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Japanese Grand Prix

Suzuka
9 October

Race
 
  Pos. Time Gap Laps FL Lap
RAIKKONEN 5th 1:27:11.703 + 28.370 53 1:35.990 33
  1st stop Lap 12 New Hard
  2nd stop Lap 26 Old Hard
VETTEL 4th 1:27:03.602 + 20.269 53 1:35.118 36
  1st stop Lap 12 New Hard
  2nd stop Lap 34 New Soft
Weather: air 23°C, asphalt 25 °C. Clear skies
Sebastian Vettel
We had a very good start and made good progress in the first two laps, passing Ricciardo and Perez, then we were faster than Verstappen. I think today we had the second fastest car. So it was a question of time, but obviously Max came in as soon as he could to maintain track position, which worked well for him. We tried to go on the softer tire in the end, which initially we thought would work well, but then we had too much degradation and we were falling off this group. It is always easy to criticize, and I am sure there are many 'experts' that knew better, but on the pitwall as well as in the car, I was keen to go for this strategy so to extend the second stint. It's a fact I lost big chunks of time with the blue flags. I always got the lapped cars right in sector one, when they can't move, so I was losing a lot of time, and there's probably where I lost track position to Lewis, who always seemed to clear the lapped cars in the straight. But then the pace wouldn't have probably been enough to challenge for the podium.

Japanese Grand Prix

Suzuka
8 October

Qualifying
 
  RAIKKONEN Chassis 317 VETTEL Chassis 314
Q1 P2 1:31.674 New Soft - 3 laps P1 1:31.659 New Soft - 3 laps
Q2 P4 1:31.406 New Soft - 3 laps P3 1:31.227 New Soft - 3 laps
Q3 P3 1:30.949 New Soft - 3 laps P4 1:31.028 New Soft - 3 laps
      New Soft - 3 laps     New Soft - 3 laps
Weather: air 24 °C, track 26 °C. Overcast
Sebastian Vettel
It has been a great result for us as a team; as for myself, obviously I messed up a bit in Q3 with the last sector, and lost a bit too much time. But, all in all, it has been a very good qualifying, our car has been handling well all through the sessions, due to a combination of many things, and it's satisfying to be with both cars ahead of the Red Bulls. For sure, tomorrow I'll have to start a bit further back because of the grid penalty, but this is what it is, we take it. Even so, I think the speed will help us to come back and then we'll see what we can do. I think it will be a close fight. Much will depend on how people handle their tires, because in the first stint everybody starts on the same compound, then we see how the strategies develop.

Japanese Grand Prix

Suzuka
7 October

Free Practice
 
  RAIKKONEN Chassis 317 VETTEL Chassis 314
First Session P4 1:33.817 17 laps P3 1:33.525 18 laps
Weather: air 23/24 °C, asphalt 27/32 °C. Overcast
Second Session P3 1:32.573 25 laps P5 1:33.103 34 laps
Weather: air 25 °C, asphalt 31/32 °C. Overcast
Sebastian Vettel
Overall,l I am not entirely happy with the balance of the car today, but I am sure this is something we can work on. I didn't try the Medium compound, we focused more on the Soft tyre in the morning, and on the very Hard tyre in the afternoon. We tried to do our homework, but the balance is not there yet. We will now need to look at the data and see where we are, also compared to the others. Ideally you would always love to have more grip around here, because it feels fantastic if you do, but I am sure we can tune the balance and distribute the grip a bit better, so that we will be in a better shape tomorrow. As for race expectations, a podium finish is always possible, there might even be rain at some point. It sure doesn't help if you start further at the back (because of the grid penalty), but overtaking is possible, even if it is not so easy.

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GP Russland / Sotschi
30 | 09 | 2018

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