Despite setting the pace on Friday in practice for the 2013 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen has said there is more still to come from his Lotus.
Raikkonen began by posting the ninth best time in the first practice session this morning, his best lap a 1 minute 35.345 seconds. However, the Finn knocked more than a second off that in FP2, his best effort a 1m 34.154s, which put him fractionally ahead of the Red Bull of Mark Webber, just 0.030 seconds between them.
“It's nice to be fastest,” Kimi admitted, “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.
“[Overall] 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.”
Team-mate, Romain Grosjean meanwhile is using a new chassis this weekend and he ended the day eighth on the combined times, having been tenth in FP1 and seventh in FP2. His best lap was a 1m 34.631s.
“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,” said the Frenchman, who has had a bit of a difficult start to the year, even though he has scored in all three races. “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 too so that gives us a great target for tomorrow.”
“It was a fairly standard Friday for us, which is a nice way to start the weekend,” summarised Lotus trackside operations director, Alan Permane. “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.”