It was rather a difficult day for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro under the artificial lights of Singapore's Marina Bay circuit. The first free practice session took place on a track that was still wet from rain that fell in mid-afternoon, which made it...
It was rather a difficult day for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro under the artificial lights of Singapore's Marina Bay circuit. The first free practice session took place on a track that was still wet from rain that fell in mid-afternoon, which made it something of a struggle to get through the planned programme, centred on evaluating different aerodynamic configurations on the F10. The second session saw Fernando Alonso's car suffer a failure which meant he had to pull off into the escape road at turn 18, so he was unable to get through his work schedule. "Despite today's difficulties, we still managed to acquire sufficient data which our engineers can now use to decide on the car set-up for qualifying and the race," said Stefano Domenicali. "Friday's times are always difficult to evaluate and today was no exception. From the little we could see, Red Bull look very strong, as indeed was to be expected, but we are on the pace. Having said that, clearly we will have to perform faultlessly if we want to achieve our objective, starting from tomorrow's qualifying."
Fernando Alonso: "I braked a bit late at turn 18 and ended up in the escape road: I selected reverse, but when I then selected first gear to get going again, the car stopped. It's a shame, because I lost the final twenty minutes of the session, the part when I was due to run with a heavy fuel load. In the debrief, the engineers told me the problem was that an experimental part in the gearbox had broken. This can happen on a Friday, when you try a lot of things, some of them even aimed at next season. Our individual sector times don't seem too bad, in fact you could say they were quite competitive, when compared to our main rivals. We tried the car with and without the blown rear wing and for me, the first option seems to be the best, but we must study the data carefully before taking a definite decision. The hard tyres proved to be consistent and the softs give more grip than expected. This morning, I did not do much running because the track was not dry enough for slick tyres, while the intermediates would have quickly been destroyed."
Felipe Massa: "We did a lot of laps to try out different configurations on the car, especially comparing performance with and without the blown rear wing. I am not particularly pleased with the balance of the car and that is another reason why we spent a lot of time on track in the first session, even when track conditions were not ideal. Especially on the soft tyres, I had a bit too much oversteer. There is much work to do but I think we can be competitive all the same, even up against Red Bull who seem to be very strong. The track was very slippery when it was still damp, especially the kerbs and the part that was recently resurfaced. The hard tyres take a while to get up to temperature, which is not the case with the soft ones, although these probably suffer a bit more from degradation."
Chris Dyer: "Rather a difficult day in terms of running the programme we had set out for the two free practice sessions. In the first one, the track conditions were neither fish nor fowl: the damp track meant you could not use the dry tyres without the risk of damaging them, but it was not wet enough to run properly on the intermediates. In the second session, we were unable to complete the planned programme on Fernando's car, because an experimental component in the gearbox broke, which was discovered when he went off the track at turn 18: now we have to take a close look at the part to determine what caused the breakage. We tried various new aerodynamic solutions, also comparing the handling of the car with and without the blown rear wing: now it is up to the engineers, along with the drivers, to reach a decision tonight as to which is the best configuration for qualifying and the race. In terms of performance, the F10 seems to be reasonably competitive at this track, even if it is difficult to draw any definite conclusion, especially when you consider how the two sessions went. I think the battle between the top three teams is very tight and that we can fight for places at the front of the grid."