Ferrari drivers and team report from the first day of free practice of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, Round 3 of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, at Sakhir;
Fernando Alonso: “After many daytime races, it was really strange to be running here in the dark, even if it was not very different to the other night time races, so we just have to get used to it. From this aspect, today was very useful, especially FP2, to learn about the behaviour of the tyres and the car. Even if we did a lot of running here in winter testing, now it’s like starting from scratch and one has to adapt to the new indications coming from the differing track conditions. We know our strong points and the areas we must focus on to improve, but we must not overreact in trying to close the performance gap. At the moment we must make steady progress while still keeping an eye on reliability, which has brought us a good points haul in the first couple of races, which is always very important.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall, this was a difficult day, because I didn’t feel comfortable with the car in either session. In the first one, I damaged the floor on the kerb at turn 4 and this meant I had to pit. The team did a super job, because they got me back out on track in a short time, but then, because of a problem with the brakes, I was unable to complete the programme. In the second session we concentrated on looking at the two Pirelli compounds and with the Soft it was definitely better than the Medium. Now we will get down to analysing all today’s data, especially regarding the immediate change in the track from day to night and we will try and improve for qualifying and the race.”
Pat Fry: “Today’s two sessions were very different to one another, as was predicted, partly because of the programmes we ran and partly because the track was cleaner in the second one. In general, the second session was more representative, just because the temperatures were more similar to what we can expect in the race. Work on both cars concentrated on set-up, aimed at improving stability under braking. In the earlier session, Kimi’s programme was interrupted when the floor on his F14T was partly broken after he hit a kerb at turn 4, but we had no problems with Fernando. Then tonight, we did a long run test and now we must look closely at tyre performance, which is a key factor this weekend along with fuel consumption. It will be interesting to see how the hierarchy will change between tomorrow and Sunday, because the technical characteristics of this track mean the gaps between some of the teams could close up.”
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