19 September 2014
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Raikkonen shows pace despite reliability issues
Kimi Raikkonen again suffered the brunt of Ferrari's reliability woes on the opening day of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, including an eye-catching brake fire in FP1.
Kimi Raikkonen's on-track performance on the opening day of the Singapore Grand Prix appears to bode well for the rest of the weekend, but the Finn could still not escape the gremlins that could derail his bid for points.
Seventh fastest in the opening 90-minute session, Raikkonen improved to fourth overall by the time the chequered flag fell on the second run 'after dark' and tried to put a optimistic spin on proceedings, despite providing some of the day's most dramatic television pictures as he returned to the pits with his front brakes ablaze…
“Overall, this was a positive day even if, as usual, there is room for improvement,” he reported, “In the first session, we concentrated on looking at different set-up solutions and, on my first set of soft tyres, I managed to do a good lap. Unfortunately, some technical niggles then prevented me from getting the most out of the second set….
“At the end of the session, I also had a problem with the brakes overheating, but the team managed to sort it out quickly and prepare the car for the second session, where changes we made to the set-up improved the handling of the car.”
Technical director Pat Fry confirmed that Raikkonen had again borne the brunt of Ferrari's reliability issues, with team-mate Fernando Alonso following up fastest overall time in FP1 with a run to second spot in the later session, and emphasised the importance of getting a clear read on the two types of tyre provided by Pirelli.
“It was not perfect, as we had to deal with some reliability problems, especially on Kimi's car, although the performance more or less matched our expectations,” he claimed, “Cooling the various components of the car is a hard task and, in performance terms, so too is getting good traction out of the corners.
“As usual on street circuits, over the course of the weekend, the grip level improves significantly and so it's important to get a clear understanding of tyre behaviour. The time difference between the soft and supersoft compounds is possibly greater than expected and I'm sure this aspect will make qualifying and the race very interesting.”
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