Formula 1

Räikkönen confident ahead of Abu Dhabi qualifying after positive first day

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Kimi Räikkönen - Scuderia Ferrari - Abu Dhabi GP
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen is confident ahead of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, following two positive practice sessions on Friday.

The Finn finished in seventh in Free Practice 1, setting a 1:40.417, while in the second session he was fifth, having set a 1:37.461, running on hypersoft tyres in both sessions.

“Today the first session of free practice was a bit tricky in the hotter conditions.  However, in the second session after sunset, we were able to improve our pace and the feeling with the car was pretty OK.”

Räikkönen’s team-mate, the German Sebastian Vettel, set his best time of 1:37.569, which secured him sixth on the grid; he also running the hypersoft tyre in both sessions.

The Finn said that driving at night does not make the lap any more difficult, it only reduces the tyre temperatures slightly.

“Twilight conditions do not affect driving at all, only the tyres get a little bit cooler.”

He added that the timings so far seem to be pretty similar, so they will have to wait and see what performance they will be able to deliver for the rest of the weekend.

“If you look at the time sheet, you will see that everybody is pretty close, with six drivers within three tenths of a second, so we will see where we can end up tomorrow.”

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