After Abu Dhabi surprised the Formula One paddock with a refreshing rain shower in the morning, both free practice sessions were held in dry conditions. The preparation work for the season’s final Grand Prix went according to plan, but the result isn’t satisfying yet. Neither Kamui Kobayashi nor Nick Heidfeld are yet happy with the balance of their respective cars.

Weather: sunny and dry, 27-30°C air, 28-41°C track

Kamui Kobayashi:
C29.04 / Ferrari 056
1st Practice: 8th / 1:44.604 min (18 laps) / 2nd Practice: 14th / 1:42.768 min (26 laps)
“To me it looked okay in the beginning of both free practice sessions, but for some reason there was no improvement and we were struggling. We were doing a lot of testing and have collected plenty of data. I’m positive we will find solutions for tomorrow.”

Nick Heidfeld:
C29.03 / Ferrari 056
1st Practice: 10th / 1:44.737 (19 laps) / 2nd Practice: 16th / 1:42.950 min (34 laps)
“I really like driving here, the track is nice. The first session wasn’t bad but in the second free practice I was very unhappy with the balance of my car. Luckily it is only Friday, and we have time to work that out.”

James Key, Technical Director:
“It was a late start to the first session after some unexpected rain, but otherwise we did a normal programme with just two runs for both drivers. It was just a matter of looking at grip levels, working on the mechanical set-up and checking different wing levels. In the evening we were reasonably well balanced in the first two sectors with regard to the lap time. However, we need to work hard on the third sector, because we are losing a lot there, and we have to understand why. It’s not just down to the downforce level. We have to analyse all the data tonight in order to understand how we can improve there.”