|300,441 km / 186,725 miles
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Even if the reasons are obvious, complaining about losing a second and a fourth place is not Ferrari’s style. Today, the hard fact is that we lost a lot of points in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships. We leave here, set on improving quickly, with humility and determination.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “My race wasn’t going too bad until a few laps before the end. I suddenly had the problem, my front left tire let go with no warning; the air stayed in the tire but the rubber part, came off. It’s disappointing because without that issue the second place was secured, and we deserved a better result. We had made some changes to the car and they seemed to have improved the feeling. When it’s like this you are confident and you can push; I hope that it will be a similar story in the future races. However, today we were lacking a little bit of speed against our rivals. We did what we could but obviously there’s some work to be done to catch up the Mercedes in places like this. This is definitely not our strongest type of circuit. I’m interested to see what happens in the next race, I guess the Hungarian track should suit our car better.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It was a difficult race. The brakes got fire on the grid and I think this is the reason why I had no grip at the start: they were too hot. During the last laps, after the problem with the front left tire, I tried to get the car back and recover some points. It was difficult today because I was stuck at the beginning behind Max, but I am not the one to judge what happened between him and me. After that I think the pace was good, considering the fact that I was on the Soft tires. Valtteri was on other compound, the Supersofts, so it was clear that he would have been strong. Today was not a great day, but we’ll see what happens in Hungary, on a different track.”
Two punctures towards the end, but Kimi on the podium with Seb still leading the championship
Silverstone, 16 July – Two punctures in the final moments of the race, but nevertheless Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen made it to the podium in third place. Seb Vettel finished seventh and after an incredible, yet cruel race, he still leads the championship. The race got off to a false start as an extra formation lap was needed because Palmer had stopped on track. That meant the race distance was down to 51 laps, but there was excitement right from the start, with Kimi and Seb fighting with Verstappen. Then came a collision between the two Toro Rossos which brought out the Safety Car. Kimi hung on to Hamilton, while Seb, who had a few difficulties at the start, was fourth. Racing restarted on lap 5, with Kimi matching the leader’s pace, while his team-mate had to be patient before getting his place back. It was a thrilling duel, but in the end, it was decided on the strategy call: a scheduled pit stop for Seb on lap 19 saw the German fit the Soft tyres. The number 5 Ferrari came out ahead of the Force India duo in fifth place. Verstappen therefore had to pit to cover our strategy, but when he rejoined he was behind the Ferrari. Seb then banged in a fastest lap, before passing Hulkenberg for fourth place. On lap 24, it was Kimi’s turn to pit to go from the Supersofts to the Softs.
Shortly after that, Hamilton did the same, but on fresh rubber, the Iceman was the fastest man on track. Bottas came down pit lane on lap 32 and came out behind the Scuderia Ferrari duo. Seb reacted, setting his best lap in1:31.872. On lap 43 came the first duel, as Seb repulsed the attack under braking.
But the move ruined his tyres and he lost the position on the Hangar Straight. “I can get to the finish” came his reassurance over the radio and indeed he would, while out in front, with only two laps remaining, Kimi’s left front tyre suddenly let go. The Finn pitted and took on Supersofts, while he was helped by the fact Verstappen also needed to make an unexpected stop. But on the last lap, Seb also got a puncture, again a left front. He dived into pit lane and managed to stay in the points, but the team deserved much better today.
Scuderia Ferrari drivers pleased with progress made
Silverstone, July 15 – Changing weather conditions made qualifying for the British Grand Prix ever more difficult, but Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel emerged from the battle with second and third best time respectively.
Kimi’s feeling with the SF70H had been improving through the weekend and all the development work carried out by the team paid off on Saturday afternoon: “In qualifying the handling of my car was better than any other time this weekend and I was really happy with that. Obviously we always want to finish higher, but today we got more or less what we could. In Q1, with the intermediate tires on a damp track, the conditions were a bit tricky. It was very slippery, but it was not wet everywhere and the tires wore out very quickly. Luckily we did the last run at the right time and it was ok. After that, the track was getting better and better. My last lap felt good, but it was still a bit tricky to know where to go because it was still a bit damp here and there; so I took it quite easily at first and then decided to push a bit more. The feeling that I got with my car today was nice, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I hope that in the race we can improve. Usually, we are a bit stronger on Sunday”.
Seb lined up behind his team mate and was pleased with the behavior of his Ferrari: “We are quite happy with the result and our performance was good. I think it will be tough tomorrow considering that Mercedes has been very quick for the whole weekend. Our car today was good and felt amazing, so overall I am happy. The track was not really wet and it was good fun to drive, I just found a bunch of cars ahead of me in my last run, but otherwise I think we improved the car a lot over the weekend, also in qualifying trim, and that’s what really counts”.
Kimi ahead of Seb on the grid
Silverstone, 15 July – Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will start tomorrow’s British Grand Prix from second and third places on the grid. Kimi’s best time was a 1”27’147, while team-mate Sebastian did a 1”27’356. For Q1, Scuderia Ferrari chose to fit the Intermediate tyres, followed by the Supersoft once the track had dried.
Free practice ends with Seb ahead of Kimi
Silverstone, 15 July – Sebastian Vettel ended the final free practice session for the British Grand Prix in second place on the time sheet with a 1”28’095. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest in 1”28’732 in a session where rain put in an appearance towards the end of the hour. Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers ran Supersoft and Intermediate tyres and they are now ready to return on track at 13h00 local time (14h00 CET) for the qualifying session.
Scuderia Ferrari drivers convinced that further progress can be made
Silverstone, July 14 – As is typical of Fridays, Scuderia Ferrari drivers had a lot of things to get through in the two practice sessions. For what it’s worth on a day in which neither points nor grid places are given, P2 ended with Kimi setting the third fastest lap time of 1’28”828, with Seb a close fourth at 1’28”956. A new engine had been fitted to the SF70H since morning and different fuel levels were tested during both sessions. “It was a pretty decent day”, said Kimi, “a bit more straightforward session than on other occasions, and we had no issues. Since this morning the feeling had been ok, but obviously at the beginning there was a bit of guesswork with the conditions, as always when you first run at a track. It could have been a bit better, but it was not too bad either. Tomorrow will be a different day, we can only try to do our best and I’m sure we can improve. In qualifying and mainly on Sunday we’ll see if it is enough”. Sebastian said: “Today for us it was a bit mixed of ups and downs. This morning we had difficulties with the balance to start with, but overall I think we improved the car at the end of the session. On Friday you don’t seek much the performance and this new engine has a lot of miles to do, so we try to save it. It’s working well and we didn’t have problems. But we still have to do more and to improve. We have a lot of things to look at. Mercedes looks quick but it’s not a surprise. The track today was too slippery and tricky, but I think we can get better tomorrow”. “Today”, Seb added “I tried the Shield cockpit protection. The vision is not very good and I think it’s because of the curvature that creates a bit of distortion. We had a run plan but I didn’t like it too much. I couldn’t see much, but at the end it was fun to drive”.
Seb (5th fastest) runs the protection device, Kimi is 6th
Silverstone, 14 July –Ferrari ended the first free practice session for the British Grand Prix in fifth and sixth places. Kimi Raikkonen’s best lap was a 1”30’137, while Sebastian did a 1”30.517. During his installation lap, the German’s car was fitted with a new head protection system being evaluated by the FIA, known as a Shield. Both Ferrari men ran the Supersofts for the entire session.
Kimi and Seb relish the challenge on the British track
Silverstone, July 13 – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen may be different in character and for many things, but they share various passions: for speed, for Scuderia Ferrari, and for the British Grand Prix Track.
“Silverstone it’s a great place” says Kimi “and I enjoy driving here. The track has a lot of history and there’s always a great atmosphere. I have raced here before F1, I liked the old circuit, the layout was more flowing. It hasn’t changed a lot, the feeling is a bit different but it’s still a great place to drive. This year we have completely different cars and rules, we expect to have more downforce than last year’s car and thus to carry more speed through the fast corners. Tomorrow we’ll see if it’s that’s the case: hopefully it goes more in that direction because it’s more fun! We have a limited amount of engines because of the regulations, and now It’s time to put a new one in; as was planned since the beginning”.
As Silverstone goes, Seb is on the same page as his team-mate: “Usually there is a big passion for racing in this country, so it is great to be here, as it is one of the places where the history of motor racing was made. As for us, our car was good last week and it should be ok here, too. I didn’t win in Austria and I really wanted to, but that’s how it goes: sometimes we succeed and sometimes we don’t. The most important thing is to be up there, not just in terms of results, but in terms of pace. Also, tomorrow I’ll test the Shield protection for a few laps in P1. So far I’ve only seen it on a computer screen, so I’ll check it out”.
The scene of Ferrari’s first win. And this time?
Silverstone means a lot to Scuderia Ferrari. It was the scene of its maiden Formula 1 win, in 1951 when José Froilán González drove a 375 to victory. It has always been a classic on the calendar, but is the track the same as in yesteryear? Definitely not: in González’s day the track was under 5 kilometres in length and a race distance involved no less than 90 laps and the Argentinian’s average speed on his way to pole position was only a little over 160 km/h. But even then, it was a superfast track and when Ferrari took pole and the win in 1990 with Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost respectively, their 641s both exceeded 250. Those were the days when Nigel would tell the young test drivers back in Maranello, that at Silverstone, “you never brake.” There was an element of truth in that because the old layout did not put too much stress on the discs and pads. Since then, the circuit has been redesigned several times, the last in 2011 with the creation of the Arena Circuit measuring 5.8 kilometres. Its character has changed, the facility has been modernised and inevitably, it has lost some of the magic from the days when the motorhomes were parked on a grass paddock, used to host barbecues with all the drivers in attendance. But it still has plenty to recommend it, as a very technical circuit, which, above all, rewards aerodynamic efficiency at the corner entry and in the many changes of direction.