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Circuit Red Bull Ring Spielberg
Date 22.06.2014
Laps 71
Distance 307,020 km / 190,814 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T 303 Scuderia Ferrari 10.
           
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T 302 Scuderia Ferrari 5.

 

Austrian GP – Step by step

Posted: 22.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Marco Mattiacci: “The way this season is going becomes particularly evident when one races at a track where what counts the most is the power of the car. Today, we tried to get the most out of what we have and we believe we have taken another small step in the right direction. Unfortunately, we were unable to demonstrate that with Kimi, who did not have an easy time on this circuit, but we are sure that with the progressive improvement of the car he too will be able to show what he’s capable of. Fernando could not have done any better today. He managed to maintain a great pace for the whole race, at times even quicker than the leaders and this must serve as an incentive to continue developing the F14 T. Overall the gaps are coming down and the number of teams fighting it out behind the frontrunners is increasing. So our aim is to exploit all our potential to be at the front of the pursuing group.”

Fernando Alonso: “I think that I can consider this to be my best race of the season, because finishing eighteen seconds off the Mercedes in a race without a Safety Car or any particular incidents, is a good result. It was impossible to keep Hamilton behind me and fifth place is really the best we could do today, because the first four cars were quicker and therefore deserved to finish ahead of us. We pushed hard all race without any problems, which means that little by little, we are improving. Sure, there’s still a long way to go but the aim is still to do well and score points. Each track is a different story and we will always try our best.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “This was another very difficult race for me, despite having gone in a different direction yesterday to try and improve the performance. Unfortunately, it did not bring the improvements I’d hoped for and again here I found myself fighting the handling of the car. At the start I made up one place, but already on the second lap I began to have a problem with the brakes overheating and this meant I had to slow down. At the time of my first pit stop, my tyres were completely worn and on my in-lap alone I lost two places. We should definitely have stopped sooner. Compared to the start of the season, progress has been made, even if there’s still a lot to do as our speed still doesn’t allow us to fight for the top places.”

Pat Fry: “After a good start both Kimi and Fernando struggled a lot on the Supersoft because of graining on the rears which slowed their pace. In this stint, a gap grew to the Mercedes-engined cars which made the most of their superior power down the three straights. Apart from the actual result, we can nevertheless be pleased because in the second and third stints, especially with Fernando, we were one of the quickest cars on track and that shows that, race by race, we are making small steps forward. Kimi struggled more than Fernando and unfortunately, with him we paid a high price for his in-lap before his first stop when the rear tyres were on the limit. Now we must look ahead to the next race in Silverstone, a very different circuit to this one, where we can also expect the Red Bulls to be back on form. As usual we will try and be in the fight and to prepare our car as well as possible for this new challenge.”

 

Austrian GP – A mountain to climb in the Styrian Alps

Posted: 22.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 22 June – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth and tenth respectively in this the eighth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. All four of the cars that finished ahead of the Spaniard in his F14 T were Mercedes-powered, underlining the current superiority of the German power unit. Nico Rosberg took his third win of the season for Mercedes, ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, while Valtteri Bottas secured his first ever F1 podium finish, in third place for Williams. Despite progress made on the F14 T development front, the other teams are not resting on their laurels, hence the lack of change in the pecking order, on a day when the Red Bulls failed to shine at their home track.

After the start, Fernando who was fourth on the grid, immediately fell victim to Lewis Hamilton, who had charged up the field from ninth on the grid in the Mercedes. As Vettel had a problem in the Red Bull, Kimi was temporarily up one place to seventh. Felipe Massa maintained his lead from pole, while Bottas in the other Williams briefly lost second to Rosberg, only to take it back again on the same lap. By lap 10 of 71, Fernando was having a lonely time in fifth, 5.4 behind Hamilton. Both Ferrari men suffered badly from graining on the Supersoft and their pace improved slightly once they changed to the Softs, Fernando on lap 14 and Kimi on lap 15. In the case, of the Finn, his tyres were very worn by this stage and a slow in-lap dropped him down the field.

At this point, there was not a lot the two Prancing Horse men could do, even if Fernando showed stunning pace, running laps as fast or faster than the leaders in the final stint, after he and Kimi made their second and final pit stops on laps 47 and 44 respectively. If the general feeling after Saturday’s qualifying was that the two Williams would struggle to maintain their front row status in the race, in actual fact Bottas and Massa had a strong pace and the Mercedes duo had to work hard to re-establish their superiority. In the closing stages, Hamilton looked as though he might threaten his team-mate, but Rosberg held him off to the flag.

Mercedes is now on an impressive 301 points, over twice as many as second placed Red Bull in the Constructors’ classification, in which the Scuderia is third. In the Drivers’ Rosberg and Hamilton look similarly dominant, while the battle for third is closer, with Fernando on 79 points closing the gap to Daniel Ricciardo on 83. From a track with fast straights and medium speed corners, the championship now moves to the very different challenge that is Silverstone, where, with just one long straight, but plenty of high speed corners,  the teams will face a very different challenge in the British GP.

 

Austrian GP – Fifth and tenth places for Ferrari

Posted: 22.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 22 June  –Scuderia Ferrari finished fifth and tenth in the Austrian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso started fourth but was passed by Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes after the start, finishing in the wake of Felipe Massa’s Williams, part of  a quartet of Stuttgart engined cars at the front of the field. Nico Rosberg took his third win of the season, ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Finland’s Valtteri Bottas was third in the other Williams.

The Spaniard ran a consistent race, making no mistakes and he was often the fastest driver on track, but it was not enough to get to the podium. Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for tenth place, overtaken by Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg, who had started behind him on the grid.

Rosberg has extended his lead over Hamilton to 29 points in the championship, while Alonso has closed the gap to four points off Ricciardo (eighth today) in their fight for third. Raikkonen is twelfth on 19, while Ferrari is third in the Constructors.’ The next round is the British GP at Silverstone in a fortnight’s time.

 

Austrian GP – A surprising Saturday

Posted: 21.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “I have mixed feelings after this qualifying, because on the one hand, this is the best result since early in the season, but it’s also true that the session was very unusual and it’s highly likely that the final order does not reflect the true hierarchy down the field. In Q2, I made a mistake at the final corner, which meant I had to try another run and in Q3, I went long in turn 3. But fourth place makes up for the disappointment of not having done a perfect lap and it should make us proud of what we have accomplished so far, because the updates we started bringing since Canada seem to indicate we are on the right road. With some faster cars behind us, we can expect a difficult race, in which defending will be as important as attacking. Now we must try and work out how to make the most of this advantage for as long as possible in terms of strategy and to have a solid race.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “In these two days I have found it more difficult to put together a good lap and again today in qualifying things did not go well. In Q3, I went out for just a single run on the Supersofts, but the mistakes made at the first corner affected my lap times. On my last run I locked the wheels, damaging the left front tyre, but at that point, I decided to keep on trying to improve. Even if eighth place is not a disaster, I am disappointed because we were quicker than that today, but I was never able to be consistent in the three sectors. Race pace is good and even if I am finding it a bit hard to get the tyres up to temperature, I will try my best tomorrow.”

Pat Fry: “If you look at the results of qualifying since the start of the year, today’s is definitely unusual, but putting all other considerations aside, all my congratulations go to Felipe, because I think he really deserved pole position. Here in Spielberg, your overall power counts for a lot and so starting from the second row must be seen as a good result. It’s very easy to make mistakes here, especially in the first corner and the last two and, as it’s a very short track, traffic can also create problems. Fernando got the most out of the car and tomorrow with him we will work in two directions, attacking those in front while defending from those behind such as Hamilton. Unfortunately, Kimi didn’t get a clean lap, because of a mistake at the first corner and now we will work on improving his package so he can have greater confidence in the car, because his qualities are out of question. The race pace we had on Friday is encouraging, equal to that of the Williams and Red Bull and so we can expect the race to be as tight as qualifying.”

  ALONSO – Chassis 302 RAIKKONEN – Chassis 303
Q1 P13 1:10.405 New Soft – 8 laps P8 1:10.285 New Soft – 7 laps
New Supersoft – 3 laps
Q2 P6 1:09.479 New Supersoft – 4 laps
New Supersoft – 5 laps
P10 1:09.657 New Supersoft – 3 laps
New Supersoft – 5 laps
Q3 P4 1:09.285 New Supersoft – 4 laps
New Supersoft – 4 laps
P8 1:10.795 New Supersoft – 5 laps
Weather: 20 °C, track 32 °C. Sunny

 

Austrian GP – No clear picture

Posted: 21.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 21 June – Fernando Alonso matched his and Scuderia Ferrari’s best grid position of the season today, with a fourth place in Spielberg, to ensure his F14 T will line up on the second row of the grid. Of course, that’s very positive, especially given Fernando’s penchant for aggressive starts, but this was a very strange afternoon in the Austrian mountains for a variety of reasons.

For starters, the dominant force that is the Mercedes team tripped itself up, as a problem for Lewis Hamilton in Q3 caught out his team-mate Nico Rosberg, so that the German lines up in third place on the inside of the Spanish Ferrari driver. Yes, for the first time this season, a Mercedes is not on pole, although its power unit is. They’ve looked strong all weekend and Williams locked out the front row, naturally enough producing a few smiles down in the Prancing Horse garage as Felipe Massa, today’s pole man is still a popular figure in the Ferrari camp. This was the Brazilian’s first pole since he was fastest in a Ferrari at his home race in 2008. Alongside him is his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

The short lap makes for close times here and the slightest error leads to a big penalty, as some of the usual front runners found out. While Kimi Raikkonen struggled with the balance of his car and had to settle for eighth place on row four on the outside of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, the Finn is one place ahead of Lewis Hamilton, the Englishman off the front row for the first time this year. He is bound to be trying to charge up the order. Other big names in trouble include reigning champion Sebastian Vettel, who starts twelfth for Red Bull at the team’s home race and home track.

The unusual grid means that the start is going to see plenty of action and after that, it will be a case of the faster cars that haven’t qualified well trying to fight their way up the order. This means timing the tyre stops correctly could be decisive. A two stop is the most likely strategy, with the front runners running on Supersoft Pirellis at the start, before switching around lap 13 onto the Softs and taking on a final set of the harder compound around lap 42. However, for the cars further back on the grid, they could leave the Supersoft tyre for a short final stint. An interesting afternoon awaits..

 

Austrian GP – Second and fourth rows for Ferrari

Posted: 21.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 21 June –Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix produced a surprising front row, while the Scuderia Ferrari drivers will be starting from the second and fourth rows. Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in 1.09.285, equaling his best result of the season in Malaysia. Kimi Raikkonen will start from eighth, with a time of 1.10.795.

Both men had a relatively smooth passage into Q2, but from then on life got harder. Fernando was on a perfect lap but made a mistake at the end of the final corner, going off on the grass, which meant he had to try again. Kimi pushed hard all the way to squeeze through in last place for the top ten shoot-out.

The final stages were action packed. Fernando posted a strong 1.09.285, while Williams locked out the front row with Felipe Massa taking his first pole since Brazil 2008 in 1.08.759 and Valtteri Bottas doing a 1.08.846. In third was championship leader Nico Rosberg in 1.08.944, who was unable to improve as he came up behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton who had spun at Turn 2. Kimi never got a clean lap and could do no better than eighth.

 

Austrian GP – Down to the hundredths

Posted: 21.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 21 June – The Scuderia Ferrari drivers ended the third free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix in sixth and ninth places. Looking at the times, it seems qualifying positions will be decided by hundredths rather than tenths of a second. Twelve cars all lapped within a second this morning, while even more startling the top six are all within two tenths. Fernando Alonso did a 1.10.054 and Kimi Raikkonen lapped in 1.10.488. Quickest was Valtteri Bottas, who did a 1.09.848 in the Williams. The two Ferrari men again did a lot of laps, bringing in more data which will be particularly useful for tomorrow’s race. Kimi did 22 laps and Fernando 17. The battle for pole gets underway at 14h00.

 

Austrian GP – It’s only Friday

Posted: 20.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “It’s nice to be back racing here, the track has many changes of gradient and that always makes for enjoyable driving. In both sessions, Kimi and I were on different programmes and now we must put all the data together to choose which of the elements we tested have worked best. There were no surprises on the tyre front, the Supersoft seems quicker and will definitely be the tyre for qualifying, but for the race, it’s impossible to establish now what the strategy will be. It was always cloudy today and there were even a few drops of rain, but the next days are meant to be sunny and so tyre behaviour could change. The good forecast means that anything is possible and hopefully that means the chance to put on a good show for the fans who were already here in large numbers today.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “Today was particularly busy, which is normal when you go back to a track for the first time in many years. Despite the changeable weather reducing the amount of track time in the first session, we still managed to complete our programme, which today centred on analysing new aerodynamic parts brought for this race. Along with Fernando, we concentrated on different set-up tests, me on the front end and him on the rear, so as to compare the data from the second session. In the afternoon, I had a better feeling from the car, but for various reasons, including a lack of grip, traffic and the wind, I didn’t manage to put together a good lap, or to improve in the final sector.”

Pat Fry: “Coming back here after eleven years made for a bit more work on this first day on track. Kimi and Fernando did a total of 129 laps and even if this is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, Spielberg presents a demanding series of drops and climbs and luckily, both our drivers are among the few to have driven here before. The cold track in the morning complicated the task of getting the Soft tyres up to temperature, but things went better on the Supersoft in the afternoon. Over the two sessions, we made various set-up changes to meet the demands of the different driving styles of our drivers and we did see a slight improvement. Of course, we can’t say we’re pleased with that, because we still need to find the perfect balance and therefore we will need to make the most of today’s data to work on the handling of the car. Qualifying will be very close, especially because on such a short track, just a tenth of a second can win or lose you several places on the grid, so we will need to get a clean lap without traffic. As far as race pace is concerned, behind the Mercedes there’s a group of cars all quite close together, doing very similar lap times, so a good grid position would mean not having to chase after the others.”

  ALONSO – chassis 302  RAIKKONEN – chassis 303
First Session P3 1:11.606 23 laps   P11 1:12.365 21 laps
                                      Weather:  air 15/17 °C, track 20/23 °C. Cloudy, light rain
Second Session P3 1:10.470 40 laps P11 1:10.974 45 laps
                                       Weather:  air 20/22°C, track 26/30 °C.  Cloudy

 

Austrian GP – Mother Nature is the star

Posted: 20.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 20 June – The old circuits have their history and some of the newest tracks are proving popular, but Formula 1’s return to Austria has shown off the skills of a great track builder known as Mother Nature. The spectators – and there were plenty of them today – get a truly panoramic view of the Red Bull Ring from the main grandstand or from the hillside at the back of the circuit. Today, the fans witnessed Formula 1 cars in action here for the first time since May 2003 and Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, two of only four drivers to have raced here in F1 on that weekend eleven years ago, posted the third and eleventh fastest times of the day.

For the drivers in the F14 Ts it was the usual  Friday programme, splitting work between evaluating updates and seeing what the tyres, in this case the Soft and Supersofts were doing. Light rain in the morning didn’t help, but the weather is the same for everyone. As the weather hots up tomorrow, front tyre graining will probably become a factor to consider when planning race strategy, but before then, the softer of the two compounds will definitely bring the time advantage over a single lap in tomorrow afternooon’s qualifying session. While Fernando was able to exploit the Supersofts to set the third fastest time, Kimi didn’t get the best out of them, hence his eleventh place.

No surprises at the front of the field, with Mercedes still the dominant force. Lewis Hamilton was fastest ahead of Nico Rosberg and these two were the only drivers to break the 1minute 10 second barrier. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa slotted into fourth and fifth places for Williams, with reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel rounding off the top six for Red Bull.

 

Austrian GP – 85 laps for Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 20.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 20 June –It was a productive second practice session for Scuderia Ferrari as the two drivers completed 85 laps between them, acquiring valuable data for the engineers to now analyse, to prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race. The extensive running was also a good thing for the drivers, returning to Spielberg after an eleven year break and thus letting them get to know the track again.

Fernando Alonso did 40 laps, with a best time of 1.10.470, which put him third fastest. Kimi Raikkonen did 45 laps, stopping the clocks in 1.10.974, which put him in eleventh place, although the Finn never got a proper clean lap. Once again, a Mercedes driver topped the time sheet, this time Lewis Hamilton in 1.09.542.

As usual, in the final third of the session, the focus switched to running in race configuration, with Alonso and Raikkonen, as well as the other drivers doing some long runs on both the Soft and Supersoft tyres. Front tyre graining was a feature of the session for many. Free practice 3 takes place tomorrow at 11h00.

 

Austrian GP – Rain affects first session

Posted: 20.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 20 June – There was some rain during the first free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix and that affected plans for Scuderia Ferrari and the other teams in the final half hour on this new venue, where acquiring as much data as possible was on the agenda. In the first hour, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen worked on set-up and tyres, but the track provided very little grip and there were plenty of off-track excursions.

Fernando Alonso did 23 laps on his way to third fastest time in 1.11.606, while Kimi Raikkonen’s best was a 1.12.365. The Finn’s second quick lap never happened, as he was affected by traffic and the rain. In the final part of the session, the rain got heavier and so no one was able to improve. Heading the pack was Nico Rosberg who posted a 1.11.295 in the Mercedes. The second session starts at 14h00.

 

De La Rosa: “On track and simulator in tandem”

Posted: 19.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 20 June – “The last time I raced in Austria was in 2002 and I remember the track as being short but in a beautiful setting. Turn 2, apart from providing a great overtaking opportunity also has beautiful views over the mountains surrounding the track”. That’s what Scuderia Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa had to say about the Spielberg circuit. It’s not particularly tough on brakes, with the Remus corner to a certain extent being the most demanding on brakes. Furthermore, to get this section right, so as to make the most of the long straight and then Remus, one needs to get the best possible exit from the first corner.

“The most difficult section is the one covering the first three corners, up to Gosser, while the rest is reasonably straightforward”, continues Pedro. “However, this year it will be harder, because no one has any recent data for the track and so one must make the most of the large amount of work carried out in the simulator and trust in the evaluation of our engineers. In fact, I will be in the simulator during the first two sessions to allow the team to gather even more data and to effectively have a third car on track”.

“Even if the set-up required is quite conventional, we must pay close attention to graining on the front tyres. The Lauda and Berger corners can be treated as one, as far as the front tyres are concerned. Then, before the start-finish straight, there’s the Rindt and Mobilkon turns, which put a lot of strain on the front right, so you run the risk of ending the lap with pronounced graining already on the fronts. Managing this aspect will therefore be crucial”.

 

Austrian GP – Raikkonen: “Good memories of this circuit”

Posted: 19.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 19 June – As one of only four drivers on this year’s grid who has raced at this track before, Kimi Raikkonen seemed delighted to be here when he spoke to the media this afternoon. “First of all I have to say I like racing in Europe!” began the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “This is a nice place to come and they seem to have built a lot of new facilities. I have good memories of this circuit and I think the track makes for pretty good racing. The layout means you can overtake and so I am very happy to be here. I think this circuit should suit us better than Canada, which, along with Bahrain, was the most difficult for us. But at the moment, I am just guessing. We must wait and see what happens tomorrow.”

Last weekend, a Ferrari won its class in the Le Mans 24 Hours race and Raikkonen was asked if that’s a race he would like to tackle. “I enjoy racing and Le Mans is one of the things that would be on the top of my list, as a very famous race,” replied the Finn. “I would have to see what happens in the future, but for sure there is some interest in doing that race, but at the moment, it’s too early to say. Rallycross would also be nice to try as it looks good fun. I enjoy Rallying a lot, it’s a difficult sport with a good challenge, but Le Mans is probably closest to Formula 1. It’s good to try different things because it’s good fun and you always learn something.”

Kimi also had words of praise for the Scuderia’s new Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci. “Everybody has their own way of doing things and it’s early days for Marco,” said Kimi. “He is a very nice guy who really wants to make a difference. These are good signs and there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes. I think sometimes it can be a good thing when someone comes in from outside Formula 1 with a different view of things. I expect he can do a very good job.”

 

Austrian GP – Alonso: “The President is right”

Posted: 19.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Spielberg, 19 June – Fernando Alonso claimed to have no memories of his past races here at the refurbished Austrian circuit and in fact, the major changes to the facilities, new pits, new grandstands, new media centre, mean there is not much except the actual track layout that has stayed the same. “I do remember it as very short,” said the Scuderia Ferrari man in today’s FIA conference. “There are only five or six corners where you can make up time, so I expect lap times to be very close, with one or two tenths making a big difference. Therefore we must aim for a perfect lap on Saturday.”

As usual some new parts will be fitted to the F14 Ts this weekend: “we will try them on Friday free practice and see which ones we can use on Saturday and which need more time,” explained the Spaniard. “I hope we have some good ones!” Next up was the topic of Luca di Montezemolo’s comments regarding the need for a brainstorming session on the sport’s future. “I think the President is right in a way,” commented Fernando. “The show has not been good enough at some races this year and with one team dominating, the spectators want more excitement. It’s right that if the teams and fans have any ideas to have a better show then they should be welcome.”

The recent decision to reduce in-season testing again has good and bad points according to the Ferrari man. “I know it is important to reduce costs, as it means more teams can survive, but on the other hand, this is the only sport with no training and for young drivers especially, it is difficult if almost the first time in the car is in Free Practice 1: that is unique to this sport.”

Finally, Spain’s departure from the football World Cup. “I am surprised, but not disappointed,” maintained Alonso. “We have been winning for several years so sooner or later we had to lose. All we can do is say thanks to the team for everything they have given us over the last few years.”

 

Austrian GP – Allison: “A fight that never ends”

Posted: 17.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 17 June – The eighth round of the World Championship sees the F1 circus head for Austria’s Red Bull Ring, previously A1 Ring and before that, Osterreichring, for the first time since 2003. A gap of over a decade, makes it a brand new circuit from a technical point of view, with none of the data any of the teams might still have being valid today.
With only eight or nine corners, depending on what one believes constitutes a turn, this track at 4.326 km in length, although the third shortest after Monaco and Sao Paolo, is going to be the shortest in terms of lap time.

Like all teams, Scuderia Ferrari will be relying more than usual on simulation work to provide a set-up baseline, although one aspect that cannot be simulated is tyre wear. “We will have the Soft and Supersoft Pirellis, just as we did in the last two races,” says the Scuderia’s Technical Director James Allison. “We cannot be sure what to expect but, as at any of the tracks this year, management of the Option in qualifying will be extremely important. You need to ensure you get the tyre prepared for a hot lap in Q2, while being sure the tyre can then cope with the first stint of the race.”

Allison is heavily involved in the Scuderia’s efforts to speed up development on the F14 T. “Every season is dominated by the efforts back at the factory to try to improve the package. If you’re in front you work to stay in front and if you’re not, then your efforts are aimed at moving your way up the grid,” said the Englishman. “Currently, we’re doing our level best across every aspect of the car: mechanically, aerodynamically, electronically, every single component, set up wise, everything we can do to try to improve is being done. In recent races we have brought more upgrades than usual to the track and this has improved our position marginally. We just need to keep fighting the same fight, we have upgrade plans race by race. If we do a good job with all of those, it will start to tell and we will start to see Ferrari run more consistently relatively to the opposition. But it’s not an easy fight, and it’s a fight that never ends.”

 

Austria, into the Bullring

Posted: 16.06.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 16 June – Sunday sees the 27th running of the Austrian Grand Prix. The race was first held on an “L” shaped track at the Zeltweg Airfield. Italy’s Lorenzo Bandini won at the wheel of a Ferrari 156 F1-63. However, the location was abandoned as the track was made of concrete and not asphalt and was not up to the task. The race returned to the calendar in 1970 at the new Osterreichring circuit, almost 6 kilometres in length, winding its way through the climbs and drops that linked the villages of Zeltweg and Spielberg. Formula 1 last raced on that layout in 1987 before returning a decade later with a new shorter 4.3 kilometre track, renamed the A1 Ring. The last race held in Spielberg was in 2003. Now it returns to the same track layout with a renovated and modernised infrastructure, the work being undertaken by Red Bull. Ferrari has won five times in Austria, which is a hit rate of 19%, the first of these, as mentioned already, courtesy of Bandini. The Scuderia won again when the Osterreichring opened its doors, thanks to Belgium’s Jacky Ickx, who headed home a one-two with Switzerland’s Clay Regazzoni, the two cars crossing the line just 61 hundredths of a second apart.

Almost 30 years later in 1999, Eddie Irvine won for Ferrari in the F399, making the most of an internecine conflict at McLaren, which saw championship leader Mika Hakkinen retire. The other two wins came courtesy of Michael Schumacher in 2002 and 2003, the latter coming after a bit of a scare. When team-mate Rubens Barrichello pitted, his refueling equipment did not work and so his F2003-GA had to be fueled from Schumacher’s rig. When the German came in shortly afterwards, there was still some fuel left in the nozzle from Barrichello’s stop and it caught fire with flames shooting from the car. Schumacher didn’t flinch and stayed in the cockpit, keeping an eye on the Ferrari mechanics, who very calmly extinguished the fire, sending Schumacher on his way with the loss of just a few seconds. Michael rejoined third and went on to win the race.
Along with Jenson Button and Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen make up the quartet of current drivers who have raced here before in Formula 1.

 

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