Sebastian Vettel: "Am I scared of Red Bull? No, it was probably the first more or less ok Friday for them."
Shanghai – Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix, the third round of the World Championship, which got underway this morning in Shanghai. Behind the Englishman, who did a 1.39.033, was his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg (1.39.574) and the two Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel (1.40.157) and Kimi Raikkonen (1.40.661.)
On the agenda for the Ferrari men, aerodynamic and mechanical set-up work, using two sets of the Medium tyre under a pale sun hanging over the Chinese track, with slightly warmer temperatures than in the past few days.
The second free practice session saw the Scuderia Ferrari drivers finish second and fourth, with Kimi Raikkonen (1.37.662) and Sebastian Vettel (1.38.339) respectively. The afternoon programme included a comparison of the two tyre compounds and some long runs.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall it has been a good day of work. In the afternoon we had a problem with the brakes but the mechanics did a very good job and managed to fix it, then I was able to go back on track and go on with the programme. It’s a bit early to make predictions, we still have things to improve, tomorrow we have to make sure that everything works and have another good day without any issues or problems and then we’ll do our best for qualifying and the race.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Generally I feel happy in the car, but I think we can improve it for tomorrow, that is usually what Friday is for. So ideally I would have loved to do more laps, but all in all it was a solid session, for the team as well. I think we can do a step forward tomorrow and then we can see what we can do. First of all it is only the third race of season; second, it is a different track compared to Malaysia, therefore the most important thing is to look after ourselves.
The target n.1 is that we are right behind Mercedes, you have to accept that they are very strong, as the season gets on we try to get closer and closer. Fight for pole with Mercedes tomorrow? They were very strong today. For us the most important thing is to make a step forward, there are a few things that we can improve. Am I scared of Red Bull? No, it was probably the first more or less ok Friday for them. I think it is clear that it gets tougher as the season goes on, as everybody will find his own rhythm. Tyre management will be crucial.”