Sport Ferrari to hold Kimi Raikkonen talks after disappointing Chinese Grand Prix?

11:55  11 april  2017
11:55  11 april  2017 Source:   International Business Times

Sauber's car will develop, but not its engine

  Sauber's car will develop, but not its engine Sauber has a development plan in place following a disappointing opening round, but a 2017 specification engine isn’t part of that. Currently using 2016 Ferrari engines, Sauber finished without points in Australia. Marcus Ericsson failed to finish following a collision at the start of the race. Antonio Giovinazzi, making his F1 debut, finished two laps down in 13th. After a difficult 2016 season, many didn’t have high expectations for the backmarker team, but team principal Monish Kaltenbourne told Autosport the team had been expecting a better start. “We hoped we were a bit better, because we’ve been following some new concepts. “Of course, others started [work on the 2017 rules] earlier, they have understood after the test where they need to do a few changes. “We need to develop that now, and we have a development plan in place. “We have pits and pieces coming [for the Chinese GP] and then we have an intense testing programme in Bahrain. “We are planning a bigger package in Barcelona and then we’ll take it from there.” A new engine isn’t part of that plan. At least, not for this year. Kaltenbourne admitted a 2017 Ferrari engine cannot physically fit into the current car.

Having missed out on a podium place at last weekend's curtain-raiser in Melbourne, Raikkonen , Ferrari 's last world champion who returned to Maranello as a replacement for Felipe Massa in 2013, finished a distant fifth in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix after initially qualifying fourth and competing

Ferrari has openly criticised Kimi Raikkonen after Sunday's Chinese grand prix . The Italian marque was not alone. The influential sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport said after Shanghai that the difference between Raikkonen and his teammate Sebastian Vettel was the latter's overtakes.

Kimi Raikkonen © Provided by IBT Media (UK) Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has suggested the team should sit down for talks with Kimi Raikkonen following the veteran Finn's underwhelming start to the 2017 Formula One season.

Having missed out on a podium place at last weekend's curtain-raiser in Melbourne, Raikkonen, Ferrari's last world champion who returned to Maranello as a replacement for Felipe Massa in 2013, finished a distant fifth in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix after initially qualifying fourth and competing in third for a short while.

Those failures have been compounded by the impressive form of teammate Sebastian Vettel, who claimed victory in the opening race of the season and finished as runner-up in Shanghai to whet the appetite for a potentially enthralling title duel against Lewis Hamilton that would be welcomed by neutrals on the back of three years of unrelenting Mercedes dominance.

Ferrari & Raikkonen on a slippery slope after China?

  Ferrari & Raikkonen on a slippery slope after China? 2016 was seen as a renaissance of sorts for Kimi Raikkonen in Formula 1. The Finn proved to be more than a match for Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari, beating the German over the season in qualifying and finishing over 100 points closer in the Drivers’ standings than the year prior. As a result, the mid-season decision to retain him for 2017 made sense, even if the call from President Sergio Marchionne was to keep Vettel happy rather than being based on performance. But just two races into this year and Marchionne is already criticising Raikkonen and perhaps regretting taking the conservative route. Certainly, the Chinese Grand Prix seemed to suggest the 2007 world champion may have lost a step. Albeit disadvantaged by strategy later, the 37-year-old was simply swept aside by Max Verstappen in a bold move in the early laps. He would then fail to get ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in a race-long battle, eventually having to settle for fifth. Compare that to Vettel who was able to force his way past Raikkonen and the Australian before going on to finish second behind Lewis Hamilton. Though a persistent problem with understeer on the SF70-H has been his reasoning for the lack of speed, Marchionne said words about his performance with team boss Maurizio Arrivabene had been had and even suggested the Finn was distracted claiming he appeared to be ‘busy with other stuff’.

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne wants talks with Kimi Raikkonen after saying the Finn "seemed to be doing nothing" in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix .

Formula One - F1 - Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai, China - 6/4/17 - Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland walks at the Shanghai International Circuit ahead of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix .Reuters. "I talked about this with Maurizio," said Marchionne.

How F1 team McLaren is using 3D printing in 2017 car

(Provided by International Business Times)

In the speedy SF70H, Ferrari finally appear to have a car capable of challenging for honours after a decade-long championship drought.

"Perhaps we need to sit down and discuss with Kimi, because today he seemed to have other things on his mind," Marchionne was quoted as saying by Sky Italia after the Chinese Grand Prix. "It was not his day. Was he tired?"

Raikkonen cut an increasingly frustrated figure in China and, as evidenced by his radio transmissions, was disgruntled by Ferrari's pit strategy that saw him forced to wait until the 39th lap – five later than Vettel – to make a second stop for new tyres. Such a decision left the 37-year-old, who also complained of power issues early on, behind the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

'Ferrari may have to alter rules of engagement'

  'Ferrari may have to alter rules of engagement' Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has hinted that the team could make Sebastian Vettel its clear number one driver if the German sustains his title bid and Kimi Raikkonen continues to struggle. Vettel is tied with Lewis Hamilton at the head of the drivers’ standings after two rounds and looks to have rediscovered his best form after a frustrating 2016. By contrast, Raikkonen has endured a disappointing start to the season, proving no match for his team-mate in Melbourne before slumping to fifth last time out in Shanghai following a series of team radio outbursts. The Finn’s early struggles have prompted suggestions that Ferrari may have to alter its present rules of engagement later in the season to ensure Vettel can take the maximum points. Whilst Arrivabene insists it is too early to consider such action, he confessed that the team will consider imposing a clear hierarchy if necessary. “We are at the early stage of the championship,” the Italian told Sky Sports F1. “In the future the drivers know the rules of engagement. “I’m sure that if we find ourselves in the situation to fight for the championship – now is too early – then we will make a decision.” CEO Sergio Marchionne also expressed concern over Raikkonen’s early form, and said the team will hold talks with the 2007 world champion in a bid to turn his fortunes around. “Perhaps we need to sit down and discuss with Kimi, because today [during the Chinese Grand Prix] he seemed to have other things on his mind,” he said. “It was not his day. Was he tired?” Should Ferrari take such action, it is likely that Raikkonen would be instructed to move over for his team-mate in a race situation. The 37-year old, then, is under immediate pressure to up his game, particularly with Ferrari no doubt considering alternative options for the 2018 season.

Formula One - F1 - Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai, China - 6/4/17 - Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland walks at the Shanghai International Circuit ahead of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix .Reuters. "I talked about this with Maurizio," said Marchionne.

After running in third place in the opening phase of the Chinese Grand Prix , Raikkonen suffered tyre and front-end grip issues as the track dried out and after a late pit stop he faded to a ' disappointing ' fifth place.

McLaren Honda F1 car 2017 © Provided by IBT Media (UK) McLaren Honda F1 car 2017

"I think we could have, should have had a better result – but this is what we got today," Raikkonen replied when asked if such an approach compromised his race. "I think we should have changed earlier, but obviously it's easy to look at what happened and say after the race.

"The car was good when the tyres were fresh, but it seemed to lose the front and at a place like this, you give a lot of time away and struggle to drive. I feel we should have done much better."

Raikkonen lies fifth in the drivers' standings heading straight into another race weekend in Bahrain, a full 21 points behind joint-leaders Hamilton and Vettel. In the race to be crowned constructors' champions, Ferrari trail the Silver Arrows by a solitary point.

Verstappen leads final Bahrain practice ahead of Hamilton .
Max Verstappen was fastest in final practice ahead of this evening’s qualifying in Bahrain. A late lap from Verstappen saw him displace Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the top of the timesheets by nearly half a second on the super-soft tyres. Lewis Hamilton was on course to beat Verstappen’s benchmark after setting a purple first sector but was unable to pick up speed through the rest of the lap, ending the session a tenth off in second. Vettel was half a second shy of Verstappen’s best time in third, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Less than half a tenth of a second separated the trio. 2007 and 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix winner Felipe Massa continued to show strong pace in the Williams FW40, ending the session in sixth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, who also showed impressive speed once again. There was a sizeable gap of seven-tenths of a second to the rest of the midfield as the two Toro Rossos rounded out the top 10. Romain Grosjean’s crash at Turn 4 caused the only stoppage of FP3. The Frenchman oversteered on the exit, damaging the front of his Haas but he was able to drive back to the pits and complete a handful of laps as the session came to a close.

Source: http://uk.pressfrom.com/news/sport/-140512-ferrari-to-hold-kimi-raikkonen-talks-after-disappointing-chinese-grand-prix/

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