Report – Sixth and ninth places for the Scuderia Ferrari drivers in the inaugural Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso got a great start, while Kimi Raikkonen fought tooth and nail to defend a points place finish to the very end.
Fernando got away perfectly, making up two places, while Kimi, who also got off the line well, then saw his efforts thwarted as he was squeezed against the wall.
Fernando was a front runner in the early stages even fighting for a podium place, but the switch to the Medium tyre meant he was unable to match the pace of the five Mercedes powered cars that would finish ahead of him. A bit further back, after his pit stop, Kimi fought off Sergio Perez in the Force India and Felipe Massa in the Williams, to successfully hang on to ninth place, these two also Mercedes-powered.
Lewis Hamilton won the race thus equaling Nigel Mansell’s total of 31 victories, while his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was second ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. Next up were the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen and then behind Alonso came the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. Sergio Perez took the last point on offer behind Raikkonen. The next round is the United States Grand Prix on 2 November.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||–||23h28m09.s|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||–||23h28m09.s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||–||23h28m09.s|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||–||23h28m09.s|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||23h28m09.s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||1 Lap|
|15||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber/Ferrari||–||1 Lap|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||–||1 Lap|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||–||1 Lap|
|18||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Renault||–||1 Lap|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham/Renault||–||2 Laps|
Kimi: start compromised race – “It was a pretty normal race. Obviously it was pretty difficult to overtake for us and after the start I got a pretty good jump off the line. But then I had to back off because of a Toro Rosso coming left more and more. I had nowhere to go and lost a lot of places. After that it was just following people and not really having a chance on a straight line. But the car felt okay. It was just slow. In the end I had to fuel save for most of the race and a lot more near the finish. The car felt good, but when you fuel save you cannot push a lot. I thought that the car was behaving pretty well since Saturday. [But] it is the lack of speed that we have on a straight line, I think, that cost us a lot of lap time. In the end though this is the result and hopefully the next race suits us a little bit better.”
Kimi Raikkonen – “We knew we could expect a very demanding race and that starting from far back it would not be easy to move up the order, but at the start we did very well. Unfortunately a Toro Rosso squeezed me towards the wall once we were on the straight. Because I had to brake hard, various cars passed me and I lost any chance of having a good race, because from then on I was always stuck behind other cars. The car handled well and with a clear track I had a good pace, but we lacked top speed with which to try and overtake on the straight and having to save fuel meant I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted to. We are aware that this year it’s hard to fight for the top places, but all the same, we will continue to try our best, starting with the very next race in Austin. That track is very demanding and interesting and I hope I don’t have the same problems I had here, so that I can aim for a good result. However, what I wish for most is that all our prayers help Jules at this difficult time.”
Marco Mattiacci: “Once again, we find ourselves confronting a result that is a long way off our goals, but today, we must congratulate Mercedes who, after five years of hard work, have taken a well deserved Constructors’ title. The back-to-back Japan-Russia trip has been a difficult one for our team, both on and off the track. In both races, we have learned a lot that will be useful for the future, in terms of how to improve on a technical level, but also when it comes to safety. I’m sure the final three races will provide an opportunity to try and get the most out of the team and the car, in order to end the season achieving better results. While my thoughts and those of everyone are still with Jules, today I would like to thank Luca di Montezemolo, at what has been the final Grand Prix under his Presidency at Ferrari. I think we have been fortunate to work with a great manager like him and it will be exactly the same with a successor of the calibre of Sergio Marchionne.”