|Circuit||Circuit of the Americas
|Distance||308,405 km / 191,675 miles|
||Scuderia Ferrari||retired / loose wheel
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Obviously, we had hoped for a better result this weekend. Once again, though, we paid a heavy price for our qualifying position. In the race, our pace was definitely better than yesterday, and we could have fought for a podium finish. Now we move to Mexico straight away, and we will put our maximum effort and concentration into the next racing weekend.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Obviously the end result of this race is far from ideal. It’s a pity because the performance of the car today was good. When we changed for Soft tires, for whatever reason I seemed to struggle. The balance was ok but I never really had the grip I was expecting. Once we went back to Supersofts the car was good again. When I left the pits after the third pit stop I slowed down a bit and asked if everything was ok because I saw some sparks coming out. At the end of the pitlane the team told me to stop. Now we have to understand what happened, the rear wheel nut had not fitted properly.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Overall today was a better day than yesterday, it was a good race. The start was not so good and into turn 1 I was quite lucky, given that somebody was hitting me, I think it was Nico Hülkenberg.
Luckily nothing was broken so I could carry on. Then the pace was good, we were looking after the tires, so we could go longer than other people. The race was a bit different than we expected, we got a present from Max today but unfortunately also Kimi had some problems and had to retire. It could have been a good performance for the team with both cars in the points.”
Sebastian just off the podium. Raikkonen retires
Austin, 23 October –Fourth place for Sebastian Vettel come the end of today’s United States Grand Prix at the Austin circuit. The result sees the German move up to fourth in the Drivers’ championship table. It was an unlucky Sunday for Kimi Raikkonen, who retired after 38 laps, following a problem during his third pit stop. Lewis Hamilton stood on the top step of the podium, having won for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Obviously we cannot be pleased with where we finished today, looking at the time difference to the front. We did what we could, but our position on the grid is far from ideal. This is the reality today and now we have to be stronger in the race. Yesterday we struggled a bit to find the right set up: we changed small things here and there and today the handling of the car was pretty good. We lack speed in the lap and to go faster we need more overall grip. Tomorrow is going to be a long race, the long run was not too bad, so I expect the car we had today to be better tomorrow. For sure we are going to do our best and hopefully we are going to have a strong race.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”Qualifying was not so good, hopefully the race will go better. Surely we can try and look at different things, learn from today, go forward, and for sure we are not pleased with the gap to the cars ahead. It was not the best session for me: overall it was ok, the car felt fine, but in the end we were not just quick enough. For sure in Q3 I could have done a slightly better lap, but at the end of the day obviously we are missing a bit compared to the cars in front, so I think tomorrow could be a different day. Probably in my last lap I was a bit too aggressive. There remains a bit of a question mark at this point, at least on why we were so competitive in fast corners in Suzuka and here we are missing out; but then again we are missing out across all sectors. For tomorrow we’ll see, there’s always a chance to outsmart the people but I think we have to react on the fly. The strategy is set for the beginning, in terms the tires to start the race with, but we kept some new tire sets, so we’ll see. It could be an interesting race: tire degradation is always important, it could be playing a big role tomorrow.”
Kimi starts fifth, Sebastian sixth
Austin, 22 October –Today’s qualifying session at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin was closely contested. In the end, Kimi Raikkonen was fifth fastest with a time of 1.36.131, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was right behind in sixth with a best lap of 1.36.358. Starting from pole will be Lewis Hamilton, who posted a 1.34.999 in his Mercedes.
Final practice in Austin prior to qualifying: Seb 6th
Austin, 22 October – A fine sunny day on the Texas plains with warm conditions during the final hour of free practice prior to qualifying which starts at 20h00 CET. For Scuderia Ferrari, the session was mainly given over to working on set-up. After a red flag stoppage when Wehrlein went off track, Kimi Raikkonen ended the session third fastest with a lap in 1.37.284, despite making a mistake at Turn 19. Both drivers ran just the Supersoft tyres on their SF16-Hs; two sets for Kimi and one for Sebastian Vettel who was sixth fastest in 1.37.894. Towards the end of the session he had to pit for a mechanical check on the car. Kimi did 15 laps, Seb completed 8.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a tricky day: in the first session, we struggled to find the right set up, and in the second practice I went off with new tires and couldn’t set a lap time. Apart from that it was a normal Friday, it looks worse than it is. We did a normal set up work and sometimes it goes like this. We did not have any major issue, we just tried to make a sense out of it and get the car exactly where we wanted. Now we have some work to do on the set up and make it correct for tomorrow. The Mercedes look very strong as they have been all year, but we’ll do our best.”
Sebastian Vettel: “To be fair, It was a tough day. This morning we had some problems with a little wing that failed and came off, so we lost some track time, which was a bit “costy” for the afternoon because we couldn’t re-balance the car. We are a bit on the backfoot today and I am not entirely happy with the car balance yet; it is a little bit too nervous, but I think for tomorrow we can improve. On Friday usually you don’t see the full picture, so hopefully tomorrow we will be a lot stronger. Today the Red Bulls were very quick, there is no doubt, but I still think we have a chance. It’s Friday and I wouldn’t worry too much. You never know what the others are doing, we knew about ourselves, but we didn’t have the best day. For sure it will be very close with them and it will be difficult to match them tomorrow with the speed that they showed today, but I think the Ferrari you saw today is not the Ferrari you will see tomorrow.”
Track temp goes up in FP2. Seb (4th) and Kimi (10th) concentrate on long runs
Austin, 21 October–Afternoon sunshine led to an increase in track temperate of around 10 degrees compared to FP1, at the Circuit of Americas, which changed the drivers’ opinion about available grip levels. As usual, the programme in FP2 got underway with some quick laps before moving on to race simulation work, making the necessary setting changes along the way. Having set a best time of 1.38.178, which turned out to be fourth fastest, Sebastian Vettel then concentrated on long runs. Kimi Raikkonen ran a similar programme, with a best lap in 1.38.865, which put him tenth on the time sheet. The two men both used the Soft and Supersoft tyres.
Kimi (4th) and Seb (8th) use just one tyre compound
Austin, 21 October – While it’s the evening back in Europe, here at the Circuit of the Americas, the first free practice session has just inaugurated the weekend’s track action. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel spent the whole session running just two sets each of the Soft compound tyre. Come the end of the 90 minutes, Kimi was fourth fastest in 1.39.407, having run 21 laps, six more than Seb, who stopped the clocks in 1.39.988, the eighth fastest time. A trip over the kerbs damaged some front end aero components and the right rearview mirror on his SF16-H. Once the car was fixed, Vettel went back out on track in the latter part of the session, in which Lewis Hamilton was quickest for Mercedes, setting a time of 1.37.428 on the Supersoft tyre.
Seb: the US market one of the biggest for Ferrari
The US is one of the biggest markets for Ferrari. Last year we had a very good race, a great first race for me with Scuderia Ferrari here. Also, we enjoy always having lots of Ferrari Fans.
There is always a chance in the four remaining races. In Japan we did some progress, the most important thing is that we keep fighting. The result could have been better in Japan but it wasn’t: our main focus was in getting second we tried out something different and it didn’t work. Yet we keep trying and improving: the new parts we had in the car in Japan gave us good performance. Everything we bring to the car makes sense. We are confident that we are doing the right thing. As for the track itself, you may say that here in Austin the first sector somehow resembles Suzuka, even though the final sector is quite a bit slower, so we’ll see.
Kimi: “We keep improving to get the results we deserve”
I like the race in Austin: it’s a nice town and people are very polite. I think it’s good for F1 and for Ferrari that we come to the US, and hopefully we can have a good weekend. But it’s hard to say who is going to be the fastest here and what we are going to get on Sunday. Tomorrow we’ll start as any other race weekend, doing our things and we’ll see where we are. The circuit is interesting, quite a new one and the design is nice. Usually there’s quite a good racing here, which is good for us as drivers and also for the spectators. Last year it was a pity for the weather conditions, this year it looks ok so let’s see what happens. We keep working all the time and obviously in some races we have been strong and in others not as strong as we hoped. We are doing things right and we are improving, but we still have a lot of work to do, it’s a never-ending work in progress. Last race was good but did not give us the result we should have got, so we are there to try again.
Kimi on Austin: “A nice circuit with all the uphills and downhills”
Maranello, 18 October – After a trio of races all in Asia, Formula 1 switches to the American continent for the fourth-from-last race of the championship. Prior to its absence from the calendar from 2007, there had been no less than 33 United States Grands Prix held at Sebring, Riverside, Watkins Glen, Detroit, Phoenix and Indianapolis. Then, in 2012, the USA once again welcomed Formula 1 at the Circuit Of The Americas, in Austin, the capital of the state of Texas. The facility was purpose built to host the ultimate form of motor sport and features 20 corners, some of which are reminiscent of other famous corners on the world championship trail. On top of that, there’s the spectacular climb leading to the blind first corner. The start can be interesting because cars lining up on the dirty side of the grid struggle more than at any other circuit to find grip.
“It’s a nice circuit” says Kimi of the American track. “They put a good design in it, plus it has uphill sections and it’s not just flat. I think it makes it more interesting. Last year we had a very bad weather during most of the weekend. It was not very nice for any of us, drivers and spectators, but it’s part of the game. It’s a nice city, a nice place for the US Grand Prix with a lot of people. Obviously it’s possible to overtake during the race but it’s quite a short uphill for this. It helps to slow down the car and with the braking, but the corner is not the easiest one. However, it’s a good circuit for making an exciting race.”