Having topped the times in the second practice session of the weekend in China, by two tenths of a second from the first Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen still felt the Friday practice sessions had been tough going.
“It has been quite a difficult day overall,” said the Finn. “I was struggling to get the grip on the tires probably due to the wind. I was sliding a lot and this feeling was not very nice.”
“When I put the Supersofts they seemed to work better, I had more grip and this helped to have a pretty good lap. We’ll see how the weather conditions turn out to be tomorrow, we’ll try to make a good day and then get the maximum out of the race.”
Scuderia team-mate Sebastian Vettel meanwhile was taking nothing for granted and felt there was still scope for the team to eek out more performance from the SF16-H.
“Friday is not so important in terms of position but in terms of feeling.” said the former World Champion. “We had a decent day and the feeling with the car was ok, but we can still improve, especially the balance.”
“Tonight we’ll have a lot of work to do, in order to get on top of everything. For sure to go for pole is always our goal, but it’s only Friday so I wouldn’t stress too much.”
“This track is quite brutal on tyres, I was sliding a lot and there was a lot of degradation. I looked at Kimi’s data and saw where he was faster. This afternoon we had different programmes and this is useful to make a comparison because we can learn from each other.”
On the super soft tyre, Ferrari definitely appear to have the edge on their Silver Arrows rivals, with Mercedes looking more comfortable on the harder compounds. With Lewis Hamilton taking a five place grid penalty for the Chinese Grand Prix, due to a gearbox change, Ferrari have the perfect opportunity to take advantage here in Shanghai.