|Circuit||Red Bull Ring – Spielberg|
|Distance||307,020 km / 190,814 miles|
||Scuderia Ferrari||retired / tyre|
Maurizio Arrivabene: “The result could have been better as Sebastian, today, would have finished very high on the podium without the tire failure. That happened when he was leading the race and all of a sudden, with no prior warning, so the causes will have to be investigated together with Pirelli. As for Kimi, he scored another nice podium finish: we had split strategies between our drivers and both our data and his feedback showed that he could have come ahead of Verstappen in the last stages of the races, had it not been for the yellow flags which came out following Perez’s crash”.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was not an easy day but I did my best. Third position is an ok result but I’m a bit disappointed with where we ended up: considering the first part of the race, we expected more here as a team. At the beginning we had good speed to catch up a bit with the Mercedes, but then after my pit stop it was not easy to recover. I lost precious time trying to pass Ricciardo, I got close to him many times, but then I was losing traction trying to get out of turn two. Once I got past him I had a very good speed and I was very happy with the handling. In the last part of the race I think I could have passed Max, but with the yellow flags on track it was not possible. Handling-and-speed-wise today we got the maximum out of the car, but it was not enough because we want to be up there with both cars. Hopefully in Silverstone we’ll have a smoother weekend and a better result”.
Sebastian Vettel: “When the rear right tire failed, I didn’t feel anything, or rather, I felt it when it was too late and it exploded out of the blue. There were no signes before that, everything was normal. I spoke with the people on the pit-wall and everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before, the tires felt fine, the lap times were fine. It’s completely a question mark on why the tyre had the failure. Obviously the idea was to go on as long as possible with that set of tires and to shape our race on that idea, but I don’t think it was an aggressive strategy, as lots of people went longer than us on the same tires. Now there are still a lot of races left, but surely not finishing the race doesn’t help”.
Raikkonen third, Vettel out after 26 laps
Spielberg, 3 July – Kimi Raikkonen went from fourth on the grid to third at the flag in today’s Austrian Grand Prix at the Spielberg circuit. The Finn battled his way up the order in the closing stages to close on second placed Max Verstappen. Unfortunately, Sebastian Vettel’s race lasted just 26 laps, when his right rear tyre failed. Standing on the top step of the podium, Lewis Hamilton was the winner for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: ”Today a lot of things happened. In Q3 the rain came, but by the end of the session the track was drying up, so it was difficult to know if it was ready for dry or wet tires. When the conditions got a bit tricky, we did not get it right because of many little things and did not manage to put a good lap together when it mattered. It is a bit disappointing to finish sixth, I felt there was more to come, but with the guys in front being penalized it’s not too bad. The car has been handling well all weekend, in dry and wet conditions and we had the speed, so I expect it will be ok. Tomorrow it will be a difficult day for everybody, the conditions will dictate a lot how long the tires will last, it will be a key point. We’ll try to do a lot better than today”.
Sebastian Vettel: “The car was very good, very strong all day. I don’t think anything was missing, the only thing missing was time. 4th place is ok, puts us to 9th tomorrow, but it’s not ideal because it all came down to the last lap. The track was surprisingly dry, maybe drier than I expected, with hindsight I should have taken more risks. It didn’t come down to the pace, or the car, it came down to the driver, and the three drivers that were in front of me took more risks. The later you crossed the line, the better it was. For tomorrow everything can happen, maybe there will be some rain, it will be significantly cooler and it will matter how you look after the tyres. We are in a good place and it is a shame for the result, because I thought it could be a good session today. The car was really good to drive and I thought we could be closer to the top. About the kerbs, it’s clear that you’d better not touch them, and I think for next year we need to find a solution, but for tomorrow there’s nothing that can be done.”
Vettel two places ahead of Raikkonen in qualifying
Spielberg, 2 July – At the end of a hectic qualifying session at Austria’s Spielberg circuit, Sebastian Vettel emerged with the fourth fastest time of 1.09.781, to finish two places higher up the order than Kimi Raikkonen, sixth in 1.9.901. Tomorrow, Vettel has to take a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change and so will start from ninth on the grid. With Nico Rosberg also getting the same penalty, Raikkonen will line up on the second row. Starting from pole will be the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton who was fastest in 1.07.922.
Vettel heads Raikkonen, both on Ultrasofts
Spielberg, 2 July –Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were fastest in the third free practice session, the final 60 minutes of preparation time prior to qualifying and the race for the Austrian Grand Prix. Vettel posted a 1.07.098 on the Ultrasoft tyres, while Kimi Raikkonen was just 136 thousandths of a second slower on the same compound. Behind the two SF16-Hs was Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.07.308 in his Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was quite a messy day, but overall I had good feelings. In the morning we managed to have a few runs while in the afternoon, because of the weather conditions, we did not get to do many laps and never really got a proper qualifying simulation done. The day could have been a lot better, the situation now it’s a bit unknown, but it’s not too bad either. There is no point now in starting to guess where we are, we still have tomorrow morning to know, and I’m sure it will be ok.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It was a decent day. It is not entirely clear where we stand, as we didn’t have a lot of running due to the weather, in particular in the afternoon, but in general the car feels good. When I span at the end of the second session, I had an issue with brake distribution. It caught me by surprise, but it didn’t matter too much, as I only lost a couple of minutes, and in the end it didn’t make a lot of a difference. My plans for tomorrow? For sure I will watch the soccer match with the Team. Italy is playing stronger than expected, Germany is quite strong as well, so it should be a good match.”
Vettel fourth and Kimi eighth at the flag
A sudden change in the weather affected the second free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix. It started in sunshine, but after just ten minutes a torrential downpour hit the track, forcing everyone to wait it out in the pits for around half and hour, before heading back out again on Intermediate tyres. Before the rain, both Ferraris had completed a run on the Supersofts. In the final stages, on the Ultrasoft, Kimi Raikkonen set the eighth fastest time in 1.08.820, while Sebastian Vettel, on a long run, ended up with a best lap of 1.08.589, set on Supersofts, but only managed four laps on his final run, when he spun into the gravel at turn 2. Yet again, the fastest times were set by the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.07.967) and Lewis Hamilton (1.07.986.)
Vettel 3rd and Raikkonen 4th as team practices with two tire compounds
Spielberg, 1 July – The Austrian weekend at the Spielberg circuit has got off to a sunny start, for the ninth round of the World Championship, with the first free practice session having just ended. Sebastian Vettel was the highest placed Ferrari driver, third fastest in 1.08.022, with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth just 200 thousandths slower. Sebastian took to the track with a slight delay after his car needed checking over, but after that, he and Kimi followed the usual Friday programme, delaying the evaluation of the halo cockpit protection system that had already been tried at the Spanish Grand Prix, to a later session. Both the SF16-Hs were shod with Soft and Ultrasoft tyres to see how they worked at this track which has been entirely resurfaced, thus making it extremely slippery and faster than before. Quickest were the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.07.373) and Lewis Hamilton (1.07.730.)
Seb convinced battle will be close
“We are pushing very hard and to be honest nothing has changed, we are not looking too much at what the others do, we are looking after ourselves, trying to improve where we need to improve, looking after our weaknesses, trying to focus on our strengths, then we see where this takes us. Here we expect to be competitive, how competitive is what we see every weekend. Some track characteristics may suit you more than others, so I can’t give you a number, but I’m pretty confident we will all be closer here than we were in Baku and obviously we will try to be even more competitive than we’ve been in Montreal. If we look at where we were and where we are now, we can say we made a big step forward. We haven’t got the best car, it’s not a secret, but we want to have the best car overall. I think that closing the loop in all fields we made massive progress, I think more than anybody else has, so it’s a reason to be proud of, but surely what we are here for is winning races.”
Kimi enjoys the challenge of the Spielberg track
“I’ve always liked this track, I came here quite a few times in the past, and I enjoy it very much. It always brings good racing, not so many corners but a lot of overtaking. Last year it was a short race for me, it’s not funny when you are out of the race at the first lap, but I’ m sure we can do better this year. It’s hard to know what to expect , the circuit has been resurfaced , I heard there is going to be more grip and that’s a nice thing. It will be interesting to see how it is, it might change things a little bit. I’m confident with the car, I expect us to be up there in the weekend and hopefully it will be good enough. In general we are lacking a bit of speed and qualifying hasn’t been the easiest for us so far this year , our rivals have been very fast, in some places we are very close to them and we can challenge them, we just need to put things together and make no mistake . We are here to win races, we have done pretty good so far, but we also had some odd races. We’ll keep pushing until we have a chance. It is still a long season and as a team we are pushing to try to get back in the front. As a team we work well together and we want to improve and achieve good results, we’ll never be happy until we are back to winning.”
“A short track where every corner counts”, says Vettel
Maranello, June 28th – After debuting at Baku, Azerbaijan, Formula One now moves to Austria for the first in a string of six races that will complete the European season. Gone are the times of the old airport layout, marked by hay bales. The current Spielberg track, located in the southeastern Bundesstate of Styria, was built in 1969 and has gone through many changes in layout, before being reintroduced in 2014 after an eleven-year absence.
“It seems like the track is situated in the middle of the mountains” comments Sebastian Vettel. “I think the track is great. You have a lot of elevation changes, up and down, which makes it always nice. You see the mountains around. When you’re lucky you can even see some snow on the top of the mountains around. The weather can be either very good or quite bad, but usually it is a place to enjoy. The track is very short, there aren’t many corners. So, it is incredibly important to get every single corner right. The lap is very short, so you do a lot of laps and it’s important to find the rhythm very quickly and just go with it, especially during the race.”
“It’s another challenging track, very different from Baku where we’ve just come from, but also very different from Canada and Monaco” adds Jock Clear, Scuderia Ferrari’s Head of Race Activities. “As always, we try to approach these Grand Prix races with new parts, new updates, new setups, specifically designed with the difficulties of each track. Austria is a very simple track with only five real corners and some good straights. So, it is a balance of power circuit with the downforce circuit. In terms of technical challenge it’s one of the shortest tracks, so that all the very small details make slightly a more significant impact on your lap time. The circuit itself has been resurfaced this year, yet we don’t know what this surface is going to give us. We don’t know the impact on the tires, but that’s the same for all the teams. Perhaps it will be a different situation from last year but we can’t answer until we get there and we do our practice running on Friday”.