Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

maanantai 27. heinäkuuta 2015

Hungarian GP: Sebastian took win in a breathtaking race!

Before the start there was a deeply touching moment as one-minute silence was held in honor of Jules Bianchi. All drivers had gathered in a circle with their helmets in the middle. For a passing moment all drivers stood united. Also Bianchi's family was there. Bernie Ecclestone had made a highly admirable and noble gesture by sending his private jet to pick up Bianchi's family from Nice. It was an utterly touching moment. But soon it was time for the drivers to put their helmets on and move their focus on the upcoming race.

The start was aborted because Massa in his Williams had been out of his position. So there was another warm-up lap and a new start. When lights went out the Ferraris absolutely nailed it: Sebastian stormed to the lead from P3 followed by his team-mate Kimi, who had started to the race from P5. What a dream start for the Ferrari duo: Sebastian and Kimi now had a double lead in the race! I got so carried away, I'd have wanted to jump up and down on my sofa! Hamilton's start on the other hand was everything but perfect. His team-mate Rosberg managed to pass the Briton as well so it was a big drop for Hamilton, who had started the race on pole. On the opening lap Hamilton went slightly wide and ended up on the gravel, which cost the Briton dearly. He managed to rejoin the track but was dropped down to P10! It was clearly an error of his own but on the team radio he accused his team-mate for making him go wide.

Sebastian in the lead increased his gap to Kimi but it maintained in a few seconds. Rosberg on the other hand seemed unable to match the Ferrari's pace. After a few laps Bottas in his FW37 was already massively behind the top three in P4. We saw a team order at Red Bull already at the beginning of the race. Kvyat was told on the team radio to let Ricciardo past as the Australian was clearly faster than his Russian team-mate. Kvyat obeyed the order and let Ricciardo through.

On lap 10 Hamilton had decided to make his way past Massa in his FW37. It was a wheel-banging maneuver as their rear wheels touched but Hamilton was stubborn and managed to pass the Brazilian and made his way up to P9. There was more overtaking to come: only a moment later Hamilton passed Perez in his Force India. Ricciardo seemed to be flying as well and the Australian made his way past Bottas. Who says you can't overtake at Hungaroring?!?

On lap 19 Kimi told on the team radio that a piece of his front wing had gone off. The pit crew prepared to change Kimi's front wing if necessary. Kimi, however, was the last top driver to pit on lap 23 and it turned out there was no need for a front wing change in the end. After the first pit stops Sebastian was still in the lead with Kimi second and Rosberg third. Ricciardo was fourth followed by Hamilton and Bottas. Both Ferrari drivers had opted for a fresh set of soft tyres as well as Hamilton in his Mercedes. Rosberg and Ricciardo on the other hand had a fresh set of white-marked medium tyres. On lap 29 Hamilton finally managed to make his way past Ricciardo and jumped fourth.

Everything looked so promising up until lap 41! Don't they say that when something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is? Sebastian and Kimi taking 1-2 for Ferrari was simply too good to be true! Suddenly Kimi was complaining on the team radio that there was a weird sound coming from his SF15-T and that he was losing power. Soon the team confirmed that there was an issue with the power unit. I didn't want to believe it was actually happening! I was so so gutted! Everything had looked so perfect...

On lap 43 there was more drama: the front wing of Hulkenberg's Force India suddenly detached in high speed and the German crashed to the tyre wall. Virtual safety car was deployed and luckily Hulkenberg himself got away from the crash unharmed. But there was so much debris on the track that safety car came out only a lap later. Both Ferraris and Mercedes pitted for the second time. At this stage Kimi was told on the team radio that his problem with the MGU-K couldn't be fixed from the pit wall. Kimi's SF15-T was lacking a significant amount of power, which meant that the Iceman was a "sitting duck" on the straights.

On lap 49 safety car came in and the race was on. Rosberg passed Kimi easily on the first straight! Hamilton on the other hand didn't hesitate trying to overtake Ricciardo, which turned out to be everything but a wise move! Hamilton hit the Australian and lost a piece of his front wing. At the same time Bottas in his Williams managed to overtake Hamilton but Bottas' joy was premature as the Finn suffered a puncture as the Dutch Toro Rosso driver Verstappen hit the Finn's rear right tyre with his front wing!

It was indescribably hard and pure pain to watch how Kimi had absolutely no chance what-so-ever to defend his position on the track due to the MGU-K problem! It was heartbreaking to hear how the team apologized to Kimi on the radio that there was nothing they could do to help Kimi. On lap 53 Kimi drove to the pits for the third time. They tried to fix the problem by resetting the car but Kimi rejoined the track only to notice that the problem was still there. Only some four laps later Kimi returned to the pits and retired the race. It was so so frustrating! At this point I had to get myself a large cup of ice-cream from the freezer!

Meanwhile there was another setback for Hamilton in P12. The British Mercedes pilot was handed a drive-through penalty for causing a collision with Ricciardo after safety car came in. And there were more collisions to come! With only five laps to go Ricciardo made a desperate "diving move" trying to overtake Rosberg, which didn't unfortunately have a happy ending, either. Ricciardo destroyed his front wing by hitting Rosberg's rear tyre, which also caused a puncture for the German. With only two laps to go Red Bull's Kvyat was also handed a 10-second time penalty for overtaking Hamilton off track earlier in the race. This penalty, however, didn't have an effect on the final results.

Although I was still feeling sorry for Kimi, I was jumping for joy as Sebastian really won the Hungarian GP, which was the second win for him this season. Now the quadruple world champion equals legendary Ayrton Senna in the amount of the career wins. This was the first non-Mercedes podium this season as the Red Bull duo Kvyat and Ricciardo completed the podium. For Kvyat this was his first ever podium finish! Verstappen in his Toro Rosso drove an outstanding race finishing fourth! I was so happy for him, too :D Alonso also scored excellent points for McLaren by finishing 5th. Hamilton made it P6 in spite of all the messy turns, Grosjean finished 7th and Rosberg 8th. Button made it another points finish for McLaren by driving to the chequered flag in P9 and Sauber's Ericsson was the last driver to score points.

Sebastian is definitely a man with great emotional and social intelligence. It was absolutely heartwarming to hear Sebastian speaking on the team radio after crossing the finish line as the race winner. It was so touching to hear how he thanked his team in Italian, owed his victory to Jules in French and said it also in English so that everyone could understand it. It touched me so deeply. What a driver and what a man!

So now there will be a torturing 4-week summer break until the F1 circus moves to Belgium and Spa Francorchamps. Hamilton is still leading the championship battle by a 21-point gap to Rosberg after today and Sebastian is 21 points off Rosberg...

Enjoy your summer holiday all F1 drivers! Just wondering if Sebastian will spend some time here in Finland at his summer cottage in Joutsa ;) If so, I hope he won't let the awful cold Finnish summer weather scare him away!

lauantai 25. heinäkuuta 2015

Hungarian GP / Qualifying: Hamilton dominated the qualifying!

In addition to the fact that it´s qualifying day at Hungaroring it´s also my oldest son´s birthday, he turns 15 today. We had some relatives coming to visit us but luckily they know me so well that they didn´t mind me sitting on the sofa watching the qualifying on TV whilst they were sitting in the kitchen enjoying coffee and some cake! ;)

Hamilton set blistering pace from the very beginning of the first session. It was obvious that the Mercedes men were in a class of their own but there seemed to be tighter battle behind the Silver Arrows. The Red Bulls had been exceptionally competitive in the free practices already and it seemed possible that they might be able to challenge both Ferrari and Williams for a second-row grid slot. The conditions were extremely hot: the temperature was as high as 32 degrees Celsius! (Something that we can only dream of here in Finland as this has been such a cold summer...!) All top teams started to Q1 on the medium compound tyres but as there was a huge difference in terms of lap times between these two compounds it was obvious that everyone had to opt for the soft tyres on their second runs. Actually Red Bull´s Ricciardo was the only driver to get through to Q2, who had set his lap time on the prime tyres. Hamilton and Rosberg topped the time sheets followed by Vettel, Kvyat and Räikkönen. Further back there was brutal disappointment for McLaren´s Button, who suffered an ERS deployment problem when it mattered. His lap on softs was a tenth off Sainz´s, which meant the Toro Rosso driver got through but the Englishman didn´t. Also the Sauber duo of Ericsson and Nasr and the Marussia duo of Merhi and Stevens were out of Q2.

McLaren´s joy at getting Alonso into Q2 was unfortunately very premature. When there were about 7 minutes left in the clock, Alonso rolled to a halt close to the pit entry on his out lap and the session was red-flagged. The Spaniard put a lot of effort pushing his car back down the pit lane. Sadly his efforts turned out to be in vain as the rules dictated that he was unable to continue, his car having not returned to the garage under its own steam. The top three remained the same as in the first session: Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel. In Q2 it still seemed it was going to be a tight battle for pole between the Mercedes team-mates. Both Force India drivers were out of Q3 as well as Sainz in his Toro Rosso and Maldonado in his E23. I was happy about Verstappen, who managed to make it among the top ten this time!

In Q3 the Mercedes duo made their first runs on used option tyres whilst their rivals started to the decisive session on fresh sets of soft tyres. But in spite of the tyre wear Hamilton and Rosberg still made it P1 and P2! It showed in a cruel way how dominant Mercedes are at the moment. At the end of the final session the battle for pole didn´t turn out too tight or exciting but Hamilton eased to pole with half-a-second margin over his team-mate! Rosberg must have felt devastated. Hamilton definitely has the upper hand in the championship battle at the moment and things don´t look too good for Nico. Sebastian made it "the best of the rest" by qualifying 3rd, which was an excellent achievement. Ricciardo at the wheel of his RB11 did a fantastic job as well and split the Ferraris, so Kimi qualified 5th today. Kimi was unable to make any runs on the soft tyres in this morning´s last free practice due to a water leak in his SF15-T so I find his qualifying result pretty decent. Bottas qualified 6th, Kvyat 7th, Massa 8th, Verstappen 9th and Grosjean 10th.

Kimi has performed well in the Hungarian heat in previous years so I´m expecting another strong race from the Iceman. It´s absolutely great that after the long 3-week break it´s finally Formula 1 weekend again but in addition to racing there have been other things going through my mind as well. Jules Bianchi, the 25-year old Marussia driver, who injured seriously at last year´s Japanese GP, succumbed to his injuries a week ago and was buried last Tuesday. Incidents like this always remind how dangerous motor racing ultimately is and how precious life really is. A fatal accident could happen to anyone on the grid so no one is actually safe. Bianchi was an extremely talented driver, who had a great future awaiting... All the drivers are carrying a special sticker both on their helmet and car in honour of Bianchi this weekend.

There has been another F1 related news that has made me worried today. I just read on the news today that the famous Finnish F1 doctor Aki Hintsa has been diagnosed with cancer recently. It´s weird how a piece of news like this touches me so deeply although I don´t even know this person. But according to everything I´ve read in Oskari Saari´s book about him, he´s an extremely heartfelt and likeable person, who has always made huge effort to help others. Now he´ll be facing a hard battle of his own... I´ve witnessed my father battling cancer a couple of years ago and luckily that battle was won by my dad! So I´m hoping all the very best for Aki Hintsa as well!

Nevertheless, I´m looking forward to an entertaining race and a Ferrari red podium :D

keskiviikko 15. heinäkuuta 2015

Sebastian Vettel - The biography by Karin Sturm

When I heard that there had been published a book about Sebastian Vettel, the quadruple F1 world champion, I was absolutely thrilled. I wanted to get the book in my hands right away and I managed to find it in the local library. The title of the book is "Sebastian Vettel - The biography" and it has been written by Karin Sturm, a highly accredited motor sports reporter, who has been reporting about Formula 1 races around the world since the 1980´s.

Sturm´s book gives a thorough look at Sebastian Vettel´s motor racing career. It´s obvious Sebastian Vettel is no ordinary racing driver. At the moment the German Ferrari pilot is only 28 years old, which means that he has plenty of more years of F1 racing still awaiting. Who knows what achievements Sebastian will clinch in the future but by the age of 28 Sebastian has already won four championship titles at the wheel of his Red Bull. The book tells every detail about his unbelievable success story so far. Already at very early age Sebastian showed his talent behind the wheel of a go-kart  and there was no doubt he was meant to drive fast! In terms of Formula 1 it has been a fairytale since the very beginning of his career in 2006. Sebastian got a chance to drive a BMW Sauber in the Friday´s free practice session at Istanbul Park and right away the German teenager set the fastest lap time and topped the time sheets! At Monza in 2008 Sebastian became the youngest-ever pole-setter in the history of F1 and during the very same weekend he broke another record by becoming the youngest-ever GP winner in the rainy and demanding conditions at the wheel of his Toro Rosso. In 2009 Sebastian moved to Red Bull and drove an amazing season in spite of the technical problems and almost managed to challenge Button for the championship.

2009 was the year when I started secretly pay attention to Sebastian´s driving. There was something extraordinary about this certain Sebastian, which caught my eye. Nowadays my admiration for him is no secret any more! There´re separate chapters about all his championship-winning seasons from 2010 till 2013 and also a chapter about Sebastian´s last season at Red Bull in 2014, which turned out to be filled with difficulties and less success. It was nostalgic to read about the season 2010 for example because I can still remember so clear what went through my mind after Turkish GP, where Sebastian collided with his team-mate Webber and started a huge fuss in the media. In spite of the amazing success there have been memorable moments, which haven´t been memorable in a positive way. Like the Malaysian GP in 2013 with the legendary "multi21" scandal. Webber was leading the race and Sebastian was told "multi21" on the team radio, which meant he wasn´t allowed to pass his team-mate but the car number 2 was supposed to cross the finish line ahead of the car number 1. Sebastian, however, saw his chance to overtake and as a passionate racing driver he ignored the team´s order not to overtake and passed Webber and won the grand prix! It was emotional to go through all these glorious seasons almost race by race but as a huge Vettel fan I´m already very ware of all the on-track incidents. As a fan I would have loved to read more stories behind the scenes! Like details about the discussions inside the team in 2010 when for a moment everything seemed to go all wrong for Sebastian but against the odds he managed to turn the setbacks into historical success. Or inside stories about the famous "multi21" scandal...

There are many powerful figures behind Sebastian´s success: Dr Mario Theissen (the former BMW Motorsport Director), Dr Helmut Marko (advisor to the Red Bull Racing Formula One Team) and Christian Horner (Team Principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula One Team). All these men have been interviewed for this book. There´s no doubt that in the eyes of all these men Sebastian Vettel is a racing driver with extraordinary talent and skill, which only a very few have behind the wheel. In addition to that his intelligence also separates him from the majority of drivers. These interviews give you an image of Sebastian Vettel as the perfect F1 driver, which he very much is. But in spite of all the championship titles every racing driver has his strenghts and weaknesses but there were hardly any critical statements about Sebastian in the book. As a fan I would have loved to read about his "Achilles heels" and weak moments among that fairytale-reminding success.

If Sebastian himself is asked what he is like, he says he´s an ordinary guy. In a way he is: he doesn´t like to be in the lime light and enjoys doing ordinary things. Against all odds the huge success hasn´t changed him: the man still has his feet firmly on the ground. He´s also described as an open, friendly and utterly honest guy. Although I would have loved to read more stories behind the scenes, there was one absolutely touching story in the book considering Sebastian´s honesty. Red Bull´s Team Principal Horner told a story about an incident, which took place once when Sebastian was visiting him. They had decided to shoot clays with an air rifle and naturally it turned into a competition. It was a late summer night and it had already become dark. Horner told Sebastian he bet Sebastian couldn´t hit "the thing in the tree". It was so far that Horner couldn´t even see what it actually was and considered it absolutely impossible that Sebastian could actually hit it. Of course Sebastian took the challenge and made the most amazing shot ever and dropped the thing from the tree. They both ran to it and noticed it was a bird. Sebastian was absolutely shocked, he wouldn´t have wanted to do it! He would have wanted to take the bird to a vet and tried to save it. But it was obvious that the poor thing didn´t survive. Horner thought the saddest thing about the case was that it was such a small night bird, which was close to his wife´s heart. His wife had already named the bird Walter. When they walked back to Horner´s house he said to Sebastian that he mustn´t tell that he had shot Walter but that he had accidentally hit a pigeon. Of course Horner´s wife Beverly asked what they had hit and Horner tried to lie about hitting a pigeon accidentally. But Sebastian had covered his face with his hands and Beverly saw instantly that everything wasn´t okay. Then Sebastian confessed that he had shot Walter. He was utterly upset and just couldn´t lie about what had happened. This story made a huge impression on me! Charasteristics like this make me admire him so so much!

The book ends with a chapter about Sebastian turning a new leaf in his career and moving to Ferrari for the season 2015. In ten years of time there might be another book coming out, which tells the story of Sebastian´s years in Ferrari and, who knows, maybe about his 5th and 6th championship titles. One thing is for sure: Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen make the ultimate dream team and I can´t help dreaming about a book written about these guys´ action both on and off track!

sunnuntai 5. heinäkuuta 2015

British GP: Hamilton won the action-packed and rain-hit race!

Today´s race turned out to be an absolutely entertaining and thrilling one. Max Verstappen in P13 was the only driver to start to the race on the orange-marked hard tyres. Action started already at the start: Massa in P3 took an explosive start and made his way past both Mercedes drivers into Turn 1! Also Massa´s team-mate Bottas took a staggering start and P2 was already his for a second until Hamilton claimed it back. Rosberg was left 4th in the start. The opening lap didn´t lack drama: the Lotuses of Grosjean and Maldonado and the McLarens of Alonso and Button were involved in a collision, which meant that both Lotuses and Button were out of the race. Alonso had to pit for a new front wing. Safety car was deployed due to the collision. Kimi had dropped back to P6 as Force India´s Hulkenberg had managed to pass the Iceman. Sebastian had also lost a position to Red Bull´s Kvyat. So not the perfect start to the race for the Ferrari team-mates.

At the re-start Hamilton was desperately trying to take the lead from Massa. It wasn´t a wise move: Hamilton locked up his front tyres and went wide, which gave Bottas the opportunity to pass the Briton. Bottas didn´t hesitate to use his chance and took the second place. Williams was having a double lead! Unbelievable, who would have thought that could happen!?! Bottas was right at his team-mate´s tail and it seemed that the Finn was faster than Massa. However, the team told Bottas not to race his team-mate. Bottas urged to get a permission to try an overtaking move and a moment later he was granted by the team to make a move on his team-mate, as long as it would be "a clean move". Massa, however, wasn´t going to let his team-mate pass him. Bottas tried everything he could but overtaking seemed absolutely impossible. But the battle was utterly thrilling to watch! All top 4 drivers were within a few seconds and it really seemed that this time Williams could actually challenge the Mercs.

To my disappointment Verstappen drove off track on lap 4 and had to retire the race. It was such a pity as Toro Rosso´s pace had seemed excellent in the free practice sessions. Sebastian´s race didn´t seem too good, either: he had lost a position to Force India´s Perez and was down in P9. Because Kimi seemed unable to overtake Hulkenberg, Ferrari decided to take the Finn in for a pit stop on lap 14. Sebastian pitted a lap later. Hamilton was the first top four driver to pit on lap 20. The Briton had an absolutely perfect pit stop: only 2,4 seconds! Massa and Rosberg pitted on the following lap but Hamilton managed to jump both of them when they rejoined the track. Bottas was the last of the top four to pit for a fresh set of hard tyres but his 3,2-second pit stop wasn´t fast enough. The Finn rejoined the track behind Massa in P3 and was very close to losing his position to Rosberg as well but barely manged to keep the German Mercedes pilot behind him. Hamilton in the lead started increasing the gap to his rivals immediately and in no time he had a 3-second gap to Massa.

On lap 33 Carlos Sainz´s Toro Rosso stopped on the finish straight and virtual safety car was deployed. And there was more drama on the way: rain was coming! With about 15 laps to go the light rain started. Sebastian passed his team-mate and Kimi was the first driver to pit for a set of intermediate tyres. However, the rain seemed to stop as suddenly as it had started so Kimi´s call to pit so early turned out to be a wrong one! At the same time Bottas was struggling on the damp track and Rosberg managed to overtake the Finn. Only a moment later Rosberg made a move on Massa and suddenly Mercedes had taken the double lead! Wet conditions didn´t suit Williams at all.

Suddenly the rain started to pour down again and Hamilton pitted for a fresh set of intermediate tyres. Sebastian pitted on the same lap but the Williams duo Massa and Bottas pitted a lap later. Sebastian gained from the undercut and made his way up to P3 behind the Mercedes duo! Meanwhile Kimi´s intermediate tyres had totally died and the Iceman had to pit for a fresh set of intermediates only 4 laps before the chequered flag. What a tactical mistake, Kimi had dropped down to P8.

So Hamilton took his 3rd win on his home soil at Silverstone. Rosberg made it 1-2 for the Silver Arrows and Sebastian took the splendid P3! That was really more than I could have dreamt of today! He was back in P9 for a long time but he managed to make the right call at the right time, which cannot be taken granted in this kind of conditions. It was such a pleasure to see Sebastian on the podium after the break :) It was also very touching to see how delighted Hamilton was about his victory and how he thanked all his fans who had come to Silverstone to support him. In spite of the glorious start the Williams duo had to settle for P4 (Massa) and P5 (Bottas). Kvyat finished 6th, Hulkenberg 7th, Kimi 8th, Perez 9th and Alonso 10th (finally points for McLaren!).

But to be honest, this wasn´t the kind of race I was hoping for Kimi today! Yesterday´s qualifying was great but today it was up to Kimi to decide when to pit for the intermediate tyres and the Iceman simply made the wrong call. Naturally it was almost impossible to predict when the rain would intensify and how much rain there would be and when it would stop... But still many drivers made better job than Kimi today including his team-mate. Without the rain Kimi would likely have finished the race in front of Sebastian though.

Hamilton increased his lead into 17 points in the championship standings so Nico has to give it all at Hungaroring to out-perform his team-mate. Williams´s pace surprised me at Silverstone (Bottas already made his way in P4 ahead of Kimi in the championship standings), I hope Ferrari will find more speed in Hungary in three weeks´ time!

lauantai 4. heinäkuuta 2015

British GP / Qualifying: Hamilton snatched pole in front of his home crowd!

Today´s qualifying has made me very nervous already several days before it actually took place. The reason for that is all the media speculation that is swirling around Kimi Räikkönen´s future at Ferrari. There are rumours that Kimi has two GP weekends to convince his team that he´s worth keeping also in 2016. This would mean that Kimi has to deliver both at Silverstone and at Hungaroring! During this week I´ve had difficulties to sleep at night because I´ve been thinking about Kimi´s situation. This has reminded me a great deal about Sebastian´s season at Red Bull in 2010 when the German made many silly mistakes and everything seemed to go wrong for him on track. But Sebastian managed to turn those obstacles into success so that´s what I´m hoping for Kimi as well. So I crossed my fingers down to my elbows when qualifying was about to start...

Everyone else except the Marussia duo started to Q1 on the orange-marked hard-compound tyres. Good to their word, from the very start of the qualifying the stewards were tough on drivers exceeding track limits in Turn 9. There were several drivers, whose times were deleted due to a track limits infringement: Vettel, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Kvyat, Merhi and Verstappen. The Mercedes duo Rosberg and Hamilton and Bottas in his Williams were the fastest men after the first runs and they chose to sit out the second runs. All others made their second runs on the medium-compound tyres. Kimi showed excellent pace and the Iceman ended up topping the time sheets in Q1! What a staggering start for Kimi in the crucial qualifying! Nasr in his Sauber, both McLarens and both Marussias were eliminated from Q2. Everything looked good so far in terms of Kimi´s performance...

The beginning of Q2 saw almost everybody come out on the option tyres. There were more track limits violations to come: Lotus´s Maldonado went wide at Copse several times. The Ferraris came out not until at the end of the session. Ferrari were lucky to get Räikkönen through in 9th after an earlier time was disallowed for a track limits infringement. Kimi had only one lap to nail the competitive lap time but this time the Iceman could really deliver when it mattered the most so very impressive work from Kimi! Rosberg was the fastest man on track in Q2 with Bottas 2nd and Hamilton 3rd. Toro Rosso´s Verstappen on the other hand complained vociferously about the handling of his car and was unable to make it in Q3 but had to settle for P13. Also Perez in his Force India, the Lotuses of Grosjean and Maldonado and Sauber´s Ericsson were out of the final session.

Q3 saw Hamilton taking the provisional pole by only a one-tenth margin over his team-mate Rosberg. After the first runs both Williams cars were ahead of the Ferraris with Bottas third and Massa fourth. Surprisingly there were hardly any improvements on the second runs. Both Mercedes drivers didn´t improve their lap times, which meant that Hamilton snatched pole in front of his home crowd. So 8 poles out of 9 for the Briton this season! Massa at the wheel of his FW37 was the only driver in addition to Ricciardo in his Red Bull, who was able to improve on his second run and jumped third ahead of his team-mate Bottas. Finally Kimi managed to out-qualify his team-mate Vettel fair and square! Ferrari filled the third row with Kimi 5th and Sebastian 6th. After the last free practice session in the morning I really didn´t expect Williams to be that competitive as they were clearly behind the Ferraris in the FP3! So at the top the pecking order was clear: 1st row for Mercedes, 2nd row for Williams and 3rd row for Ferrari. Kvyat qualified 7th, Sainz 8th, Hulkenberg 9th and Ricciardo 10th.

I have to say I´m very very glad that Kimi had such very decent a qualifying! Just hope that there won´t be any collisions, mistakes or wrong tactical decisions in tomorrow´s race but that everything will go to plan. I really hope from the bottom of my heart that Ferrari will keep Kimi also next year as the Iceman not only has unique talent and skills but he is also the most popular driver among fans worldwide according to the recent survey done by the GPDA (over 200 000 fans from 194 countries took part in that survey including me)! F1 really needs a personality like Kimi and I hope Ferrari think so, too.

What about tomorrow´s race then? There will be battles: first of all between the Mercedes team-mates. It´s very tight between Williams and Ferrari as well so I´m hoping to see a wheel-banging battle for the last podium place. But first of all, I really really hope that Kimi will shine like a star tomorrow...!