An encouraging first session and a nearly useless second one sums up the first day of practice at the Japanese Grand Prix. After setting first and fourth best times respectively in the morning P1, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen limited their running to an installation lap each in a rain-soaked afternoon session.
“Today we were expecting to have difficult conditions in the afternoon, so we focused on the morning session,” said Kimi.
“We did a little bit more running and generally, we worked on our programme like every other Friday. Overall it was not bad and the feeling was ok. In the afternoon we did not even try to learn anything; we are limited on tires and we have to save the full wet compound in case qualifying is run in wet conditions. It’s a pity because we did not do a lot of laps, but at least we have got some ideas. As for tomorrow, let’s wait and see what happens in the morning and then through the day. Whatever it will be, we are going to do our best”.
Vettel added: “I think we had a decent morning. We tried a lot of things and it was good to feel the power of the car. This afternoon was expected to be wet. We would have loved to run a little bit more, but you can’t do the right amount of driving, because you don’t want to “burn” your tire supply in these conditions. The results of the last two races were not good, but the car is strong.
“We have every reason to be confident and I am sure that on Sunday we’ll be able to show what we can do. If tomorrow’s qualifying is wet, then we should improve. The last qualifying in wet conditions happened in Monza and it was not a good result. In Malaysia it was a little bit better, but we hope we learned our lesson. It’s up to us to get it right. Whatever the weather will be, I hope we can show our potential”.