Sunday, 12 April 2015

Ferrari extend their lead over Williams in the championship after Vettel and Raikkonen score big points in Shanghai

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

Scuderia Ferrari had another really strong race weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday as Sebastian Vettel secured his third podium finish in a row while Kimi Raikkonen showed great race pace and collected his second fourth place finish in a row.

The result means that the Maranello based outfit remain in second place in the championship on 79 points, 40 behind leaders the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team.

Vettel started the race from third place on the grid and speaking following the race which saw the order unchanged from the grid order in terms of the top three the German stated:

All in all we can be really happy. It is only race three and the steps we have made so far are really impressive. Third and fourth place for the Team, makes me really happy, I would have obviously loved to put more pressure on Mercedes: after the first and second stop we were able to be right there, but in the last stint they were able to pull away quite a lot. Basically we are closer than four weeks ago, which is positive, but there is still a lot to do. But what’s very positive is also the fact that we stayed ahead of all the other Teams. Second for us was not really possible today, you have to accept that our opponents were quick. For Bahrain, we hope to get again a bit closer. We have a strong car no matter which condition, that is the feeling.

Kimi Raikkonen had a fantastic race and started from 6th place on the grid and was extremely quick and admitted that he needs to improve his qualifying performance for the next race in Bahrain next weekend which the Finn hopes he help give him a better a finishing position next season. Speaking following the race, the Iceman stated:

Considering that my position on the starting grid today was not ideal, fourth place is a good result. My start was ok, I had quite a good jump off the line, and at the first corner I decided to go inside and at the end of the corner I was in the right place and managed to take the Williams under braking – my car is really good at that – and managed to pass them. The car was quite good today; the first set of tyres was a bit tricky, but I think it was the same for everybody, and then the next two sets were ok. Towards the end of the race I was catching up, I knew I had the speed and I thought I still had good tyres. I could still have had a chance to try and fight for podium but the safety car came in and we know we cannot change that.
Today we got close to the podium, from the next race on we have to have a better weekend, doing everything right in qualifying, and we’ll do our best. As a team we scored the maximum today, we know we are behind Mercedes, but we have to be happy with the result. From tomorrow on we have to make another step to be able to challenge them every weekend; we’ll keep working hard as we have done since last year. We trust the way the team is working: now we have to be patient”.
The Bahrain night race could be a good race for the Maranello based outfit depending on the temperatures in the Gulf state.
© Ben Johnston 2015

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