|Circuit||Circuit de Monaco – Monte Carlo
|Distance||260,286 km / 161,769 miles|
||Scuderia Ferrari||retired / accident|
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Today it was a very tricky race, and the outcome was partly compromised by our qualifying performance. An aggressive race strategy, with an early call for intermediate tires, was the only option we could take to gain positions, and it’s no use to complain about other drivers who hampered us on the track. If we had qualified better, the result would also had been better. Our car had a very good race pace but that’s not enough, as we must make sure that we stay competitive for the whole weekend. We now look forward to the next race in Canada where we don’t want to be caught out, as we want to be up to our name. The season is still very long, and it’s not in the DNA of Ferrari to surrender. Having said this, we must work hard to cure our weak spots, while improving further on all areas where we are strong already.”
Kimi Raikkonen: ”Today it was very difficult to get any grip in wet conditions, I was trying to drive as fast as I could but I was very slow. At one point, trying to downshift, I locked the rear a little bit, went straight and then I just couldn’t turn around at the hairpin. Unfortunately I touched the wall, took the front wing out and it got stuck underneath the car. After that I struggled to go forward and in the end I managed to get the car moving. When the team told me to park the car I was in the middle of the tunnel and couldn’t stop there, so I went through very slowly and then I parked the car. It has been a difficult weekend with a bad end result for me, now we keep working and improving, certainly we can do better next race.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”It was a difficult race, I think I could have done better when I stopped and I came out behind Felipe. We made the right strategy call but then I should have found the way to get past, I think I lost the podium there. When I was behind him I was in the Intermediates tires, it was very slippery, very easy to get it wrong, but I feel I should have made it possible. Yesterday we didn’t do a good job in not putting the car in the place where we belong, yet I think we were very quick this weekend, the pit-stops were fantastic, a great job from the guys. But the rest is up to me and I apologize because I couldn’t get to the podium. I tried everything to close the gap to Perez, and I did come very close a couple of times, I was also lucky not to ‘kiss’ the wall at the end. Now it’s over, so in the end we got good points and after 6 races there’s a lot more to come.”
Sebastian so close to a podium, Kimi out after 10 laps
Monaco, 29 May – Sebastian Vettel finished the Monaco Grand Prix in fourth place. The race was full of incident, after starting in heavy rain before drying out early on and staying that way to the chequered flag. Kimi Raikkonen retired after hitting the barriers on lap 10. The race was won by Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, who finished ahead of Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull and Sergio Perez in the Force India.
Kimi Raikkonen: “The whole weekend has been quite tricky, but this morning the car felt a bit better and for qualifying we improved even more. For sure we did the right things, but we struggled to make the tires work as we wanted; they were too much on the edge of the grip, the rear was slipping or the front was sliding and in a track like this when you don’t have a consistent good grip you lose a lot of time because of that. Obviously we are not happy of where we end up and the penalty due to the gearbox change for sure doesn’t help, but we’ll try to make the best out of it. We cannot predict what will happen tomorrow, for sure the race it’s not going to be easy, but usually many things happen here, we’ll try to get the most, to do the right calls in case of Safety Car and to take the right decisions.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Of course I’m really disappointed, because what we did on the car from Thursday to today was really good and we had improved it a lot. This morning we had a very good start, I knew that there will be a lot more to come and I wasn’t worried at all, but as the qualifying progressed it was just getting more difficult for us to extract the grip. When you don’t have the grip here it’s more penalizing than on another track, the car was starting to slide a lot and at this stage we don’t understand why. While all the grid was going faster and faster, in the end we did the same fast laps we did at the beginning. I did what I could, but I was not as comfortable as I was in the morning. It’s disappointing because I missed a good opportunity to start the race potentially from the front tomorrow. I was expecting more because the car gave me all reason to expect more but in a couple of hours we’ll start to look forward, the race is tomorrow, we have a great car and a great pace.”
Sebastian Vettel fourth, Kimi Raikkonen sixth in qualifying
Monaco, 28 May – Sebastian Vettel finished fourth in today’s qualifying session with a time of 1.14.552. The German finished two places higher up the order than Kimi Raikkonen, who was sixth, 180 thousandths of a second slower than his team-mate. However, the Finn will start from eleventh on the grid tomorrow, as a gearbox change was required on his car. Starting from pole position in tomorrow’s race will be Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull, thanks to a time of 1.13.622.
Preparing for qualifying
Monaco, 28 May – Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the third free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, the last hour of track time prior to qualifying. Today’s track conditions were very different to those on the first day, as the surface continues to evolve after the roads were again open to traffic yesterday.
Both Ferrari men used two sets of Ultrasofts, as they worked on finalising set-up. The German completed 25 laps, the best in 1.14.650. Beating the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton (1.14.668) by 18 thousandths of a second. In the other SF16-H Kimi Raikkonen completed 22 laps, the best in 1.15.555, ninth on the time sheet and less happy than his team-mate with the conditions.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was not an ideal day, but it is still the first day of practice. In the morning I was not very happy with the car but in the afternoon we were able to improve the behavior. There’s a lot of work to do but of course this is not the easiest place when things are not running exactly as you want. It’s the first time we use the Ultrasoft compound in the race weekend, the feeling is that it’s the best fitting tire of all of those we have here, but we still need to find a way to make them work slightly better.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It was not a “clean” day in the office today. Our session was a bit scrappy: I touched the wall, damaged the rear wing, but luckily we were able to fix it and carry on. I just didn’t get everything out of the car, couldn’t find the rhythm and didn’t do good laps on the Ultrasoft tires. If you look at the standings, we don’t belong where we scored today. But overall the car is good and has the pace. So I am not worried for Saturday. Today our focus was not towards ranking high up, we tried a couple of things and it is fair to say that some of them didn’t work. Being the first practice day, it is also difficult to see what other people did.”
Kimi and Seb focus on the race, running different tyres
Monaco, 26 May – Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel posted the seventh and ninth best times in their SF16-Hs at the end of Free Practice 2. This is the only race where track action starts a day earlier than usual on a Thursday. The two Ferrari men ran different programmes, as they took to the crowded Monegasque track for the usual race simulations planned for this second session. Raikkonen ran Softs and Vettel the Supersofts before both switching to the purple Ultrasofts. Kimi did 37 laps, the best in 1.16.040 while, as happened in the morning, Sebastian did two more, on his way to a 1.16.269. Quickest was Daniel Ricciardo who did a 1.14.607 in the Red Bull followed by the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton (1.15.213) and Nico Rosberg (1.15.506).
Fastest times on the Ultrasoft
Monaco, 26 May – Ferrari rounded off the top three come the end of the first free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, courtesy of a lap from Sebastian Vettel using the Ultrasoft tyre, which is making its first ever appearance at a Grand Prix. The German took his SF16-H round the twists and turns of the street circuit that hosts Sunday’s sixth round of the Formula 1 World Champioship in a time of 1.15.956. Ahead of him were the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton (1.15.537) and Nico Rosberg (1.15.638.) In the other Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen was ninth fastest with a 1.16.912, also set on Ultrasofts. The Finn completed 24 laps, two less than Vettel. The German also did runs on the Pirelli Supersoft and Soft.
Sebastian sets his objectives for Monaco
“It was very good to have the opportunity to test after Barcelona GP, we learned a lot, even if it’s difficult to replicate 100% of the qualifying scenario. Conditions were similar but not exactly the same, but still we could try a lot of things. The Spanish race could have had a different outcome, it’s not a big deal to make mistakes but it’s very important to learn from them. We know that we are not yet big enough, we need a bit more power, more grip, more downforce. I think the objectives are clear. It’s not so easy to do, otherwise we’d do it overnight! That’s the challenge that everybody is facing, that we are facing, but we believe we have a very strong team, we have the right people and we can do it. I think the driver can always make the difference, some differences you can see in major, other differences you can’t, but especially around here I think is very important that you feel comfortable in the car because it allows you to extract more than normally is on the plate. Monaco is a street circuit and I think that the drivers can do more the difference compared to a normal race track. Here I like the Casino Square because is the fastest corner and you also need to be brave when you come over the Crest, you need to stay flat as long as you’re there. In terms of lap times maybe is not the most critical corner, but of course is the one I enjoy most.”
Kimi: we can be “very close” to rivals
“Monaco is a special place: it’s a bit more tricky here because it’s very tight, narrow and you have more chances to hit traffic. The qualifying position is very important for the race, but our approach to this race is the same like in any other circuit. Here it’s more important to get a lot of laps, the track will change a lot during the weekend, you just have to follow where it goes. We want to make the car work well, put a good lap together and be as high up as we can. Our rivals have been very strong so far, we need to get stronger, if we can always take out the maximum from every qualifying and race we can be very close to them. I’m sure we improved a lot this year, we have a stronger package but we still have not achieved what we want for various reasons. There’s work to be done, but that’s why we are here. As a team our aim is to win all the time and I think we can do it, it takes time and is not going to happen in one night. We try to maximize the result every race, but we want to be first and second and will be always there fighting.”
Kimi and James Allison talk about Monaco
Maranello, 24 May – From its inception, way back in 1929 (it has featured on the F1 calendar since 1950) for fans of this discipline, the Monaco Grand Prix has always been the most glamorous event of the World Championship. This year, it’s the sixth round of the season. The track is truly unique and that results in a “different” kind of weekend to usual, as Kimi Raikkonen and Scuderia Ferrari’s Technical Director James Allison explain.
“The circuit in Monaco is different from all the others, it is a good challenge, but during the race, it depends: if you start at the front it is nice, but if you are down at the back it is very difficult to overtake” says Kimi, who on the other hand is quite unimpressed by the glamour of the night life: “Like during all the races, we have a lot of meetings and after that we go to sleep, although all the people obviously enjoy it”. Yet, Monaco gives drivers a unique opportunity to feel the closeness of the public on the grandstands: “When the race is finished, we go slowly back and obviously we can see people and flags, but there are so many people that it is hard to notice”.
James Allison talks us through the various factors that make Monaco so special: “It is a circuit, of course, where a good grid position is absolutely everything for getting a good race result. That good grid position comes from a whole weekend where you can’t afford any mistakes. The track changes so much as the weekend progresses that you have to be on it all the time. This is a very high downforce circuit, the corners being so slow, the straights being so short, and the cars which have the most downforce available generally do well on this track.” Formula One comes to Monaco off the back of the post-race Barcelona test where there was much to be learnt: “We spent a couple of days in Barcelona after the Grand Prix through a whole range of technical setups and improvements to our car. It was a very successful test for us and happily we made some progresses. So, we are looking forward to taking more lessons and apply them in Monaco.”