Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets in the first representative practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, but the Finn is well aware it’s still all to play for.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver was quicker than his team-mate, Sebastian Vettel in both sessions on Friday, although the margins were slim. In Free Practice One, he was within a tenth of second fastest Valtteri Bottas.
Raikkonen set the fastest time in Free Practice Two but looked as though he might lose his spot at the top of the times when he was forced to pull over due to a loose front wheel. His session was cut short, but his lap remained unbeaten.
Ferrari has since been fined 5,000 euros by the FIA for an unsafe release, but Raikkonen avoided a three-place grid penalty.
“It was a pretty straightforward day and the car felt ok,” he commented. “As on any Friday, we tried different things, tested and learned as much as possible.
“The feeling was pretty much the same everywhere, but in certain zones of the track, we want to do better. If we look purely at lap times it was OK, but that doesn’t tell you much; It’s only the first day and it’s impossible to know what the others were doing.”
“At the end of the second session, right after the pit-stop, I felt some vibrations in the car and the team told me to slow down and park the car. We found out that the front wheel was a bit loose, so we had to stop. For sure we still have to improve; tonight we’ll put all the data together to try and do even better”