The Finn set the sixth fastest time in the opening session of the race weekend but only managed 12 laps, before adding 33 more to his overall tally and finishing 13th in practice two. He is hoping that improvements can be made ahead of qualifying and the race.
“Overall, this was a difficult day, because I didn’t feel comfortable with the car in either session,” he said. “In the first one, I damaged the floor on the kerb at turn 4 and this meant I had to pit.
“The team did a super job, because they got me back out on track in a short time, but then, because of a problem with the brakes, I was unable to complete the programme. In the second session we concentrated on looking at the two Pirelli compounds and with the Soft it was definitely better than the Medium.
“Now we will get down to analysing all today’s data, especially regarding the immediate change in the track from day to night and we will try and improve for qualifying and the race.”
Fernando Alonso had a more trouble-free day. He completed 45 laps and finished both sessions in third place. “After many daytime races, it was really strange to be running here in the dark even if it was not very different to the other night time races, so we just have to get used to it,” he said.
“From this aspect, today was very useful, especially FP2, to learn about the behaviour of the tyres and the car. Even if we did a lot of running here in winter testing, now it’s like starting from scratch and one has to adapt to the new indications coming from the differing track conditions.”
He added: “We know our strong points and the areas we must focus on to improve, but we must not overreact in trying to close the performance gap. At the moment we must make steady progress while still keeping an eye on reliability, which has brought us a good points haul in the first couple of races, which is always very important.”
Image courtesy of Ferrari