|Circuit||Marina Bay Street Circuit – Singapore|
|Distance||308,328 km / 191,627 miles|
|7||Kimi Raikkonen||F14 T||308||Scuderia Ferrari||8.|
|14||Fernando Alonso||F14 T||307||Scuderia Ferrari||4.|
Marco Mattiacci: “Today’s race could have delivered us a better result, because thanks to a quick response from the team after the disappointing outcome of the Grand Prix in Monza, we were competitive all weekend long. Our pace was good and thanks to the strategy, with Fernando we managed to run second, but it later slipped from our grasp during the course of the race. Kimi was held up by traffic and slowed with tyre degradation and, although he got a good start, he was unable to retake the places he had made up. The variable of the Safety Car altered our strategy projections, affecting the outcome of the race. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that the only strategy for winning is to be able to count on a competitive car. Now we leave Singapore having shown signs of progress: on this front, Suzuka will provide a very interesting test bench, because it will allow us to go deeper into our development work in areas in which we want to improve.”
Fernando Alonso: “With hindsight, it’s easy to ask oneself how things would have gone if I hadn’t made a mistake at the start and the Safety Car hadn’t come out when it did, but overall I’m pleased with this weekend, because we were competitive and were able to fight with the front runners. Sometimes, a Safety Car can help but I think that today on this front, we were a bit unlucky, because at that moment, we were trying to make sure of second place and our strategy was good. We didn’t have much of an alternative, because if we had stayed out, the probability was that the stop for the Softs would have cost us more places. Even if in the end, I wasn’t able to get past, the fact we were competitive right to the finish confirms we have made a step forward. Now, in Suzuka, a real circuit, we will have a clearer picture of where we are.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today’s race was really frustrating, because despite the fact we were quick, we weren’t able to finish where we wanted. My start was good, I moved up a few places and everything was working perfectly. After the first stop, I lost a place to Felipe and from then on, I found myself stuck behind a Williams for the entire race. Unfortunately, every time I managed to get close, I lost aero performance on the rear and on top of that, tyre degradation was very high. It’s a real shame I was never able to run my race, even if we already knew that straightline speed is our opponents’ strong point. I’m not happy with eighth place, but on the positive side, we have seen improvements this weekend. I’m sure that if, from now on, we don’t have problems, things will go better.”
Pat Fry: “Here in Singapore, the performance of the two F14 Ts was a pleasant surprise, as we have never been as close to the front runners this season. The technical characteristics of the track, our development work, the talent of our drivers and the way our car worked on the softer tyres are just some of the elements that explain our good form this weekend. While very encouraging, it was still not enough to achieve the team’s objectives and it was a real shame to see second place slip from our grasp with Fernando because of the Safety Car. Unfortunately, with Kimi we didn’t manage to get the most out of the car: he had the potential to get a better result, if hadn’t been for Massa undercutting him and then, even though he was on fresher tyres, he did not have the top speed to pass Bottas on the straight. Like Monaco, this is a track where it’s hard to overtake and the arrival of the Safety Car can jumble up the order. Now, in Suzuka, we will have another opportunity and once again, we will try and fight the Red Bulls and especially the Williams in the Constructors’ Championship.”
|Pit-stop||1st stop||Lap 12||Old Supersoft|
|2nd stop||Lap 24||Old Supersoft|
|3rd stop||Lap 31||New Soft|
|Pit-stop||1st stop||Lap 11||Old Supersoft|
|2nd stop||Lap 25||Old Supersoft|
|3rd stop||Lap 31||New Soft|
|Weather: air 30/31 °C, track 37/38 °C. Clear skies|
Singapore, 21 September – Having run competitively all weekend from the very first practice session on Friday, Scuderia Ferrari ended the fourteenth round of the World Championship with Fernando Alonso taking the chequered flag in fourth place and Kimi Raikkonen crossing the line eighth.
It’s fair to say therefore that the result of a long hot night in the tropics did not live up to expectations for the Prancing Horse team. However, in performance terms, one could say that the difference between our Marina Bay showing and that of Monza two weeks ago is the difference between night and day.
As the camera flashlights popped in the grandstands when the red lights went out, Fernando produced one of his trademark starts, his F14 T rocketing from his customary fifth on the grid to second behind Lewis Hamilton. Admittedly he was helped in this by the fact that the Englishman’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg left a hole on the front row as he had to start from pit lane. The German retired after a few laps, thus handing the title lead back to race winner Hamilton.
Fernando unfortunately outbraked himself at the first corner, which allowed Sebastian Vettel, who had got past Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo at the start, back into second place. From then on, Fernando’s competitive pace saw him in permanent contact with the leaders and on lap 24 when he made his second pit stop, he managed to get the jump on Vettel, undercutting the German to lie second behind the untroubled Hamilton.
But then the Safety Car, a fickle beast that can be your friend or your enemy, dashed the Spaniards hopes. It came out on lap 31, after the front wing of Perez’ Force India shattered, sending debris flying everywhere. The Ferrari strategists reacted, bringing both its drivers in for a final pit stop, leaving them 30 laps to run to the flag on new Soft tyres. However, the two Red Bulls gambled on staying out and ran very long to the flag, proving impossible to pass, thus leaving Fernando unable to exploit his new tyres and making fourth his best possible finish. Kimi had a tougher time, with traffic, usually in the shape of a faster Williams and also suffered with high degradation, eventually having to settle for eighth.
So there was plenty of tension to keep the crowd enthralled, even if the final order of the top four was the same one as at the end of the opening lap, Hamilton in the Mercedes, Vettel and Ricciardo in the Red Bulls and Alonso fourth for Ferrari. In between the Spaniard and his Finnish team-mate, were Massa for Williams, Vergne an impressive sixth for Toro Rosso and Sergio Perez seventh for Force India.
However, the encouraging message for the Scuderia and its fans is that the general pace of the F14 T was much better than in past races and now we head to one of the great challenges on the calendar, the splendid Suzuka circuit and a very different type of a track to this one.
Singapore, 21 September – Fernando Alonso finished just off the podium in fourth place after a great battle with the two Red Bull drivers, while his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished eighth, losing two places on the last two laps having to deal with seriously worn out tyres.
There was drama before the start, as Nico Rosberg failed to get off the grid on the formation lap and had to start from pit lane. When the lights went out, Alonso got away very well, going second in the first corner. However, the Spaniard overshot as the track went left and therefore had to cede the place to Sebastian Vettel.
Before half-distance, Fernando’s situation improved as he moved up to second behind Hamilton, the clear leader. However, after a collision between Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil brought out the Safety Car, this worked against the two Ferraris, who unlike the Red Bulls, were still on the Supersofts and had to bring forward their stops to make the most of the situation.
For the final 24 laps, Fernando found himself between Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, with no way of getting past them. Further back, Raikkonen moved up to sixth before being overtaking by Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Sergio Perez (Force India) who were on fresher tyres. The Finn therefore came home eighth. Lewis Hamilton took the 29th win of his career and thus moves into a 3 point lead over Nico Rosberg. The next race is in Japan in a fortnight’s time.
Fernando Alonso: “If you had told me yesterday that we would still be competitive in qualifying, probably I wouldn’t have believed it. And in fact this fifth place is a bit different to usual, because the gap to pole is really small. This weekend, I’ve felt comfortable right from the first session and probably much of that is down to the characteristics of the track. It’s impossible to compare it to other races, because this one and Monaco are a law unto themselves. But definitely, we have made a step forward since the start of the season and I’m sure the car will continue to improve right the way to the end. Tomorrow’s race will be long and very demanding from a mechanical point of view. Reliability will play a key role as will tyre management, which could make a big difference.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “I’m very happy with the handling of my car. Yesterday, we made some changes to the set-up and in qualifying, I finally managed to drive the way I wanted. Unfortunately, in Q3, on my final run on new Supersoft tyres, a problem forced me to pit. It’s a real shame as I felt comfortable in the car and we had the potential to get a good result. Now I want to feel confident for the race and I hope the team manages to solve the problem without too much difficulty. Tomorrow, we will do our best to bring home as many points as possible, aware that we are going in the right direction.”
Pat Fry: “This was undoubtedly one of the closest qualifying sessions of the season, with the top six cars all within just over three tenths of one another. On this track, a good set-up and a high level of aerodynamic downforce makes the difference and at every corner you can gain or lose a lot of time. And, as is the case at all street circuits, the abilities of the drivers comes to the fore. I would like to be commenting on a better result, because both Kimi and Fernando didn’t make any mistakes. Kimi was comfortable with the car all weekend and we are sorry that he had a software problem on his final Q3 run, because he could definitely have got a better result. This incident confirms just how important is reliability, especially at this point in the season. Fernando showed what he can do on this track and it’s always a pleasure to see him at work. Like Kimi, he improved in every session, getting the most out of the package he had. In free practice, we saw a significant performance difference between the two Pirelli compounds and I’m sure that will make the race particularly absorbing. At this point of the season, reliability plays a key role and here in Singapore, an appearance from the Safety Car is almost guaranteed. Therefore we will have to keep an eye on all the variables in play and try and bring home as many points as possible for the team.”
|ALONSO – Chassis 307||RAIKKONEN – Chassis 308|
|New Soft – 4 lapsNew Supersoft – 3 laps||P1||
|New Soft – 4 lapsNew Supersoft – 3 laps|
|New Supersoft – 3 laps||
|New Supersoft – 3 laps|
|New Supersoft – 3 lapsNew Supersoft – 3 laps||
|New Supersoft – 3 laps
New Supersoft – 1 lap
|Weather: 28 °C, track 34 °C. Clear skies|
Singapore, 20 September – Alonso fifth and Raikkonen seventh sounds like the norm this season, but it hides the fact this afternoon’s qualifying was exciting for everyone and one with several positives for Scuderia Ferrari.
There were moments during the 240 total minutes of free practice here in Singapore, when it looked as though the 2014 season’s established order of things might be upset this weekend, with Fernando Alonso putting his F14 T at the top of the time sheet in two of the three sessions, while his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was quickest come the end of the first 18 minutes of this evening’s qualifying around the Marina Bay street circuit.
However, there was always a suggestion that the usual front-runners were sandbagging, holding something back for when it mattered and so it proved.
When the final chequered flag was waved, at the end of what was the most exciting qualifying of the year, Fernando Alonso found himself fifth on the grid. As he said himself after the session, “we are always around fifth.” But he was pleased with what was in many ways the best qualifying session of the year for the Prancing Horse, as his time was only two tenths off the pole man’s. That honour, for the sixth time this year went to Lewis Hamilton, who beat his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by just seven thousandths of a second. That makes it the most closely contested pole since Sebastian Vettel beat our own Fernando Alonso by just two thousandths to take pole in the 2010 German Grand Prix.
Separating the silver arrows from the Spaniard’s F14 T today and occupying the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s fourteenth round of the season are the two Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo in third and Sebastian Vettel in fourth.
The team that appeared to have underperformed slightly today was Williams, with Felipe Massa lining up sixth alongside Fernando tomorrow. He finished ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who had to abort his second run because of a technical problem: a great shame as the Finn has been in great shape all weekend, which we hope will see him fight his way up the order tomorrow.
The big difference in lap times between the Soft and Supersoft Pirellis means the general expectation has switched from a two to a three stop race for tomorrow, with the Option tyre expected to be used the most. It will make for a fascinating tactical battle, with teams prepared to adjust their strategies at a moment’s notice if the Safety Car continues its 100% appearance record at this race.
Singapore, 20 September–Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix from the third and fourth rows of the grid respectively. The Spaniard is fifth on the grid with a 1.45.907, while the Finn is seventh, having done a 1.46.170, meaning both men start from the clean side of the track. There were no particular surprises in the first part of the session, with no shock names going out. The two Ferraris topped the time sheet, with Raikkonen ahead of Alonso.
In Q2, the Mercedes showed their usual form taking the top two spots with Rosberg outpacing Hamilton. Behind the silver arrows came the two F14 Ts, Fernando ahead of Kimi by just 31 thousandths.
The final part of qualifying saw all the drivers do two runs, although Kimi had a problem which prevented him making the most of his second set of tyres. Pole went to Lewis Hamilton, his 37th, by just 7 thousandths from team-mate Nico Rosberg. Third and fourth were the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, the latter lapping just five thousandths faster than Alonso. In between the two Ferraris came Felipe Massa in the Williams. The race starts at 20h00, (14h00 CET.)
Singapore, 20 September – A keen interest in Scuderia Ferrari was one of the reasons behind a visit that Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam paid today to the Marina Bay Circuit, which hosts the 14th round of the Formula 1 World Championship. The President of the City-State waved off the start of the Track Parade, organised by the local Ferrari dealer featuring a procession of Prancing Horse cars. After that, he and his delegation visited the Ferrari garage, where they were met by Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci. Some of the engineers then explained the workings of the steering wheel and this year’s new Power Unit.
Singapore, 20 September –Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were first and ninth come the end of the final free practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix. In a session where some drivers appeared to be sand-bagging, the Spanish Scuderia Ferrari man did a total of 12 laps, the best in 1.47.299, a time that no one would beat. Raikkonen did 16 laps, the best of which was a 1.48.226, which was good enough for ninth on the time sheet.
All the drivers set their best time on the Supersoft tyre which Pirelli is supplying along with the Soft. The gap between the two compounds however seems to be smaller now than yesterday. This could be down to the drop in temperatures for air and track and also because some rain fell on the Marina Bay circuit this morning.
Between the two Ferraris are the two Red Bulls of Ricciardo in second, Vettel in fifth, with the Mercedes of Rosberg, 3rd and Hamilton 6th. The Williams of Massa and Bottas were 7th and 8th, with Vergne fourth for Toro Rosso. Qualifying is at 21h00 (15h00CET).
Fernando Alonso: “As always, Friday in Singapore is a bit different to what it is at other tracks, as its characteristics mean it is one of a kind and driving here at night is always exciting. The feeling is more or less the same as usual on a first day of practice, as we were reasonably competitive in both sessions and we got through the programme without any problems. The two compounds we have for this race behaved as expected and of the two, the Supersoft produced more grip. The restrictions on radio communication did not affect our work much and it was a regular day from that point of view and everything went off as normal.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall this was a positive day, even if, as usual, there is room for improvement. In the first session we concentrated on looking at different set-up solutions and on my first set of Soft tyres I managed to do a good lap, then unfortunately some technical niggles prevented me from getting the most out of the second set. At the end of the session I had a problem with the brakes overheating, but the team managed to sort it out quickly and prepare the car for the second session. The changes we made to the set-up improved the handling of the car and with the Supersoft tyres there was plenty of grip.”
Pat Fry: “The Marina Bay circuit is always very demanding, both for the drivers and the personnel, who, among other things, have to deal with extreme atmospheric weather conditions. This Friday’s track action that just ended was not perfect, as we had to deal with some reliability problems, especially on Kimi’s car, although the performance more or less matched our expectations. Cooling the various components of the car is a hard task and, in performance terms, so too is getting good traction out of the corners. As usual on street circuits, over the course of the weekend, the grip level improves significantly and so it’s important to get a clear understanding of tyre behaviour. The time difference between the Soft and Supersoft compounds is possibly greater than expected and I’m sure this aspect will make qualifying and the race very interesting. Although Friday’s times count for little and it’s difficult to string together a run of clean laps because of traffic, our drivers’ pace is encouraging. It’s very difficult to overtake in Singapore and it will be very important to do as well as possible in qualifying so as to be well placed for the race.”
|ALONSO – chassis 307||RAIKKONEN – chassis 308|
|Weather: air 30 °C, track 38/40 °C. Clear skies|
|Weather: air 30/31 °C, track 35/36 °C. Clear skies|
Singapore, 19 September – It’s the seventh year of the Singapore Grand Prix but the Marina Bay experience still remains as fresh as ever, when the sun sets with its usual tropical alacrity and the 1,600 floodlights are turned on. The drivers got a few laps running in natural light at the start of FP1 and it will be the same scenario tomorrow for FP3, but the rest of the track action is all run under artificial light, the excitement of the show enhanced by the clarity of the sparks flying off the cars and the flashbulbs bursting in the grandstands.
None of this scene-setting matters to the drivers of course, as they just want to get on with the usual tasks of setting up their cars on what is one of the most demanding circuits of the season, thanks to the heat, the bumpy nature of the track surface, particularly in the first sector and the proximity of the barriers. In general, it was a productive day for the two Ferrari drivers, who between them completed 92 laps, the Spaniard doing 44 and the Finn four more, with Fernando Alonso ending the day second fastest, while Kimi Raikkonen was fourth.
Apart from the brakes overheating on Kimi’s car in FP1, both 90 minute sessions, the second starting just two hours after the end of the first rather than the normal two and a half, ran mainly trouble-free for the two F14Ts and produced reasonable results.
As usual, the teams delayed trying the Supersoft Pirelli Option tyre until the second half of FP2 but its results were dramatic, for all teams in fact, producing a lap time improvement of around 2 seconds over the Soft. However, on a street track the engineers know that everything changes as the track rubbers in, so no final strategy decisions can be made on the basis of today’s sessions.
As usual this year, a Mercedes topped the time sheet, this time it was Lewis Hamilton. Third behind Fernando was Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull, with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel fifth behind Kimi, the German missing most of the second session as his engine had to be changed. Kevin Magnussen completed the top six for McLaren.
Singapore, 19 September–Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen ended the second free practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix setting the second and fourth fastest times respectively. The Spaniard completed 28 laps, the best in 1.47.623, while the Finn did 29, stopping the clocks in 1.48.031.
In the second session, as in the first, the drivers continued to work on set-up and tyre work, this time running the Pirelli Supersofts, comparing them with the Softs. In the final part of the session, the Scuderia drivers, like almost all the others, did some long runs to simulate various stages of the race.
Fastest was Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes with a 1.47.490, while between the two F14 Ts, squeezed Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, Free practice three kicks off at 18h00 (12h00 CET.)
Singapore, 19 September – Over the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, Scuderia Ferrari wishes to honour the memory of chairman Emilio Botin, who passed away last week. On the two F14 Ts, the Santander logo, which features on the rear wing endplates, will be carried in mourning for a man who loved racing and was always a big Ferrari fan. The thoughts of the Scuderia are with him and feelings of deep affection and esteem also go out to his family, as they bear the loss of a person of uncommon charisma and intelligence.
Singapore, 19 September – “The last thing you expect with a night race is to have a problem with the heat, however I have felt for myself how wrong that notion is.” Thus Pedro de la Rosa, for two seasons a test driver with Scuderia Ferrari, begins his narrative on the Singapore Grand Prix. “At this latitude, even after sunset, you suffer a lot with the hot and humid conditions. And you also pay the price for the fact that, on this street circuit, the barriers, (real walls in fact!) let not a breath of air through. If there’s a race that can be defined as one with no pause for breath, then it’s definitely the one in Singapore. Sometimes you hope the Safety Car will come out, just so you can have a drink and catch your breath: it’s a true marathon.”
A very demanding track. “The Singapore circuit is particularly complicated and you cannot afford to make the slightest mistake,” continues the Spaniard, talking to www.ferrari.com. “It is very technical and bumpy. In fact, the track presents the same difficulties as Monaco, although in the Principality you race over just over 260 kilometres, while in Singapore, every year you come very close to the two hour limit.
In the maze of corners at Marina Bay, it is also particularly difficult to overtake because of the lack of straights and the only opportunity is under braking at Turn 7. Here, in order to stay on the racing line, you need maximum concentration, because the surface already starts to get very bumpy at the exits to Turns 5 and 6.
Brakes get a hard time. “This track is also extremely demanding on the brakes, because the absence of long straights and the presence of all the walls, makes it very difficult to cool the discs. When I raced here in 2012, I hadn’t even finished the first lap before my engineer was reminding me to look after the brakes because the temperature was already very high. Here, like at no other track on the calendar, the choice of the right brake material can decide the final outcome of the race.”
Singapore, 18 September – In slightly cooler conditions than we have come to expect here in the Tropics, Fernando Alonso faced the press for the first time this evening and the number one topic was the ban on certain radio messages as from this weekend. “It won’t make a big difference to be honest,” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “I don’t think it will have a huge impact on the race itself, or preparations for the weekend. In any case, at Ferrari we have not used the radio for any performance related reasons. We tend to use it to control temperatures, to talk about traffic and strategy. I cannot say how it might affect other teams. As for the change in general, it has generated a lot of media attention, like the situation with FRIC, but in that case, we saw the final impact on the race was nothing special. I think it will be a similar case with this radio rule. It’s like if you’re a coach in football or basketball and cannot talk to your players; in the end it’s the player who shoots the ball. It won’t change our driving style and it’s not as though we won’t know how to drive the circuit.”
Rather than simply brush it away in his usual style, the Spaniard chose to question the motives behind yet another rumour about his future, this time that he and Vettel would swap teams! “It’s sad when these rumours are created in Italy,” he stated. “It’s a shame as it’s not helping Ferrari, which is the reason why we are all here and Ferrari is a much bigger brand than any one individual or even Formula 1 in general. I have a lot of respect for Ferrari and try and maintain a good atmosphere with the guys in the team, in order to have a very united team. It’s what we need and what the people expect from us. So it’s not clear to me what is the purpose of these rumours coming from Italy.”
Various factors relating to the Marina Bay circuit mean that fuel consumption could play a role on Sunday, however Alonso doesn’t feel it will be an issue. “It’s true fuel will be tight here and we will have to save a little bit extra, but it should be manageable, especially as the track layout allows you to save fuel quite easily compared to other circuits as you are generally safe from overtaking moves.”
And then came a final word on the big news since Monza, the departure of Luca di Montezemolo. “He was our leader for many years and it was a great time for Ferrari,” reckoned Fernando. “I wish him good luck with new projects and for the new President, I wish him good luck for hopefully a very successful future.”
Singapore, 18 September – Called to attend the formal setting of today’s FIA Press Conference, Kimi Raikkonen inevitably had less to say than his team-mate who spoke earlier at the Scuderia Ferrari hospitality. However, the first topic was the same for both men, namely the ban on various radio communications. Of course the Finn is famous for telling his race engineer over the radio two years ago (when driving for a different team) to leave him alone as he knew what he was doing! The quote has gone down in F1 history and today, Kimi seemed to continue in that belief. “We don’t spend a lot of time on the radio in my case, usually when there are no issues,” began the Ferrari man. “It might get more complicated if there are problems with the car and we have to change things to finish the race. It could be more complex, but that’s part of the game.”
Raikkonen has endured a difficult season so far, but it hasn’t dented his determination to keep searching for success. “For the rest of the season, we are going to try as hard as we can, because I still want to get good results for me and for the team,” he insisted. “ It’s going to be difficult and of course this season was not what we hoped for as we expected to do better. But there have been some pretty good improvements from us as a team and I am happier. But there is still a lot of work to do.” Hardly surprising that the driver known as “The Iceman” was unconcerned about the tropical weather here. “In the past it’s not been a problem for me, in fact, it doesn’t feel as hot or humid as in the past and also, this year, the cars are slower.”
Singapore, 18 September – Fernando Alonso attended a UPS event at Singapore’s Clarke Quay today. He unveiled a Formula 1 car made entirely of bark and fittonia, a tropical evergreen plant, which represented team-work and efficiency. UPS dedicated it to the city-state that has hosted one of the most evocative rounds of the Formula 1 World Championship since 2008. It took famous horticulturist Alan Wong and his team eight weeks to produce the sculpture, as a tribute to the partnership between Ferrari and its logistics sponsor. And just like a real Formula 1 car, it is always in a state of updating and development, getting better all the time.
Singapore, 18 September – The Shell V-Power LEGO range was given its world launch today in Singapore, the event getting underway with a race in miniature. Taking part in the mini-challenge were Kimi Raikkonen, representing Scuderia Ferrari and Ian Albiston, Shell’s Technology Manager. They were joined by two students who are taking part in the Shell Eco Marathon Asia, a project run by the Scuderia’s technical sponsor, based on sustainable mobility and on alternative forms of energy.
At the end of the special race, Kimi took part in the unveiling of 1:2 scale models of an F138, a 250 GTO, a 512s and an F12 berlinetta, all made entirely of Lego bricks. The models are some of the cars and playsets born out of the collaboration between Ferrari and the LEGO group. They will soon be available in miniature versions from distributors. It took over a year and a half to produce the new collection that features the introduction of the smallest pull-back motor ever built by the LEGO Group, capable of propelling the cars over a distance greater than two metres.
Singapore, 18 September –With Singapore hosting the fourteenth round of the Formula 1 World Championship, Kimi Raikkonen’s weekend got underway with a challenge measured to the nearest millimetre. This morning, the Ferrari man was the guest of honour at a very exclusive event staged by Hublot, on the fifth anniversary of the opening of its Marina Bay Sands shop. The Finn tackled assembling the casing of a Big Bang Ferrari “UNICO movimento,” one of the watch models produced in limited numbers, dedicated to the Maranello marque.
Raikkonen demonstrated great precision as he handled the delicate movement of the watch, just one of a vast range produced by the famous brand, a Sponsor of the Scuderia since 2011while also being the supplier of the Ferrari “Official Watch” and having the role of “Official Timekeeper.”
Maranello, 16 September – With the European part of this season consigned to history, it’s time for the Formula 1 circus to leave home and tackle the final six Grands Prix of the season, which involves criss-crossing the globe from the Far East to the West and back to its Middle East finale.
The first of those appointments is at the photogenic and floodlit Marina Bay circuit in Singapore and involves a move away from the tracks where power and top speed are the key factors, as Scuderia Ferrari’s Engineering Director Pat Fry explains. “After the two races in Spa and Monza, run on low downforce circuits, we now go to Singapore which is at completely the other end of the spectrum,” says the Englishman. “It’s a street circuit requiring very high downforce, where we will be running the Soft and Supersoft tyres on a track with similar characteristics to Monaco. There are hardly any high speed corners and only two turns that have combined lateral and longitudinal acceleration and therefore the challenge is more about straight line acceleration and good traction.”
The two standout features of the Singapore weekend are the fact that track action takes place at night and, being in the Tropics, it’s very hot. The former element is something that over the years has proved easy to adapt to, while the heat is tough on drivers, team personnel and the cars. “Even though it’s a night race, the temperatures are still very high, in the high 20s or low 30s, which puts heavy demands on the cooling systems for the engine and the ERS,” says Fry. “In addition, the start-stop nature of the layout puts a high loading on the brake systems, with the front brakes in particular taking a real pounding.”
The characteristics of the 5.065 km street track should be better suited to the F14 T than the fast flowing circuits of the past month. However, nothing can be taken for granted at what is one of the hardest events on the calendar and for the Scuderia crew the motivation to do well is clear. “Monza was a tough weekend for us,” admits Fry. “So now we are regrouping and we will keep pushing forward, concentrating on getting the best out of the package we’ve got.” While the team clearly wants to finish the season as high up the order in the Constructors’ classification, there are other reasons for wanting to push hard to the very end of the year. “At this stage of the season, the focus in the factory is shifting more towards next year’s car,” reveals Fry. “However, there is still quite a lot we can learn from track testing, therefore we will be bringing some specific test components for next year and other developments for the F14 T, which will help our understanding for next year.”
Maranello, 15 September – The Formula 1 World Championship now leaves Europe and sets sail for Asia. Sunday actually sees the seventh running of the Singapore Grand Prix, round 14 of 19 this season. The race has always been run at the Marina Bay street circuit and its biggest claim to fame is that it is always run at night. The race starts at 8pm, with the track completely floodlit. Scuderia Ferrari can boast one win, two podiums and two poles here.
The win. It came in 2010, when Fernando Alonso dominated the Grand Prix, winning from pole, as well as securing a memorable triple, as he also set the race fastest lap. All race long, the Spaniard had to fend off the attentions of Sebastian Vettel, who never managed to get past, as they crossed the line separated by less than three tenths of a second.
A bitter memory. Singapore is also the scene of a bitter memory for the Scuderia. In 2008, Felipe Massa was leading, having started from pole, but at the refueling stop, he drove away before the mechanics had finished the procedure on the F2008. The Brazilian thus dragged the fuel line behind him and only realised at the end of pit lane. The mechanics had to run the length of the pit lane to get Felipe back in the race and so he could finish no higher than 13th in a race won, somewhat surprisingly, by Fernando Alonso in the Renault.
Long race. The Grand Prix is 61 laps long, equivalent to almost 309 kilometres and the race usually comes very close to the maximum time allowed of two hours. When it comes to the Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso loves this track and has won here twice, while Kimi Raikkonen’s best result is a third place last year.