Kimi Räikkönen set the second fastest time of the first day during the opening sessions for round three of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship; the Chinese Grand Prix. Kimi lapped the Shanghai International Circuit in a time of 1min 35.492secs during a soft tyre run in the afternoon session. Romain Grosjean was hampered on his flying lap using the softs; ending his second session with the twelfth fastest time. Romain conducted comparison work on the team’s latest exhaust package and ran with a new front wing, while Kimi trialled new rear floor aero parts.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m35.340s 32 2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m35.492s + 0.152s 32 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.755s + 0.415s 30 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.819s + 0.479s 35 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.092s + 0.752s 31 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.432s + 1.092s 29 7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m36.496s + 1.156s 39 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m36.514s + 1.174s 32 9. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m36.595s + 1.255s 33 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m36.791s + 1.451s 27 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.940s + 1.600s 16 12. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m36.963s + 1.623s 31 13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.103s + 1.763s 22 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.206s + 1.866s 39 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.127s + 2.787s 34 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m38.185s + 2.845s 18 17. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.211s + 2.871s 32 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m38.276s + 2.936s 34 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m38.725s + 3.385s 29 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m39.271s + 3.931s 21 21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m39.814s + 4.474s 27 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.227s + 7.887s 5
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m36.717s 21 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.171s + 0.454s 20 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.658s + 0.941s 21 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.942s + 1.225s 20 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.965s + 1.248s 17 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.069s + 1.352s 24 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m38.095s + 1.378s 14 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m38.125s + 1.408s 21 9. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m38.398s + 1.681s 17 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m38.561s + 1.844s 15 11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m38.790s + 2.073s 16 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.057s + 2.340s 19 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m39.158s + 2.441s 22 14. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.180s + 2.463s 21 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.336s + 2.619s 19 16. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.360s + 2.643s 20 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m39.392s + 2.675s 20 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.032s + 3.315s 22 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.966s + 5.249s 16 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m42.056s + 5.339s 18 21. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m42.083s + 5.366s 21 22. Ma Qing Hua Caterham-Renault 1m43.545s + 6.828s 20
News & Quotes:
A number of drivers voiced their concerns with the soft tyre after Friday practice, with Felipe Massa saying his Ferrari was completely different on each compound and Lewis Hamilton questioning whether the soft was the right choice by Pirelli. Raikkonen, however, said that the only difference from other race weekends was the difference in lap time gains.
“[The soft] seems to have more grip on it so I think some teams improve a lot, some teams not so much,” Raikkonen said. “That’s how it’s been the whole year; some cars benefit on some tyres and some on others.
“I think it’s normal in the race. You try to push on lap one. Everyone always says “Oh you have to take it easy”, but you never see that happen in the race. If you have a big gap then you can take it more easy, but usually you push on the first laps because that’s when you can gain places most easily.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 11th/2nd: “If you look at the lap time it looks to have been a pretty okay day. For sure there are things we have to improve and you never know what will happen tomorrow but it’s a reasonable start to the weekend. We seem to be happy with the soft tyres and maybe not as happy with the harder ones. We’ve still got time to improve and we’re certainly not struggling so it could be a good weekend.”
Romain Grosjean – 9th/12th: “Today was not so easy for me and I’m still looking for the right setup. I ran with the new exhaust package in the morning and the older one in the afternoon to try to help find where improvements can be made. We now have a lot of data to help find the extra performance we want. The new front wing helps, so that’s a step in the right direction. In Malaysia we developed the car as the weekend continued and there are of course a few things we can change overnight. It’s a new day tomorrow and we’ll hopefully be able to have the car as I’d like it for a strong result this weekend.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We’re reasonably happy with what was a fairly normal Friday for us. Kimi’s pace looks strong and he felt he could have gone faster on his flying lap. Romain’s lap time is not representative after he got caught up behind Lewis [Hamilton] during his option run. The grip level between the two tyres through certain corners is quite noticeable and – as we saw during winter testing – the lifespan of the soft tyre could be a talking point. There’s no doubt it’s the tyre for qualifying, but making it last in the race will be a challenge. Overall we’re pleased with the car in terms of pace, high fuel performance and tyre preservation; hopefully we can look forward to a strong weekend ahead.”