Report – The second free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a difficult one for Scuderia Ferrari, as dusk fell on the Yas Marina circuit. Fernando Alonso had to stop out on track, between turns 19 and 20, after just 2 laps, with an electrical problem. Therefore getting through the programme was all down to Kimi Raikkonen who did 33 laps, finishing off the comparison of the Soft and Supersoft tyres and doing some long run race simulations. The Finn continued working on car set-up before fitting the Supersoft tyres, with which he set a time of 1.43.489, which was good enough for seventh.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.959s||0.846s||33|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.183s||1.070s||32|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.546s||1.433s||38|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.746s||1.633s||37|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.068s||1.955s||32|
|14||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m44.157s||2.044s||39|
Report – Fernando Alonso was third and Kimi Raikkonen twelfth in the first free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers did 22 laps each, working on fine tuning the car and beginning an evaluation of the Soft tyres Pirelli has brought here along with the SuperSoft.
The track was very dirty at first, so hardly any running was completed in the first half hour. Gradually, as conditions improved, the times began to come down. Fernando’s best lap was a 1.45.184 on his way to third place. Kimi stopped the clocks in 1.46.131, having to settle for 12th on the time sheet.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.334s||1.858s||30|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.361s||1.885s||23|
|6||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.718s||2.242s||17|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m45.835s||2.359s||32|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.983s||2.507s||23|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.030s||2.554s||24|
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a very busy day and, particularly in the first session, we struggled a bit to find the right balance on the car. The programme included various set-up tests and, probably partly because of the high temperatures, my car felt rather nervous. Between the two sessions, we decided to make a few changes and in FP2, with lower temperatures, things improved, also in terms of how we compared to our competitors. My best lap wasn’t perfect, I made a small mistake. Overall, the work we did today produced positive results and this evening’s analysis of the data will deliver a lot of useful information to help us improve for qualifying and the race.”
Pat Fry: “At the Yas Marina track, the first and third practice sessions don’t tell you much, because of the effect of the high temperatures on the tyres. Usually, the level of grip gets better as the sun sets and in FP2 the track and air conditions produce a more similar picture to the one we can expect in the race, allowing for a better idea of car balance and a clearer understanding of the tyres. Here, it’s important to find the right compromise between aerodynamic and mechanical grip for the twisty section, trying to make turn-in easier in the corners while also have good top speed on the long straights. As was the case in Brazil, tyre management will be a key factor. For the first time at this track we have the Soft and Supersoft tyres and this choice opens up various strategy choices, also taking into account the limited life of the softer compound. In the second session, an electrical problem meant Fernando had to park the car on track and the guys are now fixing the problem for tomorrow’s practice. This incident is further proof that reliability, down to the smallest detail, is a major challenge for all teams, even right to the last race. It won’t be an easy weekend, but we’ll be trying to score as many points as possible, given that every position is worth double.”