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Archive for October 5, 2013

Kimi’s Column: Korea & Japan Preview

| Source: kimiraikkonen.com |

050_krs

Keep on racing! 

I feel good. After all the difficulties we had in Singapore, the race itself was one of the very best we have had this season. It was a certain battle victory. It felt like winning to finish third and to get back in the podium. 

Obviously, I want to win every time I put my helmet on, but still, it felt good to have such an inspiring race after such a terrible practice and qualifying. It’s a great circuit and a great atmosphere to race, that’s for sure. 

Now we still have six more race weekends ahead of us. The main thing is to focus on the racing only. I don’t want to think too much about what will happen next week, next month, or next year. 2014 starts only in 2014 for me. 

After Singapore we have now the challenge of Korea. After a lively city of Singapore, this place doesn’t feel as exciting, but the track itself is good, and of course, that is the key factor for the drivers. 

It’s a high down-force circuit, which should be good for our car. After Spa and Monza every circuit should be better for us and, at least, in Singapore the car felt very strong. Well, the Red Bull of Sebastian is far ahead of everyone, but our car is good enough to fight for the podium, and that’s a good starting point for the last races of the season. 

During the short break I had a short rest, then I trained and took time to visit to see our team ICE1 RACING in the Nations’ Cup competition of motocross. 

Now we have back-to-back races in Korea and Japan. I like both circuits, my back is still with me, and I’m ready for the new challenges. It will be a challenge to meet again the most passionate fans of the world in Japan, as well.

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Saturday in Korea: “Struggling with understeer”

| Source: lotusf1team.com |

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He qualified tenth, he’ll start ninth, but what really matters to our Finn is Sunday; race day… read on as the man himself gives us the lowdown on Saturday in Yeongam.

Q: How was qualifying for you?
KR: I made a mistake on my only set of new tyres in the final qualifying session so my lap wasn’t fast enough for a better position and we ended up tenth fastest. We’ve had a bit of understeer with the car so I’ve struggled a little with the front end all weekend. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but we’ll try to do better tomorrow.

Q: Is there more to come from the car?
KR: At the moment it’s understeering a bit too much and we haven’t been able to dial it out yet, but if you look at the long run pace of the car yesterday we should have a stronger race. Obviously we have to see how the weather turns out, but for sure it should be easier to overtake here than at some other places.

Q: What’s the best that can be achieved tomorrow?
KR: We’ll try to do the best we can do, and we’ll end up where we end up.


Korea Grand Prix – Qualifying Results

| Source: autosport.com |

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Pos Driver               Team              
 1. Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      
 2. Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              
 3. Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         
 4. Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              
 5. Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               
 6. Felipe Massa         Ferrari               
 7. Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        
 8. Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        
 9. Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         
10. Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      
11. Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      
12. Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    
13. Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      
14. Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  
15. Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  
16. Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    
17. Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      
18. Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      
19. Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      
20. Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      
21. Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     
22. Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth

Qualifying results:

Pos Driver                Team                 Time        Gap   
 1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m37.202s
 2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m37.420s  +0.218s
 3. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m37.464s  +0.262s
 4. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m37.531s  +0.329s
 5. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m37.679s  +0.477s
 6. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m38.038s  +0.836s
 7. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m38.223s  +1.021s
 8. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.237s  +1.035s
 9. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.405s  +1.203s
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m38.822s  +1.620s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.327s                                 Gap **
11. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m38.362s  +0.793s
12. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m38.365s  +0.796s
13. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m38.417s  +0.848s
14. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m38.431s  +0.862s
15. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m38.718s  +1.149s
16. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m38.781s  +1.212s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m39.175s                                 Gap *
17. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m39.470s  +1.129s
18. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m39.987s  +1.646s
19. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m40.864s  +2.523s
20. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m40.871s  +2.530s
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.169s  +2.828s
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m41.322s  +2.981s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2

Video: post qualifying interview with Kimi by Sky Sports

Quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 10th: “I made a mistake on my only set of new tyres in the final qualifying session so my lap wasn’t fast enough for a better position, which eventually meant I ended up tenth and will start from ninth position tomorrow. We’ve had a bit of understeer in the car so I’ve struggled a little all weekend. If you look at the long run pace yesterday we should have a stronger race, but obviously we have to see how the weather turns out. We hope to do better tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean – 4th: “Our aim was to be up there fighting with the Mercedes today and that’s exactly where we were. The Red Bulls were always going to be quick, so to be reasonably close to them in terms of the times is not too bad. Gaining a place on the grid just because another driver has been penalised is not how you want to move forwards, but I’ve had to cope with it before myself and it’s part of the sport. Of course, it will be an advantage for us as it means we’ll start on the clean side of the track. Tomorrow will be interesting in terms of what effect the tyre degradation has, but our race pace looked strong yesterday so we’re aiming for a good result.”


Korea Grand Prix – Final Practice Results

| Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com |

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With just one hour’s worth of on track time ahead of Qualifying, a fairly un-dramatic final practice session saw Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen put in some good laps before the final charge. Here are the highlights from Korea’s FP3…

FP3 Times:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m37.881s           17
 2.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m38.018s  +0.137s  17
 3.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m38.318s  +0.437s  16
 4.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m38.332s  +0.451s  15
 5.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m38.486s  +0.605s  13
 6.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m38.701s  +0.820s  19
 7.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m38.816s  +0.935s  14
 8.  Kimi Räikkönen       Lotus-Renault         1m38.857s  +0.976s  17
 9.  Nico Hülkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m38.961s  +1.080s  16
10.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m39.114s  +1.233s  14
11.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m39.128s  +1.247s  15
12.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m39.196s  +1.315s  16
13.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m39.204s  +1.323s  17
14.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m39.274s  +1.393s  15
15.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m39.327s  +1.446s  17
16.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m39.371s  +1.490s  19
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m39.665s  +1.784s  15
18.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m40.128s  +2.247s  17
19.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m41.360s  +3.479s  19
20.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m41.614s  +3.733s  20
21.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m41.646s  +3.765s  14
22.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m42.267s  +4.386s  17