Archive for October 6, 2012

Saturday in Japan: “We managed to get the setup right”


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An eventful weekend for Kimi continued in qualifying this afternoon at Suzuka ; the Finn showing strong pace but spinning out on his final flying lap to leave a bit of work to do, but plenty of potential for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Q: Kimi ; after a difficult start to the weekend are you satisfied with P8 on the grid ?

KR: Looking at how difficult this weekend has been with all the problems on Friday and this morning, I think today was okay in terms of car performance. For sure we could have been further up the grid if it wasn’t for my mistake on the last lap, but I’d rather be a bit lower down the grid knowing we have the speed to do better than be higher up and slow. The Red Bulls were much faster than us today, but right now we’re trying to gain points on Fernando [Alonso] so being close to him is the most important thing.

Q: What happened on that Q3 lap ?

KR: I pushed a bit too much and spun, simple as that. It’s a shame as the lap could have put us in a better position but it was my mistake. Hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race and go from there.

Q: You looked considerably more comfortable in qualifying than you have done so far ; how are you feeling for tomorrow’s race ?

KR: Suzuka is a nice circuit but it’s not the easiest if your car is not working as you want it. Luckily we managed to get the setup right in the end and the car was good in qualifying. I haven’t run with high fuel or done a long run on the soft tyres yet after the problems yesterday but I imagine that should be fine. We know we have the speed in the car and our race pace is usually better than in qualifying, so hopefully we’ll finish better than where we start.


Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying Results: P7

Source: | | twitter

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A tightly contested qualifying session at Suzuka this afternoon saw Kimi and Romain comfortably progress to the final pole position battle ; eventually claiming P8 / P5 in the standings respectively.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Position : Q1 – P4 / Q2 – P3 / Q3 – P8
Best Time : Q1 – 1:32.221 / Q2 – 1:31.826 / Q3 – 1:32.208
Laps Completed : Q1 – 7 / Q2 – 6 / Q3 – 5

Key Moments :
Q1 : 00mins : Install lap ; new hard tyres
Q1 : 09mins : Out for 2 flying laps ; P8 in the early stages
Q1 : 14mins : Fresh soft rubber ; strong lap to take P1
Q1 : 20mins : Ends the session in P4

Q2 : 03mins : Solid first run on scrubbed softs puts the Finn into the top 10
Q2 : 07mins : Brand new softs on ; instant sector improvements throughout final lap
Q2 : 15mins : Chequered flag ; progresses to Q3 in P3

Q3 : 00mins : Sighter lap on used soft tyres
Q3 : 07mins : Fresh softs for one final attempt at the top slot
Q3 : 10mins : Spins out and into the gravel at Spoon curve ; recovers but potential best lap lost
Q3 : 10mins : Final result ; P8


  • Warm, dry conditions throughout ; slightly cooler than Friday due to slightly overcast skies
  • Romain reported mild understeer in Q1 ; this was corrected for the remaining sessions
  • Both drivers easily progressed to the final Q3 session
  • Kimi spun off at T13 (Spoon curve) on his final lap in Q3 ; sector times suggest he could have been in the top 4 had the lap been completed
  • Romain lost a small amount of time in sector 1 ; otherwise may have been a place higher in the final standings
Pos  Driver                Team                 Time            Gap   
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m30.839s
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m31.090s  + 0.251
 3.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m31.294s  + 0.451 *
 4.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m31.700s  + 0.861
 5.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m31.989s  + 1.059
 6.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m32.022s  + 1.183
 7.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m32.114s  + 1.275
 8.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m32.208s  + 1.369
 9.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m32.327s  + 1.488
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes no time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m32.272s                                   Gap **
11.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m32.293s  + 0.792
12.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m32.327s  + 0.826
13.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m32.469s  + 0.968
14.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m32.512s  + 1.011
15.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m32.625s  + 1.124
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m32.954s  + 1.453
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m33.368s  + 1.867
Q1 cut-off time: 1m33.370s                                    Gap *
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m33.405s  + 1.376
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m34.657s  + 2.628
20.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m35.213s  + 3.184
21.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m35.385s  + 3.356
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m35.429s  + 3.400
23.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m35.432s  + 3.403
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m36.734s  + 4.705

* - Five place grid penalty

Lotus team quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 8th: “I spun. I was on a good lap and I was pushing – maybe a little too hard – and lost the rear. It’s a shame as the car feels the best it has all weekend. If the car’s good tomorrow we should be able to move forwards. Let’s see what happens.”

Romain Grosjean – 5th: “Yesterday we had two tricky sessions, so to have both cars in Q3 is a good recovery. We knew it would be very tight in qualifying and I think we could maybe have been one place higher with a cleaner run through the first sector, but the leaders were too quick today. We’re lacking a little bit of downforce at the moment, but with a few minor adjustments overnight and the right strategy I think we can take home a good haul of points tomorrow.”


Japanese Grand Prix – Final Practice Results

Source: | | twitter

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A slightly cooler but equally as bright start to day two at Suzuka as Kimi and Romain worked through a raft of setup options to finish the morning in P12 / P7 respectively after the final practice session of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Position : P12
Fastest Lap : 1:33.224
Laps Completed : 14

Key Moments :
00mins : Install run on a new set of hard tyres
12mins : Brief opening run ; reports excessive sliding from the rear
31mins : Second dose of track action with roll bar changes ; still not comfortable with the rear
41mins : Third crack of the whip ; tweaked setup does not do the trick, with heavy front and loose rear end now on the cards
54mins : Final attempt ; soft tyres and yet more mechanical adjustments see the Finn immediately climb into the top ten despite not getting a clean lap


  • Following a number of incidents during Friday practice, the entry to T13 [Spoon Curve] was modified to ensure the run-off astroturf sat level with the track
  • Only one minor interruption to proceedings as Nico Hulkenberg planted his Force India in the wall on exiting Degner 2
  • Both drivers used the silver marked hard compound Pirelli tyre for the majority of the session, with the yellow marked soft appearing briefly in the closing stages
  • Kimi ran through a number of setup changes – predominantly to roll bar settings – in an attempt to create a more stable rear end to the car
  • Romain reported understeer in the early stages, which was seemingly cured with a front wing change
  • Both drivers completed practice starts at the end of running in preparation for Sunday’s race
Pos  Driver                Team                  Time               Laps
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m32.136             16
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m32.371s  + 0.235   19
 3.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m32.824s  + 0.688   12
 4.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m32.918s  + 0.782   22
 5.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.920s  + 0.784   18
 6.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.924s  + 0.788   14
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m33.008s  + 0.872   20
 8.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m33.025s  + 0.889   15
 9.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1m33.094s  + 0.958   16
10.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m33.160s  + 1.024   15
11.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m33.184s  + 1.048   13
12.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m33.224s  + 1.088   14
13.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m33.56$s  + 1.433   13
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m33.722s  + 1.586   17
15.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m33.899s  + 1.763   22
16.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1m33.984s  + 1.848   18
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m34.023s  + 1.887   18
18.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m34.369s  + 2.233   11
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m35.568s  + 3.432   18
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1m36.355s  + 4.219   17
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1m36.389s  + 4.253   11
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1m36.517s  + 4.381   17
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m36.649s  + 4.513   11
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1m36.875s  + 4.739   15