Formula 1's double debut, coming to Singapore and racing at night, ended its first day with the two Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers completing a total of over five hundred kilometres: Felipe did 54 laps, and Kimi five fewer.
The work schedule, which included finding the best set-up on the F2008 for this track and the usual Friday comparison of the two types of Bridgestone tyre available here, was all completed smoothly. "Definitely a different Friday to usual: the timetable and the on track action taking place under artificial lighting gave it a really special atmosphere," commented the Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "Overall, this has been a positive day. We acquired a lot of data which we must analyse to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race. From what we saw today, and taking into account the usual unknowns on a Friday, we should be competitive compared to our closest rivals."
Felipe Massa: "A positive day. This is only the start of the weekend and there is still a lot of work to do, but we have got off on the right foot. The car is handling well, especially on the harder tyres, but we know track conditions will improve so it is too early to draw conclusions. Visibility is not a problem. The entry and exit to the pit lane could turn out to be a bit critical in the race. In general, the track surface has a lot of grip but in some points there are some bumps that are a bit of a pain. I think we will be competitive: whether we will be more or less so than our rivals, I cannot yet say. It is a street circuit which means you have to concentrate all the time as there is no margin for error."
Kimi Raikkonen: "The visibility is great and you don't really feel you are driving at night with all the lights on the track. In general I like the track although some parts are too bumpy. The entry and exit to the pit lane are pretty difficult and we will have to be very careful. At the start of the day, we had a well balanced car and then, in the afternoon, we tried a modification to the front end that we had tried at the Mugello test last week, but it did not produce the effect we hoped for, but there was not enough time to switch back. Overall, I think we will be competitive. Overtaking? I don't think we will see much, as usual in fact."
Luca Baldisserri: "Running under these lighting conditions and to this time schedule has been a very interesting experience. From a strictly technical point of view, it was a normal Friday, dedicated to finding the best set-up and comparing the two types of tyre available. In general, the F2008 seems pretty well balanced on this track. In the second session, on Kimi's car, we tried some settings we had tested last week at Mugello, which apparently do not seem to offer much in the way of performance. However, we must analyse the data carefully, before reaching any definite conclusions. At some points on the track, the kerbs make driving very demanding, which can be seen from the fact that there were quite a few spins and off track excursions. Also, the entry and exit to the pit lane have to be approached with caution both by those using them and the cars out on track."