A productive final practice session at the Yas Marina Circuit earlier today saw Kimi and Romain make solid progress on setup to bring both E20s home inside the top ten as we await the first major test of the weekend; qualifying…
- Clear, dry and hot conditions prevailed throughout proceedings
- The white marked medium compound Pirelli tyre was used for the majority of the session, the yellow marked soft making brief appearances towards the end
- Both drivers had been suffering from an unsettled rear end during yesterday’s sessions; various setup tweaks were trialled to eliminate these issues with reasonable success
- Kimi ran back-to-back comparisons of different front wing variations
Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05
Fastest Lap: 1:43.184
Laps Completed: 21
01mins: Install lap on new medium rubber
15mins: Scrubbed mediums for the first flying run of the day; sets the early pace
32mins: Another stint on scrubbed medium tyres; race simulation runs on the agenda
55mins: Final on track excursion brings first run of the day on softs; instantly moves up to P4 with initial attempt
60mins: Chequered flag; P9 for the Finn
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m42.130s 18 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m42.420s + 0.290s 17 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m42.614s + 0.484s 7 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m42.743s + 0.613s 18 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m42.750s + 0.620s 19 6. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m43.015s + 0.885s 18 7. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m43.064s + 0.934s 19 8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m43.133s + 1.003s 15 9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m43.184s + 1.054s 22 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m43.338s + 1.208s 19 11. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m43.480s + 1.350s 17 12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m43.571s + 1.441s 20 13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m43.593s + 1.463s 20 14. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m43.635s + 1.505s 19 15. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m44.010s + 1.880s 22 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.025s + 1.895s 18 17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m44.071s + 1.941s 19 18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.149s + 2.019s 19 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m45.301s + 3.171s 22 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m45.879s + 3.749s 19 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m46.036s + 3.906s 19 22. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m46.261s + 4.131s 22 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m46.554s + 4.424s 20 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m47.032s + 4.902s 22
Kimi Raikkonen says he has already seen enough of Lotus’s latest updates to feel the team can take a step forward in performance for the rest of the season.
The Enstone-based outfit began the second half of the campaign with high hopes that a development push could take its Finnish driver to the title success.
But a failure to match the development spend of rival teams Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari has left the team to endure a few tough races during the Autumn and dropped its lead driver out of the hunt for the title.
However, a change in exhaust philosophy towards the Coanda-effect concept has helped. A second iteration of that design, aimed at recouping some of the lost horsepower appears to be working well.
Raikkonen reckons his Friday performance in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice offered only a glimpse of what is possible for the rest of the weekend once the car is properly set-up.
“We have improved,” he said. “But while you gain some downforce, you give away some horsepower, so we’ll try to get it back.
“But it is not a very easy thing, and with time we will come back with normal horsepower and still have the downforce.
“It is a good thing that we at least bring parts to the car this year and we learn things, so we are much better with the new car with those things.
“We have improved, but everyone else makes improvements too. We are closer than we were at Monza or Spa for example with the laptime.”