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ABU DHABI GP – QUALIFYING RESULTS

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Report – There will be an all-Ferrari fifth row on the grid for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when it gets underway at 17h00 (14h00 CET) at the Yas Marina track. Kimi Raikkonen will start from ninth, having qualified around four tenths faster than tenth placed team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Q1 went off smoothly: both drivers did a first run on the Softs, before quickly switching to the Supersofts, for Kimi to go tenth and Fernando twelfth. Life got more complicated in Q2, especially for Raikkonen, who had to use an extra set of Supersoft tyres and only just made it through to the next stage, with a heart-stopping lap in the dying moments of the session. Alonso went through in seventh spot.

In Q3, Raikkonen was only able to make one run, while the others all did two. The Finn’s best lap was a 1.42.236. Alonso’s first run produced a 1.42.866, but he was unable to improve on his next set, when he made a mistake.

Final Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.480s -
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m40.866s 0.386s
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m41.025s 0.545s
4 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m41.119s 0.639s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m41.267s 0.787s
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m41.893s 1.413s
7 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m41.908s 1.428s
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m41.964s 1.484s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m42.236s 1.756s
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m42.866s 2.386s
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m42.198s 1.718s
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1m42.207s 1.727s
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m42.239s 1.759s
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m42.384s 1.904s
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m43.074s 2.594s
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m42.819s 2.339s
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m42.860s 2.380s
18 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault 1m44.540s 4.060s
19 Will Stevens Caterham/Renault 1m45.095s 4.615s
20 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m42.768s 2.288s

QUOTES

Kimi ‘bit on the edge’ – “It was a bit better in qualifying than in the final practice but it’s still difficult. It feels fine in one place and then the rear is a bit loose in odd places and sometimes a bit tricky with the front end and it keeps changing from corner to corner. It’s a bit on edge all the time, so not ideal. Not exactly what you want but it’s what it is. We know where the issues are and obviously I’m pretty sure next year we’ll have a much stronger package overall and then you get rid of many issues. We are kind of stuck in an area where you try to fix certain things with the set-up but then you create another problem. It’s a bit like you fix one but take another issue with it. We’ll see how we can do tomorrow, hopefully we can have a strong race and we will try to do our best.”

Asked if beating Alonso in qualifying was any satisfaction after being outqualified in the last 13 races, Raikkonen said the actual grid positions make it redundant.

“Not really when we’re fighting around ninth, tenth position, eighth position. In my mind, no, because it’s not where we want to be and where we should be. When you are in the front fighting there in the top positions then yes it’s more nice. Obviously people outside look but for me it doesn’t really make a difference.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “Even before we arrived in Yas Marina, we knew this track would not favour our car and all weekend, we never managed to find a set-up that worked well at every corner. Today, in qualifying, I felt more comfortable, but it wasn’t simple putting a good lap together. I was always on the limit and on some parts of the track the car worked well and in others it tended to slide. Tomorrow it will be a difficult race, but as always, we will do our best to bring home as many points as possible for the team.”

Pat Fry: “Given our performance in yesterday’s free practice, we knew we were facing a complex weekend and, unfortunately, today’s qualifying turned out to be particularly trying. The gap to our competitors is more evident from the second to third sectors where what counts is mainly speed and driveability, two areas we are working on a lot as we know we need to improve. In the opening laps of Q1 we had various problems, especially on Fernando’s car, some down to traffic management, others linked to technical parameters after we changed the power unit. As the sessions went on, track conditions improved significantly and we tried to get the most out of our package. Starting from the fifth row means we will have to attack and so the entire team has to be absolutely concentrated in order to bring home as many points as possible.”

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ABU DHABI GP – FINAL PRACTICE RESULTS

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PRACTICE THREE

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.

FP3 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.424s - 19
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m41.793s 0.369s 17
3 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m42.429s 1.005s 18
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m42.653s 1.229s 8
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m42.679s 1.255s 19
6 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m42.768s 1.344s 20
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m42.773s 1.349s 14
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m42.794s 1.370s 19
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m42.809s 1.385s 20
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m43.038s 1.614s 14
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m43.112s 1.688s 13
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
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m43.643s 2.219s 24
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m43.718s 2.294s 17
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m43.778s 2.354s 18
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m44.022s 2.598s 22
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault 1m45.044s 3.620s 16
20 Will Stevens Caterham/Renault 1m45.959s 4.535s 21

 

ABU DHABI GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE RESULTS

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PRACTICE TWO

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.

FP2 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m42.113s - 35
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m42.196s 0.083s 37
3 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m42.895s 0.782s 37
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m42.959s 0.846s 33
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m43.070s 0.957s 34
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m43.183s 1.070s 32
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m43.489s 1.376s 33
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m43.503s 1.390s 23
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m43.546s 1.433s 38
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m43.558s 1.445s 34
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m43.746s 1.633s 37
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m44.005s 1.892s 38
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m44.068s 1.955s 32
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1m44.157s 2.044s 39
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m44.316s 2.203s 38
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m44.763s 2.650s 37
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m44.986s 2.873s 35
18 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault 1m45.505s 3.392s 38
19 Will Stevens Caterham/Renault 1m47.057s 4.944s 34
20 Fernando Alonso Ferrari - - 2

 


PRACTICE ONE

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.

FP1 Times:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m43.476s - 32
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m43.609s 0.133s 31
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m45.184s 1.708s 22
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
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m45.913s 2.437s 8
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m45.983s 2.507s 23
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m46.030s 2.554s 24
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m46.049s 2.573s 23
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m46.131s 2.655s 23
13 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m46.549s 3.073s 7
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m46.556s 3.080s 28
15 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m46.711s 3.235s 31
16 Esteban Ocon Lotus/Renault 1m47.066s 3.590s 29
17 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m47.235s 3.759s 8
18 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault 1m47.971s 4.495s 24
19 Adderly Fong Sauber/Ferrari 1m48.269s 4.793s 25
20 Will Stevens Caterham/Renault 1m50.684s 7.208s 14

QUOTES

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.”

Thursday in Abu Dhabi

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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 ]


 

Thursday’s Press Conference

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.