gp spagna f1 2014
Kimi Raikkonen was disappointed to qualify in sixth place in Spain (Credit: Scuderia Ferrari)
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Kimi Raikkonen: “We Can’t be Pleased with Sixth Place”

The Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will start the Spanish Grand Prix from sixth and seventh positions, but both admit the car still needs improving if they are to challenge for wins and regular podiums. The upgrades brought to Spain have brought some progress, but they are still falling someway behind the pace of the Mercedes cars up front.

Raikkonen was happier compared to the last race in China but felt sixth on the grid was still underachieving. The Finn looked more confident compared to his Spanish team-mate all through qualifying.

“We can’t be pleased with sixth place, because naturally we want to be fighting for the top places,” said Raikkonen. “But compared to the last race, we have managed to solve some problems and have improved the feeling I have from the car. Yesterday, the long run went well and, in general, we did a good job, but there is still much more to do, because we are not yet as fast as we would like to be.

“The goal is to get a good start and then have a normal race. Of course, we will also need a good strategy and we will have to keep an eye on our tyre management. It won’t be easy, but we are definitely going to fight.”

For Alonso, struggling to seventh on the grid in his home grand prix was not ideal, but he was quick to admit that the team were not expecting to be much higher up the grid than this. The Spaniard, in front of his adoring fans, will be hoping for a good start and a strong race to build on his first podium finish he earned last time out in China.

“This wasn’t a good qualifying session, but the outcome was more or less what we could have expected on a difficult weekend, especially in terms of grip, not just for us but for all the teams,” said Alonso. “I’d definitely have liked to be starting from further up, but that’s how it went today, we weren’t quick enough and now we must think about tomorrow and try to make up some places to score as many points as possible.

“Of the updates we brought here, some worked, while others need further testing. There is a definite improvement compared to China, but we have some problems with the rear, despite the many set-up changes we made. Kimi did very well and I hope that both Ferraris can finish higher up. Now we must find the best strategy for tomorrow and try to get a good start. But above all, we mustn’t make any mistakes, because this race demands a high level of concentration.”

Technical Director Pat Fry felt that virtually everyone struggled with their tyres during the qualifying session, and felt the team had made some progress with regards to the stability of the car in Spain but knows the aerodynamics still need some work to bring the team back to the front.

“Today’s qualifying session was difficult for everyone,” said Fry. “The track conditions had not improved much since yesterday and it was very difficult to put together a clean lap. We continued to work on the balance of both cars as we tried to increase the grip, but it was not enough to obtain better grid positions for Fernando and Kimi. As always here in Barcelona, it will be important to get a good understanding of the tyre degradation, because this track provides a real challenge for the two tyre compounds in terms of performance and wear.

“Overall, we have made a few small steps forward on improving the stability of the F14 T, both under braking and on turn-in to the corners, as well as on power delivery, so as to give the drivers more confidence in the car. But there is still lots of work to do to improve the efficiency of the car, especially on the aerodynamic front. The race will be difficult, but we can count on having a pair of amazing drivers who will be trying to make up a few places.”

The Scuderia Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will start the Spanish Grand Prix from sixth and seventh positions, but both admit the car still needs improving if they are to challenge for wins and regular podiums. The upgrades brought to Spain have brought some progress, but they are still falling someway behind the pace of the Mercedes cars up front.

Raikkonen was happier compared to the last race in China but felt sixth on the grid was still underachieving. The Finn looked more confident compared to his Spanish team-mate all through qualifying.

“We can’t be pleased with sixth place, because naturally we want to be fighting for the top places,” said Raikkonen. “But compared to the last race, we have managed to solve some problems and have improved the feeling I have from the car. Yesterday, the long run went well and, in general, we did a good job, but there is still much more to do, because we are not yet as fast as we would like to be.

“The goal is to get a good start and then have a normal race. Of course, we will also need a good strategy and we will have to keep an eye on our tyre management. It won’t be easy, but we are definitely going to fight.”

For Alonso, struggling to seventh on the grid in his home grand prix was not ideal, but he was quick to admit that the team were not expecting to be much higher up the grid than this. The Spaniard, in front of his adoring fans, will be hoping for a good start and a strong race to build on his first podium finish he earned last time out in China.

“This wasn’t a good qualifying session, but the outcome was more or less what we could have expected on a difficult weekend, especially in terms of grip, not just for us but for all the teams,” said Alonso. “I’d definitely have liked to be starting from further up, but that’s how it went today, we weren’t quick enough and now we must think about tomorrow and try to make up some places to score as many points as possible.

“Of the updates we brought here, some worked, while others need further testing. There is a definite improvement compared to China, but we have some problems with the rear, despite the many set-up changes we made. Kimi did very well and I hope that both Ferraris can finish higher up. Now we must find the best strategy for tomorrow and try to get a good start. But above all, we mustn’t make any mistakes, because this race demands a high level of concentration.”

Technical Director Pat Fry felt that virtually everyone struggled with their tyres during the qualifying session, and felt the team had made some progress with regards to the stability of the car in Spain but knows the aerodynamics still need some work to bring the team back to the front.

“Today’s qualifying session was difficult for everyone,” said Fry. “The track conditions had not improved much since yesterday and it was very difficult to put together a clean lap. We continued to work on the balance of both cars as we tried to increase the grip, but it was not enough to obtain better grid positions for Fernando and Kimi. As always here in Barcelona, it will be important to get a good understanding of the tyre degradation, because this track provides a real challenge for the two tyre compounds in terms of performance and wear.

“Overall, we have made a few small steps forward on improving the stability of the F14 T, both under braking and on turn-in to the corners, as well as on power delivery, so as to give the drivers more confidence in the car. But there is still lots of work to do to improve the efficiency of the car, especially on the aerodynamic front. The race will be difficult, but we can count on having a pair of amazing drivers who will be trying to make up a few places.”