Ferrari: It wasn’t easy to find the ideal balance

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

There were no great surprises come the end of the first three hours of Free Practice for Sunday’s British Grand Prix. As we have seen already this season, Fernando Alonso is often the best of the rest [behind Mercedes] and the Ferrari man was third again today, while in the other F14 T, Kimi Raikkonen ended up ninth on the final time sheet of the day, once again finding life a bit tougher than his team-mate.

Fernando Alonso: “This Friday was much like any other and we followed our programme, testing some components and working on set-up in the morning, while evaluating both tyre compounds in the afternoon, looking at the Medium with both Qualifying and the race in mind. There were no problems with wear or graining on the softer compound, while in order to correctly evaluate the Hard, we will have to wait for a long run test. For now, I can say it’s [difficult] to get them up to temperature. Now, as usual, we must analyse everything to understand which components to use tomorrow, although if as predicted, it rains tomorrow, then in reality the data we got today will be more useful for the race. Here, there’s always a strong wind and in some corners it’s a help, while in others it’s a hindrance, but it’s the same for everyone. Now, all we can do is wait and see how things turn out.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “This morning in the first session things went reasonably well. We followed the standard programme, including analysing car behaviour on the Hard tyres and we just had a few problems with traction at some points on the track and a bit of understeer in the high speed corners. In the second session, we made some small changes which did not work, and the handling of the car was not the same. Putting a good lap together was really difficult and so we went back to the morning settings, but unfortunately we had the same problems. Now we must find out what happened between the two sessions, even if I think it’s partly down to the track conditions and the gusts of wind, which were very strong today. I’m sure that studying the data will give us the information we need to prepare as well as possible for tomorrow.”

Pat Fry: “At Silverstone, the weather is often unsettled and that can have a strong influence on the outcome of practice and the race. Therefore, it’s vital for the drivers to do a lot of laps to get as confident as possible with the car. Today, despite a strong and inconsistent wind, we were able to work through our programme without encountering any particular problems. On both cars, we tried some new aerodynamic components and various electronic settings, while on the power unit front we continued to acquire data useful for our development programme. At the same time, we went through the usual set-up tests to find the most suitable one for this track, as well as paying attention to tyre behaviour over short and long runs. It wasn’t easy to find the ideal balance as well as managing the degradation and while Fernando managed to complete a long run, with Kimi, we continued working on set-up to try and resolve some problems that cropped up on his car. Now we must find the best compromise to help both drivers to get the right stability for the rest of the weekend, taking into account that the weather is meant to get worse for tomorrow with a chance of rain.”