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Official: Vettel + Raikkonen at Ferrari, Alonso out

Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Kimmi Raikkonen

Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached an agreement of three years duration with Sebastian Vettel, who will drive for the team as from the 2015 season.

The driver line-up next season will consist of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

“Scuderia Ferrari has decided to put its faith in the youngest multiple champion in the history of Formula 1” – commented Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci. “In Formula 1 terms, Sebastian Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and he brings with him that sense of team spirit which will prove invaluable when, together with Kimi, they tackle the challenges awaiting us, as we aim to be front runners again as soon as possible. With Sebastian, we all share a thirst for victory as well as enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and tenacity; key elements for all the Scuderia members to write together a new winning chapter in the history of Ferrari.”

“The next stage of my Formula 1 career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true” – said Sebastian Vettel. “When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari. I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means, when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the Prancing Horse built in Maranello. The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen.”

[ Source: ferrari.com ]


Speaking to Sportbild, translation courtesy of @miezicat1:

Your teammate will be your friend Kimi Raikkonen. Was that also a plus point for Ferrari? Seb “It’s a plus point because he is very neutral. And no matter what situation we find ourselves, I don’t expect any difficulties with him. He is very fair, very open, very direct. If something bothers him, he says it. That helps the team atmosphere.”

Vettel expects no problems with Raikkonen

Asked in today’s press conference if he expects to have a positive relationship with the 2007 champion, Vettel said “I think yes”.

“Why? Because I think Kimi is probably the least complicated driver in the grid.

“In terms of performance on the track I think when we talk about the skills Kimi has I don’t think there’s a single person in the paddock who doubts his skills, including myself.

“But from a personal point of view on a personal level I think very straightforward, I don’t expect any complications because I think we have a good relationship but also I think we have great respect for each other which I think is always very healthy to deal with any sorts of situations coming up.”

[ Source: f1fanatic.co.uk ]


Sebastian Vettel will replace Fernando Alonso at Ferrari next season, after the Italian team confirmed a three-year deal with the four-time world champion. Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci hailed the arrival of Vettel, who will partner Kimi Raikkonen in 2015, and predicted he will become an “invaluable” asset.

“Scuderia Ferrari has decided to put its faith in the youngest multiple champion in the history of Formula One,” Mattiacci said.

“In Formula One terms, Sebastian Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and he brings with him that sense of team spirit which will prove invaluable when, together with Kimi, they tackle the challenges awaiting us, as we aim to be front runners again as soon as possible.

“With Sebastian, we all share a thirst for victory as well as enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and tenacity; key elements for all the Scuderia members to write together a new winning chapter in the history of Ferrari.”

Vettel described his move to Ferrari as the realisation of a long-held ambition, inspired by the exploits of another German multiple champion who won five of his seven world titles with the team.

“The next stage of my Formula One career will be spent with Scuderia Ferrari and for me that means the dream of a lifetime has come true, Vettel explained.

“When I was a kid, Michael Schumacher in the red car was my greatest idol and now it’s an incredible honour to finally get the chance to drive a Ferrari. I already got a small taste of what the Ferrari spirit means, when I took my first win at Monza in 2008, with an engine from the Prancing Horse built in Maranello.

“The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen.”

[ Source: formula1.com ]

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Video: Onboard with Kimi in F12 around Fiorano

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Kimi Räikkönen returned to Maranello immediately after the Brazilian Grand Prix to begin preparations with the team for the final race of the season and testing for 2015 in the days directly after it. The Finn first met with Team Principal Marco Mattiacci and Technical Director James Allison to discuss about the new car and the intense work that the Scuderia Ferrari needs to tackle in the run-up to next season. Kimi and his engineers also began preparations for the Abu Dhabi race by analysing the existing team data on the track as well as new information collected during simulator tests carried out by both himself and Pedro de la Rosa.

After these meetings, Kimi went to the Fiorano track where a group of journalists was enjoying a special F12 driving day, and had a bit of fun giving the experts from the world’s leading motoring titles some instruction. Räikkönen really pushed the car to the limit, demonstrating its enormous potential to the astonished journalists who also had the privilege of doing a few laps beside him. This video provides spectacular footage of Kimi at the wheel of the F12berlinetta flanked by his very special passengers.

| Source: ferrari.com |


What’s a hot lap with Kimi in the Ferrari F12 really like?

By Chris Ebbs

A recent trip to the Fiorano circuit in Ferrari’s home town of Maranello, was made even more interesting when we were given the chance of a hot lap with Formula 1 legend Kimi Raikkonen. Watch the video below to get a feel for the action.

As a novice track driver, I’d come along to get some expert tuition in how to handle a supercar from Ferrari’s instructors. The day of tuition had gone well, then, over a couple of laps, Kimi Raikkonen proceeded to show me how little I really knew.

Sitting in the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta beside Kimi I was expecting a frosty welcome and few (if any) words as we hurtled around the track. But I was surprised when Kimi offered up a good line in small talk, asking me how my day had been on the circuit. I explained that I’d made a few errors during my driving but that things seemed to be improving.

As Kimi nonchalantly drifted and slid the 730bhp Ferrari around the track at speeds of up 150mph, I held on for grim death, tried not to look terrified and did the best I could to hold up my end of the conversation. We chatted about the track and his driving before I ended up sounding like a hairdresser enquiring as to where he was going on holiday.

Chris and Kimi lap Fiorano: second-by-second video breakdown

00:00:28 – Without even looking at the track and while chatting to me, Kimi shoots out of the pit area and hurtles towards the first corner.

00:00:56 – I get my first idea of what the next two laps is going to be like as we power-slide around a corner I’d been tip-toeing around all day in the F12.

00:01:07 – As we approach the bridge, the crash barrier looms in to view and seems to be getting very close, but a quick flick of the steering wheel and we shoot past it.

00:01.19 – Battling the g-forces, I attempt to ask Kimi if he likes the technical Fiorano track. What comes out is, “Do you like it around here?” as if it’s some kind of holiday destination.

00:01:51 – As we exit a corner at around 80mph, Kimi drifts the car one handed. Both my hands are firmly on my legs, gripping ever-tighter.

00:02:03 – Heading down the long straight we reach the highest speed of around 150mph. In contrast, the fastest I managed here was 120mph.

00:02:24 – Kimi explains that his way around the track isn’t the fastest, but it is the most fun. I agree with him, but my nervous laughter tells a different story.

00:02:40 – I decide that it’s time to tell Kimi that he’s ”pretty light with the steering.” Considering he’s been a professional Formula One driver since 2001 – with two years off to do a bit of rallying – he probably already knows that.

00:03:41 – A final nervous laugh as we pull back in to the pits, and it feels like my organs have rearranged inside my body. Despite that, it was a great experience. Thanks Kimi!

| Source: autoexpress.co.uk |

Mattiacci: Kimi did a terrific race

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Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci says Kimi Raikkonen put in a “terrific” race in Brazil en-route to a seventh place finish.

Raikkonen opted for a two-stop strategy, but lost out to team-mate Fernando Alonso near the end, when the three-stopping Spaniard got ahead.

“I think we have seen a very positive Kimi this weekend, he is a top professional. He really did a terrific race as Fernando did too. But considering where we are coming from, I would say this was one of the first weekend’s where Kimi felt the car suited him and we are seeing that in the way he was racing,” Mattiacci told reporters following the 18th and penultimate round in the 2014 F1 World Championship.

“I am extremely happy for the race he did.”

Asked about Raikkonen’s slow second stop – the Finn lost around seven seconds, Mattiacci added: “Unfortunately there was this issue at the pit stop with Kimi, but it happened.

“I am extremely confident in the work all the guys are doing during the stops – they are excellent guys.

“If I tell you what we have experienced during the weekend, they did a phenomenal job to make sure the car was ready to go to the grid, so it can happen. But I don’t think this would have changed dramatically the result.

“I think we should have probably done a better qualifying but overall [as I said] the guys did a phenomenal job. We are building step-by-step preparing for the future.

“Clearly, fighting for the places we secured here is not our aim, but the team continues to improve day by day as we work on getting back to fighting at the front of the field.”

| Source: crash.net |


 

Brazil GP – A crowd pleaser

Fernando and Kimi thrilled the crowd, putting on a duel that lasted a few laps, with the Spaniard closing on the Finn and using his fresher tyres to get past in the closing stages. In fact, Kimi had a very competitive race, running a brave two stop strategy, compared to the three tyre changes made by the majority, including Fernando. On the Medium tyre, the Finn ran the longest stint of anyone in the entire race, doing 36 laps after his second stop. Unfortunately, it was a slow one, because of a problem with the front jack that delayed the change of his front right wheel, costing him precious seconds, before he set off for on that massively long run to the flag.

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BRAZIL GP – RACE RESULTS

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Report – Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished the Brazilian Grand Prix in sixth and seventh places respectively, after staging a great duel, which saw them swap positions with only a few laps to go.

Everything went smoothly for Fernando at the start, as he maintained eighth place, while Kimi emerged from the Senna Esses in 12th place. The first pit stop came very early, as the Soft tyres degraded very quickly, after track temperature had exceeded 50 degrees. All the drivers tackled the second stint on the Medium tyres, which were clearly more consistent, to the extent that Fernando and Kimi extended the stint, making up places before their second stops. Kimi had a really strong race pace at this point, which, while the pit stops were on, saw him run as high as third.

However, the Finn’s stop was slow because of a problem with the front jack, but Kimi didn’t give up, lapping quickly and consistently, so the team decided to run him to the flag without a third stop. Therefore, with Alonso having stopped three times, the two men found themselves running together and they put on one of the most thrilling duels of the day, fighting wheel to wheel but perfectly fairly. In the end, because his tyres were more worn, Kimi had to give best to Fernando, but finishing seventh, having completed one less stop than the rest.

Final Results:

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h30m02.555s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1.457s
3 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 41.031s
4 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 48.658s
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 51.420s
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m01.906s
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m03.730s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m03.934s
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m10.085s
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1 Lap
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 8 Laps
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault Retirement

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP:

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 334
2 Nico Rosberg 317
3 Daniel Ricciardo 214
4 Sebastian Vettel 159
5 Fernando Alonso 157
6 Valtteri Bottas 156
7 Jenson Button 106
8 Felipe Massa 98
9 Nico Hulkenberg 80
10 Kevin Magnussen 55
11 Kimi Raikkonen 53
12 Sergio Perez 47
13 Jean-Eric Vergne 22
14 Romain Grosjean 8
15 Daniil Kvyat 8
16 Pastor Maldonado 2
17 Jules Bianchi 2
18 Adrian Sutil 0
19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Max Chilton 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi 0

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP:

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 651
2 Red Bull/Renault 373
3 Williams/Mercedes 254
4 Ferrari 210
5 McLaren/Mercedes 161
6 Force India/Mercedes 127
7 Toro Rosso/Renault 30
8 Lotus/Renault 10
9 Marussia/Ferrari 2
10 Sauber/Ferrari 0
11 Caterham/Renault 0

QUOTES

Video:

 

Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall, this has been a positive weekend and even today in the race, I felt very good in the car. During the second stint, we realised that if we went for a two stop strategy, we could make up ground, but then, at my second pit stop, I lost valuable time and that cost me some places. In the final part of the race, I had to fight off Button for a few laps and when Fernando caught me, tyre degradation meant I couldn’t fend him off. We leave Interlagos with a good feeling and even if we still have a lot of work ahead of us, this continued progress makes me confident for the future.”

Marco Mattiacci: “I believe this weekend ended on a positive note for the team, with both our drivers finishing higher than their grid positions to bring home important points. With Kimi we decided to risk putting him to a two stop strategy and he was able to show that, if he feels comfortable with his car, he can get the most out of himself in terms of managing the tyres. We are disappointed to have lost a few seconds at his pit stop and we take away the lesson that we must improve in every area that can affect performance. As for Fernando, he produced an equally perfect race and in the late duel with his team-mate he was clear headed and precise in his driving. Clearly, fighting for the places we secured today is not our aim, but the team continues to improve day by day as we work on getting back to fighting at the front of the field.”

Pat Fry: “Like the majority of the grid, today we were planning to run a three stop strategy, as we knew that the increase in temperatures, the nature of the circuit and the abrasive track surface would impact heavily on tyre behaviour. Managing the two compounds was extremely complicated, with an early first stop to get rid of the Softs, because of graining, to take on the Mediums which degraded rapidly but in a more linear fashion. The decision to switch Kimi to a two stop paid off as, surprisingly, he was able to run consistently for no less than 36 laps. Fernando found himself fighting with Vettel in the Red Bull, who probably had a bit more pace today, but taking sixth place along with Kimi’s seventh, gives us a reasonable margin in the Constructors’ classification over McLaren. Overall, it was a positive weekend and, in future we must ensure we get on top of any reliability problems, like the ones we’ve had over the past few days.”

Alonso – Zero frustration over Raikkonen battle:When asked post-race if Raikkonen’s defending prevented him from finishing higher than sixth, Alonso said: “No, I’m very very happy – zero frustration.”The most important thing was not the battle with him, it was the battle with the other teams and we got some good points for Ferrari today.

“Even if I could have overtaken Kimi a little quicker I had to save a lot of fuel in the last couple of laps so a battle with Sebastian was never a possibility.”

Alonso said that he was pleased to come out on top in the battle with Raikkonen.

“Finishing in front of him always gives satisfaction,” he added.

“This weekend I managed to finish in front in qualifying and in the race after a weekend where I struggled a bit with some mechanical issues.

“It was definitely a good experience – I had one more stop so I had to recover 21 seconds.

“I had fresh tyres so I had the advantage in the last battle.”

Raikkonen described the dice as “normal racing” and said that he did not feel the battle had cost Ferrari anything overall.

“It’s the same points for the team, and at the end of this kind of season it makes no really big difference for myself or the team as we get the same points [whichever driver finishes ahead].”