Report – Scuderia Ferrari recorded its best result of the season today. Fernando Alonso finished second, having led for a while until three laps from the end, while Kimi Raikkonen staged a great charge up the order to go from 16th on the grid to sixth at the flag.
It was a spectacular race, in part because it started on a wet track with everyone running Intermediate tyres. After a few laps, the Safety Car was required when Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily in the Caterham. The SC came out after the top four, including Fernando, had passed the pits, which jumbled the order, promoting Ricciardo to the lead.
The Safety Car came out again when Sergio Perez crashed the Force India on the pit straight, with Ricciardo changing tyres and mixing up the strategies. When the race was on again, Alonso therefore found himself leading, although Ricciardo, on a different strategy, retook the position, handing it back to the Spaniard with 15 laps remaining. Raikkonen meanwhile had his best race of the year, making the most of the run of pit stops to get as high up as third at one point.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1h53m05.058s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +5.225s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +5.857s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +6.361s 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +29.841s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +31.491s 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +40.964s 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +41.344s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault +58.527s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +1m07.280s 11. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari +1m08.169s 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes +1m18.465s 13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1m24.024s 14. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault -1 lap 15. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari -1 lap 16. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari -1 lap Retirements: Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 33 laps Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 25 laps Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 23 laps Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 15 laps Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 11 laps Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 8 laps
Drivers' championship: 1. Nico Rosberg 202 2. Lewis Hamilton 191 3. Daniel Ricciardo 131 4. Fernando Alonso 115 5. Valtteri Bottas 95 6. Sebastian Vettel 88 7. Nico Hulkenberg 69 8. Jenson Button 60 9. Felipe Massa 40 10. Kevin Magnussen 37 11. Sergio Perez 29 12. Kimi Raikkonen 27 13. Jean-Eric Vergne 11 14. Romain Grosjean 8 15. Daniil Kvyat 6 16. Jules Bianchi 2 17. Adrian Sutil 0 18. Marcus Ericsson 0 19. Pastor Maldonado 0 20. Esteban Gutierrez 0 21. Max Chilton 0 22. Kamui Kobayashi 0 Constructors' championship: 1. Mercedes 393 2. Red Bull-Renault 219 3. Ferrari 142 4. Williams-Mercedes 135 5. Force India-Mercedes 98 6. McLaren-Mercedes 97 7. Toro Rosso-Renault 17 8. Lotus-Renault 8 9. Marussia-Ferrari 2 10. Sauber-Ferrari 0 11. Caterham-Renault 0
Raikkonen not expecting big improvement over break – “Yeah, after yesterday’s mistakes, this kind of place it is hard to place and we were lacking straight-line speed, I had difficulties passing the Sauber in the middle of the race with the DRS so obviously it was a bit tricky but we managed to gain place. We were faster than Williams but I just couldn’t get past. I hope that the second part of the season can be much better than the first one, but obviously one little bit better day doesn’t change an awful lot. It doesn’t take away the mistakes and the things we have to really improve, make it work as a team much better. That doesn’t change from this moment to this afternoon; there are an awful lot of things left to be done to make sure we can be where we should be. I believe in the team, that we can put ourselves where we should be. There are some signs, today we had good speed but obviously starting where we started, it was hard to make any better place. I don’t think there is going to be a big difference in three or four weeks, but for sure next year. So we try to work more improving things and improve in the second half, make sure things are how we want and should be.”
Kimi: We deserved more – “Sixth doesn’t really give me anything. I think we deserved a bit more, but not after yesterday. I’m here to try and win races, OK it’s some good points but it’s nowhere near where we want. The car has been feeling pretty OK all weekend but it was a hard race to make any better result from where we started. It was more fun, for sure. The car was also feeling a bit better so it makes life a bit easier and means you can enjoy it more. It was a fun race. Difficult, but fun. However the big picture does not change from one result. It’s welcome to get some points and a bit better result but it doesn’t change the fact that we could have scored much better points in some of our races, but always something happens. I’m happy for it but its disappointing overall how things went and we have to make sure we don’t make those things [happen again]. There were some signs of improvements and the car is a lot better than at the start of the year but that’s normal. After yesterday’s mistakes, problems, at this kind of place it is still hard to pass and we are lacking straight-line speed a bit. I had difficulties getting past a Sauber at the start of the race even with DRS. It was a bit tricky but we managed to gain places. It’s hard, we were faster than the Williams but we couldn’t get past it and following it for so many laps takes a lot out of the tyres. I had a few times where I got close but it was impossible.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today’s race was difficult, but much more fun than the others, as I had a good feeling with the car, the pace was good and I felt I could push. After the way qualifying went yesterday, sixth was the most we could hope for. At the start, I got away well but then I lost vital time behind a Sauber and when I caught Massa’s Williams, I couldn’t get past: here in general, overtaking is not easy and we lack speed down the straights. Sure, this is a good team result, but we must not get too excited, because even if there are signs of improvement, we still have much work to do in a lot of areas to get to where we want to be. We’ve had a very complicated start to the season, but I hope the second part of the championship will go better. I have great faith in the team and I feel we are going in the right direction. Even if it’s going to take some time, I’m sure the results will come.”
Pat Fry: “After mixed fortunes in qualifying yesterday, today the team showed it could react extremely well and keep a cool head when faced with the variable situations that arose during the race. It’s never easy in cases like this, with rain at the start, the Safety Car, having to avoid traffic and especially with having to keep faster cars behind us, but the team performed very competently. The F14 T demonstrated the good race pace it had already shown on Friday and that has helped us re-take third place in the Constructors’ classification. After the summer break, we come to two races that will be difficult for us, on two tracks where it will be important to make the most of any opportunity, just as we did today. On behalf of the team, I wish to congratulate Fernando and Kimi. We had promised them redemption and we were true to our word. We know that there is still a long way to go, but we will spare nothing in our efforts, continuing to work hard to improve, day by day.”