Archive for October 13, 2012

Photos: signing autographs in Korea

After qualifying his best since Spa, Kimi headed back out with Romain to sign autographs for the fans.

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Saturday in Korea – “best we’ve been for a while”


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P5 in qualifying for tomorrow’s Korean Grand Prix gives Kimi his best grid slot since Belgium; a race which also brought the team’s last podium finish. Can the Iceman match that performance on Sunday? Let’s hear from the man himself…

Q: Kimi; give us your view on today’s qualifying session?

KR: It was okay; I think we did more or less the best we could have done. We tried some different things on the car over the weekend and there’s still a bit of work to do on the setup but we’ve qualified in a reasonably good position which makes the race a bit easier. Of course you always want to go faster, but I think there’s still more to come from the car so let’s wait and see…

Q: Have you noticed an improvement from the Coandă exhaust as the weekend has gone on?

KR: The new exhaust system feels good; you do lose a little horsepower from it which means the car is a bit slower down the straight but on the other hand it’s better on the aero side. You can’t get something for nothing and I think we’ve made a good start with it, so hopefully with a bit more time in Friday practice it can give us even more improvement.

Q: You didn’t seem entirely comfortable with the car on Friday but things really seemed to come together today; especially in Q1…

KR: Yesterday was a bit difficult but we did some work overnight and things have improved a lot today. It was good to go through the first part with just one run as it gives you more tyres left over. At one point in Q2 there was a bit too much understeer but we managed to get rid of it. I think it was because my first set of tyres wasn’t so great but we switched to a different set, added a bit more front wing and the car felt much better.

Q: This is your best grid position since Belgium where you finished on the podium; does that give you cause for optimism heading into tomorrow’s race?

KR: This is probably the best we’ve been in qualifying for a while and the gap to the cars at the front is not too much, so for sure it gives us a better chance of a good result in the race. We don’t know what fuel levels the others were running yesterday, but our long run pace looked pretty strong so hopefully with the speed we’ve shown in qualifying we can score lots of points. There’s no use trying to predict the result because anything can happen, but I think we’ve got a good chance for a decent result so let’s see what we can do…

Korea Grand Prix – Qualifying: 5th

Source: | | twitter

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As qualifying came to a close here in Korea this afternoon, Kimi and Romain certainly proved their class; both drivers putting themselves firmly inside the top ten with P5 / P7 respectively on their first outing at the Korea International Circuit.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Position: Q1 – P10 / Q2 – P5 / Q3 – P5
Best Time: Q1 – 1:38.887 / Q2 – 1:38.227 / Q3 – 1:37.625
Laps Completed: Q1 – 5 / Q2 – 6 / Q3 – 6

Key Moments:
Q1: 03mins: Opening run on used soft tyres; goes quickest with third flying lap, fastest in the middle sector
Q1: 10mins: Stays parked in the garage for the remainder of the opening session
Q1: 20mins: Chequered flag; through to Q2 in P10

Q2: 02mins: First attempt on scrubbed super softs; goes P8
Q2: 09mins: Back in the garage; reports mild understeer
Q2: 13mins: Emerges for second shot at the top; new super soft rubber for a single lap dash
Q2: 15mins: Session ends; progresses to the final phase in P5

Q3: 00mins: Straight out for first run; P6 on used super soft tyres
Q3: 08mins: Joins the 10 car scramble for pole on fresh super softs
Q3: 10mins: Qualifying complete; P5 for the Finn

Summary :

  • Kimi’s first attempt in Q1 was good enough to progress to the next phase without using the super softs
  • Romain hovered on the fringes of safety in Q1 with his initial run, opting to complete one flying lap on super soft rubber as a precaution
  • Yellow flags in the final moments of Q2 as the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo stopped out on track; Kimi and Romain investigated for setting their quick times under a caution period
  • Both drivers comfortably progressed to the final stage of qualifying without the need to burn excessive sets of tyres
Pos  Driver                Team                 Time            Gap   
 1.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m37.242s
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m37.316s  + 0.074
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m37.469s  + 0.227
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m37.534s  + 0.292
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m37.625s  + 0.383
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m37.884s  + 0.642
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m37.934s  + 0.692
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m38.266s  + 1.024
 9.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m38.361s  + 1.119
10.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m38.513s  + 1.271
 Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.436s                                   Gap **
11.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m38.441s  + 0.674
12.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.460s  + 0.693
13.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.594s  + 0.827
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m38.643s  + 0.876
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m38.725s  + 0.958
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m39.084s  + 1.317
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m39.340s  + 1.573
Q1 cut-off time: 1m39.180s                                    Gap *
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m39.443s  + 1.235
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m40.207s  + 1.999
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m40.333s  + 2.125
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.317s  + 3.109
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.371s  + 3.163
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m42.881s  + 4.673
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         no time


Quotes: Kimi speaking to Sky Sports

“It’s good for us to be higher up,” said Raikkonen.

“We could have been in a similar position in the last one but I spun.

“It helps us, it will make us a bit better in the race. It’s a safer and better position for the start.

“But the good thing I think is that the laptime is closer to the front, so that should give us better chances in the race because before we’ve been further away in laptime so we knew that it was going to be very difficult.

“Now I think we have a better chance to score better positions.”

“Today was just better overall,” he said. “I think the exhaust hasn’t changed since yesterday.”

The end of Q2 was affected by yellow flags for Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso stopping on track. Raikkonen was among the drivers who improved at that point, but he was adamant he had still obeyed the warning signals.

“I lifted in there. It’s normal,” he said. “Then I went faster than that with used tyres on the next qualifying lap I did.”

Korea Grand Prix – Final Practice Results

Source: | | twitter

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Cool, dry and overcast conditions proved no obstacle for Kimi and Romain during Free Practice 3 at the Korea International Circuit this morning; the pair bringing their E20s home in P5 / P4 respectively as the countdown to qualifying begins…

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Position: P5
Fastest Lap: 1:38.666
Laps Completed: 18

Key Moments:
00mins: Install lap; soft tyres
14mins: First car to set a competitive time; plenty of analysis and setup work on the agenda for the new exhaust layout
15mins: Sketchy middle sector on opening tour; abandons attempt and builds up for a second blast
16mins: Goes fastest in the early stages; soft tyres
32mins: Second stint begins; very deep into T3 on first run but recovers
35mins: Improves significantly; up to P6
53mins: Final stint of the morning; first appearance of the day for the super soft tyres
60mins: Chequered flag; P5 for the Finn

Summary :

  • Cool, dry, overcast conditions set the standard for the morning
  • Yellow marked soft compound Pirelli tyres were used for the majority of the session on both cars, with the red marked super soft making an appearance with each driver in the latter stages
  • The team opted to retain the Coandă exhaust on Kimi’s E20 having run the new system throughout Friday practice
  • The Japan spec rear wing was fitted on Romain’s car in preference to the Singapore version trialled yesterday
Pos  Driver                Team                  Time               Laps
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m37.642s            17
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m38.169s  + 0.527s  12
 3.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m38.511s  + 0.869s  13
 4.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m38.582s  + 0.940s  16
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m38.666s  + 1.024s  18
 6.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m38.705s  + 1.063s  12
 7.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m38.766s  + 1.124s   7
 8.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m38.791s  + 1.149s  13
 9.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m38.833s  + 1.191s  16
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m38.932s  + 1.290s  17
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m38.954s  + 1.312s  17
12.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m39.010s  + 1.368s  20
13.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m39.150s  + 1.508s  18
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1m39.156s  + 1.514s  18
15.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m39.345s  + 1.703s  14
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m39.448s  + 1.806s  17
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m39.537s  + 1.895s  18
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1m39.706s  + 2.064s  18
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1m41.114s  + 3.472s  14
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m41.437s  + 3.795s  19
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1m41.684s  + 4.042s  16
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1m42.062s  + 4.420s  15
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m42.845s  + 5.203s  15
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1m42.882s  + 5.240s  14