Friday’s practice sessions in Singapore hadn’t gone according to plan for Ferrari, for either Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen.
Vettel was second fastest in the first session but was only 11th in the night time practice. He was unable to set a representative lap time on ultrasoft tyres because of traffic, and due to hitting the wall in turn 10 mid-session.
“It was not ideal,” Vettel said of his day. “It was a tricky session for us. The balance wasn’t quite there. But I think it’s in the car.
“I’m not yet happy, missing a bit the balance. Then you miss a bit the confidence,” he explained. “We tried a couple of things. I’m not sure they are the right things to do.”
His contact with the wall dislodged an advertising hoarding, triggering a virtual safety car period. Vettel’s car needed to be checked over in the pits, costing him valuable time.
“I didn’t mean to go off,” he continued. “I was very lucky I could continue.
“It’s clear both of us weren’t that happy today,” he said. “We need to improve but I’m sure we have enough time to look at it and find a solution.”
“Now we see what we can do tomorrow. It’s not the first Friday we’ve struggled. I’m pretty sure we’ll be close tomorrow.”
- FP2: Ricciardo stays in charge in Singapore night practice
His Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen was also off-colour on Friday. He was seventh fastest in FP1, 1.245s off Daniel Ricciardo’s pace. He slipped back even further after dark and was ninth fastest, the gap to the Red Bull extended to 1.98s.
“It wasn’t ideal in the afternoon but overall not a lot of things made sense,” said the Finn. “For sure I expected a bit more but obviously it wasn’t.
“It is not exactly where we expected to start,” he admitted. “It’s not the first time and it’s only Friday.
“We need to make sure we have everything where we want and have a good set-up,” he continued. “Obviously the tyres are always the key. It’s not any different here than other places.”
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