Report – The Scuderia Ferrari drivers finished third and seventh in the second free practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The afternoon session started with very high air and track temperatures and this made it harder to set good lap times. In the second part of the 90 minutes, the track temperature actually dropped and, even on the Soft tyres, the times got slower again.
The Scuderia drivers continued to work on set-up and a comparison of the Medium and Soft compounds brought here by Pirelli. In the afternoon, Kimi did 32 laps the quickest in 1.12.696 to secure third place on the time sheet. Fernando Alonso covered 20 laps, stopping the clocks in 1.13.122 to go seventh.
In the last third of the session, as usual, the team began working on long runs and with just over 20 minutes left, Fernando parked the car at the side of the track as the engine caught fire. His power unit, which had completed a high mileage, had failed and the incident brought out the red flags. When the session resumed, Esteban Gutierrez also parked on track in the Sauber. This compromised almost everyone’s long runs. Alonso’s power unit change does not involve a penalty.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.956s||0.833s||24|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.254s||1.131s||35|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.333s||1.210s||28|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.882s||1.759s||32|
|17||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.171s||5.048s||5|
Report – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen ended the first free practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix in fourth and eighth places respectively. Early in the session there was very little grip and the lap times were slow, partly due to the brand new surface, which is still seeping oil. Its condition improved rapidly so the times came down gradually throughout the session.
Fernando and Kimi did 30 laps each, evaluating the Medium tyres and working on the car set-up. Alonso’s best lap was a 1.13.742 which was good enough for fourth on the time sheet, while Raikkonen stopped the clocks in 1.14.114, to go eighth.
|3||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.723s||0.959s||39|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.827s||1.063s||26|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.197s||1.433s||27|
|12||Luiz Felipe Nasr||Williams/Mercedes||1m14.522s||1.758s||22|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.678s||1.914s||33|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.902s||2.138s||24|
|16||Daniel Juncadella||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.030s||3.266s||17|
Kimi Raikkonen: “This was a better Friday than past ones and thanks to the work we did on the car, we got a good response from the changes we made in both sessions. In the first session we concentrated on set-up work and aerodynamic measurements. Because of my usual problems with the front end, we tried to eliminate anything that might have been causing them. In the afternoon, on the Soft tyres, the lap times were good and I’m sure that, without traffic, I could have done even better. Because of the red flags, we were unable to do a race simulation, but everything can change over the next days, because the weather forecast is very uncertain. In the dry, the car is going quite well, but we know that, if it rains, the track conditions could change things around.”
Pat Fry: “The new track surface meant that understanding tyre behaviour was immediately the main focus of our attention and so, in both sessions we tried to do as many laps as possible. In the first session, the weather gave us a lot of room to manoeuvre and the times came down lap after lap as the track improved. In the morning we did some testing and worked on car balance, then in the afternoon, evaluating the consistency of the two compounds was complicated by the rising temperatures, with the asphalt almost 20 degrees higher than in the morning. On the one hand, we got a reasonably clear picture of where we stand in these conditions. Now we have to bear in mind that, if it rains, we would have to start again from zero, but in dry conditions it will also be very important to understand to what extent graining will affect performance. Fernando’s power unit had done a very high mileage and we were well aware that this would have been its last Friday on track, although it’s a shame to have lost the final 20 minutes of track time.”
“We’ve been trying various set-up options with Kimi and he seems happier,” he said.
“We’ve been obviously reviewing, it’s been a constant battle for us to try and work out, give him the front end that he wants in the car. We’re a little bit closer and that shows that if we can give him a car that gives him the right feedback he’s right there and right on the pace.”
Fry also dismissed recent rumours in the Italian media claiming Ferrari had suffered a setback with their 2015 design.
“We set ourselves some strong, challenging development targets on both the power unit side and both the chassis side,” he explained. “There’s obviously a huge gap we need to catch up. I think things are progressing reasonably well.”
“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 an improving on both fronts, really, so I think there’s been good progress there.
“All the teams are working well together, only time will tell how much performance everyone else is going to put on. We’re doing the best we can, I think, with the resource we’re applying.”