It was a complicated, difficult session for the Scuderia.
Montmelò, 10 May– Scuderia Ferrari’s F14 Ts will start tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Catalunya circuit from the third and fourth rows. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth fastest in 1.27.104, beating team-mate Fernando Alonso by just 36 thousandths. It was a complicated, difficult session for the Scuderia. Raikkonen got through to Q2 in 16th and last place in Q1 and then Alonso suffered the same fate, getting through to the top-ten shoot-out in tenth place.
Once again, Lewis Hamilton was on pole, taking his fourth of the season and the 35th of his career. He beat his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 168 thousandths. The second row features Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull and Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. Joining Kimi on row 3 is a surprise in the shape of Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, while Alonso has Jenson Button in the McLaren for company on row 4.
Fernando Alonso: “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. 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.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “We can’t be pleased with sixth place, because naturally we want to be fighting for the top places. 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. Tomorrow, 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.”
Pat Fry: “Today’s qualifying session was difficult for everyone. 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. Tomorrow’s 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.”