never know; had it rained in the middle of the race we could have been well-placed to take advantage. It is good to finish the race without any mistakes, even if eighth place isn’t what we were hoping for this weekend; it’s also a shame that Kimi didn’t finish the race, but we go to Monza hopeful of better things.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “It was a disappointing weekend, with qualifying not as good as we had expected and then a difficult first lap in the race. Kimi suffered from a brake failure which, of course, is a concern. We already believe we know why it happened and we will investigate this in detail to prevent the situation arising again. Romain finished eighth which clearly isn’t the sort of position we hope for at the end of a race weekend. Today we lost some pace and part of that might be due to the low temperatures. We must now look ahead, learn from this weekend and make sure that next year we can deliver on a medium downforce track.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “It was a difficult race for us. We didn’t have the pace in qualifying yesterday and didn’t seem to have the pace today. We had a difficult first lap where we lost a few places and found ourselves sat behind slower cars. After that it was difficult to make up any ground. Unfortunately Kimi retired from the race with a front brake failure which we are now investigating. Romain was on a one stop strategy which was the right thing to do today. We look forward to starting again in Monza where we will bring new developments to the car can hopefully have a better weekend.”
A clip of Kimi’s manager Steve Robertson speaking to the Iceman in the Hungarian paddock. Judging by the clear body language, it seems strong words of advice are still being passed to Kimi. Best of luck to Kimi for 2014 – whatever he chooses to do!
Lewis Hamilton claimed his first victory for Mercedes with an imperious drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Briton pulled himself clear of a fraught race behind, in which Kimi Raikkonen ultimately beat Sebastian Vettel to second, Mark Webber salvaged fourth and Romain Grosjean’s chances were spoiled by a penalty.
Raikkonen worked his way forward on a two-stop strategy, spending the early part of the race trapped behind Massa before bringing himself into contention.
Pos Driver Team 1. Hamilton Mercedes 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault 5. Alonso Ferrari 6. Grosjean Lotus-Renault 7. Button McLaren-Mercedes 8. Massa Ferrari 9. Perez McLaren-Mercedes 10. Maldonado Williams-Renault 11. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 14. van der Garde Caterham-Renault 15. Pic Caterham-Renault 16. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth DNF Di Resta Force India-Mercedes DNF Rosberg Mercedes DNF Bottas Williams-Renault DNF Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari DNF Sutil Force India-Mercedes World Championship standings, round 10: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 172 1. Red Bull-Renault 277 2. Raikkonen 136 2. Mercedes 206 3. Alonso 133 3. Ferrari 194 4. Hamilton 122 4. Lotus-Renault 185 5. Webber 105 5. Force India-Mercedes 59 6. Rosberg 84 6. McLaren-Mercedes 57 7. Massa 61 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 24 8. Grosjean 49 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Button 39 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 23 12. Perez 18 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 11 15. Hulkenberg 7 16. Maldonado 1
Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “It was a good race and a good result for the team. The strategy worked well. We did two long stints on the tyres but they weren’t too bad and the car felt strong so it allowed us to make one less stop. In the last few laps the rears were a bit on edge, but apart from that it was OK. Sebastian [Vettel] got the run on me a couple of times but luckily it was in places that you can’t really overtake. The main positive is that we gained a few points to Seb in the championship. For sure we could have maybe closed the gap a little more with a win, but anything we can get back will help. We’re only halfway through the season and it will be hard to catch up, but anything can still happen so we’ll keep fighting until the end.”
Romain Grosjean – 6th: “For sure this is one that got away, but I’m very happy with my race and I honestly don’t think I could have done much more. Maybe the strategy didn’t quite work how we wanted, but the car felt really good and it was the traffic that cost us. Without this maybe there would never have been a drive-through penalty which for sure didn’t help. I haven’t seen the footage yet and I thought it was a good move, but unfortunately the stewards took a different view. I’ve no problem with the time-added for the incident with Jenson and I apologised to him afterwards. This could have been the one for me, but we will just have to wait a little bit longer and keep improving like we have been recently to make it happen.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “Another good result for Kimi today. He drove very well and was backed up by a strong strategy to help him make the podium. Romain was very unfortunate in that we couldn’t quite jump Fernando [Alonso] in the pits which cost him a lot of time, plus the drive-through penalty cost him a far better result. He made a great move at a circuit where overtaking is difficult and he had no room to do anything else. For us the Stewards’ decision was harsh. The most important thing to take from the weekend has been the pace of the car; this circuit is a bit special, and I think there will be some circuits where we have to work a bit harder, but I’m confident we’ll be consistently fighting for podiums at every race weekend in the second half of the season. Red Bull are a long way ahead, but we’ve shown today that they can be beaten so we want to keep pushing them all the way.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “It was a great race today from Kimi – as always. We started the race intending a three-stop strategy, but as the race played out it became clear that a two-stop would give us better possibilities so we switched over to that strategy. Kimi drove superbly to look after his tyres but deliver exactly the pace we needed at the appropriate time. He was rewarded by returning to second in the drivers’ championship. I feel really sorry for Romain for what appears to be a very harsh penalty for a fantastic overtaking move on Felipe Massa. Yes, he ran off the track, but he had nowhere else to go. It certainly seemed like good racing to me; were it not for the drive-through penalty, we would have had two cars on the podium again.”
Videos: SkySports post-race interview, drivers’ parade interview
Q: Kimi, like Lewis you’ve had plenty of success in Hungary. I think one more podium and you equal the record for the most about of podiums for a driver here. With the high temperatures, does that play into your hands a little bit on Sunday? If we go on the form of Germany, we assume it should do.
Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN: I think we’ve always been a bit more happy when it’s more warm. Now it’s a bit difficult to say with the new – or different – tyres than we raced at the beginning of the year but last year helped us and the tyres should be a mix of this year and last year so let’s hope that it works well for us.
Q: You didn’t go to Silverstone. Did you think twice that maybe you should?
KR: No. The decision was made with the team that there was not really so much… it was better for the team to put a young driver in it because we were not allowed to do any changes as a race driver, so with that sort of rules you don’t really learn much. We would only have had one set of tyres or so, and so it was overall better for the team to use our test drivers.
Q: Red Bull? Lotus? Maybe somewhere else? It’s silly season and you seem to be, you appear to be if the stories are true, very much a man in demand. When you look at next season and where you may or may not be driving, what are the factors that go through your mind in helping you make that decision?
KR: There’s not really one thing. I think there is going to be an overall package and whatever feels right for me. Whatever the decision will be it might feel stupid to somebody else but then it might feel right for me. I have no idea what will happen. We have to wait and see what will come but hopefully whatever it will be, it will be the right choice.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Gerhard Potochnik – Kleine Zeitung) We are talking about the future; a few days ago Red Bull and Bernie Ecclestone announced that there would be an Austrian Grand Prix next July. Can you tell us your thoughts about this?
KR: I was there maybe two years ago or something the last time. It looks slightly different. The circuit is exactly the same, I think. It’s a nice place to go, I think. It’s not a very difficult circuit because it hasn’t got many corners, but it usually produces very good racing because of the layout of the straights and the tight corners. I’m more than happy to go back there.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Kimi, if it’s really going to be 40 degrees for the race, is that really going to be too hot for you and your car? Is it a big risk for your record of finishing races?
KR: It’s the same for everybody, obviously. It will be a bit more tricky for cars and everything, brakes, everything for the drivers, but it’s not the first time that it will be hot when we are racing. If it’s going to be that hot we will see what happens. It was meant to be hot today and it was raining. Things change quickly.
Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action/National Speedsport News) Kimi, following on from the earlier question about Red Bull; you don’t like to do PR, Red Bull likes its drivers to do a lot of PR. How much PR work would you put up with if it means you have a winning car?
KR: Obviously you can’t have a guarantee what will happen next year with any team or any cars. There are a lot of rumours about PR days but we have ten and some other teams have a hundred. I’ve been in most of the top teams and I know exactly how it goes and if you count things that you do during the week and during a weekend and you put everything together, everybody has a different way of counting the days. I’m sure it’s not – at least in my knowledge – the difference between the teams is in days and it’s not a deciding factor.
Q: (Michael Noir Trawniczek – Rally and More) Kimi, when you are chosing the package and the right team, what sort of questions do you ask, how technical is it, do you visit the factory, things like that? How do you make your choice?
KR: I think it’s like I said earlier, it’s a combination of things and it has to be right on racing and outside of racing. Basically everything just has to feel right and I think in the end it comes down to whatever I think is the right choice and there will be no guarantee that the choice will be the good one in the long run but I’m fine with it, whatever the outcome will be; you live with the choices.
Q: Is any choice for next year complicated by the fact that the engine regulations, the rule regulations have changed quite drastically?
KR: Obviously it would be much easier for everybody to more or less get an idea what will happen next year without those big changes but that’s how it is. It really depends on whether one engine manufacturer gets it right and one wrong, then it might be a long season for some teams and an easier one for others but I don’t know. You hear rumours but that’s all I know about it.
Q: (Ian Parkes – Press Association) Gentlemen, you may have seen the story last week that Sauber are due to fast track a young Russian by the name of Sergey Sirotkin into Formula One. If he is on the grid at the start of next season, and he gains the necessary super licence, he will be 18-years old. Is 18 too young to be racing a Formula One car?
PM: It’s a difficult one because I don’t know the driver very well. It’s difficult to say. I think it’s more up to the team and not to us.
VB: Yeah, I don’t really know the background of this driver so it’s difficult to say.
PdiR: It’s unfair to say anything. I don’t think anybody knows too much about him because he’s not been in racing cars too long.
Q: But is 18 too young to be a Formula One driver, if you take away the individual concerned?
PdiR: You can never say never, can you? People surprise you with what they’re doing. If that’s a decision I’m sure there’s a reason behind it.
LH: I wasn’t ready at 18. I was pretty good at 18, so…
KR: I’m sure there will be and has also been an 18-year old, I guess. For sure they will take him if they feel it’s the right thing, so I don’t see that age will be the problem. It’s about experience and that. He might be ready, he might not. Time will tell.
Q: (Gergely Denes – F1-Live.hu) Kimi, last week there was some Twitter chat between Lewis and your team, a photo postcard of you and Roscoe, Lewis’s dog. Are you aware of that and what is your opinion of it?
KR: It’s the first I’ve heard of it. I don’t have a Twitter account, I don’t have any other things. I don’t really have a comment.
Q: You weren’t the man putting #where’sRoscoe on the side of the car?
KR: (Sighs and points to the team’s PR man)
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Lewis, if Kimi goes to Red Bull, would he be an even harder competitor for you than he is now?
LH: I think Kimi will always be one of the hardest competitors here. He’s a fantastic driver, he’s got great experience and he’s constantly proving his abilities and I think whatever car you put him in he’s going to be a fighting force in the field and of course he’s doing a great job at Lotus, they’ve done a great job this year and over the last couple of years. I think whatever he decides either way, he will have a strong car and I just hope that we’re competing with them.
Q: (Joo Gabor – Index) Kimi, we can divide your Formula One career into two; which one have you enjoyed most, the first one to 2009 or the second one now?
KR: I don’t really count it as two. I did something else that I wanted to do between them and then obviously I wanted to race again. It hasn’t really changed much. Obviously the team’s different but I’ve been in different teams in the past and every team has a good side and some things that you are probably finding not that much fun. Obviously when you have decent results you have more fun that if you have bad years. I would say that is very similar, more or less the same people, same stuff. I have no real difference between earlier teams and how it is now.
Video: Kimi in the press conference, everyone laughs
Talking about Raikkonen, Horner said: “Kimi’s qualities speak for themselves. He has a proven track record so you cannot question Kimi’s credentials. We want the two fastest and strongest drivers we can put in the car next year and both Daniel and Kimi would represent extremely good options.
“Both drivers get the same opportunity and then it is down to them on the track that decides who is the lead driver and the lead driver has the most points.
“Sebastian [Vettel] has no concerns about going up against any driver. He hasn’t voiced a preference any way. He knows them both, he knows they are quick and both would represent a challenge but he is not looking to influence the team in any way.”
“Of course, finances are always a factor but you can also contrast that with the difference between first and second or second and third or fourth is a significant amount in the constructors’ world championship so the financial element of it, if you don’t make the right decision, it’s going to impact you anyway if you are not scoring points,” he said.