Kimi Räikkönen: “It’s hard to say where we stand as our first session was quite messy”

by Paul Hensby

It was a frustrating opening free practice session for the two Alfa Romeo Racing drivers as time was lost in the pits thanks to a power issue in the garage, meaning both Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi lost out on valuable track time whilst the problem was fixed.

Räikkönen was only able to complete thirteen laps of the Marina Bay Street Circuit in that opening session as he lost around an hour as Alfa Romeo found a fix to their problem, with the majority of his running coming in the evening session, where he ran twenty-eight laps.

The veteran Finn acknowledges that there is plenty of work to do on Saturday to improve the set-up of the car, with Räikkönen ending fourteenth and sixteenth fastest across the two Friday sessions.

“It’s hard to say where we stand as our first session was quite messy,” said Räikkönen.  “We lost all the electric power and therefore telemetry in the garage so I had to stand there for nearly an hour and I lost precious lap time.

“In FP2 we tried to catch up and we improved, but still we have an awful lot of work to do tomorrow.”

Team-mate Giovinazzi also lost track time in the opening session but was able to finish ahead of Räikkönen in both sessions, which were his first laps around the Marina Bay Street Circuit.  He was happy to be close to Alfa Romeo’s midfield rivals so is expecting a close battle across the remainder of the weekend.

“It wasn’t the easiest of days, especially losing some track time in FP1, but in the end we managed to do a good job in the second session,” said Giovinazzi.  “As I expected, conditions in the car are really hard and I really felt the humidity, especially in FP2.

“The track is a proper street circuit, quite bumpy, and it’s hard to find the grip in places, but it got better as the sessions went on. We are quite close to our rivals in the midfield so the rest of the weekend should be a close battle.”

Giovinazzi says Alfa Romeo’s best chance of points in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix is to excel in Saturday’s Qualifying session and make it into the top ten, so it will be important to analyse the data from Friday in order to improve the car for Saturday.

“Qualifying in the top ten will be really important: overtaking is challenging here and if we start towards the front we have a good chance to stay there,” added the Italian.  

“We will need to analyse all the data from the car tonight, especially in regard to our new updates, and make sure we have a good, balanced car for tomorrow.”

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