Vi fick se en glimt av nya Alfa Romeon förra veckan under alla hjärtans dag. Då var den klädd i en speciell one-off livery dagen till ära och det var inte svårt att förstå att den inte skulle bli kvar. Det fanns även några väldigt speciella lösningar på bilen, framför allt framvingen, som nu visat sig inte finns kvar på den 'riktiga' bilen.
Idag börjar försäsongstesterna i Barcelona och innan de drog igång så presenterade Kimi Räikkönen och Antonio Giovinazzi sin nya bil Alfa Romeo Racing C38 på riktigt.
|Front suspension||Double wishbone, inboard spring and damper unit actuated by push-rods|
|Rear suspension||Multilink, inboard spring and damper elements actuated by pull-rods|
|Brakes||6 piston Brembo brake callipers, carbon-composite and discs and pads (Carbon Industries)|
|Transmission||Ferrari 8-speed quick-shift carbon gearbox, longitudinally mounted, carbon-composite clutch|
|Chassis electronics (CE)||MES|
|Steering wheel||Alfa Romeo Racing|
McLaren är den enda bilen som officiellt lanserades idag, men Alfa Romeo Racing, som ska lanseras på måndag, befinner sig på Fiorano idag för sin shakedown. Inte helt oväntat har det läckt bilder och videos på nya Alfan överallt.
Här kommer några av de bättre som vi hittat!Fortsätt läsa "Första bilderna på nya Alfa Romeo Racing bilen"
F1™ har gjort en intervju med Kimi Räikkönen inför helgens Brasiliens GP.
Kimi som blivit alltmer pratig den senaste tiden, ger långa och roliga svar på frågor från fansen.
Tyvärr tillåter inte F1/F.O.M uppspelning av deras videor utanför Youtube, så ni får helt enkelt klicka er vidare för att se intervjun.
Idag blev det officiellt, Kimi "Iceman" Räikkönen återvänder till Sauber nästa säsong. Den senaste världsmästaren för Ferrari har skrivit på ett kontrakt som sträcker sig över två säsonger med Alfa Romeo Sauber F1. Kimi kommer alltså att vara kvar i F1 t.o.m 2020, varefter stora förändringar väntas till sporten.
Rykten från förra veckan gjorde gällande att Räikkönen även skulle köpt in sig i stallet. Uppgifterna är än så länge obekräftade men väldigt intressant.
Pressmeddelandet från Sauber
The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is delighted to announce that Kimi Räikkönen will join the team from 2019. The 2007 Formula One World Champion has signed for the next two seasons.
In his career, Kimi Räikkönen has secured 20 Grands Prix wins and 100 podiums, making him one of the most highly regarded drivers in the history of the sport. The Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team looks forward to the arrival of the Finnish driver, with whom the team shares the common goal of achieving ambitious results.
Frédéric Vasseur, CEO of Sauber Motorsport and Team Principal of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team:
“Signing Kimi Räikkönen as our driver represents an important pillar of our project, and brings us closer to our target of making significant progress as a team in the near future. Kimi’s undoubted talent and immense experience in Formula One will not only contribute to the development of our car, but will also accelerate the growth and development of our team as a whole. Together, we will start the 2019 season with a strong foundation, driven by the determination to fight for results that count.”
Förra veckan släpptes Kimi Räikkönens bok "Den okände Kimi Räikkönen" i Finland och Sverige. Boken tar sin början i Kimis uppväxt under enkla förhållanden och vidare till toppen av Formel 1 - ett ovanligt, farligt och (o)glamouröst yrke.
Detta är Kimi version av livet hittills, med väldigt privata berättelser om uppgångar, motgångar och bitvis väldigt tuffa tider, som den efter att hans pappa "Masa" gick bort.
Även hans närstående, stallchefer, mekaniker, manager, fysioterapeut och många fler bidrar med berättelser. Den okände Kimi Räikkönen är en hisnande färd in i Räikkönens liv: Hans körning, familj, fritid och de dramatiska ögonblicken som ledde fram till att hans liv i dag ser ut som det gör. Den prisbelönte och bästsäljande författaren Kari Hotakainen har under skrivprocessen arbetat nära Räikkönen. Texten varvas med familjefoton och backstage-bilder. Det här är en sann berättelse om en anspråkslös man som blir världsmästare och varumärke: En världskänd men ännu okänd idrottsstjärna.
Så vare sig du är ett världens största Kimi fan, inbiten F1 fan eller inte så är denna hisnande färd in i Räikkönens liv en boken för dig.
Ferrari, med framför allt Kimi Räikkönen, har varit det starkaste stallet under helgen hittills och det fortsatte under gårdagens kval.
Kimi såg fortsatt stark ut kvalet igenom, men fick tyvärr se sig besegrad med knapp marginal efter sista försöken i Q3. Det ska sägas att finländaren fick lite trafik under sitt sista försök och troligen förlorade den tiondelen i och med det.
Bottas var den starkare av Mercedes bilarna, än en gång i Bahrain. Valtteri tog karriärens första pole här förra året och var en än gång lite starkare än Lewis Hamilton i öknen. Lewis som dessutom har en femplatsers bestraffning till starten på grund av byte av växellådan tidigare.
Max Verstappen såg bra ut i Q1, enda tills han fick sladd i början på varvet och kraschade sönder hjulupphängningen. Max får en svår resa upp i fältet idag från en femtonde startruta, medan Daniel Ricciardo startar fyra (efter Hamiltons straff).
Dagens stora överraskning får man säga är Toro Rossos Pierre Gasly som lyckades kvala in på sjätte plats (startar femma), med en Honda-motor!
Frågan är om Fernando Alonso biter sig i läppen nu när Toro Rosso verkar gå snabbt med Hondan baktill och han som så öppet kritiserade Honda för alla McLarens problem senaste åren.
|Utslagna efter Q2|
|Utslagna efter Q1|
Bahrains GP helgen sätter igång med sedvanlig presskonferens med förare på torsdagen. Denna gången får vi höra Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso och Valtteri Bottas svara på frågor om bl.a. förra racet, helgens race och hur de skulle vilja ändra F1 om de hade makten. Ja förutom Kimi som inte har något att säga eftersom han inte har makten 😉
Vilket premiär race för 2018 vi fick!
Nej, inte riktigt kanske. Men det var ett bra race och det gav hopp en bra och tajt säsong, inte bara i mittfältet men även i toppen. Båda Red Bull förarna hade bra fart men kom inte riktigt till att visa sun fulla potential.
Men det var Lewis Hamilton som visade vägen tydligt från start, med två jagande Ferrari bilar bakom. Kimi Räikkönen var först av topptrion att gå i depå vilket kunde tänkas vara ett bra drag, men vid närmare eftertanke skulle Vettel få fritt framför sig när även Hamilton gick in varvet efter. Vettel körde på och skapade sig en liten, liten öppning - när lyckan slog till för tysken.
När först Magnussens fick stanna sin Haas och varvet senare hans stallkamrat Romain Grosjean också fick parkera bilen längs banan, kom den virtuella säkerhetsbilen som en skänk från ovan för Vettel och Ferrari. Såklart dök nummer #5 in i depån och de 11sekunder han hade till godo räckte precis för att komma ut igen framför en frustrerad Hamilton som var tvungen att hålla sig inom deltatiden för VSC. Något av en taktisk miss av Mercedes att inte hålla bättre koll på luckan.
Där avgjordes toppstriden. Hamilton jagade på men kom aldrig nära nog för DRS och försök till omkörning. Bakom lyckades Kimi inte heller närmare sig duon framför, han hade snarare fullt upp med att försvara sig från en väldigt snabb Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull hade som sagt fyra fart i bilen denna söndag.
Ett annat stall som hade bra fart i bilen var just ovan nämnda Haas. Magnussen och Grosjean låg på fjärde och femte plats och såg ut att gå mot en stabil tredjeplats, eller andraplats, i konstruktörsmästerskapet efter första helgen.
Men så föll allt ihop som ett korthus under depåstoppen. Först in var Magnussen, mekanikerna missade att sätta fast vänster bakhjul ordentligt och möjligen också att det blev motorproblem. Varvet efter kommer Grosjean in och det man tror borde vara omöjligt händer. Igen missar man att sätta fast ett däck, denna gång vänster fram. Det blir en jobbig resa hem för några mekaniker hos Haas F1 Team ikväll.
Fernando Alonso berömde stallet efter målgång som femma, med orden "nu kan vi slåss, nu kan vi slåss". Efter en snurrning tidigt i loppet körde Max Verstappen ändå in som sexa, mycket tack vare Haas stallets kollaps.
Bästa Renault föraren var Hulkenberg på sjunde plats, följt av Valtteri Bottas som körde upp flest positioner idag efter sitt växellåds byte igår och efterföljande nerflyttning till 15:e startruta.
Ytterligare två Renault drivna bilar rundade av topp tio, med McLarens Vandoorne på nionde och Carlos Sainz på tionde plats.
Sämre start på säsongen för Force India som blev helt utan poäng. Likaså Toro Rosso som fick bryta med en bil (motorproblem) och Hartley med en dålig start och sist av de som tog sig i mål.
Även Lance Stroll hade nog hoppats på att vara något högre upp, liksom Marcus Ericsson som fick bryta redan efter fem varv p.g.a power steering problem.
Rookie kampen leder Charles Leclerc som ändå imponerade med ett stabilt race och en 13:e plats som resultat. Williams rookie Sergei Sirotkin var först att bryta med bromsproblem, redan på fjärde varvet.
Force India finished just outside of the points with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon 11th and 12th respectively, with Charles Leclerc impressing on his debut with 13th for Sauber. Williams' Lance Stroll and Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley completed the finishers.
Sergey Sirotkin became 2018’s first retirement, following brake failure, while Pierre Gasly’s Honda engine expired to put the Toro Rosso driver out. Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber failed to finish, too, after he encountered a power steering problem.
Säsongens första F1-kval är genomfört och det var inte helt oväntat världsmästaren Lewis Hamilton som var dagens snabbaste förare.
Han var inte bara snabbast, han mer eller mindre krossade konkurrensen. Hamilton var inte mindre än 0.7sek före tvåan Kimi Räikkönen, Kimi som än en gång visar sig stark på Albert Park. Det skiljde dock endast knappa fem hundradelar mellan Räikkönen, Vettel och femte placerade Max Verstappen i sin Red Bull.
Dagens möjliga överraskning var Haas duon Magnussen och Grosjean som var "best-of-the-rest", med sin sjätte och sjunde plats. Båda kommer att åka upp en plats till starten dessutom tack vare Ricciardos tre platsers nerflyttning i starten.
Sämre gick det för förra årets fyra i mästerskapet, Force India. Perez var bästa förare på 13:e plats, bakom alla mittfältskonkurrenter - Haas, Renault och McLaren. Även Hamiltons stallkamrat Valtteri Bottas hade en dålig eftermiddag som slutade i väggen mot slutet av Q2. Det blev minst 5-platsers nerflyttning för Bottas då man tvingades byta växellåda på hans bil efter kraschen.
Återstår att se om han kommer att kunna starta från sin tionde ruta eller om han tvingas byta delar på bilen som skickar honom neråt i fältet eller till start från depån.
Marcus Ericsson var sjuttonde idag, viktigast för honom just nu var att slå sin hypade stallkamrat Charles Leclerc. Även glädjande att han Sauber bilarna bara var tiondelar ifrån t.e.x Force India, så en Q2 plats är nog inte långt bort för Alfa Romeo brandade stallet.
|4||33||Red Bull Racing||1:23.483||1:22.416||1:21.879||18|
|5||3||Red Bull Racing||1:23.494||1:22.897||1:22.152||17|
|6||20||Haas F1 Team||1:23.909||1:23.300||1:23.187||17|
|7||8||Haas F1 Team||1:23.671||1:23.468||1:23.339||17|
|14||18||Williams Martini Racing||1:24.464||1:24.230||13|
|19||35||Williams Martini Racing||1:24.922||8|
Och så kommentarer från F1-förarna och någa nyckelpersoner inom stallen.
Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Lewis Hamilton - [1:a Pole]
Pole: “It’s the greatest feeling when you live up to your potential and you pull out a lap like I was able to. I’m not always able to do that but I was really happy with today’s performance. Up until this point, I haven’t thought at all about the race. So tonight and tomorrow morning I’ll start to put my focus onto that. Last season, Ferrari ultimately did a better job on Sunday. But we generally learn from mistakes and scenarios like that, so I’m hoping we’re better prepared for tomorrow. Ultimately it’s also how I’m able to manage the tyres at the start of the race. I remember Sebastian was really at my tail towards the end of my stint which forced me to come into the pits and then he continued on for several laps and I got stuck behind Verstappen. So I’ll definitely bear that in mind and try my best to make sure that I’m in a better position tomorrow. I know how hard Valtteri has been working and I know the pain he feels right now, but he will recover. He was very quick through practice and he has been putting a lot of effort into growing as a driver and as a member of the team. I have all the confidence in him to pull through again tomorrow.”
Valtteri Bottas - [10:e]
“I think I was just pushing a bit too hard. I went wide in Turn 1 and the kerb was still a bit damp. I lost the rear of the car and hit the wall outside of Turn 2. It’s very unfortunate and I feel sorry for the team because we have a really competitive car. It looked like it was damaged pretty badly, so I really hope we can fix it for the race. Overtaking is difficult on this track, but we’ll try everything we can. Maybe it’s a little easier this year with the added DRS zone, we’ll find out tomorrow. We have a good car, so I’ll try to fight back the best I can. Once we get the car in the window, it seems like it’s really quick, so that’s something positive from today.”
Toto Wolff - Chef Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“That was an unbelievable final lap from Lewis to see him find so much pace. We didn’t change anything on the car from the first run of Q3, it was just a case of Lewis putting all the pieces together and finding the limit on that last lap, with everything on the line; and this is the result, a really impressive pole position to start the new season. But it’s a garage of contrasting emotions today with a really unfortunate end to qualifying for Valtteri. It was a big hit and the boys will have a long job list to get the car ready to race. It’s now about putting the incident behind him and recovering as strongly as possible. We expect a very close race between the top three teams tomorrow; there is still a lot to do if we want to score a strong result in the
James Allison - Teknisk Chef
“While we are hugely disappointed for Valtteri, who wasn’t able to show what
he could do in the heat of battle in Q3, we are delighted in equal measure to see Lewis take pole position by a decisive margin. It wasn’t at all easy, with track conditions changing rapidly through the session as the track cooled off,
but we believed that our car had some good pace – and it was lovely to see that performance emerge over the final lap of Q3. It’s a first small milestone in our season, which reflects the hard work of our teams back at base in Brixworth and Brackley; but there is much still to be done if we wish to transform that pace into a decisive race result tomorrow.”
Sebastian Vettel [3:a]
“Yesterday it didn’t feel like everything was perfect, so today I am pretty happy that we could put both cars right at the front, very close to pole. I guess it’s a good shot. The gap to Lewis is significant of course, and we don’t want to be so far behind. But the car today was getting better and better: I could feel it was coming alive during qualifying; on my last run I made a small mistake at Turn 13, but it’s ok as second and third position are good for the race and, as we have seen in all the past years, we tend to be closer on Sunday than we are in qualifying.”
Kimi Raikkonen [2:a]
“Today we did not really know what to expect from this first qualifying, it was a bit of an unknown. But then I was pretty happy with the car, the feeling was ok. The gap to our rivals is probably bigger than we wanted, but it was not a very straightforward day either. This is a very special circuit in many ways, if compared to “normal” tracks, and these are the early stages of the season. I think we have to wait for the next few races to have a clear picture and understand where the teams are exactly. For sure there are things to improve to go faster; I know there are areas where I could improve on my lap times. This is what we have got today, a decent result in quite tricky conditions.
Tomorrow we’ll put our maximum effort into the race.”
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo [5:e]
“The session itself didn’t go too badly, it started off pretty well and even in Q2 on the Supersofts we were looking good. I aborted the second run, but nonetheless we were looking alright. In the last part of Q3 we just missed a bit in the first sector, I’m not totally sure where the time is so we’ll have to look at that. Overall, the car didn’t feel too bad, we asked for a bit more front grip but we’d used all the front wing we had, so there was no more we could do in Q3. Obviously starting eighth because of the penalty is frustrating and I thought it was unjust. There are reprimands, fines and other things but to shoot me in the ankle before the season starts, well, I think they could have done better. We’re the only ones in the top 10 staring on the Supersoft so hopefully that helps us and ideally the leaders have trouble making the one stop work with the Ultrasoft and we capitalise there. It’s going to be pretty tricky to overtake so strategy will be key. The race pace looks pretty good and I’m looking forward to coming through the field. We’re obviously better than eighth so we will try and make it happen. To be honest, I feel sorry for the guys in front of me tomorrow as they’re the ones I’m going to have to take my anger out on.”
Max Verstappen [4:e]
“Even with a small mistake I really enjoyed Qualifying today. It’s difficult to say what I expected heading into the session but it should have been a little bit better. I made a mistake on my last fast lap and went wide at turn 13 which lost me a few tenths compared to my previous run, we were still very close to Ferrari which is positive but maybe we could have been second. Mercedes were quite far ahead as expected, had I not made my mistake I think I would
have only been about half a second off Lewis which is closer than in the past. All things considered and with the right strategy I think we can be competitive during the race tomorrow, with Mercedes I’m not sure but I think we can have a good fight with Ferrari. We are hoping to go a bit longer with our tyre selection so if we stay out of trouble at the start we can settle in and have a strong race. I am happy with the pace and feel for the first race weekend, so I’m hopeful we can improve and move forward from here, not just tomorrow but for the rest of the season.”
Christian Horner - Stallchef
“After the rain this morning we had a dry Qualifying, and it was certainly very tight between ourselves and the Ferraris. Unfortunately Max on his last lap made a small mistake at turn 13 that cost him a couple of tenths otherwise the front row was potentially achievable today. Daniel also did not have a perfect Q3, finishing in P5 and unfortunately with the penalty he incurred yesterday will be starting in P8. We’ve elected to start on a different tyre strategy to our competitors and hopefully that will provide different options for tomorrow.”
Williams Martini Racing
Lance Stroll - [14:e]
“We would have signed up for P14 coming into the weekend after Barcelona. It was not ideal, as we could have improved on the lap in our second run in Q2. However, I got held up a little bit in the last sector and I didn’t have the tyres in the window, as the fronts were cold and that kind of cost me. I felt good in the car and there was probably a little bit more in it. We are kind of in the mix for the points, depending on what happens. We will see where we end up tomorrow.”
Sergey Sirotkin - [19:e]
“There were big changes between the sessions. For sure I think we could have squeezed more out of the car, but it’s the beginning of a very long season so we should just analyse a bit more, analyse what we could do better and go onwards. We need to be positive. We try to learn step by step and move forwards.”
Paddy Lowe - Tekniska Chef
“Overall, it’s a disappointing set of grid positions because I think actually there was more in both the drivers and the car. Both Sergey and Lance had reasonable first runs in Q1. Sergey was improving in his second run but he made a mistake in the second sector which cost him the chance to get into Q2. Lance got into Q2 and did a very good first run. He pushed it a bit harder in the second run, which should have improved quite a bit, but he made a mistake at turn three. So the grid positions could have been slightly better. Having said that, we have got two young drivers, one of them a rookie and one only 19-years old, and I think they’re both making really good progress. At the same time the car is clearly not quick enough at the moment. We haven’t done laps quick enough to get into Q3 which is our goal, so there’s clearly a lot more to do to develop the car in the weeks and months ahead. Tomorrow is predicted to be dry. It will be a tough afternoon as there are a lot of difficult things to manage at this circuit. Being the first race of the season, one of the major points will be to get to the finish with both cars and that may well indeed
be the best way to get points.”
Haas F1 Team
Romain Grosjean - [7:e]
“Everyone’s very happy and it reflects the hard work from everyone on the team. Our result confirmed a little bit what we saw in winter testing. I can push the car as much as I want, which obviously makes me very happy. It was a good job by Kevin (Magnussen) as well – getting both cars into the third row of the grid tomorrow. It’s going to be pretty amazing being there. Points could be possible. Obviously, we want to keep our positions. We’re starting in a good place, but we’ll see tomorrow what happens. This is a good start. We can be very proud, but we need to keep pushing.”
Kevin Magnussen - [6:e]
“The car was nice to drive in qualifying. It was just there, and performing. I was able to push brake points – get off the brakes earlier and earlier with every lap. It wasn’t doing anything unexpected, which was really nice. I’m looking forward to tomorrow starting in P5. We have some quick guys behind us, and we’ll have to do well to keep it that way. We’ll be doing all we can to get a good result. We need a solid start to the season and we need to capitalise on today’s qualifying result.”
Guenther Steiner - Stallchef
“Not a bad Saturday. We delivered on what we showed since the beginning of the season. It’s tough, our competitors are strong, and we need to keep our guard up. It’s a fantastic day for the team. They can be proud of what they did. In your third year, to be starting fifth and sixth, it’s fantastic and down to them. Tomorrow is another hard day. We just need to try to get as much as we can in terms of points. It’s been a very good day for Haas F1 Team.”
Red Bull Toro Rosso
Brendon Hartley 
“It was a little frustrating today, I think one tenth would have moved us up a few places and the car definitely had it in it. In the last lap there were a couple of small errors and it’s frustrating to be so close to the cut off to Q2. I knew there would be huge track evolution through the run but we decided to go out first – a lot earlier than the other car – which could be considered a disadvantage but it gave us the option to maybe do two laps at the end. I think it was the right call, I just didn’t quite get everything out of it to get to Q2. The good thing is the car was definitely quick enough to get to Q2 today. This morning was really encouraging in mixed conditions and equally on the long run yesterday, so I think our strength is our long run pace. Once this said, this track it’s probably one of the hardest on the calendar to pass – it’s a tall order! Tyre degradation will be a big story, so maybe managing tyres and a good strategy can bring us into the game. We’re in that midfield battle, passing will be hard tomorrow and we’ll do our best…we’ll have to wait and see.”
Pierre Gasly - [20:e]
“I’m really disappointed because it’s not the first qualifying we wanted and I think there was potential to get into Q2. It was very close after the first run, but I just pushed too hard and locked up… and that was it, it was the only lap we had and by pushing hard I made a mistake. Up until Turn 3 I was two-tenths up on Brendon but this midfield is so tight that we need to get everything right. The degradation is quite high around here and at the moment we still don’t know what the conditions will be like tomorrow, so we need to come back and I’ll push hard to overtake. It’s difficult to pass around this track so P20 is not ideal, but we’ll do everything we can to gain positions. I think the car definitely has more potential so I’m ready for a fight tomorrow.”
James Key - Teknisk Chef
“It was disappointing to be out in Q1, we knew it was going to be very tight in the midfield, just a few tenths made a big difference today and I expect this will be the case in many of the races to come. Q2 was a possibility, unfortunately we missed an opportunity with Pierre when he missed his second lap, we could see how quicklythe track was evolving so it was important to run again late in the Q1 session and sadly we did not achieve that with him. Brendon put a reasonable lap together, just shy of a couple of tenths which would have made all of the difference, but that’s part of the learning process. We need to look at the data from the chassis side too and see what we could have improved on. We are aware we have a bit of work to do in general on our performance level over one lap and in such a tight field this is critical for qualifying position. We will now plan for tomorrow and do the best we can in the race, here in Melbourne anything is possible and our goal of scoring points this weekend has not changed. We’ve said from the outset that this is a building year, we are going to start off at a certain level and plan end up significantly better, we’ve got a long way ahead of us with this being the first of 21 races and we’ve got many plans in place to get to where we believe we need to be. This is step one of many steps.”
Toyoharu Tanabe - Honda F1 Tekniska Chef
“Although the morning rain stopped around midday, FP3 was still run almost
entirely on a damp track. However, it dried out right at the end and qualifying was run in the dry. It was disappointing that both cars got no further than FP1. However, in general the drivers’ comments about the car are positive and the
gap in qualifying to those directly ahead of us is very small. In the past, we have seen that anything can happen at this track, so we will now work on being as well prepared as possible for the race, ready to make the most of any opportunity.”
Sahara Force India F1 Team
Sergio Perez - [13:e]
“It’s disappointing not to be in Q3, but actually our performance was pretty good. We worked the tyres well and I drove a very strong lap, but I think the end result reflects where we are at this moment. We thought we had a chance to make Q3, but tomorrow is when it really matters. I think some things could play into our hands tomorrow because our race pace looks better than the pace we showed today. There’s an extra DRS zone creating more opportunities and it’s a race where we often see the safety car. There’s a long way to go so let’s see what we can do.”
Esteban Ocon - [15:e]
“It was a tough session, especially Q2 where I was really struggling with the front of the car and locking tyres. It was also difficult to find space in the traffic. We had a big job this weekend trying to understand the new upgrade and missing out on some dry running in final practice didn’t help. The race pace will be better tomorrow and I think we can aim for the points. It’s one of those races where just making the finish gives you a chance to pick up
a result. Tomorrow is another day and we will keep fighting and see what we can achieve.”
Robert Fernley - Stallchef
“In reality our performance today was not dissimilar to our qualifying result here twelve months ago and it’s not a massive surprise to miss out on the top ten today. We’ve introduced a significant upgrade package and only fitted it to the cars for the first time yesterday so we’re on a steep learning curve at the moment. It’s delivering performance, but we know there’s more potential to come from it in the races ahead. We’ve shown promising long run pace in testing and yesterday so hopefully we can demonstrate that tomorrow and get some points on the board, as we did last year.”
Renault Sport F1 Team
Nico Hulkenberg - [8:e]
“Given that I wasn’t feeling especially happy with the car I’m pretty happy with my qualifying position today. The whole of qualifying was tricky for me and in particular my Q3 lap wasn’t as good as it could have been. We changed the car quite a bit after yesterday and the wet FP3 meant we didn’t have as much time as we’d like to validate these changes. It’s a close field out there so there will be plenty to do in the race.”
Carlos Sainz - [9:e]
“We expected both cars to be in the top ten and we achieved this today, which confirms the good progress of the whole team. I had hoped to be a little bit higher than this, however the lap time didn’t come. I’ll take a good look at that today with my engineers. For tomorrow, I’m convinced we can move forward. It’s going to be tight but we have a good car and a good chance to battle with the cars around us. I’m confident we can put together a competitive race!”
Alan Permane - Sportchef
“We’re happy with today’s result but left wondering if better was possible after looking at our Q2 pace. In Q3 we couldn’t quite get the tyres into the sweet spot with either car but overall it was a trouble-free qualifying session for us. It’s the first race of the season so we’ll be wary on the first lap and try to stay out of trouble, then we need to take the fight to our rivals and see what we can do strategically to get in front of them. Our cars look evenly matched in qualifying trim and we were happy with our long run pace from P2 so moving up the field is the target for tomorrow.”
McLaren F1 Team
Fernando Alonso - [11:e]
“After winter testing, you never know how the performance in the first qualifying will be, so it’s some kind of relief that the car is performing well and we’re more competitive than the last few seasons. This year we’ll have fun. There’s a lot of potential to unlock in our car, and we haven’t yet been able to do this due to some little issues. I think McLaren will be quite strong in the coming races, which is a very positive start. Apart from Toro Rosso, we’re the only top team that has gone through an integration process of a new power unit with the chassis, the systems and the set-up, so there will be performance that will come for free once we’ve adapted more to the Renault power unit. I think our race pace is probably better than our qualifying pace, so we’re in a good starting position – P11 or even P10 due to [Valtteri] Bottas’ problem – so definitely some good points are the target. Tomorrow will be probably one of the first races in the last couple of years where we won’t need to defend, and we will go for the attack mode. Also, the weather is still a factor for tomorrow, and if we have some showers it’ll be a great show. I’m very positive and very optimistic about this season.”
Stoffel Vandoorne - [12:e]
“We’re a bit disappointed not to be in Q3 with both cars. It’s a shame as we showed some good promise yesterday in the dry during practice. From our side, there is some work to do – the other midfield teams are close and have improved a bit since yesterday, it seems – so we need to see where we lost out. There was definitely potential there for us to make a good step forward today, and we’ve missed out on that. We have a good benchmark though and this is still very early in the partnership between McLaren and Renault, so there are still a lot of things that have to develop. We know that through the season we’ll improve a lot as a team and as a package, and I hope that we can show that very soon. Tomorrow is race day and there are a lot of things that can happen. Overtaking is difficult here, and as it’s the first race of the season there’s usually a lot of drama. Compared to last year we’ve definitely made an improvement, and our race pace looks quite promising, so we need to be sharp and ready for anything. The weather might play into it a bit too, so if we can have a clean race and stay out of trouble, hopefully there are some points on the cards.”
Eric Boullier - Racing Chef
“Today was a bit of a mixed bag for us. We had a solid P3 session where both drivers coped admirably in the ever-changing conditions and continued to give us valuable feedback as the track evolved. Come qualifying, the track was drying out further although clouds were once again forming, making track conditions difficult to read. Fernando and Stoffel put in strong performances to ensure our comfortable progression through Q1. Q2 was already proof of what we expected from winter testing – just how close the midfield pack is in 2018 – and we knew it would be a challenge. Both drivers were affected by traffic on a busy track, but also weren’t able to get the most out of the car today. We know from our analysis that there is more performance to be unlocked, and there was potential to be higher up on the starting grid tomorrow. On one hand, we know there’s more to come from our package that we couldn’t maximise today, and in some ways we were hoping for more. However, on the other hand, we’re encouraged by how far we’ve already come over the winter period. Now, the important thing is that we extract everything we have in tomorrow’s race, where our pace over long runs is what matters most. If conditions are dry, we have the benefit of free tyre choice, and we’ll use that to our advantage as much as possible on Sunday afternoon.”
Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team
Marcus Ericsson - [17:e]
“The work done overnight by the engineers on track and at the headquarters in Switzerland paid off. All in all it was a good qualifying today. We have made good progress since yesterday when we were quite a long way off the competition. We should be proud of the work that we have put in since then because it made a big difference. We are still not where we want to be, but today we were really close to Q2. We do have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are in the fight which is nice to see. Overall, I am happy with the progress and I look forward to the first race of the season”
Charles Leclerc - [18:e]
“I had my first qualifying in Formula 1 today – so overall, it was an exciting day. We had a wet free practice session followed by a dry qualifying, which was not ideal as I could not practice for what lay ahead. In qualifying, I made a small error in turn 4 which cost us Q2 – a shame, but it is the first round of the season, so it was still a positive learning experience. Now, my focus is on making improvements going forward. Tomorrow, I will take part in my first Formula 1 race. I look forward to it very much.”
Mario Isola - Chef för bilracing
“Rain earlier on in the day washed the track clean of rubber and also allowed the teams to look at crossover points from full wet to slick. More rain is expected overnight, adding another interesting variable to the first race of the season. Each of the compounds we brought to Melbourne have been used so far, meaning that teams have a wide range of data, but not necessarily targeted towards a specific scenario. So, there will inevitably be some element of strategy improvisation tomorrow, depending on the race circumstances. We’ve already seen some alternative thinking on tactics from Red Bull, which has chosen to start the race on the supersoft: it’s going to be interesting
to see how this will play out.”