Free practice - First session
F. Massa: 2nd 1.18.910 24 269K. Raikkonen: 4th 1.19.339 31 270Weather: air 21/22 °C, track 28/27 °C. Cloudy.
Free Practice - Second session
F. Massa: 4th 1.18.491 40 269K. Raikkonen: 5th 1.18.725 39 270Weather: air 21 °C, track 24/26 °C. Cloudy.
Two races in three hours of free practice: that's the outcome in kilometres of the Friday of the Japanese Grand Prix for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers. Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa actually completed a total of 134 laps (70 for the former, 64 the latter,) double the distance they will have to cover in Sunday afternoon's race. "I realise this might sound boring, but today was a usual Friday," commented Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "Generally, it was quite good: we got through a lot of work without any problems whatsoever, which is important. It's difficult to say what the real pecking order is as the times are very close and we don't know how much fuel the drivers had on their various runs. We expected to be competitive at this track and I think we will be, as indeed will be our closest competitors. We have a very simple objective for this weekend which is to put the two red cars in front of everyone else. It will be difficult, it will require us to do everything perfectly and we will do our utmost to achieve that."
Felipe Massa: "I am pleased with this first day in Japan. The balance of the car is very good, both on the first timed lap and over a distance. The times are very close and maybe I could have been a bit further up the order in the afternoon session if I had not encountered traffic on my last run on the soft tyres. These seem to be very quick, which is no surprise, but also very consistent. I really want to do well this weekend and we will try and win and bring home the best result possible for the two Championships."
Kimi Raikkonen: "It seems very finely balanced with the lap times all very close. This means it will be very important to have a good qualifying otherwise you run the risk of being a long way back on the grid. I think our car is going well on this track and even if there is still some work to do to improve the handling, I am reasonably satisfied. The harder tyres are very consistent, while the softer ones seem to lose a bit of performance over a distance. They're not bad on the first lap and it's a shame that on my last run, I locked the wheel and was unable to do a good time. My weekend? I will try to do the best I can for myself and for the team."
Luca Baldisserri: "After the unusual setting of Singapore, we return to the usual Friday menu, looking for the best set up on the car and comparing the tyres. We were out on track a lot getting through so many laps that we now have a lot of data to analyse to get the cars as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race. We must pay particular attention to the performance of the two types of Bridgestone tyre, which today split the opinion between our two drivers. From the time sheets, we can see that the performance is very close between them, even if, when looking at the results, we have to always take into account the unknown relating to the amount of fuel on board. Overall, a reasonably positive day."