|Distance||306,458 km / 190,465 miles|
Maurizio Arrivabene: ”While one week ago, in Hungary, our race pace was totally respectable, here in Hockenheim we experienced again some issues with both mechanical grip and downforce, which unfortunately are not unknown to us. Obviously, we must react as quickly as possible to cure these problems and most of all we must lose not to too much time in the process. Having been jumped in the Constructors’ championship only pushes us to react, and perform better in the second part of the season, after the summer break.”
Kimi Raikkonen: ”It was a very quiet and boring race, nothing much happened. At the start I had some wheelspin and lost one position on Sebastian. With new tires the car felt pretty ok but then I was starting having understeer and oversteer, as basically we lacked grip. In the last stint we had to do fuel saving so there was not much to do. Obviously we have to improve the car in all areas, if we add downforce it will definitively help us. We all want to do better and it’s painful to see that we are not where we want to be, but I believe in the team. We need some time and hard work and we’ll get there. It’s important for us to find improvements and work as a group.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”We’re usually faster in the race than we are in qualifying, but this wasn’t the case today: we were sliding around too much and this affected the tires as well. Fifth and sixth place was the best we could do but we obviously can’t accept that, we will be working to improve and we know what to do, the stuff that’s coming up for the next races has always been part of our plan. The first part of the season didn’t go as we wanted, we need to work on ourselves and I, for one, had too many ups and downs which cost me some points. But we’ll keep fighting. As for today’s race, the decision to fit Softs in the end was a pretty straightforward one, as we had a new set available. I decided to stay out for some more laps as I did not want to go too long with the last set, with hindsight it was probably a too conservative choice as we would have had a chance to put some pressure on the car ahead. The atmosphere today, with all the German and the Ferrari flags, was incredible and from this point of view it was my best home Grand Prix ever!”
Sebastian finishes fifth, one place ahead of Raikkonen
Hockenheim, 31 July – Sebastian Vettel finished his home race, the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in fifth place, crossing the line four seconds ahead of sixth placed team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Lewis Hamilton stood on the top step of the podium, the winner for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: ”Our car was behaving pretty nicely today and I was happy with the handling. My last try in Q3 was a bit more tricky, I was struggling a little bit with the feeling from the tires, but apart from that we had no massive issues. I don’t have much to complain from the behavior of the car, we are just lacking speed overall. We need to put more downforce in the car to go faster. This result is disappointing, finishing fifth and sixth it’s not ideal, but this is what it is right now, and we keep working to improve. Usually the race is our stronger side, but every circuit is different. Tomorrow it’s a new day, we’ll do our own race, you never know what is going to happen. We need to make a good getaway from the start and hopefully take the fight to the guys in front, and then do our best.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”I am not happy with 6th position, it was a difficult session. In the moment I tried to do the best, we didn’t get everything together. Somehow we lost a bit and now we need to understand what happened this afternoon. I was reasonaby happy with my lap, but it wasn’t quick enough, there was a bit of time we lost here and there, overall we struggled a bit to extract the pace from the car. The balance didn’t come together in qualifying, it was better this morning and yesterday. We know the car can be quicker, but we didn’t manage to get it in the right window, that’s our job and we didn’t succeed. I’m sure that tomorrow we’ll be competitive, but again we start a little bit from the back foot, so it will be tough because here it’s not easy to overtake. I think we don’t have to hide, in terms of race pace we are fast, then it should be an interesting race.”
Raikkonen qualifies fifth, Vettel is sixth
Hockenheim, 30 July – There will be an all-red third row on the grid for the German Grand Prix. Come the end of today’s qualifying at Hockenheim, Kimi Raikkonen set the fifth fastest time of 1.15.142, with Sebastian Vettel right behind him in sixth in 1.15.315. Nico Rosberg will start from pole, having set the fastest lap of 1.14.363 in his Mercedes.
Kimi (4th) two tenths ahead of Sebastian (5th) just two tenths behind the fastest
Hockenheim, 30 July – With the final free practice session wrapped up at the Hockenheimring, preparations can now be regarded as complete for qualifying to decide the grid for the German Grand Prix. Just two tenths of a second separate the lap times of Kimi Raikkonen (1.15.902) and Sebastian Vettel (1.16.104), fourth and fifth fastest respectively. Kimi’s lap was less than two tenths slower than the fastest time set by Nico Rosberg in 1.15.738, with his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton second in 1.15.795. The Ferrari duo did an out-in lap on the Medium tyres, before running two sets of Supersofts, the quickest tyre Pirelli has brought to Germany.
Kimi Raikkonen: ”On Friday it’s always difficult to have a clear idea of where you are, from tomorrow we’ll understand more, but the session today was not too bad. For sure there’s some work to be done to improve, but more or less we are about there. Obviously we want to be in the front, so this evening we are going to focus on fixing some things and improve in certain areas, then I’m sure we’ll be ok.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”Overall the outcome of the two sessions has been positive, but we still need to improve our car overnight and do some steps forward. I think the one-lap speed was ok, I haven’t seen much from the long runs, I have spent most of the afternoon on Soft tires and they were lasting quite long, so I think overall it was ok but we still have to improve. We have to work on the set up of the car, and bring it a bit better together, so that the car feels better for me on track and it suits my driving, then I can attack better and more. As for the new rules on radio communications, it makes it easier for us, in terms of remembering, so I think it is a straightforward decision.”
Vettel and Raikkonen run different tyre programmes
Hockenheim, 29 July – Sebastian Vettel was again third in his SF16-H with a time of 1.16.208 in the second free practice session at the Hockenheimring, in the run up to the 62nd German Grand Prix. At the end of the session, spent as usual evaluating the different tyre compounds’ suitability for qualifying and the race, Sebastian completed 39 laps, alternating between Soft and Supersoft tyres, before doing a final long run on the Softs. Kimi Raikkonen ran a slightly different programme, also completing a long run on the softest compound. The Finn completed 45 laps, the best in 1.16.512. Quickest was the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.15.614) and Lewis Hamilton (1.16.008.)
Seb confirms team policy after staff changes
“There was a big change inside the team, which doesn’t impact so much here or tomorrow, but you definitely will see the changes in the future. I think Mattia has been around for a long time and it’s not a proper replacement. It’s a sort of different approach, hopefully for the better, but I think we are going in the right direction. The 2017 project is already fully in progress, we’re trying to do a lot and but the same time we’re still focusing on this year, because there are a lot of things for us to learn and to take into next year, even though a lot of the rules will change and the cars will look very different. It’s true that this year we expected a lot more, we had a very good season last year and we wanted to close the gap to practically nothing but so far we haven’t succeeded. There are some reasons we had understood, some other we still have to find, but overall we had made progresses. We had a rough start, races are not going our way and we are not yet where we want to be, Ferrari belongs to the top and that’s what we are trying to achieve and for every single race, for every championship that we start. As for this weekend, racing here is something special: Hockenheim is a very short distance to my birth place, Heppenheim. I like the track, I’ve been running here a lot when I was younger and hopefully the first time with Ferrari I can have a great race. We’re aiming at a podium, I think we should be strong this weekend.”
Kimi knows how to exploit the potential of the SF16-H
“I think that if we manage to put a good lap together and do our maximum in qualifying, then I’m sure that we’ll be more or less there in front. This should make our race easier and probably we can use our speed. We know where we are in the Championship and this is not the position we want to be, we want to be at the top, but so far we haven’t got what we aim for as a team, myself included. We know the areas we have to improve to get there and it’s not easy, we keep working hard and improving things and try to be as soon as we can in the position. Regarding James Allison leaving the team, it’s not my job to comment and to be honest I don’t want to get involved because I have a great respect for him.”
Vettel: “I know Hockenheim well, it’s a very technical track”
Maranello, 26 July – For the final race weekend prior to the summer break, Formula 1 is back in the forests around Hockenheim in the north of Germany’s Land Baden- Württemberg region. The German Grand Prix was first held here in 1970 and it is back this year after the 2015 event was cancelled because of financial problems. Since the major makeover of 2002, when the very long straights were dispensed with, the track has remained unchanged. However, there is the unknown factor that the only data available dates back to 2014, the first year of the new hybrid era. It will be an exciting weekend for Sebastian Vettel, making his first appearance in his home race at the wheel of a Ferrari – his home town of Heppenheim is just over 30 kilometres away from the track: “I think it is nice to come back after last year, when we didn’t have a German Grand Prix. I think it is great to go back to Germany and be able to race. Being German, I think that for all the German drivers it is a privilege to go to your home country and race in front of your home crowd, so I am definitely looking forward to it. It is the first time for me with a Ferrari car, so I think it should be a special feeling turning up. I think I know the track itself quite well from junior categories. I raced there a lot. I usually like it and hopefully we can be very competitive. I think it is a good mix, there is everything a driver can ask for. It is quite technical, not that easy to get everything right, and quite tough also to find the right balance of the car because you have so many corners and different speeds, but it is definitely a fun place.”