De La Rosa: “In Shanghai it’s vital to look after the tyres”
Second and seventh places for Scuderia Ferrari in the second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix, in which Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was fastest with a 1.38.315. Fernando Alonso was second in 1.38.456 ahead of Rosberg in the other Mercedes. The Spaniard completed 28 laps.
As for Raikkonen, his session was much more productive than the first, when he only did one lap. This time he did 25, with a best of 1.39.293, good enough for seventh on the time sheet.
Both Scuderia Ferrari men worked on long runs on the soft tyre to check its performance over a good distance. Alonso then ran the harder Mediums only in the final minutes and they were naturally more consistent.
Fernando Alonso: “All Fridays are the same, a day when you especially need to test the tyres to adapt to the circuit and on this front, maybe it was less useful than usual, because the forecast for tomorrow suggests rain is on the way. We have brought some small updates here, which we already tried at the Bahrain test. Everything worked well and that’s good news. Leaving aside the performance of the others, I am happy with what we have done today. At every race, all the teams bring something new and we must try and make an additional step forward if we want to be competitive. This track is particularly tough on tyres, with the Softs especially suffering from graining over a long run, so it will be important to work out the tyre plan for Sunday. If it rains tomorrow, we will definitely have less information for the race and we will have to rely on guesswork. Let’s hope we make the right choices.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a difficult day, that began with a technical problem in the morning session, which meant I only did an installation lap. Once that was sorted out, in the afternoon, we tried to make up for lost time, concentrating mainly on getting the set-up suited to this track, sacrificing some of our race simulation. It’s difficult to give an overall assessment and I definitely missed out a bit because of the lack of track time. This evening we will concentrate on analysing the data we have gathered and tomorrow, we will try and make the very most of the final free practice session to get the car as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race.”
Pat Fry: “It’s been a particularly demanding Friday, both for the drivers on track and for the guys in the garage. In the first session, Kimi’s car stayed in the garage throughout the session after completing his installation lap. With Fernando we managed to complete several aerodynamic tests and carry out some checks on the power unit. The afternoon ran more smoothly and with both cars we worked on balance and power delivery. Even if we are making progress on all fronts, we are well aware that it’s always hard to know where you stand on a Friday. Today’s low temperatures affected tyre performance and even if we can expect the track surface to be in better condition tomorrow, the rain expected for qualifying could turn the session into a real lottery. But more important than making predictions is to stay concentrated on our work.”