A lot of work completed by Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in these three hours of free practice on the first day of the French Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa covered around 500 kilometres (64 laps for the Finn and 45 for the Brazilian.) It means the team now has plenty of data to work on with a view to qualifying and especially the race.
"Overall, it was a good start to this race weekend," commented the Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali. "Both drivers declared themselves pleased with the handling of the F2008 on this track. In evaluating the results, the usual unknowns come into consideration, these being the fuel taken on by the other teams and their work schedule, but we can say we are confident for the rest of the weekend. Coming off the back of two negative results, having not fulfilled our potential, it's time to get back to our usual standards."
Felipe Massa: "It was a good day, apart from a slightly tight neck which I began to feel this morning: so as not to take any risks, I chose to avoid doing too many runs of several laps. I therefore concentrated on the car's set-up, working with both types of tyre. On the softer ones, it seems to be a little bit harder to find the right balance, but we must take into account that today, as usual on a Friday, the track is still dirty. Everyone suffered a bit with graining on the front tyres, but tomorrow the situation should improve. We must study all the data we have gathered to prepare as well as possible for qualifying and the race."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I am happy with the way things went during these two free practice sessions. We got through all our usual Friday job list, working mainly towards the race. Of course we don't know how much fuel our main rivals were running, but I get the impression we are very competitive. Maybe I did not get the most out of the first lap, but I am happy with the balance of the car. We tried out this new system for a Safety Car period and I think it could be a good solution because it puts everyone in the same situation and that way,you can't be penalized just by unfortunate circumstances."
Luca Baldisserri: "Because Felipe was suffering with a stiff neck this morning, we slightly modified the two drivers' programmes from the usual ones. The Brazilian concentrated on defining the best set-up on the car, while Kimi also had to tackle the task of evaluating the behaviour of both types of Bridgestone tyre available to us. We are happy with the work we did today: the F2008 seemed to be going well on this track and that means we can be cautiously confident for the rest of the weekend."