They promised quick and quick was indeed delivered. The novel layout of the Bahrain International Circuit, the “Outer loop”, produced sub-minute laptimes and prompted drivers to jostle for position ahead of their flying laps – something we expect to play a major role in qualifying.
Times, however, were not at the front of anyone’s mind tonight. As always, on whatever track, Friday was about finding data and fine-tuning the set-up of the car for these most unique circumstances. Kimi and Antonio were able to run two full sessions without technical issues and the engineers are already debriefing, working hard to extract those extra last bits of performance that can make all the difference in qualifying.
Tomorrow’s session will be with us before we know it. On this Outer loop, it’s not just the laps that go quick.
Kimi Raikkonen: “I didn’t have any particular expectations about this track before the weekend, but the important thing was to have two clean sessions and do our job with the car. The track itself is relatively simple, it has just two big corners although it is quite bumpy. Our approach to the weekend didn’t change, we will prepare for tomorrow’s qualifying in the usual way: hopefully we can make another step forward tonight and be competitive in the afternoon.”
Antonio Giovinazzi: “I am pretty happy with the pace we showed today, especially in the longer runs. Tomorrow should be an interesting challenge, finding space will be important but we know everyone will also be looking for a tow. We will need to be smart and play our cards right. We know we are fighting to be in Q2 and we are confident we have a chance to be there, so let’s see what we can get tomorrow.”