The Spanish Grand Prix, the first of the European races on the Formula 1 calendar, got underway this Friday on the Catalunya circuit.
Montmelò – Sebastian Vettel was second fastest with a 1.27.260 and Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in 1.27.780, in the second free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. This afternoon, both drivers used the two compounds available – Medium and Hard – working on set-up and car balance. In general, the high temperatures did not help in terms of grip nor with the way the tyres were standing up to the conditions. Once again, Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes with a 1.26.852, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg was third in 1.27.616.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was quite a strange day. The position and laptimes were not too bad, but I was not completely happy with the handling of the car. I don’t know if it was caused by the wind or by the conditions of the track, but I have been struggling all day. We did not see anything bad with the upgrades we brought here. It’s just the feeling that it’s not completely right, as if the car was sliding. I feel there’s a lot to improve and to gain, in the evening we’ll look more into details and see what we can do for the rest of the weekend”.
Sebastian Vettel: “I think it’s quite straightforward that the Medium are the faster tires, but today it was a bit slippery for all the cars. Grip seems to be very low, nothing abnormal as we’ve seen it across many years now. When we come from the winter usually in summer the track is quite a bit slower. It always helps when there are cars around and I think everybody covered quite a lot of laps today: of course on Sunday it will improve, but the general conditions will remain the same. They say it is going to be a bit cooler on Sunday and maybe that will help.
I think we can improve the cars, but the gap with Mercedes is still there. It was not the best lap today, but I believe that in these conditions it is difficult for everybody. The difference between the two tires compound is quite big on a lap for us, while on the long run it is a lot smaller, but then when you slide so much you can’t really extract the performance out of the tires. Today everyone was sliding a lot, so it’s not entirely fair to judge the new pieces on the car. But most important, there’s nothing wrong with them: they’re working as expected so we can hopefully build into that”.