Monza Test: Lewis Ahead of Kimi

From and air temperature 22/31°C, track temperature 27/42 °C. Sunny.

Lewis Hamilton finished on top of the timesheets on the final day of testing at the Monza circuit in Italy.

The championship leader took over from teammate Heikki Kovalainen to
wrap up McLaren’s preparations for the Italian Grand Prix, setting a
best time of 1:22.967 after 97 laps.

Hamilton’s time was some three tenths of a second slower than that
set by Nick Heidfeld on Thursday, but the Briton was the only driver
who managed to complete a lap in 1:22s today.

World champion Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest for Ferrari, albeit nearly four tenths behind Hamilton.

"It was a good day, during which we looked to fine tune the car for
this track as well as trying a few new things," said Raikkonen, who met
with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo during the test. "I would
say we have done a good job, even if it is too early to say what the
situation will be here during the race weekend.

"It was a pleasure to meet with President Montezemolo, who visited
the track today. Now we have to try and do everything as well as
possible to get back to winning again, starting with the race in Spa.
The world championship? I will give it my best shot and then we can
count the points at the end."

The Finnish driver worked
on finding the best set-up for the car for the race that takes place at
this track on 14th September, as well as on development of aerodynamic
and mechanical solutions for the remainder of the season.

Scuderia will be back on track on Tuesday 2nd September at Fiorano,
when Luca Badoer will carry out the shakedown of the cars that will be
used in the Belgian Grand Prix, which takes place on 7th September at
the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Today’s times:

Pos  Driver        Team                     Time     Laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.967 97
2. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:23.371 79
3. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:23.632 114
4. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:23.634 99
5. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:23.737 120
6. Alonso Renault (B) 1:23.820 80
7. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:23.865 77
8. Glock Toyota (B) 1:23.897 79
9. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:24.089 57
10. Button Honda (B) 1:24.321 96 Montezemolo Pledges Support for Kimi

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has pledged his support for
struggling world champion Kimi Raikkonen and dismissed speculation the
driver might be replaced by Fernando Alonso.

The Finn, who hasn’t won a race in the last four months, has been
rumoured to be forced out of the Italian team next year, despite having
a contract running to the end of 2009, with the two-time Spanish
champion in line for the coveted drive.

However, when questioned by the Italian media on whether the driver
line-up at Maranello would remain the same next year, di Montezemolo
replied: "Absolutely, yes."

Asked if that meant that Alonso should put his mind at rest then,
the Italian said: "I don’t know if he can put his mind at rest, poor
guy, at the moment it’s up to him. I was sorry to see a great champion
like him be out of the top ten at Valencia.

"But with regards to Ferrari, he can put his mind at rest."

Di Montezemolo added: "All this criticism (of Raikkonen) reminds me
of when (Filippo) Inzaghi was at Juventus: if he didn’t score for three
games, everyone would say he was in crisis.

"It can’t be forgotten that he’s the world champion, and that last
year he won in his first season with Ferrari, while many people never
thought he would do so. Now he has 17 victories and I hope he’ll get
back to winning ways in the next Grand Prix in Belgium. Anyway, he’s
not a driver in crisis.

"Kimi is motivated and we must work to put him in the conditions to
start races nearer the front, especially on these new circuits which I
don’t like and are bad for F1: you can’t overtake on them, and nine
times out of ten the man on pole wins."

During yesterday’s Formula One testing session in Monza, Raikkonen was visited by di Montezemolo.

Asked what his president had told him, the Finn was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport: "He didn’t tell me anything in particular. I already had a contract (for 2009), so it’s nothing new for me.

"Today’s test went well, we’ve tried different solutions to several
small problems. In the next races we’ll do our best to win and we’ll
see how it ends up."


5 responses

  1. S.M.

    Hi Saima, I need to clarify some stuff. Many of us have already gone through Peter’s oberservations in his latest column where he made comparisons between drivers after fuel-corrected times. Now I was reading ITV’s Ted Kravitz’s report today and he mentioned that 1 lap extra fuel around Valencia circuit was worth 0.1s.
    What I noticed in Peter’s column was that Massa was more than a couple of tenths off Hamilton’s time in qualifying at Valencia after fuel corrected times. But real times suggested that Hamilton was 0.210s off Massa while he carried 2 laps extra fuel. If we evaluate this with Ted Kravitz’s obervation which states 1 lap extra fuel was worth 0.1s around Valencia circuit then I seem to get that Massa was the one quicker than Hamilton. 
    I want your comments as soon as possible. Keep flying Kimi!!!


    August 29, 2008 at 6:41 pm

  2. KRS Evenstar

    Hi Hasan, to be honest I’m not bothered at all about Valencia anymore lol Ask Peter about it though, I’m sure he’d appreciate the information. I’m busy working on the highlight video and that’s enough for me to think about right now…Some good comments by Luca today, in Monza:Di Montezemolo on whether Raikkonen and Massa will stay at Ferrari next year: "Absolutely yes."

    So Alonso, of whom many have said he has long signed a contract with
    Ferrari for the coming years, can be calm ? "I don’t know if the poor
    guy can stay calm, at the moment it depends on him. I didn’t like to
    see a big champion like him not being within the top ten at Valencia.
    But as far as Ferrari is concerned he can be calm."
    So at least for the near future the doors at Maranello are closed
    for the Spaniard. Di Montezemolo went to see him and greeted him
    warmly. After that the Ferrari president went to McLaren’s pitbox and
    embraced Hamilton.
    On Raikkonen: "All this criticism towards Raikkonen reminds me of
    when Inzaghi played for Juventus. When he didn’t score for three games
    everyone said he was in a crisis."

    When Di Montezemolo was watching a pitstop a fan shouted: "Give him (Raikkonen) a good telling-off !"
    "I thought: ‘these guys are never happy’. One shouldn’t forget he’s
    the worldchampion, and that last year he has won in his first year at
    Ferrari and many would have never imagined this. In his career he has
    now won 17 races and I hope he will ‘unblock’ at the Belgian GP: in any
    case he’s not a driver that’s in a crisis. Kimi is motivated and we
    have to work to enable him to move forward, especially at these new
    circuits that I don’t like and which harm Formula 1: you’re not able to
    overtake there and nine times out of ten the guy on pole wins the

    Raikkonen said he didn’t have difficulties at managing the pressure during the last six GP: "I don’t have any problem."

    On the talk with Di Montezemolo: "He didn’t say anything special to me."
    On Di Montezemolo confirming his stay at Ferrari: "I already had a
    contract (so) there’s nothing new for me. Today’s test has gone as
    normal, we’ve tested various solutions to some small problems. In the
    coming races we will give our utmost to win and then we’ll see where we
    end up."
    Di Montezemolo on Massa: "I would define him as a ‘product’ from
    (our) ‘breeding ground’ and he’s mature to win the title. If it wasn’t
    for the points he’s lost he would have already had a considerable gap.
    But for eleven years we’ve either won the championship or came second,
    and considering the many teams that have come to life or have gone
    bankrupt in these years, that’s a nice satisfaction."
    On the championship being decided in the same way as it happened
    last year: "Enough with the nonsense, I’m convined Ferrari will be a
    protagonist right till the end."
    On there not being a number 1 and number 2 status within the team:
    "It’s an old story that goes back to the times of Lauda and Regazzoni.
    The hierarchy is only made by the stopwatch, not by the president. Who
    ever is the driver, whether he’s called Schumacher, Barrichello,
    Raikkonen or Massa, what he does is drive for Ferrari."


    August 29, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  3. Nicki

    Good to see Montezemolo at the test, as I believe he was the one who really pushed to get Kimi signed.Fingers crossed he gave the team a kick up the backside to get Kimi’s car sorted for the rest of the season.


    August 29, 2008 at 7:25 pm

  4. KRS Evenstar

    "Fingers crossed he gave the team a kick up the backside to get Kimi’s car sorted for the rest of the season." > Exactly my thoughts, Nicki!


    August 29, 2008 at 10:48 pm

  5. Lena

    I have this feeling that Di Montezemolo backs Kimi more than Massa. I mean like he has a soft spot for Kimi. I don’t want to apply that he doesn’t like Massa and that he wouldn’t back him up. Can’t really explain. I had that feeling sometimes when Kimi was at McLaren that Ron like him better than JP & Coulthard even though the disaggreements they might have had. It’s just that when you compare Kimi with other drivers, he’s always honest and admits his mistakes and most of all doesn’t put the blame on someone else.(Like Massa did with the Sutil incident at Valencia – not that it was completly his fault, I just think he should have kept his mouth shut instead of blaming the other driver)I just hope he has fun at Spa and that’s pretty much itGreetz


    August 30, 2008 at 1:19 am

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