Kimi Räikkönen on his Sochi Friday: “Lap times don’t really matter today”

by Paul Hensby

Kimi Räikkönen felt it was a regular Friday for him and Alfa Romeo Racing at the Sochi Autodrom, although he was only able to finish fifteenth in both free practice sessions.

The Finn, set to contest his three-hundred and seventh Grand Prix this weekend, says there is work to do overnight to improve the set-up of his car but lap times mean nothing on a Friday, and it will be Saturday where the true performance will come.

“It was a fairly regular Friday and the car felt pretty ok,” said Räikkönen.  “Lap times don’t really matter today, we’ll go through all the usual meetings and analysis tonight and see what we can do tomorrow.

“There’s a threat of rain for qualifying but it didn’t influence the work we did today. We’ll just see what we get in the car and adapt to it.”

Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, coming to Russia on the back of two consecutive top ten finishes in Italy and Singapore, says the times on Friday are not a true reflection of where Alfa Romeo are this weekend, with a mistake coming on a lap that would have taken him from the order.

“It was a good Friday, even if the lap time doesn’t show it. I did a mistake on the final lap on softs, so we are a bit farther behind than we should have been,” said Giovinazzi, who ended seventeenth and eighteenth across the two sessions.  “The focus is now on finding the best setup tonight and getting a good result in qualifying.

“It may rain tomorrow, so conditions could be very different. If that is the case, I hope we can have a wet FP3 to understand what we can expect, but in the end it’s the same for everyone. Let’s see what we can achieve: our objective is still a place in Q3.

“We just need to keep working hard and take the best out of the car.”

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