|Circuit||Shanghai International Circuit|
|Distance||305,066 km / 189,600 miles|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||SF16-H||314||Scuderia Ferrari||2.|
|7||Kimi Raikkonen||SF16-H||317||Scuderia Ferrari||5.|
Kimi Raikkonen: “I have no idea of what happened at the start, I suddenly got hit and spun. I had a puncture in the left front tire and a front wing damage, but I managed to get back to the pits. Once I went back on track I found myself more or less in last position, the car felt a bit tricky, but I tried to do my best to charge thorugh the field. At the beginning I struggled a bit, but then I managed to recover some places. Obviously the fifth position is not ideal and not what we were looking for, but after what happened it’s not a disaster. Seb came to apologize to me afterwards and it’s obvious he didn’t run into me on purpose. Unfortunately this does not change things for the race but it’s only the third round of a long season…”
Sebastian Vettel: “What happened at the first lap, in the end, is a racing incident. From my side I didn’t really know where to go, I was sandwiched between Kimi and Daniil. Obviously I am terribly sorry for what has happened, I mean touching the car with the same colors is not right. It was a shame, because it destroyed both of our races, Kimi’s and mine. At the end of the day we’ve been lucky because we were still able to continue. The safety car helped us to sort of come back. Kimi locked up in turn one. I tried to go inside to pass him. Daniil was behind me. He had a better start and was lining up for the same move initially. I was determined to overtake Kimi. Daniil was determined to overtake me. Kimi came back from the left, Kvyat came from the back from the right and I was reacting to him. I tried to back out of it, going off throttle and hitting the brakes, but there was no way, so I had contact with Kimi which is a shame, the car was damaged after that, but obviously a great recovery by the Team, which managed to stay calm initially and then change the nose while the safety car was out. Overall we had great pace, good strategy, fantastic pit stops, I couldn’t have asked for more after this poor first lap. Hopefully in Russia we have a smoother race!”
|1st stop||Lap 1||New Soft|
|2nd stop||Lap 14||New Medium|
|3rd stop||Lap 37||New Soft|
|1st stop||Lap 4||New Supersoft|
|2nd stop||Lap 17||New Soft|
|3rd stop||Lap 35||New Soft|
|Weather: air 23/24 °C, asphalt 35/37 °C. Sunny|
Vettel second, Raikkonen fifth
17 April 2016 –Scuderia Ferrari leaves China with a second and fifth place. Within seconds of the start, both drivers faced an uphill battle in their SF16-Hs, when Vettel clipped Raikkonen at the first corner. Both drivers had to pit for a nose change and then adopted an aggressive strategy to make up ground. Their climb up the order was a feature of the final stages of the race, as they thus consolidated Ferrari’s second place in the Constructor’s classification. Nico Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix for Mercedes.
Sebastian Vettel: “I don’t think I deserved to be in the top three today. We saved tyres, so we start tomorrow on Supersofts. I thought I could make it in the last lap, but my only run wasn’t special overall. I asked too much from my tyres already at the beginning and then I did a couple of small mistakes here and there, which cost me a lot of lap time. So in the end my run was not so good, but this is how it is and we can’t change it now.
All in all, I think it has been a good weekend for us so far, and I think tomorrow it can be even better. Race strategies are different from one team to another, which is interesting. Maybe we can have already a shoot at the start, the one we had in Australia was very good so perhaps we can repeat it. Our target is to go forward from where we are…
Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s more of a disappointment than anything else: today we had the chance of getting a better result. I don’t know if pole position could have been possible, but for sure we could have easily been second fastest. In the second last corner I ran wide and lost a lot of time. The position could have been much worse after that mistake, but we still have third place, which is not such a bad starting point for the race. It’s hard to predict what will happen tomorrow, it will depend on so many factors, the weather and the different tactics from the teams. In the race things are different: we’ll try to do our maximum, be the fastest and see where it brings.”
Raikkonen and Vettel to start third and fourth
16 April 2016 –Tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix will feature an all-Ferrari second row, after Kimi Raikkonen qualified third ahead of Sebastian Vettel. The Finn posted a 1.35.972, on a lap that was just 274 thousandths of a second faster than his team-mate’s best time. After rain in this morning’s third free practice session, qualifying took place on a dry track. The SF16-Hs were first and second in Q1 and again in Q2. Pole went to Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, with a lap in 1.35.402.
A wet track throughout final free practice
Shanghai, 16 April – As forecasted, Saturday in Shanghai saw heavy rain hit the circuit, which thus affected running in the final free practice session. It was not until 15 minutes into the session that cars began to venture out on track, when the rain which had fallen since early morning, eased off slightly. Sebastian Vettel was quickest with a 12.57.351, although the times meant little, on his only run on rain tyres. Kimi Raikkonen was twelfth in 2.00.812 set on intermediates, having previously done three laps on the wets.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It has been quite a difficult day overall, I was struggling to get the grip on the tires probably due to the wind. I was sliding a lot and this feeling was not very nice. When I put the Supersofts they seemed to work better, I had more grip and this helped to have a pretty good lap. We’ll see how the weather conditions turn out to be tomorrow, we’ll try to make a good day and then get the maximum out of the race.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Friday is not so important in terms of position but in terms of feeling. We had a decent day and the feeling with the car was ok, but we can still improve, especially the balance. Tonight we’ll have a lot of work to do, in order to get on top of everything. For sure to go for pole is always our goal, but it’s only Friday so I would’t stress too much. This track is quite brutal on tyres, I was sliding a lot and there was a lot of degradation. I looked at Kimi’s data and saw where he was faster. This afternoon we had different programmes and this is useful to make a comparison because we can learn from each other.”
|RAIKKONEN||Chassis 317||VETTEL||Chassis 314|
|First Session||P5||1:39.155||11 laps||P3||1:38.665||12 laps|
|Weather: air 25/26 °C, asphalt 32/35 °C. Clear skies|
|Second Session||P1||1:36.896||35 laps||P2||1:37.005||33 laps|
|Weather: air 24/28 °C, asphalt 31/34 °C. Overcast|
Kimi and Seb got 1st and 2nd in P2
Shanghai, 15 April – The two Ferraris topped the time sheet at the end of the second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix, during which they worked on a programme aimed at preparation for Sunday’s race. The track had rubbered in since the morning and in these conditions Kimi Raikkonen posted a 1.36.896 ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s 1.37.005. Behind them came the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.37.133) and Lewis Hamilton (1.37.329.) Sebastian started the session on the Medium tyres, with Kimi running the Softs, after which they both switched to the Supersofts. The third and final hour of free practice in Shanghai gets underway tomorrow at noon.
Two red flags to remove track debris
Shanghai, 15 April – There were some on-track hiccoughs in Shanghai, as the third round of the Formula 1 World Championship got underway this morning, with the first free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Running time featured two lengthy interruptions as the track had to be cleaned to remove debris from Felipe Massa’s Williams and Kevin Magnussen’s Renault, for reasons currently under investigation. First out on track was Sebastian Vettel, who ran the entire session on the Soft tyres, setting the third fastest time of 1.38.665, behind the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.38.037 ) and Lewis Hamilton (1.38.183.) Kimi Raikkonen was fifth fastest with a 1.39.155 and, unlike his team-mate, he alternated between the Medium and Soft compounds.
Seb adamant that ‘the potential is there’
“I’ve said many times that this car allows us to ‘play’ more than last year’s car. I believe the potential is there, it is only a question of getting all the ingredients together. It’s no big secret that this year we didn’t have the start to the season that we had hoped for, but on the other hand, I see no reason to panic. It is still very early in the season and the two failures we had, with Kimi in Australia and with myself in Bahrain, are related to two completely different reasons. In the case of my car, we have understood that a small electronic bug caused a big problem. So we had to change the engine for this race, but I am not overly concerned, since we have found the reason for the failure. I am confident that we can still take the fight to the Mercedes this year”.
Kimi sure issues are ‘being fixed’
We come here to China as in any other race weekend, we’ll do the normal work and then on Sunday after the race we’ll see how it has paid off. There’s no point to start guessing now where we are going to be. I think that here we have a good chance, we’ll do our maximum and try to have a good result with both cars. For sure we have some work to be done, but we have quite a good package and speed wise we are more or less where we want to be. Let’s see if we can make a good weekend out of it, improving things here and there. The issue we had in the first race was different compared to the one Sebastian had in Bahrain. it’s very unfortunate for the team because we want both cars to finish, we know what the problems are , we fixed the first one and I’m pretty sure the other one is going to be fixed now. This is not ideal but unfortunately these things are part of racing, there are still things to improve but I’m sure we can have a strong season. Our car will be good in every place we go: is it going to be good enough to win? Time will tell. As for the qualifying format, to go back to the 2015 system for sure will be easier for the spectators to follow and more straightforward, and this is a good thing.
Raikkonen and Adami talk us through the challenges of the track
Maranello, April 12th – Less than two weeks after the Bahraini round, Formula One moves to China, where a Grand Prix has been held in Shanghai since 2004. Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen remembers a brilliant win he achieved here in 2007, which eventually paved the way to his World Champion title with Scuderia Ferrari.
“There were tricky conditions, it was wet to start with and then the track was drying up, so obviously there was a point to change the Intermediates tires and then we got a ride. Obviously not the easiest race to anybody, but we came out quite easily.” The track has changed little over all these years, but remains pretty interesting. “The circuit is quite challenging. First of all, you must mind the start with first few corners where you can get a lot of lap time, if you can get it right though. It’s not an easy circuit, but it’s fun.” Shanghai is a bustling city which offers lots of attractions, but Kimi remains quite unfazed.
“I was always in the middle of the city but I haven’t been out the door. I’ve only been at the circuit and in the hotel, so all I can say is that sometimes in the morning the traffic can be really tricky”.
Time to throw the floor open to Riccardo Adami, Sebastian Vettel’s race engineer, for a technical review of the Shanghai International Circuit:
“It will be a challenge in setting up the car because we have a very long straight and also slow speed and high speed corners, so we should try to find the trade-off between those particular aspects of the track with the set-up of the car. Shanghai is a circuit with a particular shape. Turn 1 is a corner with longitudinal and lateral load transfers. So, we’ll try to find the right compromise between braking, but also the stability of the car in the corner.” And the challenges don’t end there: “The weather usually is very unpredictable. Over the last few years we have challenged ourselves with cold and rainy conditions. So, especially when it is cold, the front tackle becomes weaker, so then we need to tackle the set-up in this regard in order to find the good balance of the car”
This kind of track can make an engineer’s life hard, but luckily there are moments of relief: “China is not a big issue with the braking because there is not a high energy under braking circuit, even if it can be tricky with the balance of the car as I said for Turn 1, but also the other braking places on the track. So, we need anyways to raise our attention on this topic.” Finally, a word on the new challenges brought in by the 2016 regulations: “This year we will also have a third compound available, the Supersoft tire, while last year we had only Mediums and Softs, therefore it will be a very important item to understand the behavior of this compound in performance and degradation. So, we need to address a proper programme in order to find the right strategy for Sunday.”