Kimi Raikkonen’s benchmark time during Second Free Practice in Bahrain might have edged him ahead of Mark Webber to the tune of three-hundredths of a second, but Raikkonen believes his FP2 yardstick could’ve been even quicker – having run slightly wide at the final corner.
Buoyed by the Lotus’s speed over a single lap, Kimi was still slightly circumspect when quizzed on the Enstone team’s relative pace to Ferrari and Red Bull.
“It didn’t feel particularly good. I think there’re improvements to be done, but it was pretty close”, Kimi explained. “I made a bit of a mistake in the last corner so I lost a little bit of time but we’ll see what we can do”
The Lotus F1 had asked Kimi to stay out slightly longer than expected during the session, however Kimi determined it was often better to improvise, given the unpredictability that colophons every stint on track in 2013.
“We do what we feel at the time is the right thing. Sometimes the tyres go away and the car responds less, so it’d pointless to continue a long run” reasoned Kimi. “You only have time to do a longer run in one session on one compound, so you’re guessing a little bit”
Bahrain’s high, unpredictable winds were also at the back of Raikkonen’s mind, conceding that the elements could be a deciding factor in qualifying, having a considerable effect on car set-up. One driver certainly susceptible to balance issues was Raikkonen’s team-mate Romain Grosjean, who was four-tenths away from the Finn in 7th.
“The wind is messing the set-up quite a bit” Raikonnen reiterated. “Whichever direction it is, it can work for you, but it’s very tricky in some places”.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic