|Distance||309,745 km / 192,508 miles|
||Scuderia Ferrari||retired / accident|
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall it hasn’t been a very easy weekend, but today we tried to make the best out of it. I had a good start and managed to get second position but then, like last year, after the Safety Car I could not hold up the Williams behind me on the straight. After that I was trying to fight them back, but I lost one place to Hamilton. So we decided to run longer to gain positions and we did quite a pretty good job. The car was handling very well through the whole race, even if we were forced to do some fuel saving and this affected our laptimes. The third place we managed today is what we were able to achieve, but is not ideal, because we want to be at the front with both cars. It’s a pity not to be fighting for the win, but we take this result and keep on working to put ourselves in a better position.”
Sebastian Vettel:“I think it’s a shame because today we had done everything right. I had a really good start, I was a bit stuck at the first turn, but then I was able to go. Of course there’s always a bit more risk in starting behind, but P7 is not P15. I was going into second corner, I was already attacking and approaching fifth place, but it doesn’t help when people behind don’t brake. What Kvyat did was completely unnecessary. I had a massive hit from behind, then another big hit in turn 3 and that finished my race. As far as I know, the race is 53 laps, but not everybody seems to remember. I don’t think I need to say much, I think if you look at the footage you’ll have the answers to your questions. Today it was not my fault, there was nothing I could have done differently, nothing I would change. I don’t dislike him (Kvyat), but I think he did a mistake two weeks ago, he made a mistake today but it doesn’t help me now. Obviously I would have loved to drive the car today to feel if we could keep the same balance into the race, but for the future nothing has changed. Of course I’m disappointed but we’re already focused on the next race.”
Kimi third. Sebastian out of luck, hit shortly after the start
1 May 2016 – Kimi Raikkonen came third in the Russian Grand Prix. The Finn lost a place to Valtteri Bottas in the early stages, but a clever strategy saw Kimi retake third off his fellow countryman after his only pit stop. Raikkonen thus moves up to third in the Drivers’ classification, after four rounds of the World Championship. Sebastian Vettel’s Russian Grand Prix lasted just a few hundred metres. The German got off the line well, but was hit twice by Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull, which sent him spinning into the barriers on the outside of Turn 3. Nico Rosberg won for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: The whole weekend has been tricky: for whatever reason, I struggled all the time to put one decent lap together. In qualifying it was a bit better, but I was still fighting with the front end in a few places. It could have been good enough for a second or a third place on the grid, but on my last lap I completely missed the last corner and slid away. Obviously I’m a disappointed with what happened, but considering how difficult it has been, this result it’s not ideal but it’s better than nothing. At least we are in third place at the start, we’ll see what happens tomorrow, I think in the race it’s going to be better.
Sebastian Vettel: Yesterday we lost some time, but today I think we recovered. Now I’m waiting for the race. I will start seventh which is not where we belong, so we should be quicker than the other cars around and go from there. The car is good, so I am confident for tomorrow. We are not the favorites, but there’s always a chance. I hope not to get it wrong this time. For sure we need to start improving as soon as possible, that’s why we are pushing very hard. We are doing everything we can, we have a new engine here, and I think we are on the right way, but we still see that other people, especially Mercedes, are doing a good job as well. If you want to be the best you need to be ready to tackle the best. I have high confidence, but let’s keep our feet on the ground. It is easy to get overexcited and for sure now we would like to be first, but that’s the nature of the game. We are wisely spending our energy looking at ourselves, trying to make improvements. Time will teach us…
Seb two places higher than Kimi in Sochi
30 April 2016 – At the end of today’s qualifying at Russia’s Sochi Circuit, Sebastian Vettel was second fastest with a lap in 1.36.123. Behind the German came Valtteri Bottas for Williams, while Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in 1.36.663. Vettel has a five place grid penalty following a gearbox change and so he starts from the fourth row of the grid tomorrow. Pole position went to Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes who posted a best time of 1.35.417.
Seb “catches-up” on race simulation. 3rd and 4th on qualifying sims.
Sochi, 30 April – Ferrari finished third and fourth in the final hour of free practice for the Russian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel ran Supersofts to post the third fastest lap of 1.37.007, behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton (1.36.403) and Nico Rosberg (1.36.471.) In the first part of the session, Seb did long run work to make up for the time lost yesterday. Kimi Raikkonen started off on Soft tyres, but then switched to the softest compound for a simulation run.
Kimi Raikkonen: ”It was not an ideal day, one of those days you struggle to make the tires work and get the car where you want. I wasn’t doing any proper lap, but today it’s only practice, I’m sure we can improve for tomorrow. Overall I think we just have to work on the set up to make it as we want and then it should be ok. We have a new engine and new parts on the car, so far it has been working well. We wouldn’t use any new thing if we did not expect it to be good.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”Looks like we had an electric problem, but I am sure we can fix it. Still, it is a shame, because now we are lacking some laps, especially in the long runs on race trims, which would have allowed us to see how competitive we are. But Kimi did the homework for the team, so it is not too bad. Also, here in Russia we know roughly what to expect. I think we can still learn a lot from what other people did. In Qualifying trim we still have some stuff to improve. I think the car was getting better though. The track was quite dirty in the morning and then during the day it came more towards us. I felt happier as the day continued, it’s true that for the race we are lacking a bit of information, but we will see tomorrow morning, when we have another practice session.”
Vettel 2nd fastest, but stopped by an electrical problem. Kimi does a race simulation
Sochi, 29 April – After the morning was spent focusing on an evaluation of new aero parts, in the afternoon in Sochi the team also looked at race pace. The track surface is evolving gradually and Sebastian Vettel set the second fastest time, running Supersoft tyres to post a 1.38.235.
The German only managed ten laps, stopping on track with an electrical problem during a qualifying simulation run. In the other SF16-H, Kimi Raikkonen completed 35 laps on his way to fourth fastest in 1.38.793. Topping the time sheet was Lewis Hamilton (1.37.583) in the Mercedes. Splitting Vettel and Raikkonen was Nico Rosberg who produced a 1.38.450, running Soft tyres on the other Mercedes.
Ferraris third and fourth without running softest compound
Sochi, 29 April –This weekend sees the third running of a Russian Grand Prix and in this morning’s first free practice session, the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest.
After an installation lap on the Medium tyres, the two SF16-Hs took to the track using two sets of Softs: Vettel did 19 laps on his way to third place in 1.39.175, while Raikkonen did one less lap to be fourth in 1.39.332. Today’s priority was an evaluation of new aerodynamic components. Topping the time sheet was the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg with a 1.38.127 and Lewis Hamilton in 1.38.849, both men setting their time on the Supersoft tyres.
Kimi’s plans to fine-tuning for a ‘nice’ track
“In the first races we had some struggles, but at least we got some points out of it. Our aim is to always do better, having a normal weekend, hopefully with no issues. It is a hard season but we have to keep working and make progress. We know we have things to be done and improved but we have a good package which would allow us to go quite happy in the race weekend. There are small details that can make a big difference in an overall result and we have to get the maximum out of it. We have to improve the areas we know we are not very happy with, making things better and driving better. About what happened in China, it’s not ideal but it’s part of racing and it’s in the past already, and anyway we managed to make a pretty good recovery and it was not a disaster. This track is quite nice. In the past years it has been quite tricky to make the tires work, especially on a short run. Last year the weather was pretty poor. This weekend probably for the first time we are going to have nice weather all the time, hopefully we are going to have a normal practice and go from there, but making fast laps is never easy, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow and move from there.”
Seb “not overly concerned” after first three races
“We didn’t have the first three races that we were looking for, but I think we are in a better position than last year. It is natural to have a sense of pressure, especially from myself. There have been races where I was very happy for what I’ve done and there have been occasions in which I know I didn’t do my best, but that’s how it is. Usually, when you finish second the year before in the Championship overall, you want to be the best team next year. We said many times we are happy with the car, we are on the right track. We are not overly concerned. I think it’s about putting things together and things coming together as well. For sure we are not sitting here waiting to have a lucky race. We are working very hard and we want to make progresses. The race is on Sunday and there’s always a chance. So, for now we have to focus on Friday and then go from there. Honestly, I think about how I feel with the car and our feeling is good. We look at ourselves and not too much at the others.”
Seb and Mattia Binotto talk us through the Russian GP challenges
Maranello, 26 April – For its third edition, the Russian Formula One Grand Prix moves from Autumn to Spring time, as the fourth race on the calendar. Introducing the track which unwinds through the 2014 Winter Olympics Village are Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Power Unit Director Mattia Binotto.
This year will mark Seb’s third time at Sochi, the second as a Scuderia Ferrari driver: “The track is located in the Olympic Park, where the Winter Games were held, it’s something quite unique. It’s an exciting circuit with a lot of 90 degrees corners. The track is quite floating, so there are not hard stops. It’s not that easy to overtake but overall quite high grip and good fun. I think that a lot of Russians enjoying the fact the Formula 1 is happening there so, it’s definitely a good Grand Prix.”
There is a factor that will affect everyone in the race: “Usually Russia is quite hard in fuel consumption. In the last two years, though, we saw that tires last very long. So, it becomes important to make sure you’re able to race flat out and you have a fast car in qualifying and you carry that into the race to ensure you have a good and strong result.”
According to Binotto, Sochi presents many challenges on both engine and chassis side. “There are very long straights, very high speed corners, but you also have high speed braking and low traction hairpins. Probably even more important than sheer power is the entire Power Unit, together with the energy management because somehow you need to get the balance right between the long straight which require high accelerations, the corners, every other part of the circuit, and finally to optimize the best lap time and the energy management between the internal combustion engine and the whole system. In terms of race management, the drivers’ lines can be very different in Russia. There are quite a few opportunities for overtaking and therefore it is quite important to manage correctly the way you accelerate the car by using different strategies in the race, compared to qualifying in hybrid and Power Unit energy management.” Fuel management will also be a factor at Sochi: “Fuel consumption is another difficult point in Russia. When we were there two years ago we immediately realized that the 100 kg maximum allowance for the entire race was quite restrictive. In fact, you need somehow to save and manage the fuel during the race and optimize it for the race distance. Also, the very long corner number three, with its high centrifugal acceleration, can prove to be difficult for the oil pick-up and thus affect the lubrication system”.