Something of an up and down day for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, in the first two free practice sessions for the Turkish Grand Prix, here at Istanbul Park. Felipe Massa was fastest in the morning, with Kimi Raikkonen topping the afternoon time sheet.
However, the reigning world champion had to sit out practically all the morning session because of a gearbox problem. "For the umpteenth time today we learnt, if indeed we needed to learn it, that it only takes the slightest little hitch to lose valuable time," commented the Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "From what we saw on track, it is very close between us and our main competitors. From our side, we need to work very carefully to find the right settings for both cars and to be in the best possible shape for qualifying and, above all, for the race."
Kimi Raikkonen: "Not the best of Fridays. This morning, I only managed one timed lap before a gearbox problem meant I could not go out for the rest of the session. In the afternoon, I struggled a bit to find the right settings on the car. One of the main problems today was getting the tyres up to the correct temperature, but I think that tomorrow, partly as the grip level on the track improves and partly as we work to improve the set-up, it will be a different situation. We lost valuable time this morning, but we still have enough data to analyse so that we can be ready to tackle the rest of the weekend."
Felipe Massa: "Overall, this was a positive day. The track is very fast, even if it's still a bit dirty, which meant it was quite easy to make mistakes. The low temperatures mean it is difficult to get the most out of the tyres on a first timed lap, especially on the harder ones. We tried various settings and now we need to look at the data from everything we have done over these three hours, to be as well prepared as possible. I feel comfortable on this track and I think I can be very competitive tomorrow and on Sunday in the race: it would be fantastic to win again here, after having done it for the past two years."
Luca Baldisserri: "This Friday's free practice did not go entirely to plan. This morning we had a gearbox problem on Kimi's car which meant he was stuck in the pits for most of the first session. Felipe managed to get through his planned programme and is reasonably satisfied with the handling of his car, while Kimi is less so. As usual for a Friday, we worked on finding the best set-up on the car and on a comparison of the two types of Bridgestone tyre available to us. Now we have to study all the data we have gathered to understand how to improve the performance on both cars."