Fernando Alonso's second practice session went up in flames on Friday.
During the second practice session at Interlagos on Friday, Fernando Alonso suddenly came to a halt during the final few minutes, out of turn three. A small fire started to burn at the rear of the car, which Alonso put out himself with a nearby fire extinguisher.
Fry and Alonso knew this was coming
It was a Friday engine for Alonso though, so he should not take any kind of penalty for a component change. Ferrari technical director Pat Fry was not concerned, saying "The fire, it’s a high-mileage Friday engine to be honest."
Alonso was not surprised by it either, telling reporters "Today we knew that the power unit had reached the end of its cycle so there was a risk we wouldn't finish the second session."
Have we reached our target? No, far from it but I guess there’s four and a half months to go still
Pat Fry on 2015 car
"It looks more spectacular and it’s hard work for us to clean it all up but it’s not that big a deal," he added in Friday's presser. "I think this morning we, like most people, we struggled with graining of, particularly the right front, and it takes a little bit of a while for us to work out how to deal with that. As the track improved the graining reduced significantly in the second part of FP1."
Trying different things that have helped Kimi
Fry also noted that Kimi, who was third in FP2, is happier with some of the different things they've been trying.
"We’ve been trying different setup options with Kimi and he seems happier. We’re a little bit closer and it shows that, if we can give him the car that gives him the right feedback, he’s right there and right on the pace. So, I think that side of things went reasonably well. Long run pace, it’s hard to say really. I think everyone’s long run was disrupted by, firstly, the red flag we caused and then the following red flag. On Fernando’s side, again, similar comments with graining and car balance. I think everyone’s struggling a bit with the tyres and the way they’re behaving here. But yeah, we didn’t get a clean lap on the very first lap but other than that I think they’re relatively close together."
2015 car development
In regards to the 2015 car, Fry is optimisitc that Ferrari is heading in the right direction, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
"Some of the changes that have been emplaced are already paying huge dividends in the way we’re developing next year’s car. Only time will tell really. There’s a huge amount of catching-up we need to do but at least there’s the drive to improve the technical process, invest where we need to. It’s a long-term process but the right path is there to get us back to the top."
"Have we reached our target? No, far from it but I guess there’s four and a half months to go still – at least – but things are coming along and improving on both fronts really, so I think there’s been good progress there."