The Scuderia Ferrari team gave their adoring Tifosi something to cheer about at Monza by showing genuine competitiveness, with Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen and Spaniard Fernando Alonso both putting in good performances to place near the top of the timings on Friday.
Raikkonen had one of his most productive Friday’s of the season, and finished the two sessions in seventh and third respectively. He was happy with his day, getting through his programmes and was the closest of anyone to dislodging the two Mercedes drivers at the top of the timing screens.
“That was a very busy day, but a positive one,” insisted Raikkonen. “We made the most of every minute available to us in both sessions, managing to try everything we had on our programme. In the morning, we concentrated on assessing different aero configurations, in search of the best level of downforce.
“Then in the afternoon, we opted for an intermediate solution that seemed to produce the best results on both compounds. The difference between the Medium and the Hard is more or less what we expected; the softer one behaves well, but in terms of driveability, I found the Hard wasn’t bad either.”
Team-mate Alonso also had a busy day on track, finishing fourth in both sessions, and hopes the pace shown bodes well for the remainder of the weekend in front of the teams home fans.
“For various reasons, Friday in Monza is always a bit different to the others, with a special significance for our team in the weekend of its home race,” said Alonso. “The track characteristics also make it one of a kind: here you run with low aerodynamic downforce, you feel the car is quicker down the straights and lighter in the corners and, as was the case today, you need to try different downforce levels.
“In general, I’m happy with the work we did on set-up and tyres and especially with the time I did with a heavy fuel load. Towards the end, we were worried we had a problem, but to banish any doubt, we went out for another lap and everything seemed back to normal. Now, we are preparing for tomorrow and we hope to do well for all the fans who were already here today cheering us on from the stands.”