Maurizio Arrivabene: “Once again, as I said many times before, I was impressed by Seb’s skills. He proved to be a good asset for the team and he shows at every race what a great driver he is. He drives a very good car, that’s for sure, but he can add that little extra that is a champion’s trademark. As for his battle with Kimi in the first stages of the race, our drivers are well aware that the team has its rules of engagement: so it was a nice fight between two great drivers. Our race strategy was the right one, congratulations to Iñaki Rueda: if Kimi had managed to get past Bottas in the final round, that would have further shown that we were on the right tactics. It’s up to the Stewards to decide on the accident they had, but to me it clearly looked like a normal race episode. Now Seb is running second in the Drivers’ standing and, mathematically, the race to the championship is still open: but our humbleness says this is not the case. So, as a priority, we have to work race-by-race to consolidate our current position”.
Kimi Raikkonen: “All through the race the car was behaving well, especially after the pit stop, but then I was stuck behind other cars and had no speed on the straight, so it was hard to get past. In the final stages, I tried to overtake Valtteri in the same place I had passed him earlier in the race, I had a good run in turn 3 and in the next one there would have been enough space, so I decided to go for it. I don’t know if he was not expecting me at all or if he did not see me, but once I decided to go there was no way I could back off. I tried to turn inside as much as I could, but there was no way to go and in the end we collided. It is an unfortunate thing for us and for them, nobody want to have an accident even if it’s part of racing. It’s really a shame, but my move was based on a good chance and not something completely crazy.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Overall I am very happy. It was a great day, a great race and I felt really good in the car. In particular I am very happy for the Team, they have done a great job, after the lacking practice the days before. My start was not so good, I struggled a little bit, but as the race went on I fought my way to the front. After the safety car came in I could overtake Kimi and start the hunt for Williams. As for my fight with Kimi, first of all I think we both enjoyed the battle that since it was still so early in the race, it was right to let us fight to provide some excitement. In the end I was just able to finish my race. Lewis deserved the win, but we were maybe closer than some had expected.”
* Fifth across the finish line, 30 secs penalty added to final time for incident with V. Bottas
1:37:53.382 + 30
+ 42.358 + 30
Weather: air 20 °C, track 23/25 °C. Overcast
Russian Grand Prix – Vettel runner-up, Raikkonen fifth
Sebastian takes second in the Drivers’ standings
Sochi, 11 October – At the end of the 53 laps of the Russian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel came home in second place. This result moves the German up to second in the Drivers’ classification. This Russian podium is Vettel’s eleventh of the season. There were tense moments all the way to the end for Kimi Raikkonen, who took the chequered flag in fifth place, having collided with fellow countryman Valtteri Bottas on the final lap. Lewis Hamilton won the race for Mercedes.
Russian Grand Prix – Sochi, 10 October 2015
Kimi Raikkonen: “So far, it has been a compromise weekend because of the weather and many other things that happened. Qualifying today was not the easiest one, it was a bit tricky to get temperature in the tires as we wanted in just one lap, because of the cold conditions. When the tires were working, though, the handling of the car was pretty good. In the last run in Q3 there was no time to do more than one lap, the start of the lap was ok but then I went wide and lost significant time. Tomorrow in the race it will be a bit unknown for everybody: obviously, we don’t have enough data from the long runs, so it’s hard to know what is going to happen, but I think we should be ok. I’m sure that when the tires work exactly as we want, the lap times will be a lot different We’ll try to make a good start then hopefully we’ll have a strong race and will be able to take the fight.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I’m not entirely happy: I think that qualifying was close and third place was possible. We started very well in qualifying, needing only one lap in Q1; then… I don’t know, as qualifying progressed I lost a little bit of feeling and didn’t manage to put the lap together in the end. Maybe there’s some ideas why this happened, we’ll have to have a look at that; but to be honest it’s irrelevant because tomorrow it’s a different format, a race with many laps, so we have to see what the day brings. We didn’t have the opportunity to really change much on the car, but I think everybody is in the same situation. Strategy is a bit unknown at that point, but we’ll try to do our best. I think is possible to fight with Williams, I believe we have a very good car so it should be a good race: I’m actually very confident for tomorrow. As for Mercedes, I think they have been more or less one second away but I also think tomorrow it will be a lot closer, I expect that the gap will be smaller, but we’ll see what we can do. If we have the chance, of course we must take it. Obviously it would have been a bit easier if we had been a bit closer to pole position. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Today, the most important message is that Carlos is fine.”
RAIKKONEN – Chassis 311
VETTEL – Chassis 313
New Supersoft – 7 laps
New Supersoft – 4 laps New Supersoft – 1 lap
New Supersoft – 5 laps
New Supersoft – 3 laps
New Supersoft – 4 lapsNew Supersoft – 2 laps
New Supersoft – 4 lapsNew Supersoft – 3 laps
Weather: air 16/18 °C, track 18/23 °C. Cloudy
* Fifth across the finish line, 30 secs penalty added to final time for incident with V. Bottas
Russian Grand Prix – Ferrari fourth and fifth in Sochi
The German starts from the second row with Raikkonen behind him
Sochi, 10 October – Right up to the final lap, Sebastian Vettel tried to make it into the top three in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, missing out on that goal by just 53 thousandths of a second. The German who did a 1.37.965 thus starts fourth, ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen (1.38.348.)
The Finn didn’t make the most of his quick lap, as he made a mistake braking for turn 13, but he was still quick enough for fifth. Pole went to Nico Rosberg in 1.37.113, who finished ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton (1.37.433) and Valtteri Bottas (1.37.912) in the Williams.
Russian Grand Prix – An accident halts practice
Session stopped following Sainz’s Toro Rosso crash
Sochi, 10 October – The only remaining free practice session prior to qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix lasted just 36 minutes. The difficulties encountered by the rescue crews in removing Carlos Sainz’s car from under the barriers at turn 13 led the Stewards to halt the session ahead of time.
Kimi Raikkonen managed only one run on the Supersoft tyres, on his way to 12th place with a 1.42.297, while Sebastian Vettel ran the Softs to finish 16th in a time of 1.42.686, running a high fuel load. Given the circumstances, there was no time for either driver to tackle a proper qualifying run. Heading the time sheet in this short session was Nico Rosberg (1.38.561) in the Mercedes, ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas (1.39.287) and the other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton (1.39.363.)
Russian Grand Prix – Sochi, 9 October 2015
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today the weather conditions were not very nice, we could not get much running and we learned pretty much nothing. The first practice was dry, but at the beginning of the session there was an issue with the tarmac surface and they had to wash it away. So we lost time and when we got to the track some parts were still wet. In the second session, the weather turned out to be a bit tricky and it rained most of the time. It’s one of those days you do absolutely nothing but that’s how it goes. It was not ideal today but it was the same for everybody. Hopefully tomorrow it will be dry, and we’ll see how the tires work. We’ll do our normal program and try to make the best out of it.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Today we did learn a few things, but nothing that we can really use for the weekend. The first impression of the car is good, but I can’t really say a lot more as we really didn’t get enough track action today. This morning we couldn’t drive much as some of the corners were covered with Diesel fuel, and it took a while to clean it all up. In the afternoon it started raining, but tomorrow and Sunday it is supposed to be dry! In general, it won’t be easy to get into the right rhythm, as the track tomorrow will feel the same like… yesterday. That is, green and with poor grip. Usually, you use the Friday to lay some rubber down, but that was not possible today.”
Russian Grand Prix – Rain the only story
Vettel second for Ferrari in FP2
Sochi, 9 October – After a loss of track time in the first session because of a diesel spill that, despite attempts to clean it up, meant the track was in a bad state and more or less undriveable, the second free practice session in Sochi was even less productive. Rain arrived at the start and gradually intensified. Only eight drivers set times over the 90 minutes, including a second fastest time of 2.00.659 for Sebastian Vettel, who ventured out on track on the Wet tyres. He worked on some electronic settings and did a few practice starts. His Ferrari was the only one on the short time sheet, splitting the two Williams of Felipe Massa (2.00.458) and Valtteri Bottas (2.00.688.)
Russian Grand Prix – “Get into the window”
Seb: Need to find the right parameters first
“Obviously, I hope to be in an even better position next year, with a more competitive car, but we’re still in 2015 and there are still some races where we can do well, races where we can learn, also for next year. Of course our target is to fight for the championship, this is not a secret and that’s where we want to go. I think here it will be quite different, it’s a completely different track, and other than the compounds I don’t think there are many similarities to Singapore: but if the result were the same I wouldn’t mind! But it’s a long way, today is Thursday, first of all we focus on Friday, and tomorrow we’ll try to get the car in the operating window and then go from there. I think the weather this weekend could play a big role, maybe tomorrow we won’t use the Soft and Supersoft tires at all…we will see. Last year it was a difficult track to get everything together, the gaps between the cars was fairly big, because the people was struggling more than usual. You need to get everything right, this is what we try to focus on. Last year it was not much of an exciting race for me, whereas in general I think this year we have a competitive car, a competitive package. It would be nice to be on the podium at the end of the race”.
Russian Gran Prix – “So different from last year”
Kimi reckons combination of tarmac and tires “not the same as in 2014”
“Last year, this circuit offered the combination of a brand new tarmac and different tire compounds from what we use this year. We found out that it could be difficult to make tires work, but on the other hand, they tended to last for very long time. This year we have Soft and Super Soft compounds, but this does not mean there are many similarities to Singapore. In fact, many things are different. The asphalt here is no longer new and tires are different as I said, so we’ll have to wait and see. Using a soft rubber does not necessarily give us bigger chances, but we’ll try our best. There are so many little details which can make big differences to the global picture. Overtaking here is not easy and that may put a premium on qualifying but in general, at least for us, when you come to a set-up that makes the car quick on a single lap, it will also be quick on race trim”.
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Russian Grand Prix – A low grip track
Not yet time to evaluate our season
Maranello, 6 October –“There’s a special and spectacular ambience to the Grand Prix in Sochi, set within the Olympic Village on the shores of the Black Sea,” explains Alberto Antonini, Scuderia Ferrari Head of Communications to ferrari.com. “The same cannot be said for the circuit itself: there’s a fast section that the drivers tackle flat out between turns 3 and 4. The others are quite slow and feature 90 degree corners. Back for this race are the Soft and Super Soft compounds, but despite the fact that, at previous appearances, this choice suited us, we have to tackle Sochi with a great deal of care, because one can expect to encounter very low levels of grip on track. Even though we are approaching the end of the season, it’s not yet time for us to assess what we have done, because that can wait until the championship is over. We have certainly seen positive signs: three wins and, like Mercedes, we have scored points at every race, but we know there is still a lot to do. We continue to work with great determination and we will try to finish the season in the best way possible, for our drivers and also for the fans.”