Maurizio Arrivabene: “The comparison of the two aerodynamic configurations in the race clearly shows that Sebastian’s car was going very well versus Kimi’s. But we need to improve. The gap to Mercedes is there and we need to analyze our data to understand the reasons. We’re not blind to the fact that we were losing about half a second in T3 only, which puts a premium on traction, and we must find out whether this depends on the nature of the track or on our faults. Strategy-wise, we took an aggressive approach by having Seb stop only twice for tyres. If we had gone for a three-stopper, things wouldn’t have changed or would have been even worse. The numbers tell us that the new solutions are good, the reality shows that they are not good enough. We did make a step forward, but it was supposed to be a jump. I am not blaming anyone in particular, I am taking my own responsibilities. We need to work harder”.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall, it has been a difficult weekend, but non a disaster and we learned a lot. In the race today we gained a few places, but I was not very comfortable with my car, as it was sliding around. Besides that, and for whatever reason, we are able catch the Williams but it’s very difficult to overtake them: they are very fast down the straights and once we get behind them, our car starts to be difficult to handle, much more than when you’re following other lapped cars. About the choice of going back to the ‘old’ aero package, I think it was good for all of us to be able to compare them on the circuit and I was prepared to run the risk. Maybe it would have been better with the new bits, that is probably the case, but at least now we know about it. So, for the next races, we have to do a better job and we need to have more clean weekends, without any issue, even a small one, to make sure that everything works. We know where we have to improve”.
Sebastian Vettel: “All in all, I think third is the best we could do for the pace we had. I don’t think there’s anything wrong, it think it was just something coming together and maybe this is not the best week end for us in terms of competitiveness, but I believe it’s probably more down to conditions rather then something being wrong with the car. For some reasons we didn’t find the same rhythm of the last two events, but I’m sure that in a couple of races we’ll come back stronger. In terms of strategy, we went for two stops because we thought it would have been the best choice for the race: we have to be fair and accept the fact that Mercedes was the best team today. I think we’re going in the right direction. We know that there is a gap, but we’re fighting very hard to close it. Unfortunately we didn’t make a big step this race, but I’m pretty confident we’ll make it soon”.
Weather: air 29/31 °C, track 46/50 °C. Sunny
Spanish Grand Prix – Montmelò, 9 May 2015
Kimi Raikkonen: “So far the weekend has been more difficult than I wanted and today I was still struggling, for some reason my car was sliding around. After a difficult Friday I decided together with the team to go back to the old package because I wanted to make sure it was fine. We knew it would be a risk and it might be difficult but I don’t think that the result would have been as bad as it was today. In Q2 the feeling was pretty ok but then in Q3 it was difficult again, I had not much grip and did a bad lap.It’s one of those weekends in which things keep going a little wrong here and there, and today we also lost one set of Medium tyres because of a burning of a blanket. Tomorrow is another day and the race is a different story, obviously we start in a position that is not ideal , but we have a good package. If we have a good start we can go from there, I’m sure we have the speed to have a good race”.
Sebastian Vettel: “It’s not a great place to be behind Nico and Lewis, but I think it’s the maximum we could do today, so I’m happy with qualifying. I think the week end has been a bit rougher compared to the last couple in terms of finding the balance and the feeling with the car: we’ll see what we can do tomorrow. We have improved the car, but the track conditions this week end are a bit tricky: the wind is very gusty, which is throwing the car around plus the tires are potentially a bit too hard and not really working. It seems that Mercedes is struggling less and the gap seems bigger than usual. Tomorrow we can put them under pressure: we’ll see, it’s a long race. Hopefully we’ll come up with a good strategy, we’ve saved one set of new tires for tomorrow as Mercedes did: I’m hoping we can stay with them for a long time. There’s room for improvements, hopefully the conditions tomorrow will come towards us and we’ll be a bit stronger again. We’ll do our best, as always”.
RAIKKONEN – Chassis 312
VETTEL – Chassis 311
New Hard – 4 laps
New Medium – 3 laps
New Hard – 3 lapsNew Hard – 3 laps
New Medium – 3 laps
New Medium – 3 laps
Old Medium – 3 laps
New Medium – 3 laps
New Medium – 3 lap
New Medium – 3 laps
Weather: air 30 °C, track 48/49 °C. Sunny
Spanish Grand Prix – Mixed fortunes in qualifying
Ferrari third and seventh
Montmelò, 9 May – Come the end of qualifying to decide the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel (1.25.458) and Kimi Raikkonen (1.26.414) finished in third and seventh places respectively. Track conditions were still difficult this afternoon and it was in the final sector of the track that the two Mercedes carved out their advantage, on their way to locking out the front row. Nico Rosberg is on pole with a 1.24.681 ahead of Lewis Hamilton (1.24.948.)
Spanish Grand Prix – Comparing old and new
Ferrari second and fifth in FP3
Montmelo, 9 May – Sebastian Vettel was second fastest in 1.26.177, while his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth with a 1.26.944, in the third free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. The Scuderia concentrated on a comparison between old and new solutions.
Kimi ran in pre-Barcelona configuration in this final practice prior to qualifying, while Sebastian’s car was fitted with the new elements introduced for this round in Catalunya. Topping the time sheet was Nico Rosberg for Mercedes with a 1.26.021, with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton third in 1.26.222.
Spanish Grand Prix – Montmelò, 8th May 2015
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was quite a strange day. The position and laptimes were not too bad, but I was not completely happy with the handling of the car. I don’t know if it was caused by the wind or by the conditions of the track, but I have been struggling all day. We did not see anything bad with the upgrades we brought here. It’s just the feeling that it’s not completely right, as if the car was sliding. I feel there’s a lot to improve and to gain, in the evening we’ll look more into details and see what we can do for the rest of the weekend”.
Sebastian Vettel: “I think it’s quite straightforward that the Medium are the faster tires, but today it was a bit slippery for all the cars. Grip seems to be very low, nothing abnormal as we’ve seen it across many years now. When we come from the winter usually in summer the track is quite a bit slower. It always helps when there are cars around and I think everybody covered quite a lot of laps today: of course on Sunday it will improve, but the general conditions will remain the same. They say it is going to be a bit cooler on Sunday and maybe that will help. I think we can improve the cars, but the gap with Mercedes is still there. It was not the best lap today, but I believe that in these conditions it is difficult for everybody. The difference between the two tires compound is quite big on a lap for us, while on the long run it is a lot smaller, but then when you slide so much you can’t really extract the performance out of the tires. Today everyone was sliding a lot, so it’s not entirely fair to judge the new pieces on the car. But most important, there’s nothing wrong with them: they’re working as expected so we can hopefully build into that”.
RAIKKONEN – chassis 312
VETTEL – chassis 311
Weather: air 22/26 °C, track 28/37 °C. Sunny
Weather: air 30/32 °C, track 44/48 °C. Sunny
Spanish Grand Prix – Seeking confirmation
Montmelò, 8 May – Sebastian Vettel was second fastest with a 1.27.260 and Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in 1.27.780, in the second free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. This afternoon, both drivers used the two compounds available – Medium and Hard – working on set-up and car balance. In general, the high temperatures did not help in terms of grip nor with the way the tyres were standing up to the conditions. Once again, Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes with a 1.26.852, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg was third in 1.27.616.
Vettel third and Raikkonen fourth in the first free practice session
Montmelò, 8 May - The Spanish Grand Prix, the first of the European races on the Formula 1 calendar, got underway this morning, with the first free practice session. Nico Rosberg was fastest round the Catalunya circuit, with a best lap in 1.26.828. Behind the German came his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton (1.26.898.) Next up where the two SF15-Ts of Sebastian Vettel (1.27.806) and Kimi Raikkonen (1.27.832.) Both men ran Hard tyres, as they tackled an initial evaluation of the new aerodynamic package.
Vettel – Wait and see
Montmelò, 7 May – I think everybody is right: we have to wait and see what’s happening on Sunday as Barcelona has always been historically the track where to bring updates, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. We’re doing as all the other teams, bringing updates to catch up who’s in front of us. Every time you bring new parts you have to wait and see if they’re working well or not when you’re on the track and it also depends on how big is the step that the other teams has done.
Compared to the gap to the other teams we’ve seen here during the winter test session three months ago, we’ve improved a lot, but the gap is still there. What we really need is to be faster, in every condition: it’s true that we know this track very well, but it is also true that we have very different conditions compared to the winter session. It is 15-20° hotter now and I don’t need to explain you what does it mean.
Raikkonen – A fair battle
Montmelò, 7 May – It was nice to have a good result in Bahrain and now we keep working always with the same approach, always trying to improve. It is also nice to come back to European races: here we have some upgrades but we don’t know what the others are doing, so let’s wait and see what’s happening in the next races. The car package is quite good this year and the we’re all working very well together: The team gives me and Sebastian the same chances and obviously we try to beat each other for the Drivers’ championship, but in a good and fair way, in the interest of the team.
It is clear that we also want to win the manufacturers’ title and for this purpose, having two cars always there in the points is crucial. Compared to Mercedes there have been improvements, but we know we’re still behind. We need to work to further improve the whole package.
From Maranello to PortAventura
Tarragona, 7 May –There’ll be a little piece of Maranello in the foundations of FerrariLand in PortAventura, the first theme park in Europe based on the Prancing Horse marque. A brick from Enzo Ferrari’s house was the piece in question at today’s official ceremony to launch this ambitious project, which will see the theme park come to life in a special area within the resort, which is situated on the Costa Dorada, around an hour’s drive from Barcelona. Officiating at the ceremony, along with the President of the Government of Catalunya, Artur Mas and the President of the PortAventura Resort, Arturo Mas-Sardà, were Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal, Maurizio Arrivabene and Sebastian Vettel. The German driver arrived at the wheel of a Ferrari California T and answered a few questions, most of them on the topic of this weekend’s race in Montmelo, before carrying out the actual laying of the first stone.
Barcelona: managing the tyres
Maranello, 7 May – “I’ve got very positive memories of the Barcelona circuit, partly because I’ve had good results at this track in every category in which I’ve raced and also because the race usually takes place at a time of year when summer is just around the corner.”
These are the opening remarks about the venue from Esteban Gutiérrez, Scuderia Ferrari’s third driver, when he spoke to ferrari.com. “It’s a historic track, that we know well from winter testing, as well as using it a lot in the simulator, precisely because we have a lot of data to compare,” continues the Mexican driver.
“But that doesn’t mean it’s not a difficult race, especially when it comes to tyre management. The first sector features medium speed corners, which can lead to the tyres overheating. However, in the third sector, you find low speed corners and the grip level from the track surface is key to getting the right line, the risk being that, if the tyres overheat too much, the grip level drops dramatically. This situation can even occur in qualifying, so strategy also plays a vital role on Saturday.”
Maranello, 7 May –The European part of the Formula One championship is about to get underway after the first four races were all staged far from the Old Continent. The teams know the Barcelona circuit well, given that Montmelò was home to two of the pre-season tests.
Iñachi Rueda, in charge of strategy for Scuderia Ferrari, explains what are the most significant challenges posed by this track:
“Montmelò is traditionally very hard in terms of tyre wear and degradation, which actually explains why, over the past few years, we have seen quite an increase in the number of pit stops. However, one has to take into consideration that the need to make more stops also provides a good opportunity for gaining places: at a track where it’s difficult to overtake, one has to know how to play with the number of pit stops to get ahead of one’s competitors. It’s a well known fact that all the teams turn up for the first European race with cars that feature many updates, practically new cars compared to what we saw in Bahrain. As for ourselves, we hope the updates we are bringing will let us get even closer to Mercedes.”