In FP2 Kimi Raikkonen (1.32.452) and Sebastian Vettel (1.32.650) were fifth and sixth fastest in the SF16-H.
Sakhir – Two weeks on from the opening round in Australia, the competitors in the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship were back in action today on the Sakhir circuit, the first permanent track to be used this year. Come the end of the first free practice session, Kimi Raikkonen was third in his Ferrari with a lap in 1.34.128, behind the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.32.294) and Lewis Hamilton (1.32.799.)
In the other SF16-H, Sebastian Vettel posted the eleventh best time of 1.35.073. The German was on a different programme to his team-mate, working on set-up changes. Sebastian used a single set of Medium tyres for his total of 14 laps, while Kimi, having given back the first set, ended the session on the Soft tyres.
A difficult session
The second free practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix got underway as the sun went down, at the same time as it will do on Sunday for the race start. The floodlights came on and the temperature dropped for the 90 minute session that brought the first day’s action to an end at the desert track, with the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.31.001) and Lewis Hamilton (1.31.242) topping the time sheet yet again.
Kimi Raikkonen (1.32.452) and Sebastian Vettel (1.32.650) were fifth and sixth fastest in the SF16-H. They worked on set-up and tyre testing, running various fuel levels. Both Ferrari men used the Soft tyres and then the Supersofts. Neither of them got the most out of the softest compound, because of problems with traffic and, in Vettel’s case, a small driving error. Sebastian was then forced to end his session around 15 minutes early because of a problem with a wheel, when he had completed 5 laps.
Kimi Raikkonen: "It was a normal and pretty ok day, everything worked out fine and we did more or less what had been planned. We ran quite a few laps and it wasn't too bad, I only had some traffic in my lap with the Supersoft tires, but apart from that it was ok. I was not really looking at what the others were doing, we ran through our own programme.
Obviously, the laptimes are one thing you notice, but we'll see what happens tomorrow. Now we have to go through the data and see how the day was. We always try to do our best, I still don't know where it is going to end, we have to wait until Sunday to know that. Hopefully we have a good and solid day tomorrow and then we'll go from there."
Sebastian Vettel: "We don't know 100% what happened. I felt out of Turn 4 that I lost drive, so I decided to stop. Obviously we don't want to take a risk at this stage, damaging the car or the engine. It's a shame because I would have loved to cover more laps, but that's what it is. Obviously, it was incredibly important to do the mileage today and get the information on Friday, but it's even more important to make sure that the car is in good conditions for the whole weekend and for the whole season.
Tomorrow I think that if you want to qualify as high up as possible you have to use the Supersofts. It's not a big secret. We saw that a lot of people were doing their homework today. As for me, I haven't done everything I could because we had to stop, but Kimi did a lot of laps, so it's still reasonable. Coming down to our rivals, I don't know what they did today. I think we can still improve for tomorrow. Hopefully we can be a little bit closer, so we'll see. "