A Hard Day’s Night – Singapore GP, Friday 21 September 2012

Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean took to the streets of Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first practice sessions of the Singapore Grand Prix. The first session, held between 18:00 and 19:30 local time, started wet with the track drying over the duration. The second session, from 21:30 to 23:00, was dry throughout. Kimi ended the day with the twelfth fastest time ; Romain with the tenth.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes

  • A wet start to the first session meant we only ran with our updated rear wing at the end of proceedings on Kimi’s car.
  • Pirelli’s wet, intermediate and soft compound tyres were used by both cars in FP1.
  • Pirelli’s soft and super soft tyres were used in the drier second session.

What we learned today :

  • We didn’t gain sufficient data in the first session to run with the new rear wing for the rest of the day.
  • There is quite a bit of difference in single lap pace between the two tyre compounds.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05
Free practice 1 : P12, 1:52.716, 16 laps
Free practice 2 : P12, 1:50.345, 24 laps

Kimi :
“It wasn’t the easiest of days for us today. We don’t have enough grip for some reason, and we seem to be lacking downforce. It’s the same on both tyres ; a little bit better when the tyres are new, but still not quite the pace we want. I think we can improve for tomorrow but we have to find two seconds to get to the front. I don’t think we’ll find that much time ; but I think we should improve from Friday as we usually do.”

Romain Grosjean, E20-03
Free practice 1 : P15, 1:53.028, 20 laps
Free practice 2 : P10, 1:50.161, 24 laps

Romain :
“It feels good to be back on track. Our position on the time sheets in the morning was not what we’d have liked and even after FP2 we know there is more performance to be found. The car is basically the same as what we ran in Monaco and Budapest where we were very competitive but we’ve struggled a bit for grip today. The good thing is we understand what we need to do, the team has been working hard to make improvements and I’m sure we’ll be stronger tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director :
“We didn’t learn too much in the first session, but we did get some quick laps on the intermediate tyres. In the second session we evaluated the two tyre compounds, completing long runs on both. There’s quite a bit of single lap pace difference between the two of them. It’s fairly clear which tyre will be the preferred one for qualifying but not so clear at the moment which tyre is the better prospect for the race. We’ll be looking closely at lap times and degradation levels overnight.”