Fernando Alonso gave the Scuderia Ferrari team a boost by setting the fastest time in the first free practice session of the weekend ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, before finishing second in the second session. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was inside the top ten in both sessions, and even though it is early days, the signs are good for a positive weekend for the Italian team.
Alonso had a very strong Friday in Singapore, topping the first free practice session before finishing second to Lewis Hamilton in the second. He was happy to get through the sessions without any problems, and was even happier as the team looked to be more competitive around the streets of Marina Bay than they have been in recent races.
“As always, Friday in Singapore is a bit different to what it is at other tracks, as its characteristics mean it is one of a kind and driving here at night is always exciting,” said Alonso. “The feeling is more or less the same as usual on a first day of practice, as we were reasonably competitive in both sessions and we got through the programme without any problems.
“The two compounds we have for this race behaved as expected and of the two, the Supersoft produced more grip. The restrictions on radio communication did not affect our work much and it was a regular day from that point of view and everything went off as normal.”
Team-mate Raikkonen finished FP1 in seventh before moving up to fourth in FP2, but insists there is still room for improvement, especially after being outpaced by Alonso in both sessions. He was happier in the second session as he found the handling of his Ferrari far better, but knows he will have to work hard to get onto the pace of his team-mate.
“Overall this was a positive day, even if, as usual, there is room for improvement,” said Raikkonen. “In the first session we concentrated on looking at different set-up solutions and on my first set of Soft tyres I managed to do a good lap, then unfortunately some technical niggles prevented me from getting the most out of the second set.
“At the end of the session I had a problem with the brakes overheating, but the team managed to sort it out quickly and prepare the car for the second session. The changes we made to the set-up improved the handling of the car and with the Supersoft tyres there was plenty of grip.”