Circuit Sochi Autodrom
Date 12.10.2014
Laps 53
Distance 310,209 km / 192,796 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T 308 Scuderia Ferrari 9.
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T  307 Scuderia Ferrari 6.


Russian GP – A race for Jules

Posted: 12.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

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.”

Fernando Alonso: “Today’s race followed the pattern set in the earlier part of a weekend in which we didn’t manage to be competitive, even if the car worked well from start to finish. The entire race was particularly demanding from the point of view of managing the fuel consumption and especially in the closing stages, I had to save fuel. During the pit stop, the front jack didn’t work, but I think that even without this problem, I’d have finished in the same position, because the McLarens were faster. We took a risk at the start because we knew it was an opportunity to make up some places, but after that, my race pace was what we’d seen to date and it wasn’t possible to do any more. We have not picked up many points, but we will continue to give it our all in the last three races, because third place in the Constructors’ championship is still a possibility, even if at the moment, the most important thing is to get some good news about Jules as soon as possible.”

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.”

Pat Fry: “Contrary to expectation, the Safety Car didn’t make an appearance today and the race was relatively straightforward to interpret, with a single stop for both our drivers. I think fuel saving affected almost the entire field and that influenced the spectacle. Fernando and Kimi both got away well at the start, but while the former made up two places, the latter had to lift off the throttle, because he was squeezed towards the wall by a Toro Rosso. From then on, Kimi was stuck in a train of cars for the first half of the race, but after the pit stop he settled into a good pace, matching Fernando’s. Unfortunately, in his case, we regret that he lost a place to Magnussen, as the front jack collapsed at his pit stop. Today we had a very similar race pace to Red Bull, while McLaren had a bit extra and it was difficult to attack them, even at the start with the DRS. While congratulating Mercedes for winning the Constructors’ Championship, we are still determined to keep fighting for as long as possible with Williams for third place.”

Pos. Time Gap Laps FL L
ALONSO 6th 1:32:50.760 + 60.016 53 1.42.179 53
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 25 New Medium
RAIKKONEN 9th 1:33:09.621 + 78.877 537..111 1.42.919 45
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 26 New Medium
Weather: air 24/25 °C, track 32/35 °C. Sunny


Russian GP – A quiet afternoon in Sochi

Posted: 12.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 12 October – Before the start of the Russian Grand Prix, all the drivers gathered at the front of the grid in a gesture of support for Jules Bianchi and it has to be said that the inaugural event at Sochi was itself something of a subdued affair. As predicted there were precious few overtaking moves, partly because of the fact that there was very little tyre wear with either compound: having lined up seventh on the grid, Fernando Alonso brought his F14 T home in sixth place, while Kimi Raikkonen dropped one place from his starting position to finish ninth.

Lewis Hamilton was never really challenged to take his ninth win of the season from pole position, while team-mate Nico Rosberg, who dropped to the back of the pack fought his way back to make it a Mercedes one-two. The result sees the Anglo-German team secure the Constructors’ Championship title with three races to spare. These two were joined on the podium by Valtteri Bottas for Williams.

At the start, Rosberg cut the corner at Turn 2 to take the lead and was told to give the position back to Hamilton, but the German pitted at the end of lap 1 with flat spotted tyres. Fitting the Medium Pirellis, he then drove 52 of the 53 laps on the same set. Massa also came in to the pits in the Williams. Fernando showed his usual lightning reflexes when the red lights went out to shoot up the order from seventh on the grid, but while Kimi was equally quick off the mark, he got squeezed up against the wall by a Toro Rosso and had to lift and lost momentum and position, dropping to tenth. The Finn was up to ninth by lap 5 passing Kvyat. He was now in a Toro Rosso sandwich, closing on seventh placed Vergne, with Kvyat 0.8 behind the F14 T.

Lap 25 saw Fernando come in for his only planned stop to take on the Medium tyre. It wasn’t the best of pit stops, as there was a problem with the front jack and this cost him a place in favour of Magnussen. Lap 26 and Bottas brought the Williams in from second spot and Magnussen pitted the McLaren from third. They were joined by Kimi who took on his set of Mediums, ready to head for the flag. Race leader Hamilton made his stop on lap 27, also taking on Mediums.

On lap 31, Rosberg passed Bottas to regain his grid position behind the leader Hamilton. That was the top three order decided and in fact, with the two McLarens comfortably fourth and fifth, Fernando had to keep an eye on the mirrors with Ricciardo in the Red Bull closing, ahead of his eighth placed team-mate Vettel, but the attack never materialised. Kimi also put in a gritty drive, both Scuderia men effectively having to deal with the superior speed of their Mercedes-powered adversaries.

The first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix to be held in Russia was greeted with great enthusiasm, so it’s a shame it was not the most exciting of races, but now the teams and the tyre supplier know what to expect, that could all change next year. With three races remaining, Scuderia Ferrari is still fighting for third place in the Constructors’ championship with Williams, the English team having a 28 point advantage. The next opportunity to close that gap comes after a three week break when the F1 circus sets up camp in Austin, Texas for the United States Grand Prix.


Russian GP – Fernando sixth, Kimi ninth

Posted: 12.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 12 October– 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.


Russian GP – Harder than usual

Posted: 11.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “Today’s qualifying was more difficult than usual, or at least more complicated compared to the last two race weekends, when we had been able to fight with the front runners. So far here, we have not been competitive, even though the car seems okay and on the set-up front, we’ve changed almost nothing. We can’t single out any particular bad point because we are losing in all the sectors. The truth is just that the cars ahead of us were quicker. Here, the grip seems to improve with every lap and on top of that, reducing the pit lane speed to 60 km/h all points to a one-stop strategy. Even if the Safety Car could mix things up a bit, I think tomorrow, the start and the first corner could define the outcome of the race, and so we must prepare to tackle the early stages as well as possible.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “After a difficult Friday, things went better today, the car has improved a lot thanks to a series of changes that worked and we had a good pace. Sure, we can’t claim to have ended up where we would have liked, but compared to the start of the weekend, we have made a step forward and this makes me confident for the race. Today, it wasn’t easy to put a quick lap together because I still have some difficulties with the front end, especially in the final sector, but tomorrow we will try our hardest to be in the game and make up some places.”

Pat Fry: “Yesterday, it was immediately apparent that tyre performance was unusual compared to that at other circuits, both because of the track surface and because of the interaction with the compounds available for this Grand Prix. It is reminiscent of the situation on the first Saturday in Austin, where the best times came after a decent number of laps. Today, as then, the main difficulty was in choosing the right amount of fuel so as to produce the maximum performance while at the same time being able to complete the number of laps necessary to get that best performance. Added to this of course was the effect produced by the evolution of the track. Today’s result reflects the pecking order seen last week in Suzuka, with Williams more competitive, the Red Bull closer and a few surprises, such as the two Toro Rosso. Race strategy is looking like being a one stop, but the pit stop window is very wide, because of the low degradation levels. With Magnussen’s penalty, we gain a place on the starting grid, but only tomorrow will we know how many passing opportunities this track will produce. There’s a high chance of a safety car, if you consider the walls are very close and that there aren’t too many escape roads. This can be seen as both a risk and an opportunity and we must be ready to react.”

ALONSO – Chassis 307 Raikkonen – Chassis 308




New Soft – 10 laps P7


New Soft – 10 laps




New Soft – 7 laps



New Soft – 8 laps




New Soft – 8 laps



New Soft – 8 laps

Weather: 24/25  °C, track 35/41  °C. Sunny


Russian GP – Row Four for Russian debut

Posted: 11.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 11 October – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen set the eighth and ninth fastest times in qualifying, but will both move up one place on the grid of the first Russian Grand Prix, because of a gearbox-change penalty for Kevin Magnussen. Not the best of results, but not the worst either, as this new circuit proved from Friday practice onwards that it was going to deliver a slightly different pecking order to usual.

Yes, the front row is the usual Mercedes lock-out, with Lewis Hamilton taking his seventh pole of the season to stay ahead of Nico Rosberg, but for a moment, it looked as though the number one slot would go to Williams, as Valtteri Bottas posted the fastest times in the first two sectors, before overcooking it at the final corner. But it was good enough for third. Jenson Button, who had an excellent race in Suzuka last Sunday proved that the McLarens are enjoying a mini revival right now as the Englishman was fourth fastest. One might have expected Daniil Kvyat to be particularly motivated in his home grand prix, but the Russian was helped by the fact that Toro Rosso have been the best of the Renault-powered cars all weekend and he will start from fifth on the grid. With Magnussen dropping to eleventh, Daniel Ricciardo is sixth for Red Bull so that the two F14 Ts line up together on row 4.

With both the Medium and Soft tyre showing no signs of wear, a one-stop strategy is the logical way to go, apart for the quickest cars that might enjoy the luxury of two stops. But the single visit to pit lane is even more of a certainty for the majority, as the narrowness of the pit lane has prompted the Race Director to reduce the pit lane speed from 80 to 60 km/h.

Whatever happens in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix, every member of the Scuderia will be doing its utmost to produce a good result, for all the usual reasons with the further impetus of wanting to send out a positive message for Ferrari Driver Academy and Marussia driver Jules Bianchi.


Russian GP – An all-red fourth row in Sochi

Posted: 11.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 11 October – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will line up on the fourth row of the grid for the Russian Grand Prix in their F14 Ts. The two Scuderia drivers were closely matched for all three parts of qualifying and by the end of Q3 just 62 thousandths separated them. Pole went to Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, the Englishman’s 38th and his team’s 32nd.

Both Ferrari drivers had no problem getting through Q1, with the Finn seventh, 0.150 tenths ahead of the Spaniard. Q2 was more difficult, because as the track continued to rubber in the fight was on right to the very end of the session. Alonso got through to Q3 in eighth spot, beating Raikkonen by just 50 thousandths.

In the final part, thanks to the very low tyre degradations, almost all the drivers stayed on track from start to finish. Fernando’s eighth place came with a 1.39.709, while Kimi secured ninth with a 1.39.771. They start alongside one another on row 4 because sixth placed Kevin Magnussen gets a penalty for changing his gearbox.

Alongside Hamilton is his Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg and they are followed by Bottas (Williams,) Button McLaren, Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Ricciardo (Red Bull.) The race starst 15 3pm, (13h00 CET.)


Russian Grand Prix – Kimi seventh, Fernando eighth

Posted: 11.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 11 October–The final free practice for the Russian Grand Prix saw Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso end up in seventh and eighth place, split by just 140 thousandths of a second. In the first part of the hour, the Scuderia Ferrari duo worked on race simulation, continuing to analyse the behaviour of the Medium tyre. In the second part of the 60 minute session, the focus switched to qualifying, with both men fitting the Soft tyre, thus going quicker. The Finn completed a total of 20 laps, the best in 1.40.011, while the Spaniard did 15, the quickest being a 1.40.151.

Once again Lewis Hamilton was fastest in 1.38.726, with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg second. Then come Bottas (Williams,) Ricciardo (Red Bull,) Massa (Williams) and Kvyat (Toro Rosso.) Qualifying starts at 3pm (13h00 CET.)


Russian GP – Discovering Sochi

Posted: 10.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “The track is very unusual and I didn’t think that Formula 1 had already got such a large following here. Also surprising today was the good level of grip from the track surface, which is unusual on a brand new circuit. From this point of view, I felt comfortable right from the first lap and that helped a lot when it came to today’s most important job, namely learning the track. We worked a lot on set-up and found the two compounds had behaved in similar fashion and tyre performance improved as the laps went by. The track is very hard on brakes, but that is a specific thing we can work on this evening to be well prepared for qualifying.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “This first day of practice was given over to learning the track, which I like and although it’s new, the grip level was good. In the first session, we went through our programme step by step, even if towards the end of the session I was unable to complete my last run. In the afternoon, we focused on tyre behaviour, with both compounds taking a long time to reach the maximum performance, which is unusual, especially for the Soft tyre. In order to have a clearer picture on this topic, we will have to wait for the track to evolve. Unfortunately, here too I still don’t feel comfortable with the front end and this prevented me from putting together a good lap. Now, along with the team, we will try and find a solution that will allow me to get the most out of the car.”

Pat Fry: “As always on a new track, the first day of practice was particularly demanding, both for the drivers and the mechanics in the garage. Today, it was important to concentrate on the balance of the car and to make the most of every minute available, so that Kimi and Fernando could do as many laps as possible and get to learn the track. This track features a series of right-angle corners, all taken at similar speeds, which requires a high level of aerodynamic downforce. Between these corners run two long straights which constitute the two DRS activation zones. It will also be vital to find a set-up that produces a good top speed. From what we saw today, the tyres perform very consistently: the surface is very smooth and the lap times evolved at an impressive rate, as did the wear which was low. This is something we must keep an eye on in terms of qualifying, as well as paying close attention to all the data that will help us establish the best mechanical parameters and those linked to the power unit.”

ALONSO – chassis 307 Raikkonen – chassis 308

First Session



27 laps



23 laps

                                      Weather:  air 23/24 °C, track 30/38 °C. Sunny

Second Session



32 laps



24 laps

                                       Weather:  air 25 °C, track 42/44 °C.  Sunny


Russian GP – A subdued Friday

Posted: 10.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 10 October – The first practice session for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix should have been an historic event for Formula 1 and for Russia. Unfortunately, events in Suzuka last Sunday, meant that it turned out to be a somewhat subdued affair.

However, it’s also the case that getting back to work gave those in the paddock closest to Jules Bianchi; his Marussia team, his Ferrari family and his close friends, a new focus and a chance to do the job they do best, which is to go racing and, temporarily at least, put personal thoughts to one side.

And so it was that twenty one cars rolled out onto the Sochi Autodrom on a cool but sunny morning, while Jules Bianchi’s Marussia car sat empty, but ready to go in the garage. The drivers discovered an interesting circuit, possibly reminiscent of Valencia or Singapore, with a couple of long straights, a challenging Turn 3 already drawing comparisons to the fearsome Turn 8 at Turkey’s Istanbul Park circuit and some heavy braking, as well as several slow right angle corners.

For Scuderia Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the day went smoothly and after the final 90 minute session of the day he and his F14 T were third quickest, behind the inevitable Lewis Hamilton, quickest for Mercedes and the surprising Kevin Magnussen, second for McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen had a more difficult day, with a couple of minor technical glitches and the Finn also admitted he was unhappy with the feeling coming from the front end of his car.

There was a bigger crowd than expected in a country where Formula 1 has yet to rank highly in the public consciousness. They were able to cheer on regular Toro Rosso driver Daniel Kvyat and, making an FP1 appearance only, another Russian in the shape of Sergey Sirotkin in the Sauber. Until now, Russians have had to make do with the occasional Formula 1 street demonstration, such as Moscow City Racing, an event supported by the Scuderia’s Russian partner Kaspersky Lab. This weekend they finally get to experience the real thing.


Russian GP – Fernando third, Kimi eleventh

Posted: 10.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 10 October – Fernando Alonso was third in the second free practice for the Russian Grand Prix, with Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen eleventh. In the afternoon session at Sochi, Fernando completed a total of 32 laps, the best in 1.40.504, while Kimi did 24, the fastest in a time of 1.41.630.

In the second session, both Scuderia Ferrari drivers continued to work on set-up and carried on with evaluating the tyres, this time also trying the Softs brought here by Pirelli. Fastest again in the second session was a Mercedes, although this time it was Lewis Hamilton with a 1.39.630, the only one to break the 1 minute 40 seconds barrier. Second was Kevin Magnussen for McLaren, while between Alonso and Raikkonen, we find Rosberg (Mercedes,) Bottas (Williams,) Button (McLaren,) Massa (Williams,) Kvyat (Toro Rosso,) Vettel (Red Bull) and Vergne (Toro Rosso.) Free practice three starts at noon, (10h00 CET.)


Russian GP – Fernando and Kimi fourth and eighth fastest

Posted: 10.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 10 October –In perfect weather, Scuderia Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen set the fourth and eighth times respectively in the first free practice for the Russian Grand Prix. They got to know the Sochi track, the only brand new venue on the 2014 calendar, working on evaluating the Medium tyres which Pirelli is supplying here, along with the Softs.

Fernando did 27 laps, the best in 1.42.720, while Kimi, after quickly solving a few early problems with brakes overheating, completed 23 laps, the best in 1.43.212.

Fastest was Nico Rosberg with a 1.42.311 ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in the McLaren. In between the two Ferraris came the other McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez in the Force India and the Toro Rosso of homegrown driver Daniil Kvyat. The second session takes place at 2pm (12h00 CET.)


Russian GP – A lot to learn

Posted: 10.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 10 October – Work on the simulator is vital to prepare for a race like this,” says test driver Pedro de la Rosa talking to, on the topic of Sochi, a brand new venue on the Formula 1 calendar. “For example, it was on the simulator that we realised that turns 3 and 4, which at first glance seemed the most difficult, could actually be taken flat out. The most difficult part, from the simulation, turned out to be the final sector, with so many right-angle turns, which would also put a strain on the brakes.”

Indispensible checks. “Kimi and Fernando drove the track on the simulator,” continues Pedro. “But if we feel prepared for this round, there are some elements you can only check when you are there. I’m referring to the kerbs for example: only by driving the track will we learn how much we can drive over them. Another key aspect to check on will be the grip level from the track surface, which doesn’t just depend on its qualities, but also on how quickly it rubbers in. What we do know for certain is that one need a high downforce set-up, although not as extreme as in Singapore or Monaco. We will also need to evaluate fuel consumption, although it doesn’t look critical.”


Russian GP – Raikkonen: “my thoughts are with Jules’ family”

Posted: 09.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 9 October – As a veteran of the sport, Kimi Raikkonen wisely kept away from any conjecture or speculation regarding Jules Bianchi’s Suzuka accident, when he held a subdued press conference in the Scuderia’s hospitality unit in the Sochi Paddock this afternoon. “It’s not for me to comment, except to say that all my thoughts and those of the team are with Jules’ family now. It’s pointless to speculate, it was very unfortunate and you never want to see those things happen, but in sport, things can go wrong. As a team, we will try and have a good race.”

Moving onto the Sochi track, the Finn was complimentary about the newest venue on the calendar. “I’ve been around the circuit and it all looks very nice, including the surrounding area. I am pleasantly surprised at how good it all looks, one of the nicest places we have been to. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see what the circuit is like. It will probably be a bit slippery at first.”

One local journalist pointed out that Sochi might well be the closest race to Kimi’s native Finland. “It certainly feels quite close, I came from there on this trip. It’s nice to have a race here in Russia and hopefully there will be plenty of fans and we can put on a good show for them. In the past I did some promotional events in Russia and I think they are passionate about racing and cars here. Let’s wait and see how many people come over the weekend.”

Asked about his expectations for these final four races, the Finn made it clear he was still hoping for good results. “You have to take it one race at a time. This year has been very difficult and disappointing, but I fully believe we can turn things around and be where we should be, fighting at the front in the future. This year, there are only two guys who can fight for the championship and it will be interesting to see what happens there.


Russian GP – Alonso: “It’s going to be tough emotionally”

Posted: 07.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sochi, 9 October – Naturally, there was a sombre mood in today’s FIA press conference, just four days after an accident in the Japanese Grand Prix that left Marussia driver and Ferrari Driver Academy member Jules Bianchi in a serious condition, still in hospital in Japan. “It was a very tough race and obviously all our thoughts are with Jules,” began Fernando Alonso, one of the six panellists today. “We have a huge respect for our work, but with a big accident we can’t find the words to describe how we feel. Now we are here and this will also be a difficult weekend. I am ready to race, to race for him. And we will be as professional as we can, while our mind is with him and we are praying for him.”

Indeed, the racing goes on and this weekend it’s at the brand new Sochi circuit. “It’s always a nice feeling coming to a new circuit and it’s a challenge for everyone, for the drivers, the engineers and the teams,” said the Spanish Ferrari driver. “But the feelings are still there, especially for our team, as we have been close to Jules for all his career. We will work as well as possible, we will race for him and show we are strong. It’s going to be tough emotionally.”

Asked what lessons he felt could be learned from events in Suzuka last Sunday, Fernando felt it was too early to draw conclusions. “We must let the people do their work and as drivers we will share any ideas we have.” Bianchi’s accident also prompted a further question about the possibility of Formula 1 cars adopting a fighter-jet style of closed cockpit to reduce the risk of head injuries. “I agree we should at least try the idea,” said Fernando. “We are in 2014, we have the technology as we have seen in airplanes. Why not think about it then? The biggest accidents in motorsport in the last couple of years have been head injuries. In my case, in 2012, I could have died there in Corner 1, (at Spa-Francorchamps) if (the other car) had been ten centimetres closer to my head. If the technology is there, for sure I would not exclude it.”

As for the rest of the season, with four races to go, Fernando agreed with a questioner that Ferrari is still aiming for the podium. “ We have been picking up the pace, being more and more competitive in these last events, but there have been lost opportunities. We will try our best in the remaining races. The team is in a state of shock with Jules and we are all worried for him, but it’s time to be united and deliver a good result. We will do it to show him respect, so let’s try this weekend.


Russian GP – To a new challenge thinking of Jules

Posted: 07.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

The thoughts of the entire Formula 1 world are still in Japan, trying to support Jules Bianchi in the hard battle that the young Frenchman is fighting. But the big Formula 1 family is arriving in Sochi for the only all-new event on the 2014 calendar, the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, best known as the home of this year’s Winter Olympics.

“It’s always a challenge going to a new circuit and it’s easy to underestimate how much knowledge you take to an existing circuit because you’ve raced there beforehand,” says Scuderia Ferrari Technical Director James Allison. “Therefore going to a brand new one puts a team on its mettle to make sure they’ve covered all the bases. We know the basics about Sochi and we’ve had some opportunity to run it in both our off-line computer simulations and also with our driver simulator, to try and learn its characteristics.”

The aim of the simulations is to try and find a baseline set-up for the F14 T to start the weekend during Free Practice 1. A quick glance at the Sochi track map reveals two comparatively long fast sections and a number of corners at the low end of the speed range. “But the dominant corner is a really quite aggressively fast long flowing left-hander, shortly after the start-finish straight,” adds Allison. “So you can see just by a casual look that this is going to be a track where there is going to be a competition between what you want on the straights and what you want for that series of slow speed corners. The slow speed corners are going to be crying out for downforce, the straights, the opposite.” Apart from the set-up compromise driven by the track characteristics, there is also the compromise required between running maximum speed down the straights in the race, while having sufficient downforce to be quick through the corners during Saturday’s qualifying.

“Generally speaking, the more talented drivers, the ones who tend to have more spare mental capacity, start establishing competitive lap times earlier in the weekend than the others,” continues Allison. “But all the drivers in Formula 1 have got the talent to learn a track and be pretty much on the money by the time qualifying comes. So, the new track effect will only really persist for the first session or two.”

Formula 1’s tyre supplier has a difficult job, because choosing the right rubber for a brand new track is something that cannot really be sorted through simulation and Pirelli’s best assessment is that the Medium and Soft compounds are what is required. Another unknown quantity concerns the Power Unit requirements, particularly how to harvest and use the recovered energy and whether or not fuel saving strategies will be required. And then there’s always that most important factor to be considered, reliability. “We are in the final quarter of the season now and the reliability part of these 2014 rules will start to bear down ever more heavily on all the teams,” concludes the Scuderia’s Technical Director. “It’s a part of the rules that we need to take considerable care over to make sure we keep operating to our absolute best level.”


Formula 1 lands in Russia

Posted: 06.10.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 6 October – Formula 1 world is still shocked after the accident of Jules Bianchi in yesterday’s Japanese Gran Prix. However the drivers today are leaving Japan and heading to Sochi that on Sunday will be hosting the first Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix. The race will take place on the Sochi International Street Circuit, which is 5.853 kilometres in length and part of it uses roads that run past structures and buildings that make up the Olympic Village, used for last February’s Winter Games, in the city on the shores of the Black Sea.

A little past history: Sunday’s race is not actually the first ever Russian Grand Prix, as history relates that two races were held in 1913 and 1914 at a circuit in St. Petersburg. For the record, the first was won by Russia’s Georgy Suvorin and the second by the German Willy Scholl. In the modern era, talk of a race in Russia began at the start of the Eighties, as a result of Moscow’s high profile, following the 1980 Summer Olympics. A Soviet Union Grand Prix was even featured on the provisional calendar for the 1983 season, but it never materialized, because of insurmountable bureaucratic difficulties. The race was back in the news at the start of this century, while in 2012, the Moscow Raceway was established as the first permanent race track in Russia homologated for Formula 1. However, it was never used for that purpose.

Drivers and Cars. When it comes to drivers and cars, the Russian scene is very limited, with only two drivers getting their names onto a Formula 1 entry list: Vitaly Petrov drove in F1 from 2010 to 2012, even securing a podium finish, while Daniil Kvyat has been driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso since the start of this season. However, the Russian racing scene is growing: Mikhail Aleshin races in Formula IndyCar and many drivers are emerging on the endurance racing scene, several of them at the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 in the Blancpain Series and mainly in the European Le Mans Series. This series also sees Scuderia Ferrari test driver, Andrea Bertolini, racing for the SMP team. This year, the Maranello marque has celebrated ten years on the Russian market. There have been two teams entered in Formula 1 under Russian licenses, Midland in 2005 and currently, Marussia. One curiosity worth noting is that there was a real Russian, or rather Soviet, Formula 1 car built back in 1967, in Kharkiv, now part of the Ukraine. The car was called the Khadi 8, but could not get past the 200 km/h mark, around 100 less than the cars of that time and it was never entered in a race. The same fate befell the Khadi 10 four years later.