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Malaysian GP: A Race with Two Outcomes

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Stefano Domenicali: “We cannot be happy with today’s result, because even if, on the one hand we managed to claim a fourth place that sees Fernando stay third in the Drivers’ classification, on the other hand, Kimi failed to score points when they were well within his grasp, but for the accident with Magnussen on the opening lap. Even if there have been improvements on the performance front, the gap to Mercedes is still significant and that should motivate the whole team, at the track, but especially back in Maranello, to improve the car in every area. We know what areas we need to work on and we must try and do that as quickly as possible. The championship has only just begun and we know just how quickly things can change in Formula 1.”

Fernando Alonso: “The points scored today are the result of a trouble free weekend, in which the small improvements on the car worked as we had expected and it ran very reliably. We definitely have a lot more work to do, because while we are moving forward, the others are doing the same. Everyone in our team is doing their utmost to close down the gap. There’s still a lot to learn in these early races, but it’s no secret that we definitely need to improve our top speed, as could be seen from my duel with Hulkenberg. I was able to get him thanks to fresher tyres, but we definitely need to up our performance right from the very next race. It will be very hot in Bahrain and the tyre compounds are softer. This might be an advantage to us, because on the harder tyres we are sliding a lot. Also, from the data we gathered there during winter testing, we might be able to extract more of our potential, but that will apply to everyone.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “I am very disappointed with how this race turned out, because I got a good start, but then the collision with Magnussen damaged my right rear tyre, which meant I had to make an extra stop. That wiped out any chance I had of fighting for a good finish. After the accident, the car’s handling was not the same, as the tyre had caused damage to the floor, which led to a loss of downforce. On my first set of tyres, I had some difficulties and it was only after the final stop, when I fitted the Mediums that it went better, but by then it was too late. Hard to say how things might have gone without that problem, because our rivals were very quick, but maybe I could have finished close to Fernando. It was a really unlucky day, but overall we managed to improve our performance and now we must concentrate on the positive aspects of this weekend and work to improve starting already next week in Bahrain.”

Pat Fry: “A race of mixed fortunes today, because while Fernando managed yet again to give his all, Kimi’s race was compromised right from the start. With the former, it was a case of managing the traffic and tyre performance: while we were trying to bring forward the stops to pass Ricciardo, at the same time, we had to defend from Hulkenberg, who was behind Fernando but on a different strategy. As for Kimi, he was hit by Magnussen and had to do an entire lap at a very slow pace to get back to the pits and change tyres. Despite the different outcomes, both of them drove at a good pace, reasonably similar to that of the cars grouped behind the Mercedes. The F14 T continues to make progress and has proved to have good reliability, but we know this is not enough. We know we are working in the right direction, but if we want to reduce the gap to the leaders, we need to make a major step forward. Bahrain looks like being one of the hardest races of the season, where managing fuel consumption will definitely play a very important role.”

Source: Ferrari Media