Kimi Raikkonen can be pleased with his day’s work, finishing both Friday practice sessions in second place, and ahead of Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the final session of the day.
A fuel issue during FP2 meant the Finn had to spend some time stuck in the pits, but it did not really hinder his progress. After setting the time that saw him place second in the afternoon session, a lap that was only two tenths off the pace of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS of Nico Rosberg at the top of the board, the 2007 world champion worked on long run simulations on the medium tyre.
“It was a normal Friday, we were focused on our program,” said Raikkonen. “At one point I came back into the garage to check something in the car: we wanted to be sure that everything was ok. It was only a small issue and by the end of the session we managed to do all that we wanted to. It’s hard to say now where we are compared to our rivals, it was not a bad day, but for sure we can still improve.
“Compared to Russia it’s easier to make the tires work, but obviously there’s still work to be done to be 100% happy with the balance of the car. In the evening we’ll work to improve and hopefully we’ll be stronger.”
It is definitely apparent that the SF16-H works well on the soft tyre compound, whilst the W07 favours the harder medium rubber. With just two tenths between the top two teams, it is a positive sign for the Maranello-based squad ahead of qualifying tomorrow.