Kimi Raikkonen edged out the Red Bulls for the fastest time in second Friday practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir.
Raikkonen’s pacesetting lap of 1m34.154s in his Lotus came just after the halfway point.
It could have been faster still, as the Finn ran wide at the final corner on the way to the flag. Yet even with that slip, Raikkonen’s pace was sufficient to edge him 0.030 seconds of Mark Webber, who had been in front for the preceding 20 minutes.
Raikkonen then set an encouraging pace on his later long run, although he was keen to come in earlier than Lotus wanted him to as his tyres faded.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m34.154s 31 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m34.184s + 0.030s 26 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m34.282s + 0.128s 29 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m34.310s + 0.156s 28 5. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m34.543s + 0.389s 35 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m34.552s + 0.398s 34 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m34.631s + 0.477s 33 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m34.666s + 0.512s 37 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m34.932s + 0.778s 33 10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.976s + 0.822s 29 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.356s + 1.202s 32 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.506s + 1.352s 36 13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.5$9s + 1.435s 36 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.761s + 1.607s 33 15. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.133s + 1.979s 36 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m36.279s + 2.125s 33 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m36.579s + 2.425s 28 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.616s + 2.462s 34 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m37.061s + 2.907s 32 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.313s + 3.159s 33 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.363s + 3.209s 29 22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m37.970s + 3.816s 34
Kimi Raikkonen – 9th/1st: “It’s nice to be fastest but you never know what the others are doing; we just stick to our programme and don’t take too much notice of what else is happening. I actually made a mistake through the final corners on my fastest lap, so there’s still more time to be found. It’s tricky to get the setup right here and the wind can make a big difference; it might work for you one way but make things more tricky the other. It wasn’t a bad start today; things aren’t exactly where we want them but we’re reasonably fast, so let’s see what we can do from here.”
Romain Grosjean – 10th/7th: “The new chassis feels good. Today we’ve been working on getting the right correlation between chassis, setup and tyres to extract everything we want from it. It’s easy to know what you want, the difficult bit is getting the little details sorted, but we’re getting there and it’s been a positive day. We’ve seen that Kimi was fastest today so that gives us a great target for tomorrow.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was a fairly standard Friday for us, which is a nice way to start the weekend. We looked at setup work in the morning before moving to longer runs, higher fuel race pace and degradation analysis on both tyre compounds in the afternoon, with no problems or interruptions to the programme. We were able to push both allocated compounds of tyres pretty well in the hot conditions today and generally the cars are well balanced. Romain’s running a new chassis and overall is happy with the car so we’re looking forward to an exciting qualifying session tomorrow.”
Video: Slow motion