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Shanghai: Kimi expecting improvement this weekend

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In the Ferrari hospitality unit perched above the paddock lagoon, Kimi Raikkonen had his first meeting of the Chinese GP weekend with the world’s media.

Kimi did see signs of progress over recent weeks. “At the last race, the overall feeling I had from the car had improved and the problem in Bahrain was just that we were a bit slow,” he maintained.

“I expect that already here this weekend we will have improvements on some small things. It’s difficult to say when we will be at the level we want, but with new rules there is always the possibility of suddenly finding a big improvement, but sometimes progress can be slow.”

“It’s important that we now have a better understanding of the car after the first races and we have improved a lot since Melbourne, even if it’s hard to see that because others have also progressed. Bahrain was one of the most difficult races for us and hopefully here it will be a bit better.”

(Source: ferrari.com)


Ferrari drivers receive warm reception in Shanghai

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A warm and friendly welcome greeted the Scuderia Ferrari drivers on arrival in Shanghai and those sentiments were echoed when they attended a meeting organised by Scuderia Ferrari sponsor Weichai. For its home race the company decided to unveil its new logo which has been on the F14 T since the start of the season.

The drivers were introduced by the President of Weichai, Xuguang Tan who was presented with a bronze Cavallino to celebrate the partnership between the two companies. According to the Chinese horoscope this is the year of the horse and in an exchange of gifts, those from Weichai were also based on sculptures of horses. The drivers answered questions relating to this weekend’s race, which gets underway tomorrow with the start of free practice. Fernando Alonso was particularly complimentary about the Shanghai circuit. “It’s a track the drivers like a lot and winning here last year was a great feeling.”

He also went on to explain that the weather can have a significant effect: “If it was to rain it could overturn the usual order among the teams because driving is much harder in these conditions,” a sentiment Kimi Raikkonen agreed with. “It’s a very demanding track, which depending on the conditions can shake up the field a bit. Of course we will be doing our best to get a good result.” The Finn looked surprised when he discovered he has many fans in this part of the world. “I must say I didn’t know, but I am really happy as it’s always nice to find that so many people appreciate what you do.”

(Source: ferrari.com)

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Raikkonen surprised by Domenicali exit

Raikkonen & Domenicali, Malaysia 2014

Kimi Raikkonen has admitted Stefano Domenicali’s departure from the Ferrari Formula 1 team took him by a surprise, though he does not think it will disrupt the squad.

Domenicali resigned earlier this week in response to Ferrari’s poor start to the F1 season.

He has been replaced by Marco Mattiacci, formerly CEO of Ferrari’s North American operations.

“I think everyone is a bit surprised but obviously it was Stefano’s own decision as I understand it,” said Raikkonen when asked by AUTOSPORT for his reaction to the shake-up.

“If he felt like that, fair enough. Life goes on.

“He was a great guy. I worked with him for many years and I spoke to him often. But that’s how it goes.

“We can handle this sort of thing.”

Raikkonen said he knew little about Mattiacci – “I don’t know him. We’ve probably met before” – but thinks Ferrari’s management structure will ensure a seamless transition.

“He’s got great people around him to help him so I don’t see that there will be any issues,” he said.

“I’m sure he’ll do everything in his power to push things forward.”

The Finn backed team-mate Fernando Alonso’s insistence that replacing Domenicali with Mattiacci would not have an immediate impact on Ferrari’s form, although he believes steady progress is being made.

“Even if you change things around, you cannot make a miracle because we know where we are and we have to improve. It won’t change overnight,” said Raikkonen.

“In the rules there is quite a lot of space for improvement. We can find quite big things suddenly. But it might be the same thing for other teams.

“We understand things better after a few races and we have already improved a lot since the first race. Obviously it’s hard to see it when everyone is doing the same.

“I think Bahrain was always going to be one of the most difficult races for us. But we have improved.”

(Source: autosport.com)

Kimi: we are not stupid people

Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir 3 - 6 April 2014

Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari is “not stupid” and knows what it needs to do to close the gap to the frontrunners in Formula 1 this season.

The Scuderia has struggled in the first three grands prix of 2014, managing a best finish of fourth while Mercedes has dominated at the front.

Raikkonen, who won a race for Lotus last season but has yet to finish above seventh this year, said he had confidence Ferrari could turn its poor form around.

“At least on paper [Bahrain] was the hardest track for us but we have some new parts coming and hopefully we improve,” Raikkonen said.

“We know what we have to do. The people are pushing 100 per cent, but it takes time. That’s the fact.

“We are not stupid people, we have good things going on.

“Unfortunately right now it’s not the prettiest thing when you look at the end of the race, but I have belief in the team that we can turn it around.

“I’ve been with this team and other teams having a hard time and I’m sure we can get it right.”

Raikkonen was still happier with the set-up of his F14 T in Bahrain, despite another difficult race in which he was hit twice and complained that racing the Mercedes-engined cars was like being in “a different class”.

“I think we improved the car – it feels nicer,” added Raikkonen, who is missing this week’s in-season Bahrain test, but will drive on both days at Barcelona after the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

“The feeling is better but obviously the results don’t show that.

“We have a lot of work to do and we can only push forward. I’m sure we can be stronger in the next race.”

(Source: autosport.com)


 

Ferrari end testing early in Bahrain

l_cdbc94ca13c0dd5d7e3d7635dc6dc9ff-4Ferrari has suspended its testing in Bahrain early on Wednesday due to concerns over a chassis damaged during Kimi Raikkonen’s race weekend.

The team has been running Raikkonen’s chassis, but believes it may have been damaged during an excursion over a large kerb at Turn 4 during FP1 on Friday. At the time of the incident, Ferrari believed that only the floor had been broken, but it now has found issues with the chassis itself.

As a precaution, Ferrari has suspended its running after just 12 laps for Fernando Alonso on Wednesday and is unlikely to run again. On Tuesday the team was able to complete 69 laps despite causing a red flag in the morning session.

Ferrari is not the only team to have trouble during the test. At the time it stopped running, Ferrari had still completed more laps than both Red Bull (nine) and Lotus (seven).

(Source: crash.net)

BAHRAIN GP – RACE RESULTS

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Report: It always looked like being a difficult race and so it proved for Ferrari in Bahrain. Fernando Alonso brought his F14 T home in ninth place, with Kimi Raikkonen right behind him. This circuit was expected to be the least suitable for the Maranello car in its current state of development. Lewis Hamilton won, ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, with third place going to the Force India of Sergio Perez.

Alonso and Raikkonen had to fight tooth and nail to stay in the points zone, which was the best they could do.

Scuderia Ferrari is fifth in the Constructors’ championship with, Alonso fourth in the Drivers’ and Kimi twelfth. The next round is in China in two weeks time, by when Ferrari will be looking to move forward in terms of performance as it strives for better results.

Final Standings:

Pos Driver                Team                      Time/Gap
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                  1h38m42.743
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                  +1.085s
 3. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes      +24.067s
 4. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault          +24.489s
 5. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes      +28.654s
 6. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault          +29.879s
 7. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes
 8. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes
09. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari
11. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault
12. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault
13. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari
14. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault
15. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault
16. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari
17. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes

Retirements

    Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes        40 laps
    Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          39 laps
    Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault        33 laps
    Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      18 laps
    Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari          17 laps

Drivers' standings:

 1. Nico Rosberg       61  
 2. Lewis Hamilton     50  
 3. Nico Hulkenberg    28  
 4. Fernando Alonso    26  
 5. Jenson Button      23  
 6. Sebastian Vettel   23  
 7. Kevin Magnussen    20  
 8. Valtteri Bottas    18  
 9. Sergio Perez       16  
10. Daniel Ricciardo   12  
11. Felipe Massa       12  
12. Kimi Raikkonen     7  
13. Jean-Eric Vergne   4  
14. Daniil Kvyat       3  
                     
Constructors' standings

 1. Mercedes               111  
 2. Force India-Mercedes   44  
 3. McLaren-Mercedes       43  
 4. Red Bull-Renault       35  
 5. Ferrari                33  
 6. Williams-Mercedes      30  
 7. Toro Rosso-Renault     7

QUOTES

Kimi Raikkonen: “I am very disappointed with today’s result, because after how qualifying went, I expected to do better. I didn’t get a good start and immediately lost some places. On the first lap, I was hit by Magnussen, luckily without it doing any damage, but trying to move up the order at this point was very difficult, because the lack of aero downforce and speed on the straight meant overtaking was complicated. We knew this track was less suited to the characteristics of our car than the first two and that the Mercedes would be very quick. Overall, the handling of our car has generally improved compared to the first races and this makes me confident for the upcoming ones. We can expect a lot of work to do and we will make the most of the test days to try and improve already in time for the next race in China.”

Pat Fry: “Today, we could not have asked more of our car and drivers, because here, our most limiting factor was a lack of top speed. That meant we had to run a defensive race and even if in the middle sector, the one with the most corners, the F14 T was competitive, it was not enough to allow Fernando and Kimi to attack our rivals. In Maranello, we are working on solutions to ensure better power delivery and better driveability. We are also trying to improve the efficiency of the car on the aerodynamic front. The data we acquired in today’s race will provide a baseline for the major checking programme we have planned for the test, right here at Sakhir on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

Raikkonen – rivals in different class: “The Mercedes cars seemed to be able to pass us very easily on the straightlines. One Force India got me on the exit of corner eight and it was like a different class. I was surprised. He came out of the pitlane but I had only done a few laps on the tyres. I went OK out of the corner and he just came inside of me and went past; I had no answer. And the next corner he had massive traction also, so it’s not just the horsepower.”

VIDEO

Post-race interview with Kimi, SkySportsF1


 

Bahrain GP Team Radio Transcript

  • Kimi Raikkonen: Magnussen hit me again!
  • Antonio Spagnolo: How are the tyres?
  • Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah my left-front is flat-spotted and it’s vibrating quite heavily. And I get some understeer in the right-hand corners.
  • Antonio Spagnolo: To go to the end we need 20 gram less every lap. Twenty less every lap.

The above message wasn’t played on the main world feed broadcast or on the pit radio channel, which is where the messages above are from. It was played on the official F1 app.