Goodbye Jules…

Jules and Kimi, Hungarian GP 2014

Jules and Kimi, Hungarian GP 2014

Writing this straight from the heart, no planning, just… feel like sharing. It was on Eid last Friday/Saturday when I first woke, checked my phone and saw the news about Jules. It was very tough to enjoy that day without a constant numb feeling inside and even the days after.

Bianchi’s passing is the first fatality in Formula One that I’ve seen and been actively aware of. I was too young to know the feeling when the last death of Ayrton Senna happened 21 years ago. Nine months previously to 17th July 2015, when Jules’ accident took place it felt real. But having not seen him since, whilst being in hospital care, it’s harder to accept he has now died. You’d always hope for some good news as long as there is a chance. I still can’t believe what’s happened…

Motorsport and Kimi have been part of my life since I was 12 and now I’m almost 28; time goes too quickly, we take things for granted and even those we support and love to watch on track. But it is with our hearts that we see rightly, things mostly unspoken but felt. And no matter which driver we support, they are ALL our heroes and we come together to show it (there was a #DressForJules initiative created by other fans). That’s the motorsport community. We feel honoured to witness these great, fearless, talented drivers who risk it all for the passion they have for speed, to win, to succeed. They know F1 is a dangerous sport but that doesn’t stop them.

I didn’t know Jules, or follow him closely as much I do with Kimi obviously (I always voted Jules the most handsome F1 driver without a second thought, he truly was as beautiful as talented) but when any racing driver suffers a serious accident (even outside the sport, we remember Schumacher and ask him to #KeepFightingMichael…), the pain is close to home. Afterall, it could’ve been any one of them. His accident was terribly unfortunate, however it was instant with minimum physical pain, I hope. In the brief time that Jules spent with the F1 world and outside, it’s easy to see he made an impression that will last forever in the hearts of those who saw him and that smile… 

As we approach Hungary, the first GP weekend after his passing, I wanted to give my deepest and sincere condolences to Bianchi’s family, friends and collegues, all who without a doubt will be in our thoughts this difficult weekend.

Keep Flying Jules… wherever you are.

¬ Evenstar Saima

#7 and #17, Kimi and Jules, Hungarian GP 2014

#7 and #17, Kimi and Jules, Hungarian GP 2014

Thursday in Hungary


Kimi recaps the first half of the season

“Compared to last year, the first part of the season has not been ideal but not a disaster, even if we did not get the results we wanted for many different reasons.”

“We have the speed and everything to do better results, the feeling with the car is good but we keep having mistakes or issues here and there and this cost us a lot of points. As a team we want to be fast and more consistently in the front, to really challenge the Mercedes. I’m sure if we can clean up things and get rid of all the issues we can do a good job and get much better results. It’s hard to say how far is Mercedes still ahead, it seems to vary from circuit to circuit and different conditions. We know there’s still a lot of work to be done but I think we’re going in the good direction.”

“It was a very sad thing to lose Jules, and the circumstances of his accident made it even sadder. Motorsport is dangerous sport and things can go easily wrong , we all know but we never expect these things to happen. I send my condolences to his family.” [via]

Media Paddock Quotes

“There is no point to be racing, if I didn’t believe I have [the speed] – and I am sure I have.

“We have demonstrated that many times but the results, when you look at the points, it doesn’t show.”

“I know the real story, it’s no real problem for me.”

“Somehow I end up in the same situation every year and it makes no difference if I have a contract or not. I have a contract and it’s an option now [for 2016].

“It’s not a new thing and it seems to happen every year in F1. I have made it very clear to the team what I want to happen and it’s to be here next year. But unfortunately I don’t know anything more than you guys.

“I don’t read a lot of stuff, but obviously I can see a lot of stuff being written, but whatever comes out in the press doesn’t really matter for me.

“Wherever it comes from, it doesn’t come from here.”

“I’m pretty sure I will be one of the first to know rather than reading in the newspaper when something comes up. Like I said, time will tell and until then I will try to do the same as before and whatever the decision is we will go from there.”

Asked when a decision would be made, Raikkonen said: “I don’t know, you have to talk to the team. It’s not my decision and I don’t know any more than I knew at the start of the year.

“For me the decision and the whole thing hasn’t changed for months. If I knew I would easily say, but unfortunately I don’t know. I have said many times what would like to happen, but who knows. Time will tell obviously, so let’s wait and see.”

“Time will tell obviously. I don’t know what will happen and there is no point to start guessing what will happen. I would like to know, but I don’t know, so I will wait until I know and then we will see what happens after that.”

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Sebastian Vettel:  “I’m not the project leader, I know my role. In the end, it’s about Ferrari, it’s about the team, so I think that’s the most important thing for Kimi and myself. I want to beat him, he wants to beat me, that’s normal competition. The thing that I appreciate the most about Kimi is that there’s no bulls***! We are both working in the same direction in trying to help the team. I remember the days when I was sitting in front of the TV at home looking at Kimi’s on-board laps in admiration so it’s still the same guy in that car. I think there are no doubts, if you go up and down the paddock, he’s one of the most skilled drivers that we have.”

Eric Boullier in Autosport fan Q&A:

How impressed were you with Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus?
Simon Longley, UK

Ah, I love Kimi! He’s an interesting character, to be honest. I have a lot of nice memories with him, I also remember some stress sometimes…

F1R: What… is that in terms of dealing with his behaviour?

EB: Er, no more comment on this one! I might tell you another day, in the pub when you’re not recording and if F1 Racing is paying the bill, obviously. I really like Kimi and I was really stunned by his racecraft: it was unbelievable.

Kimi takes to social media for the first time… In a Q&A session with the fans on Ferrari’s Twitter account:

Kimi: F1 not like it used to be

kimi-raikkonen-sweat-2015-krs1Kimi Raikkonen is a man under pressure, but not that you’d notice talking to him. Speaking in the privacy of Shell’s trackside laboratory at the Austrian Grand Prix, ESPN sat down briefly with the 2007 world champion to discuss both F1’s future and his own.

Kimi, you’ve driven V10 F1 cars, V8s and now these V6 turbos. Which of those was the most fun and why did it appeal to you?

Obviously the cars are a bit slower now and as a driver you always want to go faster and obviously in the past the cars were faster, the tyres were better, softer … they were different, but they were faster. Obviously we changed tyres [when Pirelli arrived in 2011], but I think the old tyres were more fun to drive because you could push all the time, but now you have to save fuel, save tyres, save this, save that. It feels much more strict now, it’s still on the edge at times, but it’s not pure pushing on the limits. So it’s not like it used to be, the grip is less, you cannot attack certain corners, so I prefer the cars from the early 2000s to late 2000s. They were probably the nicest cars. The whole package and the rules dictate a lot what happens, so the rule changes have been the biggest hit that has been taken.

But does F1 need to make more rule changes to get back to where it was in the 2000s?

The rules themselves have changed a lot [since the 2000s] and they have tried to make it more of a show and more entertaining, but let’s be honest, we also got a lot of overtaking done in those years without any devices. It was more of a show in some respects, because there were more faster cars and obviously the rules have changed, but they need to do something to bring it back to what is really F1. It’s supposed to be the fastest thing on a race circuit and when you ask people now they probably don’t think it.

Is it not also a problem for the spectacle that one team is running away with it all the time?

But that happens – not always, but often. When I started it was Ferrari all the time, then it was the Red Bulls and now it is Mercedes. One team gets things perfectly fine then obviously the gap is much bigger and then when they keep making rule changes there is always a bigger chance that one team gets it right and other teams have to start to catch up. If you keep the rules for many years then at some point it will close up. You will never avoid a dominant team with the rules, one team will always win. People complain when it’s not them, but then in one year or two years it might have changed.

Ferrari has made progress towards closing the gap to Mercedes this year, how confident are you that you will be part of that progress going forward into next year?

You have to ask the team, it’s not really in my hands. Obviously they want more all the time and it hasn’t been an ideal start to the year, but we make progress all the time. As a team we have made a big, big step from where we were last year to where we are now. I’m sure we have made a bigger step than all the other teams, but obviously it is still not enough to be where we want to be, but it’s not easy and we need time. We keep going in the right direction and the people in the team are obviously still not enjoying to finish third and second, we want to be consistently able to win races at every race. But as long as we continue to do the same thing and go in the same direction, I’m sure we will get there. But we cannot make miracles in the next few months.

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene says all he needs is “good performances” from you in order to be persuaded to keep you next year, so what do you need to do to meet his expectations?

I’ll do my best and if it’s not enough then it’s not enough. We are not far away from where we can be maximum happy with where we finish, but obviously that is still not enough for us. We want to win races, but unfortunately we are not exactly in that position even if we have a straightforward race. Obviously we will just keep working. I’m not worried about next year too much, if it happens it happens and if not then you can say that I’m happy and the team is going the right way and everybody is enjoying much more. But still there is a lot of work to be done to be 100% happy as a team and for me as well. Time will tell.

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Allison: Raikkonen as fast as Vettel

GP GRAN BRETAGNA F1/2015Kimi Raikkonen is as fast as Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel but the German makes fewer mistakes, according to the team’s technical director James Allison.

Allison can only recall Vettel making one error this season, when he ran wide at the final corner on lap 36 of the Bahrain Grand Prix, damaging his front wing and forcing an unscheduled stop.

Raikkonen has had a tougher time of things, particularly in qualifying, resulting in the fact he is 59 points adrift of Vettel heading into this weekend’s race in Hungary.

Asked by Italian publication Autosprint to assess Raikkonen’s season, Allison said: “There’s no speed difference between he and Sebastian.

“Sometimes Kimi is quicker, other times it’s Seb.

“The difference is Sebastian never, or almost never, makes mistakes.

“This year only in Bahrain have we seen after all, that he can make mistakes.

“But besides that weekend, he has practically never made any errors. Kimi instead, especially in qualifying, has had a few more slip-ups.

“I’d say the same thing if Kimi was here, and I think he would accept it.

“Sometimes you just need a small mistake to ruin a weekend, but the speed is there. Kimi knows that too.”

Allison is also convinced Ferrari can again close the gap to Mercedes after falling away of late to undermine the positive start made to the year, with the highlight being Vettel’s victory in the second race in Malaysia.

He has suggested that success “perhaps” came too soon and raised expectations but he has no doubt Ferrari will rediscover its form.

“You certainly can’t refuse a victory when it comes,” added Allison.

“The Malaysian Grand Prix was an incredible day, getting back to winning ways has given us a great push, and now I can’t wait to re-live it again.

“If I look at what we have done since the beginning of the season, I see our work has produced good results.

“We have improved by 1.5 seconds per lap thanks to the development done on both the car and the power unit.

“If I have to bet on what’s going to happen in the second half of the season, then I believe we’ll reduce our gap to Mercedes and that we’ll do better than Williams.”

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