Tag Archives: Raikkonen

Rosberg Keeps Mercedes In World Of Their Own

Nico Rosberg kept Mercedes firmly fastest in the final piece of track action before Qualifying at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The German kept his dominance over team-mate Lewis Hamilton as he looks to take a back-to-back win this Sunday, trumping Hamilton’s time by three-tenths of a second.

Kimi Raikkonen was the closest driver to the Silver Arrows,  but he was still a full 1.2 behind the title favourites. Behind Raikkonen was Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull, who himself led from Force India’s promising Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, who will be eager to make the podium after being disqualified from second at his home Grand Prix two weekends ago.

Fernando Alonso was noticeably slower than his team-mate as he occupied seventh place and narrowly fended off former team-mate Felipe Massa for Williams. Massa’s team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, took ninth while Sergio Perez filled out the top ten for Force India.

The Toro Rosso duo of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne took eleventh and twelfth ahead of the Sauber pairing of Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil, thirteenth and fourteenth. The Lotus drivers finally got some running under their belt, although Romain Grosjean had an off-track excursion in the final seconds of the session and subsequently declared the E22 a ‘disaster’ over the team radio.

Max Chilton was seventeenth for Marussia, ahead of team-mate Jules Bianchi and the Caterham duo of Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi. Kobayashi failed to get any noteworthy running on Friday due to technical gremlins, and needed to maximise the hour today. However, another technical issue reared its head and saw him ending his session after seven laps. McLaren report ‘hardware issues’ in their cars which saw them finish twenty-first and twenty-second this morning, and these problems will be tough to fix before Qualifying.

Free Practice 3 Results:

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Kimi Raikkonen
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Nico Hulkenberg
  6. Daniel Ricciardo
  7. Fernando Alonso
  8. Felipe Massa
  9. Valtteri Bottas
  10. Sergio Perez
  11. Daniil Kvyat
  12. Jean-Eric Vergne
  13. Adrian Sutil
  14. Esteban Gutierrez
  15. Romain Grosjean
  16. Pastor Maldonado
  17. Max Chilton
  18. Jules Bianchi
  19. Marcus Ericsson
  20. Kamui Kobayashi
  21. Jenson Button
  22. Kevin Magnussen
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Rosberg Leads Raikkonen In Afternoon Session

Nico Rosberg took to the top of the time sheets during the Friday afternoon practice session, taking over from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton who led the morning session. Rosberg’s fastest lap of 1.39.909 was just enough to edge out Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who was in second. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was merely three-hundredths of a second behind Raikkonen, and held a similar gap over Hamilton in fourth.

Fernando Alonso led former team-mate Felipe Massa, who himself led Daniel Ricciardo and Jenson Button. Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg filled out the top ten. Jean-Eric Vergne was eleventh for Toro Rosso, ahead of Kevin Magnussen who reported oversteer throughout the session. The Sauber’s of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez in thirteenth and fifteenth respectively were split by Toro Rosso’s rookie, Daniil Kvyat, who last week became Formula One’s youngest ever points scorer.

Romain Grosjean was seventeenth for Lotus – an improvement, at least, from finishing twenty-second in the morning session. However, his running was still riddled with issues in the afternoon, and his session ended with him jumping from the car with twenty minutes left on the clock. His team-mate failed to get out on track following his smoky exit from FP1. Kamui Kobayashi also failed to run this afternoon, with Caterham still trying to recover the car after finding a problem in the energy store this morning. Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi were eighteenth and nineteenth for Marussia respectively, while Marcus Ericsson was the final person to set a lap, in twentieth.

Free Practice 2 Results:

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Kimi Raikkonen
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Lewis Hamilton
  5. Fernando Alonso
  6. Felipe Massa
  7. Daniel Ricciardo
  8. Jenson Button
  9. Valtteri Bottas
  10. Nico Hulkenberg
  11. Jean-Eric Vergne
  12. Kevin Magnussen
  13. Adrian Sutil
  14. Daniil Kvyat
  15. Esteban Gutierrez
  16. Sergio Perez
  17. Romain Grosjean
  18. Max Chilton
  19. Jules Bianchi
  20. Marcus Ericsson
  21. Kamui Kobayashi
  22. Pastor Maldonado

Image courtesy Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

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Hamilton Sets The Pace In Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest man during Friday morning’s practice session ahead of this Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix. The Briton, whose best result in Sepang was second in 2007, edged out Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg who finished second and third respectively.

It was a promising omen for Hamilton who failed to set a single lap as the same session at the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago. While Hamilton’s run was free of any technical gremlins, the same could not be said for the Lotus drivers, both of whom had to be recovered: Romain Grosjean pulled over after twenty minutes, while Maldonado went up in smoke with around twenty minutes left in the session. While Grosjean’s E22 was fixed up and he got back out on track, Maldonado climbed from his cockpit and left his mechanics to try to have the car ready for the afternoon session

Caterham who, like Lotus, run Renault power, were forced to call an end to his morning activity when a problem was discovered in the energy store. Aside from Kobayashi and the two Lotus’, no one else seemed to be suffering from any noteworthy issues.

The majority of extracurricular activity this morning came as a result of spins: Adrian Sutil spinning at the pit entrance, Marcus Ericsson spinning out of the last corner and Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa both spinning into the run-off area at turn 10. Lewis Hamilton out-braked himself at turn 14 and took the scenic route through the gravel in the final seconds of the session, as if to celebrate his fastest lap. Finally, Kevin Magnussen had a peculiar issue when the car shut itself off in the pit entrance: he required the assistance of marshals who pushed him some bit towards the pits before simply giving up and walking away, leaving the Dane stranded until marshals from a different post had run to him.

Free Practice 1 Results:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Kimi Raikkonen
  3. Nico Rosberg
  4. Jenson Button
  5. Kevin Magnussen
  6. Jean-Eric Vergne
  7. Sebastian Vettel
  8. Nico Hulkenberg
  9. Felipe Massa
  10. Valtteri Bottas
  11. Fernando Alonso
  12. Daniel Ricciardo
  13. Adrian Sutil
  14. Daniil Kvyat
  15. Esteban Gutierrez
  16. Jules Bianchi
  17. Marcus Ericsson
  18. Max Chilton
  19. Kamui Kobayashi
  20. Sergio Perez
  21. Pastor Maldonado
  22. Romain Grosjean

Image courtesy Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

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Massa Fastest As Red Bull Fail To Run

Felipe Massa set the benchmark during the penultimate day of pre-season testing, but it was Red Bull’s continued problems that provided the talking point.

Sebastian Vettel set out for his first run of the day and made it as far as turn four before his RB10 gave out and stopped at the side of the track. His car was collected and shipped back to the Red Bull garage where it was repaired and sent back out on track – only for it to stop at the end of the pitlane a few seconds later. Vettel pushed the No.1 car back down the paddock and to the garage, but it would not emerge for the rest of the day. His final day of testing is tomorrow before the Australian Grand Prix in a mere two weeks.

Back to Massa whose 99 laps set him firmly two tenths clear of Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Massa also ran yesterday when he placed fourth, and will hand over to Valtteri Bottas tomorrow for the final day of testing. Rosberg underwent a precautionary engine change in the morning session which delayed his running for several hours, finally emerging and clocking up a respectable 103 laps. Lewis Hamilton will pilot the car tomorrow for the final day of testing.

Kimi Raikkonen was third overall with a slight delay due to a connector failing which left mechanics stripping part of the car to fix it. In the afternoon his running was as smooth as a fresh Pirelli and he completed a race simulation and several pit stop practices. Kevin Magnussen was fourth for McLaren and his 88 laps left him 2.5 seconds behind Massa’s Williams. Jenson Button yesterday admitted that while the McLaren appeared quicker than last year, it still lacks outright pace.

Daniil Kvyat led the time sheets before Massa took over, and eventually slipped down to fifth for Toro Rosso. Behind him was Nico Hulkenberg for Force India who himself bettered Jules Bianchi who again had a strong day for Marussia. His 78 laps added to yesterday’s tally put him at a grand total of 133 laps overall – a promising sign for the team who missed the first test and endured problem after problem in the second test. Their rivals over at Caterham worked throughout the night to fix the problems which caused a fire on Friday, and their work made sure the CT-03 ran smoothly today. Ericsson will be handing the car over to Kobayashi for tomorrow.

Romain Grosjean ended his day ninth with a power until problem limiting his running to 33 laps. Adrian Sutil was eleventh for Sauber and also bemoaned problems on his C33 after the car went up in flames as the car was exiting the pit lane. Like his countryman in Red Bull, Sutil’s day was fruitless with no laps on the board.

Felipe Massa Williams 1.33.258 99 laps
Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.33.484 101 laps
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1.34.487 81 laps
Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1.35.894 88 laps
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1.36.113 81 laps
Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1.36.205 115 laps
Jules Bianchi Marussia 1.37.087 78 laps
Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1.38.085 117 laps
Romain Grosjean Lotus 1.42.166 33 laps
Adrian Sutil Sauber
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull

Image courtesy Williams F1 Team.

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Perez Takes Force India To Top As Testing Continues In Sakhir

The third and final pre-season test got underway at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir today and Sergio Perez was the man who finished the day on top of the order.

The Mexican set his fastest lap in the morning session and remained there until the chequered flag as his rivals completed race simulations or worked to fix issues on their respective cars. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas ran a race simulation in the afternoon but spent the remaining hour running fast laps and set the second fastest time in the final thirty minutes. Bottas clocked up an impressive 127 laps in total, with no issues.

Kimi Raikkonen was back in the car after his spin into the barriers last Saturday. The Iceman set a mediocre 53 laps with a fastest lap time of 1.36.432, compared to the 1.35.290 set by Checo in the Force India. Nico Rosberg in the promising looking Mercedes racked up 89 laps, again with no issues. Although it’s not a good policy to read too much into pre-season testing, Mercedes are emerging as the clear Championship favourites.

Their rivals at Red Bull should hold that honour but their problems, which Renault admitted should have been solved in Jerez, have spilled into the third week as Daniel Ricciardo’s running was limited due to overheating issues. Although there were no sudden grinding halts or fiery engines on the RB10, failing to get a clear-day running at this stage of the game is a very worrying omen indeed.

The other team who had issues was Caterham whose CT-03 started smoking from the rear during the morning session and prompted the red flags. This left Kobayashi’s lap count at a poor 19, but Caterham say they know what the issues were and what caused them, which is some consolation at least.

Adrian Sutil was fifth overall for Sauber with a smooth run of 88 laps for the Swiss outfit. McLaren’s Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen was sixth for the Woking based team, and used the afternoon session to practice a race distance.

The Lotus also stopped on track with Maldonado at the wheel. The exhaust issue which caused the stoppage (and subsequent red flag) was serious and the car was retired so it could be stipped down in the afternoon. This set Maldonado’s total lap tally at just 31 laps, a difficulty given that Lotus missed the first test. Max Chilton and Marussia also missed the first test and took a break from their consistent lack of running to complete 44 laps today, a strong performance compared to their technical misery last week. Daniil Kvyat was third from last, ahead of Lotus and Caterham, and completed 56 laps in his STR-9.

Sergio Perez Force India 1.35.290 104 laps
Valtteri Bottas Williams 1.36.184 127 laps
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1.36.432 53 laps
Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.36.624 89 laps
Adrian Sutil Sauber 1.37.700 88 laps
Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1.37.825 109 laps
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1.37.908 35 laps
Max Chilton Marussia 1.38.610 44 laps
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1.39.242 56 laps
Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1.40.599 31 laps
Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1.42.285 19 laps

Image courtesy Sahara Force India.

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Rosberg Keeps Mercedes Striving, Red Bull Still Struggling

Nico Rosberg brought the fourth and final day of the second pre-season test to a close today, while their front-of-the-grid rivals over at Red Bull endured another frustrating day.

After yesterday joking that everyday brought a new issue, that was true of today also. Red Bull had prematurely ended their running on Friday to focus on fixing the issue and getting a solid day running today, but managed to only complete a mere 15 laps throughout the day as a new issue reared its head this morning. They managed to fix the issue and sent Ricciardo out on tap until, after 10 laps, another problem emerged and they brought the car into the garage to end another frustrating week.

Meanwhile Nico Rosberg took the Mercedes to within a second of his 2013 pole lap at the Bahrain International Circuit, essentially quelling fears that the new ‘greener’ cars would be slower than their V8 counterparts. Jenson Button ended the day second overall, a whopping 1.7 seconds behind Nico’s fastest lap.

Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari and was looking to move himself up the order with a late hot lap, but a mistake sent him into the barrier in the closing seconds, smashing the front left of the car and losing his front left Pirelli. His day until that point had been straightforward and had completed 81 laps when he hit the barrier at turn 4.

Pastor Maldonado led the way for the Renault supplied teams, completing 59 laps for Lotus. His day was interrupted when he had to have a software and electronic reset, but otherwise his day showed a move in the right direction for Lotus who struggled earlier this week.

Felipe Nasr was out on track for Williams after he was announced as their new reserve driver last night. His first run in the car was nothing to be ashamed of with his 87 lap run completely uninterrupted en route to fourth on the time sheets. Marcus Ericsson suffered a mechanical failure out on track for Caterham who also use a Renault engine.

Adrian Sutil had a particularly unproductive day as he ran a mere 7 laps today with Sauber incurring a chassis problem on the C33. At least he had track time today with Bianchi failing to get a single lap for Marussia as they battled yet more problems. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, he was about to head out on track for the final five minutes before Kimi crashed and brought out the red flags.

Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.33.238 89 laps
Jenson Button McLaren 1.34.957 66 laps
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1.36.718 81 laps
Felipe Nasr Williams 1.37.569 87 laps
Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1.38.707 59 laps
Sergio Perez Force India 1.39.258 19 laps
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1.39.837 15 laps
Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1.40.472 19 laps
Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1.43.027 17 laps
Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1.45.094 4 laps
Adrian Sutil Sauber 7 laps
Jules Bianchi Marussia 5 laps

Image courtesy Mercedes F1 Team.

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Button Fastest As Pirelli Test Wet Compounds

Jenson Button led the way on the second day of pre-season testing in Jerez today.

Pirelli opted to take advantage of the overnight rain and moved their wet tyre test to today, sending a tractor and tanker out on track to sprinkle water on the surface. All teams except Toro Rosso and Caterham took to the track to test the wet compounds before the lunchtime break – as the afternoon session reverted to dry running.

Jenson Button, known for his excellence in wet conditions, took to the track almost immediately in order to make up the lost time that McLaren suffered due to mechanical issues on Tuesday. Button had a near flawless run and ended the day with a best lap time of 1.24.164, three seconds faster than Kimi Raikkonen’s timesheet-topping time on Tuesday.

Raikkonen was second down the order, seven tenths of a second behind Button’s best lap. Raikkonen too had a straight forward day with a brief trip across the gravel the only extracurricular activity for the Finn. Fernando Alonso will take the reigns of the prancing horse tomorrow.

Valtteri Bottas was third overall for Williams, recording a 1.25.344 best lap time. His 35 lap day went smoothly and the Finn raved about the FW36 – all good in the Williams camp, then. Nico Rosberg and Mercedes were also trying to make up for lost running following Hamilton’s crash on Tuesday, and completed a full race simulation. In total, he had a best lap of 1.25.588, which was two tenths slower than that of the Williams.

Sergio Perez was fifth for his new team, completing an average 37 laps and securing a time of 1.28.376 – some two tenths shy of Rosberg. Esteban Gutierrez set 53 laps, his running curtailed when he tried to run with the slicks on the wet track and slid into the gravel. Luckily he stopped just shy of the gravel but time was cost retrieving the car and analysing the C33.

Marcus Ericsson was back in the car for Caterham today, the Swede completely a mere 11 laps in the Renault power car. His CT-03 ground to a halt in the pitlane when he left his garage this morning as Renault were blighted with issues. He eventually got back out on track for some laps, albeit a short run, during which he set a 1.37.975 best time.

Sebastian Vettel had another poor day in Jerez, his Renault powered car also suffering problems. He completed three laps on Tuesday and a further eight laps today but was eventually forced to call it a day when his Energy recovery Systems faulted.

  1. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1.24.165 – 43 laps
  2. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari1.24.812 – 47 laps
  3. Valtteri Bottas – Williams1.25.344 – 35 laps
  4. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes1.25.588 – 97 laps
  5. Sergio Perez – Force India1.28.376 – 37 laps
  6. Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber1.33.270 – 53 laps
  7. Marcus Ericsson – Caterham1.37.975 – 11 laps
  8. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull1.38.320 – 8 laps

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