Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has said that they got off to a 'good start' on Thursday during the opening two practice sessions for this Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Raikkonen finished the first practice session in fifth place overall in his F2007, a second off Fernando Alonso. However the Finn closed the gap in the second session, to just three tenths, while also vaulting up the pack to end the day 'best of the rest' after the Spaniard, who was again quickest for McLaren-Mercedes.

Speaking following the sessions, he added that while it was all good, it is difficult to say how they compare to their rivals: "I am reasonably happy with how things went in free practice today," said Kimi. "We have found a good balance on the car right from the morning session and we have completed all the programme we had planned for the day.

"As usual, it is too early to draw conclusions as to how the rest of the weekend will go though. We don't know what our closest rivals have done and also because the track conditions change a lot from Thursday to Saturday. All in all however it was a good start to the weekend."

Ferrari's track technical chief, Luca Baldisserri meanwhile had similar thoughts following the two 90 minute sessions.

"As always, it is difficult to judge the result of free practice, because there are too many unknown factors in our main rivals' work programme, as outright performance can be compromised by traffic on the track," he added.

"As for ourselves, we can say we achieved everything we had put on the day's job list, without any particular problems. We worked on finding the best set-up on the car for Sunday's race and on the comparison between the two types of tyre on offer from Bridgestone.

"From what we have seen today, the choice seems less evident than usual. In the light of these three hours of practice, we think we will be competitive both in qualifying and in the race."



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