Saturday, March 23, 2013

Räikkönen penalised for impeding Rosberg

Kimi Räikkönen will start Sunday's Malaysian GP from 10th place on the grid after he was penalised for impeding another driver


Contending with the rain that meant the cars were kicking up some serious spray behind them, Raikkonen reportedly baulked Nico Rosberg.
The Australian GP winner went on to qualify in seventh place while Rosberg put his Mercedes up to sixth.
However, after qualifying Raikkonen was summoned to the stewards were he was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding the German.
The Lotus driver will therefore begin round two of the Championship from 10th place on the grid.
Revised Grid
01 Sebastian Vettel
02 Felipe Massa
03 Fernando Alonso
04 Lewis Hamilton
05 Mark Webber
06 Nico Rosberg
07 Jenson Button
08 Adrian Sutil
09 Sergio Perez
10 Kimi Raikkonen
11 Romain Grosjean
12 Nico Hulkenberg
13 Daniel Ricciardo
14 Esteban Gutierrez
15 Paul di Resta
16 Pastor Maldonado
17 Jean-Eric Vergne
18 Valtteri Bottas
19 Jules Bianchi
20 Charles Pic
21 Max Chilton
22 Giedo van der Garde

Source: Planet-F1

Qualifying: Vettel grabs pole at a wet Sepang

Sebastian Vettel was probably happiest when the rain came down in Malaysia as the German secured pole position ahead of Felipe Massa

The German posted a 1:49.674 to beat Ferrari's Massa to pole position. It was Vettel's 38th career pole. Fernando Alonso qualified in third place ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg. Australian GP winner Kimi Raikkonen was seventh, joined on the fourth row by Jenson Button.

Qualifying 1
It was standard Malaysia warm as we headed into Q1 with the inevitable chance of a shower or two. The ambient temperature was an unwavering 32C with the track at 41C but no chance of a shower in the first few minutes. Thus we had to wait till there were 17 minutes left on the clock before the Marussias came out on track.
It was the Williams of Valtteri Bottas who set the first sub-1:40 time at 1:38.376 (faster than his team-mate) for P1 followed by Nico Rosberg whose 1:37.239 stood as P1 for a long time in the session.
The Force Indias had chosen to go out on the faster, medium tyre for their first runs, and they were joined by the Lotuses. Adrian Sutil took over P1 with a 1:36.809 and Kimi Raikkonen slotted into P2 for Lotus. Further down the field Nico Hulkenberg was vocal on team radio about being blocked by Sergio Perez, who didn't take his McLaren off line for his old team.
Red Bull, who were rumoured to have stationed ten different rain spotters in a circle around the track, left it very late in the session to leave the garage and with four minutes to go had yet to set a time for either car. At this point the bottom end of the grid looked like:
14. Hulkenberg, 15.Vergne, 16.Ricciardo, 17.Bianchi, 18.Chilton, 19.Pic, 20.Van der Garde, 21.Webber, 22.Vettel.
The Red Bulls duly set a time, but they weren't particularly quick, Mark Webber was P15 and Sebastian Vettel P13 as the tail end of the field put in faster laps. At this stage, the P.17 drop-point was: 15.Webber, 16.Gutierrez, 17.Bottas, 18.Vergne
Bottas, who had been overtaken by team-mate Maldonado couldn't improve, Gutierrez jumped to P11, Webber jumped up to P9 as Vettel's time started to dip towards the drop-zone. Although the World Champion was on a strong lap, Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso was the only car capable of demoting him and so when JEV could no longer improve, the Red Bull team brought Vettel in to save his tyres.
So, out went: 17.Vergne, 18.Bottas, 19.Bianchi, 20.Pic, 21.Chilton, 22.Van der Garde.
At the end of Q1 Gutierrez had run ten laps and Sutil just three. Marussia would have got both cars ahead of the Caterhams if it hadn't been for a lurid moment at Turn 6 for Max Chilton which dropped him 1.2 seconds behind his team-mate.
Qualifying 2
A significant item at the beginning of Q2 was the fact that the FIA rain radar went down. This was another failure of the official telemetry system after Australia last week. There would be no cockpit warning lights, or DRS activation or safety Car systems because of the problems for a second GP in succession - something that could be critical in setting in-lap deta times for Safety Car periods.
Paul di Resta was out first on the set of used medium tyres he'd just finished Q1 with. He was en route to setting a reasonable lap (fastest middle sector, but then again everyone else was only on out-laps, so he should be) when the team brought him in. It was his team-mate Adrian Sutil who set the first significant P1 time with a 1:36.834.
Again it was Nico Riosberg at the top of the timesheets in the W04 with a 1:36.190 - Lewis Hamilton slotted into P2, which was then taken by Mark Webber.
Hamilton reported back that there were spots of rain between Turns 5 and 6 and the rain started to increase. Without the FIA radar the teams hadn't seen it coming and so Paul Di Resta and Pastor Maldonado had yet to put in serious laps. In fact Paul Di Resta set a very competitive 25.0 for sector 1 before hitting trouble.
At this point of the session, with most cars anticipating at least one more run, the order was: 1.Rosberg, 2.Webber, 3.Hamilton, 4.Raikkonen, 5.Sutil, 6.Massa, 7.Alonso, 8.Button, 9.Vettel, 10.Perez, 11.Grosjean, 12.Hulkenberg, 13.Ricciardo, 14.Gutirrez, 15.Di Resta, 16.Maldonado
DiResta ran off track at Turns 5/6 as the rain began to increase. Nobody was going to set a faster time and it was pointless going out. So the Q2 times were locked and out went. 11.Grosjean, 12.Hulkenberg, 13.Ricciardo, 14.Gutirrez, 15.Di Resta, 16.Maldonado.
Most frustrated of anyone was Romain Grosjean whose mystery chassis problems and annoyance at team-mate Raikkonen getting all the development parts was plain to see as he got out of the car. Pastor Maldonado was relatively at-ease with failing to get in a competitive lap, pleased to see the car improved and probably most pleased of all to put some distance between himself and his team-mate.
Qualifying 3
The rain had fallen for fifteen minutes and the sun was emerging over part of the circuit as the cars came out for Q3 creating a rainbow. It was intermediate tyres for everybody through the whole session and so the top ten would be allowed to choose their own tyres for the race start (should it be dry) tomorrow.
Despite the period of rain, the temperatures were exactly the same as when the session had started, but this time the DRS was disabled.
Adrian Sutil took some karting (outside) lines around corners as he set provisional pole at 1:58.293, this was beaten by Sergio Perez with a 1:56.640 and then Lewis Hamilton with a 1:54.899. Nico Rosberg jumped to the top with a 1:53.898 as the track dried out and times got progressively faster. Sebastian Vettel proved this with a superb 1:52.576 before diving into the pits for some fresh intermediate tyres. Mark Webber was good for P2.
Webber continued on his single set of intermediates, as did the McLaren drivers, whereas Vettel, Alonso and Massa took on a second set. Webber edged out Vettel with a 1:52.244 lap and then was elbowed out of the way by Lewis Hamilton with a 1:51.699.
All ten drivers were on track and with the track rapidly drying the times were tumbling. Perez took P6, Button moved up into P4, Raikkonen took P4, Rosberg grabbed P3. Alonso then jumped into provisional pole with a 1:50.727 before Sebastian Vettel went a whole second quicker to take his 38th pole with a 1:49.674.
However there was more drama in the final seconds as Felipe Massa crossed the line to take P2, the second race in a row to beat team-mate Fernando Alonso. Hamilton had beaten Rosberg when it counted after lagging for most of the session, Button was in front of Perez, P8 and P10, and Kimi Raikkonen would start another race from P7. The most important thing was that the top 10 could start on exactly the same tyre as the rest of the field, though everyone is expecting rain at some stage tomorrow.
Times
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:49.674
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:50.587 +0.913
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:50.727 +1.053
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:51.699 +2.025
5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:52.244 +2.570
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:52.519 +2.845
7. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1:52.970 +3.296
8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:53.175 +3.501
9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:53.439 +3.765
10. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:54.136 +4.462
11. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:37.636 +1.446
12. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.125 +1.935
13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:38.822 +2.632
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:39.221 +3.031
15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:44.509 +8.319
16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault no time
17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:38.157 +1.348
18. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:38.207 +1.398
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:38.434 +1.625
20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:39.314 +2.505
21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:39.672 +2.863
22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:39.932s +3.123

Source: Planet-F1

Friday, March 22, 2013

Topfit Kimi ready for Sepang sauna


Kimi Raikkonen, the winner of 20 Grands Prix, is in the best shape of his life. Just have a look at him and his muscles, he’s really fit. Compared to team mate Romain Grosjean, the Frenchman looks thiny and boyish.

After winning in Australia Raikkonen headed to a gym in Kuala Lumpur. The planned game of badmington against Sebastian Vettel was postponed, while the German were busy elsewhere.

Turun Sanomat met Raikkonen in a good mood, but like every Thursday, approaching every question very critically in this one-to-one interview. While the driving starts on Friday, the Finnish star of Lotus is not that keen to speculate beforehand how it will go.

It will a anniversary of the first ever Grand Prix victory of Raikkonen on Saturday. It’s exactly ten years ago Raikkonen joined the winner’s club.

– Where do you dig all these dates, Kimi comments, while I reminded him about this anniversary.

Do you still remember it well?

– Of course, for sure, I remember all my races, but it doesn’t change anything to what ever will happen this weekend.

You have won twice with Lotus – are there any similarities between Abu Dhabi and Australia?

– No win has any kind of simililarities to some others. Only the position is the same, that’s all. In every race everything, however, happens a little bit differently.

But but TOP3 was in the same order both times?

– Eventhough every single driver would finish the race exactly in the same order, it would not mean, that the races have been similiar – not at least from the driver’s point of view.

Raikkonen is well-known as an athlete, who recordfast is able to leave even the worst disappointment behind. Does the good feeling after winning in Australia disappear as fast from your mind?

– For sure, the feeling is better while you win compared to get a bad result. But it doesn’t change any way how long you feel it – especially now, while a new race is following so soon.

Does Australia then feel as old as a memory like your first victory ten years ago?

– Don’t ask that kind things. Thet feel like questions from a shrink...

Well, let’s change the subject:

You have been working with Adrian Newey at McLaren, with Aldo Costa at Ferrari and now with James Allison at Lotus. Does Allison differ from the two as a technical director?

– For sure, they all have been different kind of people, but the way I have been working with them all, does not differ terribly much. None of them has become more close to me. They all are very good people - without that, they would not be able to build such a good cars.

Allison seems to do well with a smaller budjet, as well?

– I’m certain, all of them would be good. It’s not up to the budjet.

According to team sources Raikkonen has asked to leave his car alone after Australia. Not to touch it, while he wants to carry on like it was in Albert Park.

– But we don’t set-up the car between the races, any way, while it would not help at all. Something small we do for every circuit, but we didn’t touch the car last year, either between these two races. Only on Friday we drive it and then we know, do we have to change something.

Is this the best car you have started the season with?

– I cannot tell. It’s pretty tricky to compare, while every year is a little bit different. Now we have different tyres. And you have to remember, everything is not depening on how good is the car. You can get a bad result with a good car and you can get a good result with not that good car, if something surprising happens.

What is going to decide the championship this year - and, please, don’t answer whoever has the most points?

– What else would then decide it? It’s not up to the mercy given by the others to win it. It is, like it is, who has most points after race 19, will be the champion. It’s like it is in every other sports, too!

Turun Sanomat, Kuala Lumpur

HEIKKI KULTA


Courtesy: Nicole

Practice Two: Kimi quickest before the rain

Kimi Räikkönen set the pace ahead of Sebastian Vettel before the rain came down in Friday's second practice for the Malaysian GP

With rain threatening, the drivers were quickly into the action with Jean-Eric Verge setting the first P1 time. Two minutes later, though, he was down in seventh place and two seconds off the pace such was the franetic nature of the early minutes in FP2.
Fernando Alonso had a turn in the P1 slot before losing out to Kimi Raikkonen, who posted a 1:37.042. Behind them was Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa and Mark Webber.
Meanwhile, Sauber rookie Esteban Gutierrez headed back into the pits after an extinguisher discharged in his car. It was reportedly caused by an exhaust issue.
Just 20 minutes in to the session - with reports of rain ten minutes down the line - the drivers begun to switch to the quicker medium tyres.
Massa hit the front with a 1:36.661 while Alonso climbed to second, 0.324s behind his team-mate. Jenson Button improved from 20th on the hards to eighth on the mediums. The two Red Bulls also made the swap with Vettel hitting the front with a 1:36.588, which was 0.073s up on Massa. Mark Webber improved to fourth.
After that it was the two Lotus drivers, the two Force India drivers, the two McLarens and the two Saubers. The two-by-two, though, changed when Raikkonen hit the front, overhauling Vettel by 0.019s. The Mercs also entered the mix as, having been focused on race set-up, they put in some quicker laps with Nico Rosberg taking seventh and Lewis Hamilton ninth.
The rain, which had thrown down a drop or two, begun to fall a bit heavier in some parts of the circuit with 40 minutes to go. However, the asphalt was so hot it had little impact at first.
Nico Hulkenberg was the first to get caught out when it came down harder and found himself on the grass down the road leading into the pits. Thankfully he got his car pointing the right way and did not collect Vettel as his fellow German made his way back into his dry garage.
After a brief lull the drivers strapped on the intermediate tyres and headed back out. With the track dry in some parts and very wet in others, drivers slipped and slid with Esteban Gutierrez getting the first off. He was followed by Sergio Perez as the drivers were lapping about 20s slower than their previous bests.
Although the track dried out as the clock counted down and the drivers returned to the slick tyres, it was never dry enough to launch an assault of Raikkonen's P1 time. He finished the session 0.019s up on Vettel.
Times:
1 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:36.569
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:36.588 +0.019
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.661 +0.092
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:36.985 +0.416
5 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:37.026 +0.457
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:37.206 +0.637
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.448 +0.879
8 Paul di Resta Force India 1:37.571 +1.002
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.574 +1.005
10 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:37.788 +1.219
11 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:37.838 +1.269
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:37.865 +1.296
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:38.068 +1.499
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:38.645 +2.076
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:38.738 +2.169
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:38.801 +2.232
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:38.904 +2.335
18 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:39.508 +2.939
19 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:39.660 +3.091
20 Charles Pic Caterham 1:40.757 +4.188
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:40.768 +4.199
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1:41.438 +4.869

Source: Planet-F1

Practice One: Webber sets the pace

Mark Webber led the way at a hot and humid Sepang circuit on Friday morning, edging Australian GP winner Kimi Raikkonen by 0.068s

It was a slow start to the session as the teams all waited for another to blink. Eventually - after 30 minutes - Max Chilton ventured out and clocked a 1:42.513. McLaren joined the Marussia driver out on track with Sergio Perez going quickest while Romain Grosjean took second ahead of Jenson Button. However, halfway through FP1 they were the only four drivers on the timesheets.
Shortly after more headed out with Lewis Hamilton taking over at the front after posting a 1:38.113. The Mercedes driver had a brief exchange with Grosjean for the top spot before his team-mate Nico Rosberg entered the fray.
Rosberg's reign, though, was also short-lived as Mark Webber climbed to the top of the timesheets while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel made it a Red Bull 1-2 ahead of a Mercedes 3-4.
With the Red Bulls looking secure in first and second the battle was on for third with Fernando Alonso taking the fifth to the Mercedes drivers as he climbed to fourth place ahead Adrian Sutil, Felipe Massa and Paul di Resta. Hamilton was down in eighth with 30 minutes remaining in the session.
Esteban Gutierrez brought out the first yellow flags of the session as he came up behind the slower Ferrari of Massa and balked as he braked. The Mexican rookie touched the grass and found himself backwards on the run-off area. Moments later Adrian Sutil was seem lapping with a broken front right wing courtesy of a trip over the grass.
A mixture of strategies emerged in the final 30 minutes as Kimi Raikkonen opted for used tyres, which put him up to second place, while Hamilton switched to race set-up and putting in a few 1:44s before being told by his Merc engineer that he needs to get that down to a 1:42.
The final ten minutes of FP1 saw some serious tyre issues for some of the drivers with anyone from reigning Champ Vettel complaining about "vibrations" to newcomer Giedo van der Garde pointing his out to his Caterham team. The old tyres meant that the drivers were not able to improve their times and Webber finished quickest of all, 0.068s up on Raikkonen.
Times:
1 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:36.935 15 laps
2 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:37.003 +0.068 15 laps
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:37.104 +0.169 21 laps
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:37.319 +0.384 13 laps
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.588 +0.653 19 laps
6 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:37.769 +0.834 17 laps
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:37.771 +0.836 15 laps
8 Paul di Resta Force India 1:37.773 +0.838 15 laps
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.840 +0.905 18 laps
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:37.915 +0.980 17 laps
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1:38.173 +1.238 16 laps
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:38.673 +1.738 16 laps
13 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:38.830 +1.895 17 laps
14 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:39.054 +2.119 17 laps
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:39.204 +2.269 16 laps
16 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:39.208 +2.273 19 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:39.284 +2.349 17 laps
18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:39.567 +2.632 16 laps
19 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:40.728 +3.793 17 laps
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:40.996 +4.061 14 laps
21 Charles Pic Caterham 1:41.163 +4.228 18 laps
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1:41.513 +4.578 14 laps

Source: Planet-F1

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kimi Räikkönen flashed his sixpack in commercial shooting - no smiling


At the same time as the knowledge of Kimi Räikkönen's and Jenni Dahlman-Räikkönen's separation went on hectic in Finland, Kimi himself was shining in Spain as the main star of a car-commerical.

Kimi shooted Renault Megane's commercial on Friday in Costa Brava. In the shooted footage Kimi poses for the camera-team in a longsleeved dark sweater and jeans on the beach.

To the joy of those who were on the beach, Kimi flashed his sixpack while they were putting the microphone on him. In the actual commercial Räikkönen wears all clothes as fas as I know.

Kimi stayed true to his image, because you didn't really see a smile on the Iceman's face.



Source: Ilta-Sanomat
Courtesy: Nicole

Friday, February 8, 2013

'No King Kimi at Lotus'

Eric Boullier insists Lotus is not Kimi Raikkonen's team despite conceding there are times they have to adjust to the Finn


Last season, Raikkonen emerged as Lotus' leading driver as the Finn bagged the victory in the Abu Dhabi GP as well as third place in the Drivers' Championship.
But despite predictions that the 33-year-old will play a pivotal role in this year's Championship, Boullier insists Lotus is not a one-man team.
"No, because I don't want to have a spoiled character who is probably leading the team in the wrong direction," was his response when asked by the official F1 website whether it was a case of 'King Kimi' at Lotus.
"We are not servicing his moods. We are just making sure that he can be himself. This is a big difference."
The team boss, though, admits there have been times it has been better for the Lotus outfit to adjust to the Finn rather than the other way around.
"On top of being Kimi - the character that we know - he did cleverly build his system. It takes some time until he gets up to speed, but he is delivering because he knows that probably his strongest asset is race craft.
"And little by little over the course of the year he adjusted all the parameters to make himself fast, strong and in a position to deliver - the Kimi we like!
"He might have his moments sometimes, but it is up to us to adjust what we want to achieve to his style rather than the reverse. I probably prefer to switch the team to the style of Kimi."
As for Raikkonen's team-mate, Romain Grosjean, Boullier says one of the goals this season is to "transform Romain's enthusiasm into results. If we succeed that would mean a lot of points at the end of the year.
"You do everything you can. From building his environment, protecting him, supporting him - doing everything we can to make him feel good.
"But in the end it is up to him - only him - to build up and grow.
"We have to be patient, but not for three years, not for ten years - it has to be now. I think he has some of the best speed over one lap, now he has to learn to do the rest. Then I predict that he will be one of the best drivers."

Source: Planet-F1

Räikkönen leaves Jerez on top

Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on the final day at Jerez during which a disintegrating kerb caused a midday stoppage

Friday's running began in a fiery fashion as, after just two laps in the new Ferrari F138, Pedro de la Rosa had to leap from the car after it caught fire.
The marshals were quickly on the scene and put out the flames which were reportedly caused by a gearbox malfunction.
With the track again green, Sebastian Vettel was the first to slide under the 1:19 barrier before Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez topped his time.
Vettel, though, returned to the front shortly after on a soft tyre run and was leading the way with a 1:18.565 when a hole in a kerb brought proceedings to a halt.
The red flags were out for almost a full hour as track worked sought different way to repair the damage to the kerb at Turn 9 before finally bringing out the cement.
With the action back underway the drivers ventured and were soon joined by de la Rosa in his repaired Ferrari.
Force India hopeful Jules Bianchi, who has yet to learn whether or not he'll race for the team this season, was the first to lower the benchmark time as he posted a 1:18.175.
Bianchi's time, though, was edged by Kimi Raikkonen when - with an hour to go - the Lotus driver went 0.027s quicker.
Although not quicker than the week's best of 1:17.879, which was set by Felipe Massa on Thursday, Raikkonen's time proved to the second quickest of the four-day test.
Vettel finished in third place, 0.417s down, while Sauber rookie Gutierrez was fourth ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne who put in a very late charge to move up the order.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had a much better day in the W04 as he amassed 145 laps with a best time of 1:18.905.
His McLaren replacement Sergio Perez was seventh quickest, finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who was the only driver in an old 2012 car.
Times
01. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m18.148 82 laps
02. Jules Bianchi Force India 1m18.175 + 0.027 56 laps
03. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m18.565 + 0.417 96 laps
04. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m18.669 + 0.521 142 laps
05. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m18.760 + 0.612 92 laps
06. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.905 + 0.757 145 laps
07. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m18.944 + 0.796 97 laps
08. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m19.851 + 1.703 91 laps
09. Pedro de la Rosa Ferrari 1m20.316 + 2.168 50 laps
10. Charles Pic Caterham 1m21.105 + 2.957 109 laps
11. Luiz Razia Marussia 1m21.226 + 3.078 81 laps
12. Paul di Resta Force India 1m23.435 + 5.287 49 laps
Source: Planet-F1

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Massa tops the charts on Day Three

Felipe Massa posted the fastest time of the week at Jerez on Thursday, half a second up on the previous best

As the sun once again shone down on the Spanish circuit on Thursday morning, the third day of the pre-season action got underway.
Massa moved to the top of the timesheets during the morning's session when the Ferrari driver posted a 1:17.879 during a short run on the soft tyres.
The Brazilian, who is hoping to launch a title bid of his own this season, followed that up a little while later with another lap that was only marginally slower on a similar short run.
Nico Rosberg finished second quickest on the day, 0.887s adrift of Massa, demonstrating for the first time what the Mercedes W04 is capable of if the car runs smoothly. Rosberg amassed a very busy 148 laps.
Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel also hit the 100-lap mark as the Red Bull racer, driving the RB9 for the first time, was third quickest, a further 0.3s down.
Kimi Raikkonen, another driver making his pre-season debut, was fourth quickest in his Lotus E21. However, the Finn covered just 40 laps as a large part of the morning was spent ensuring he is comfortable in his new car.
Jean-Eric Vergne was fifth for Toro Rosso, finishing ahead of Force India's James Rossiter. The Brit test driver had a few issues during his morning stint when he hit one his mechanics as he missed his braking point into the pits.
"I hold my hands up, that was totally my fault," he said. "We were doing some aero runs and everything was cold, the brakes were too cold, the tyres were too cold.
"Thank God Marcus is okay and he's only got a few bruises. I'm sure I'll be buying him many beers and he won't be forgetting it soon!"
Another driver to run into problems was Jenson Button who brought testing to its conclusion five minutes early on Thursday when he broke down out on track.
Esteban Gutierrez made his Sauber debut with the Mexican racer setting the eighth fastest time as he completed 110 laps.
Times
01. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m17.879s 85 laps
02. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m18.766s +0.887 148 laps
03. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m19.052s +1.173 102 laps
04. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m19.200s +1.321 40 laps
05. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m19.247s +1.368 85 laps
06. James Rossiter Force India 1m19.303s +1.424 42 laps
07. Jenson Button McLaren 1m19.603s +1.724 83 laps
08. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m19.934s +2.055 110 laps
09. Max Chilton Marussia 1m21.269s +3.390 78 laps
10. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m21.575s +3.696 86 laps
11. Charles Pic Caterham 1m22.352s +4.473 57 laps
12. Paul di Resta Force India 1m23.729s +5.850 7 laps
Source: Planet-F1

KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN AND JENNI DAHLMAN-RÄIKKÖNEN CONFIRM: "SEPARATION IS A SAD FACT"




Formula One driver Kimi Räikkönen and show jumping rider Jenni Dahlman-Räikkönen have decided to separate and live apart after 8 years of marriage, just before the start of a new F1 season.

Sad news of the separation was confirmed first in the world to Seiska by a trustee of Räikkönen’s: "Separation is a sad fact.".


The couple, despite their young age, have been together for over 12 years.



Source: Seiska.fi

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Qualifying: Hamilton pips Button to pole

Lewis Hamilton will bid farewell to McLaren from the front of the Brazilian GP grid having pipped Jenson Button to pole position

The McLaren driver, who is off to Mercedes next season, had dominated Friday's running before losing out to Button in final practice.
As such many expected a battle of the McLarens for pole position and that's exactly what we got as Hamilton posted a 1:12.458 to beat Button by 0.05s.
Mark Webber was third quickest, 0.123s off the pace, while Sebastian Vettel could only manage fourth.
The German, though, won't be too upset as his title rival, Fernando Alonso, is down in eighth place.
Times
01 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:12.458
02 Jenson Button McLaren 1:12.513 0.055
03 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:12.581 0.123
04 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:12.760 0.302
05 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:12.987 0.529
06 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:13.174 0.716
07 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:13.206 0.748
08 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.253 0.795
09 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:13.298 0.840
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:13.489 1.031
11 Paul di Resta Force India 1:14.121
12 Bruno Senna Williams 1:14.219
13 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:14.234
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:14.334
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:14.380
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:14.574 
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:14.619
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:16.967
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:17.073
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:17.086
21 Timo Glock Marussia 1:17.508
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:18.104
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:19.576 
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:19.699

Source: Planet-F1

Sunday, November 18, 2012

US GP: Hamilton Triumphs In America

Lewis Hamilton said he wanted the US GP win and that's exactly what he secured on Sunday and in doing so played an integral role in the title race

Starting from pole position Sebastian Vettel led off the line, first ahead of Mark Webber and a few laps later ahead of Hamilton while his title rival Fernando Alonso slotted into fourth place.
The order changed on lap 18 when Webber retired with a suspected alternator failure, elevating Alonso to third and closing Vettel's advantage in the Championship to 20 points.
However, that was narrowed even further on lap 42 when Hamilton, having dogged the German for several laps, used traffic and DRS to take the lead off the Red Bull driver.
Hamilton tried to pull away but this time it was Vettel's turn to dog the McLaren driver with the help of his DRS.
Vettel, though, was unable to mimic Hamilton's move and the tenacious McLaren driver went on to clinch his fourth victory of the season. It was also his second US GP triumph as Hamilton won the race the last time F1 was in America.
Vettel, who let rip about traffic in the form of an HRT costing him the lead, brought his RB8 home in second place, extending his lead over Alonso in the Championship to 13 points. The Spaniard completed the podium in a distant third place.
It was an exciting race for those off the podium as they fought tooth-and-nail even running three abreast during the early stages. Overtake over overtake - and several without the use of DRS - resulted in a thrilling race for the 100,000-plus fans packed into the Circuit of the Americas grandstands.
Felipe Massa, who had taken a grid penalty after Ferrari broke the seal of his gearbox in order to put Alonso on the clean side of the grid, finished fourth ahead of Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.
Results
01. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h35:55.269
02. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 0.600
03. Alonso Ferrari + 39.200
04. Massa Ferrari + 46.000
05. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 56.400
06. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 1:04.400
07. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 1:10.300
08. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 1:13.700
09. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1:14.500
10. Senna Williams-Renault + 1:15.100
11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1:24.300
12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:24.800
13. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:25.500
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
16. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
17. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
19. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
20. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
22. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
Did Not Finish
Webber Red Bull-Renault 17
Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 15

Source: Planet-F1

Räikkönen hoping for more good weather

Kimi Räikkönen reckons that more warm weather is just what his Lotus needs as he prepares for Sunday's inaugural race at the Circuit of The Americas

The Finn put his strong qualifying down to warmer temperatures, and will be hoping for more of the same on race day.
Though he was outqualified by team-mate Romain Grosjean, Raikkonen will still line up in a very respectable fourth on the grid after Grosjean was handed a five-place grid penalty as a result of a gearbox change ahead of the qualifying session.
"That was probably better than I expected," said Raikkonen of qualifying fourth. "Because of the difficulties in the practices, it finally got a bit more hot and the tyres started to work so it helped us.
"Usually we've been more strong in the race, so hopefully it should be a bit warmer tomorrow and it should be better for us. Hopefully it's another thing tomorrow that improves our car and we can fight more."
While Raikkonen's last F1 victory came amid sweltering heat in Abu Dhabi, his Lotus certainly won't be benefitting from those kinds of temperatures in Texas on Sunday.
Like many of his fellow drivers, he is also concerned about starting on the left-hand side of the grid, where grip is particularly low.
"It's been very slippery anyhow, the circuit, and then the racing line goes more or less over the right-hand side so we expect it's going to be very slippery on the left. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow what happens," he said.
Raikkonen also denied that set-up changes played a part in the sudden improvement in grip he experienced - though he did still spin in Q1.
"It was very difficult to get them working at all until the qualifying and then we got them to work much better. It's still not like we want them to work but it was much better," he said.
"I knew already in the first qualifying that the tyres were much better than this morning or yesterday. It just seemed to improve and we found better pressures for the end. It's just getting better and better all the time.
"I don't think the circuit has improved for us, it's just the tyres - if you get them switched on then everything changes. It's not like the circuit suddenly changes for us, it's just the tyres."
Source: Planet-F1

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Qualifying: Vettel takes first CoTA pole

It was a tale of two title hopefuls as Sebastian Vettel claimed the inaugural pole position at the Circuit of the Americas while Fernando Alonso was down in ninth

Vettel had been the driver to beat heading into qualifying having topped all three practice sessions. And it was more of the same on Saturday afternoon.
The reigning World Champion posted a 1:35.657 to beat Lewis Hamilton to the coveted grid slot by a less-than-expected 0.109s.
Mark Webber will line-up third while Romain Grosjean qualified fourth but will drop down the order after a gearbox change penalty.
Abu Dhabi winner Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher were fifth and sixth while Championship hopeful Alonso could only manage ninth.
Qualifying Report
The Texan sun was beating down on the Circuit of the Americas with a really encouraging crowd of around 80,000 in attendance, many from Mexico and Venezuela. The ambient temperature was 20C and the track at 31C.
Romain Grosjean went into the session knowing that he had a five-place grid penalty from a gearbox change from FP3. Cars went out set up to run multiple laps with the front-runners using the Pirelli hard tyre and some of the new teams going with the medium right from the start. Also using mediums were Romain Grosjean and Paul diResta, whose cousin Dario Franchitti was one of the many American drivers in attendance.
Kimi Raikkonen set the first meaningful P1 at 1:41.058. This was hacked into by team-mate Grosjean with a 1:39.078 which he subsequently reduced to a 1:37.865. Bruno Senna popped up at the top of the timesheets with a 1:37.850, but then Grosjean reclaimed his place back with a 1:37.486. Felipe Massa, who looked quicker than Alonso for most of qualifying, slotted into P2.
Sebastian Vettel, who had been fastest in all three practices then set the new benchmark at 1:37.165 with Mark Webber slotting into P2 and Pastor Maldonado taking P3. Such was the nature of the diminishing fuel load and the lack of wear on the tyres that cars could continually circulate - like a Formula Ford qualifying session - with the times getting quicker and quicker and few coming back down the pitlane.
Some drivers gave their tyres a slow lap breather while a few hammered on round. Coming into the final three minutes the danger positions were: 15.Perez, 16.Kobayashi, 17.Rosberg, 18. Ricciardo,19.Glock, 20.Pic, 21.Kovalainen, 22.de la Rosa, 23.Karthikeyan, 24.Petrov.
As times continued to fall, Narain Karthikeyan dumped his HRT off track at Turn 2 bringing out the yellow flags. This left Nico Rosberg in a tricky position because he'd slipped back to P18 and couldn't improve in the first sector. Round came the Mercedes and he eased off to go a tenth of a second slower in S1 and then set personal bests in S2 and S3, he scraped forward to P17. Daniel Ricciardo couldn't improve.
Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile was having fun with P1 and took it down to 1:37.058, before Vettel annihilated that with a 1:36.558.
Petrov improved to P21 beating his team-mate Kovalainen (who said he was blocked) but not the two Marussias. Despite their pre-qualifying worries, HRT were well inside the 107% time.
So as the Texan dust settled out went: 18.Ricciardo, 19.Glock, 20.Pic, 21.Petrov, 22.Kovalainen, 23.de la Rosa, 24.Karthikeyan.
It had been a tremendous result for the non-KERS using Marussia team who had beaten the KERS-equipped Caterhams. It was also a tremendous result for the spectators who had seen 8 laps from Vettel instead of the usual 3 or 4 and 12 laps from Grosjean.
Qualifying 2
The multiple lappery of Q1 was going to be repeated in Q2 but with everyone on the medium tyre. Kimi Raikkonen was out early again setting the benchmark time at 1:37.672. He came round again and lowered it to 1:37.457.
Lewis Hamilton then gave another indication that Vettel might have a real fight on his hands for pole with a 1:36.795 lap which Mark Webber could not beat. Vettel could, though, with a breathtaking 1:35.971.
Times were falling fast as the fuel loads came down again and at the four-minutes-to-go mark the danger zone was: 7.Raikkonen, 8.Button, 9.DiResta, 10.Schumacher, 11.Senna, 12.Grosjean, 13.Vergne, 14.Alonso, 15.Rosberg, 16.Kobayashi, 17.Perez
At least that was an order for a few seconds as drivers improved radically. One person who wasn't going to improve at all was Jenson Button who radioed that he had lost power and cruised back to the pits, his engine still running. Alonso jumped to P4 pushing Jenson to P9 and when Grosjean grabbed P6 he was down to P10. Then Michael Schumacher administered the coup de grace by claiming P5, pushing Button to P11, which became P12 seconds later when Hulkenberg jumped into the top ten.
Interestingly the two Ferraris circulated round and while Massa improved to P2, Alonso could only stay P7.
So out went: 11.Senna, 12.Button, 13.DiResta, 14.Vergne, 15.Perez, 16.Kobayashi, 17.Rosberg
It had been another miserable session for McLaren, let down by another mechanical failure. However the biggest contrast in fortunes had been with Nico Rosberg who could not get a lap out his Mercedes while his team-mate was a mighty 1.4 seconds quicker.
As for the South American contingent at Austin, the Mexicans were despondent, but the Venezuelans were still in the contest.
Qualifying 3
The advice to drivers must have been to put in a slow first lap before going for a time, and so Alonso, Massa and Hamilton all did 1:42s and 1:43s first time round the block. Nobody had told this to Romain Grosjean who took provisional pole with a 1:37.227.
It was the same for Red Bull's Mark Webber who went straight for a time and took P1 with a 1:36.845. Lewis Hamilton responded with a 1:36.209, while Vettel - not surprisingly - trumped them both with a 1:35.877.
With two minutes of the session to run the order was: 1.Vettel, 1.Hamilton, 3.Webber, 4.Grosjean, 5.Raikkonen, 6.Schumacher, 7.Alonso, 8, Maldonado, 9.Massa, 10.Hulkenberg
Schumacher was trying his hardest and in the process went off at the tricky Turn 19 which had caught out Maldonado earlier. Hulkenberg jumped to P6. Lewis set the fastest middle sector on his way to a 1:35.928 - closing in on Vettel, but not close enough. Yet.
Alonso improved to P7 and was then pushed down again when Massa took P4. Schumacher hurdled back past them into P5. Vettel then made his pole safer with a 1:35.657 and Lewis came up just short with a 1:35.766 - fractions away from a big upset.
So, a grid of Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Raikkonen, Schumacher and Massa in the front three rows. Grosjean was P4, faster than his Lotus team-mate, but takes a penalty.
Fernando Alonso ended up in a pretty miserable P9, faster than just Maldonado, although with Grosjean moving back to P9 with his gearbox penalty that will leave him in P8 but on the dirty side of the grid. It is widely anticipated that those on even numbers, on the dirty side, will suffer with poor grip at the start tomorrow.
It might even cross Ferrari's mind to change Massa's gearbox and move him back five places, so that Alonso can start both higher and on the clean side of the grid. With Button qualifying disastrously their constructors' battle with McLaren is almost won.
Whatever the case it is going to be hard work for Alonso to keep the championship alive tomorrow starting behind Vettel, Hamilton, Webber and Raikkonen. But if anybody can do it...
Times
01. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m35.657
02. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.766
03. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.174
04. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m36.587
05. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m36.708
06. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m36.794
07. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m36.937
08. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m37.141
09. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.300
10. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m37.842
11. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m37.604
12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.616
13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.665
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.879
15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.206
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.437
17. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.501
18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.114
19. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.056
20. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.664
21. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m40.809
22. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m41.166
23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m42.011
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m42.740

Source: Planet-F1