Archive for July 27, 2012

Hungary: Friday Q&A with Kimi


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A varied schedule for Kimi in Budapest today saw the Iceman bring home some useful information for the team, and make quite an impression on the time sheets in the process…

Q: Kimi, plenty of useful development work in the first session and a strong result in the second; sum up your day for us

KR: It was a normal Friday really; we ran through a pretty regular schedule. In the first session my car wasn’t set up for the track as we were focused on testing some new parts but in the afternoon we had time to work on changing things to fit the circuit. The car felt good so it’s a positive start to the weekend.

Q: Did it put you on the back foot at all spending the first half of the day running an unusual setup?

KR: Not really, it’s the same with any new parts. We don’t have in-season testing any more so you have to try them out some time. We’ve made small improvements throughout the year by doing this so looking at how things work for the future can only help.

Q: You seemed much more comfortable with the car in Hockenheim and that seems to have carried over to Budapest…

KR: We’ve improved my setup quite a bit in the last few races and changed some things which probably weren’t quite as they should have been. I was happy with the car in the last race and it’s still improving here too. If you’re comfortable in the car you can start to push a bit further; the harder you can push the faster you can go. We’re really starting to get it as we want it now.

Q: Second position is one of the more promising Friday results we’ve seen from the team this season; does that bode well for the rest of the weekend in your eyes?

KR: We were second fastest today but it’s difficult to say what the others are doing. It’s only Friday, but let’s hope we can continue the pace from today, keep working hard to chase down the guys in front and see what happens from there.


Kimi: I’m able to drive more like I want now


Kimi Raikkonen believes he has now found what was ‘missing’ to enable him to get the most out of the Lotus and can translate that into a stronger second half of the 2012 Formula 1 season.

Although Raikkonen has enjoyed an impressive comeback campaign so far and goes into this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix fourth in the world championship, having claimed four podium finishes, the 2007 title-winner says he has only recently become comfortable with the Lotus E20.

“I guess you always learn with the car and try to set it up as you like it,” said Raikkonen.

“At the last few races we’ve been finding our way. We weren’t so happy at the beginning of the year – or we were happy but I felt that there was something that was missing, and then we found some reasons why we probably weren’t so happy.

“In the last races we’ve found pretty much what I have been looking for. So hopefully it means we’ve finally found the area where we can improve.”

Asked if the improvements related to how the car used the Pirelli tyres, Raikkonen replied: “No, it’s more making me able to drive more like I want.”

Raikkonen was second quickest in Friday practice at the Hungaroring, but remained cautious about his chances over the rest of the weekend.

“We don’t know if we’re going to be fast tomorrow because of today because we have no idea what the others are doing, but so far it’s not too bad,” he said.

Hungarian Grand Prix – Friday Practice Results: 2nd

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Yet another rain hit practice session at the Hungaroring this afternoon; but on this occasion there was just enough time for both Lotus F1 Team drivers to put in some solid groundwork and place firmly inside the top ten before the heavens opened.


As the blistering heat continued – track temperature reaching 45 degrees – free practice two kicked off with a bang for Lotus F1 Team in more ways than one.

Both drivers emerged sporting fresh sets of white marked medium compound Pirelli tyres and were instantly on the pace; Romain setting the quickest time in the early stages, only to be outdone almost immediately by his team-mate.

Moments later however, the Frenchman was to have his strong run cut short; a wide exit sending the reigning GP2 Series Champion off track at a right angle, resulting in minor contact with the barrier and a limp back to the pits for repairs.

The Iceman meanwhile – unleashed from his upgrade assessment duties during the morning session – was lighting up the timing screens; exchanging fastest laps with Lewis Hamilton in a cat and mouse battle through the sectors.

New nose now in place, Romain returned to the fray for another assault on the Hungaroring circuit; quickly putting his brush with the Armco behind him and settling back into a good stride with consistent times placing him firmly in the top ten.

A highly entertaining session was once again to be interrupted at the halfway point; sudden showers creating standing water on one half of the circuit within seconds and bringing proceedings to a disappointing halt as the drivers tiptoed their way back to the pits.

With little to be learned in the mixed track conditions, the team opted to send a sole E20 – at the hands of the Iceman – out for a short stint right at the death; basic analysis of the green intermediate rubber the main purpose of his fleeting foray into the moisture.

Inevitably there were to be no improvements in lap time from any part of the field on the sodden tarmac, resulting in Kimi and Romain retaining the positions occupied at the mid-point of running; P2 for the Finn (1:22.180 from 20 laps) and P9 for the Frenchman (1:22.922 from 12 laps).

Pos  Driver                Team                  Time              Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m21.995            20
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m22.180s  + 0.185  20
 3.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1m22.253s  + 0.258  33
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m22.417s  + 0.422  28
 5.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m22.582s  + 0.587  22
 6.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m22.747s  + 0.752  17
 7.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1m22.794s  + 0.799  23
 8.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m22.824s  + 0.829  18
 9.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m22.922s  + 0.927  12
10.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m23.160s  + 1.165  19
11.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m23.164s  + 1.169  28
12.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m23.337s  + 1.342  26
13.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m23.713s  + 1.718  25
14.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m23.814s  + 1.819  17
15.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m23.841s  + 1.846  28
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m24.328s  + 2.333  23
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m24.345s  + 2.350  27
18.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m24.623s  + 2.628  22
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1m24.823s  + 2.828  28
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m25.220s  + 3.225  28
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1m27.104s  + 5.109  27
22.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1m27.106s  + 5.111  18
23.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1m27.185s  + 5.190  22
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m27.822s  + 5.827  20

Lotus team quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “It was a normal Friday for me. We did the normal things and tried to make the car as quick as it can be. We were second fastest which was good, and we’ve managed to improve the setup on my car over the last few races so I’ve been pretty happy with it. We’re just making small improvements, but we’re making them all the time and going in the right direction. It’s only Friday, but we’re hoping for another good day tomorrow. “

Romain Grosjean – 9th: “Not the best day we’ve had but not the worst either. The car didn’t feel quite as I like it, similar to how it felt in Hockenheim, which made things a bit tricky. I made a mistake running wide on the exit of turn seven in the second session which meant I touched the wall, so a big apology to the guys for that. On a more positive note we now understand a few things which need improving in terms of setup, so hopefully tomorrow these will make a difference and I’ll have the confidence to push a bit harder and show the true pace of the car.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “We conducted valuable analysis of our latest aerodynamic developments on Kimi’s car this morning which help bring it a step closer to deployment in a race sometime in the future. Romain was uncomfortable with his car today which is something we will try to understand this evening. Kimi was pretty happy overall, even this morning when we weren’t running the native downforce settings for this circuit. With the Hungary setup in the afternoon, Kimi was comfortable, quick, and happy with both specifications of dry tyre. Whilst we haven’t conducted our usual long runs today it looks like both compounds should be reasonable race tyres.”

Free practice 1 – report

Contrary to forecasts earlier in the week, Friday got off to a dry, clear and scorching hot start as the green flags waved to signal go-time at the Hungaroring. Prime E20 weather then, as Kimi and Romain emerged for install laps on matching sets of the white marked medium compound Pirelli tyres.

A lot of interest in the Finn’s car this morning, with the developments seen during Friday in Hockenheim once again on show. The Frenchman’s ride was also sporting an unusual attachment; his addition however coming in the form of an aero analysis device.

Three single lap bursts within the first fifteen minutes kicked off the Iceman’s day; assessment of upgrades the name of the game in the early stages, with the latter of these stints providing his first flying lap of the day.

Romain eventually took to the track for his inaugural full throttle taste of the Hungaroring circuit in a Formula 1 car with one third of running complete; solid times for the Frenchman as he worked through the standard Friday programme of setup tweaks and race pace simulations.

The pair spent the second half of the session trading track time; continuing to run the medium rubber and racking up the laps to garner as much data as possible for the team to pick apart over lunch.

Short bursts of action intertwined with multiple pauses for adjustments were the tone of the morning; the chequered flag falling on the sun drenched Hungaroring to see Kimi end the session in P8 (1:23.983 from 24 laps) while Romain went into the break in P5 (1:23.633 from 24 laps).

FP1 Times:

Pos  Driver                Team                   Time               Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m22.821             30
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m22.922s  + 0.101   24
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m23.397s  + 0.576   24
 4.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m23.628s  + 0.807   29
 5.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m23.633s  + 0.812   24
 6.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m23.845s  + 1.024   26
 7.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m23.904s  + 1.083   25
 8.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m23.983s  + 1.162   24
 9.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1m24.152s  + 1.331   24
10.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m24.268s  + 1.447   27
11.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m24.300s  + 1.479   23
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m24.394s  + 1.573   19
13.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m24.546s  + 1.725   24
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m24.559s  + 1.738   22
15.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m24.608s  + 1.787   25
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m25.354s  + 2.533   25
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m25.559s  + 2.738   27
18.  Jules Bianchi         Force India-Mercedes   1m25.715s  + 2.894   26
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1m26.440s  + 3.619   27
20.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1m26.705s  + 3.884   23
21.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1m26.755s  + 3.934   28
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1m27.015s  + 4.194   24
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1m27.101s  + 4.280   21
24.  Dani Clos             HRT-Cosworth           1m28.176s  + 5.355   24