Kimi Raikkonen's Friday came to a premature end with a rear-locked Ferrari skating into one of the Baku street circuit's escape roads, but the Finn – and Ferrari – was already struggling for pace in Azerbaijan.
Raikkonen ended the day down in 13th place on the timesheets, but had barely threatened the top ten prior to his, as yet undiagnosed, technical problem. Having ended FP1 with the front corners of his car being adjusted, the Finn continued to report grip problems in the evening session before being put out of his misery.
“The circuit itself was pretty okay, although it was slippery at the start,” he said, noting the layer of dust that coated the surface of the 3.7-mile layout, “Then the issue was to make the tyres work but, with more laps, it seems to get more and more tricky. The challenge is to switch them on so we have to look at everything we did.
“The balance was not too bad, but we struggled with the tyres. We don't know what the others are doing but, when everything worked, the balance was kind of okay. It was more about trying to get the tyres to work for one lap and this seems to be a difficulty right now. More laps seem to help but, over one lap, we need to find something to get the grip out of them.”
With regard to the issue which finally sidelined him with around 15 minutes remaining, and sent his Ferrari skittering into the turn two run-off with its rear wheels locked, Raikkonen remained in the dark although the team suspected an MGU-K failure.
“I don't know what the issue was,” he confirmed, “I just got back and the team will find out once they have got the car back...”