Report – It was a complicated qualifying session for Scuderia Ferrari at Monza, the scene tomorrow at 2pm of the Italian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso managed to get his F14 T onto the seventh spot on the grid, while Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for twelfth, although he will start eleventh as Daniil Kvyat has a grid penalty in the Toro Rosso.
Both Ferrari men got through Q1 without any problems: Fernando was tenth and Kimi thirteenth. In Q2, things got more complicated: all the drivers were on the Medium tyres, going for the fastest time possible. Alonso’s first run produced a 1.25.525 which would see him safe, but with a 1.26.110, Kimi was tenth for a long time. At the flag, Fernando got into Q3 in fifth place, but Kimi was unable to improve and ended up twelfth and therefore outside the zone. In the final part, Alonso was seventh after his first run behind Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.436s||1.327s|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.709s||1.600s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.944s||1.835s|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.157s||–|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.279s||–|
|21||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.070s||–|
Qualifying format: 1st-10th – Q3, 11th-16th – Q2, 17th-22nd – Q1
Kvyat has 10-place grid penalty
Raikkonen mystified by car handling change: “We changed the car a little bit, but it’s hard to believe that those small changes made it as difficult as it was. We had a good weekend on this side and we had no issues. Things were running smoothly, as they should always, and then we had difficulties to get grip in qualifying. For some reason I kept locking the fronts a bit and couldn’t find how I could make one sector good but not all of them in a row. It just got difficult for some reason. It was a bit of a surprise for me, an unpleasant surprise. We have to try to look into the details a bit and hopefully find an explanation. Obviously today our qualifying was not very good for me, but overall the weekend has maybe been a bit better than expected. We knew that qualifying would be a little bit difficult compared to some of the Mercedes people. They usually make a bigger step for that, and then it comes back a little bit for the race. We had a good long run yesterday, so I 100 per cent believe that we can do a much better race. Do we have enough speed to overtake people? We will know tomorrow. But I believe that we should be stronger than today.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “After a definitely positive start to the weekend, today in qualifying, I was expecting a better result. I experienced some difficulties in the afternoon, as the car was harder to drive, I was struggling to find the right grip level and I was locking the fronts. That’s why, on my last run on the Medium tyres, I made a few small mistakes which prevented me getting further than Q2. Starting eleventh is not ideal but all the same, I will give it my best shot tomorrow. We know we are up against some very strong opponents, but the long run went well and even if the race is another matter, this factor means we can be confident. It will be very important to get off the line well and choose the best strategy. It would be very nice to produce a good result for all our fans who have come to support us here in Monza.”
Pat Fry: “Compared to the morning session, we experienced a few more difficulties in qualifying, in terms of the balance of the car, especially in the fast corners and under braking, areas that are more complicated to manage on a track where you run low downforce. I don’t think Fernando could have done any more with his car. With the race pace we saw in Friday’s practice, let’s hope that tomorrow he can make up a few places and manage the Red Bulls behind him. Unfortunately, with Kimi, we didn’t make it to Q3, which is a real shame after what had been his first trouble-free free practice sessions of the season. Today he suffered a lot with locking the front wheels and at the vital moment in Q2, he lost time going into Roggia. With both compounds we experienced reasonably linear degradation, so even with the high temperatures expected tomorrow, it should not influence our strategy. If we want to score as many points as possible with both cars in the race, it will be important to manage the reliability parameter and try and get a good start.”