GP Singapore, commenti post libere venerdì–16/09/2016
Singapore GP: Ferrari’s Raikkonen tipping three-team fight for pole
Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful Ferrari will be in a three-way fight with Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull for the Singapore Grand Prix pole.
Raikkonen finished Friday 0.275 seconds behind pacesetter Nico Rosberg as the top four, which included the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, were separated by just 0.4s.
"This morning was a bit tricky but the afternoon was quite decent," said Raikkonen, who was unusually upbeat after the two sessions.
"If you have a good feeling with the car, it makes all the difference around here.
"The afternoon was nice, it was quite easy and the lap time came. So far, so good."
Only at Monaco has a Mercedes driver not claimed pole position this year, but the Finn believes it could all be up for grabs on Saturday.
When asked whether Ferrari would be fighting with Mercedes and Red Bull, Raikkonen said: "Hopefully yes.
"We had a good feeling and it feels like we can do something this weekend but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
"We’ll see. Hopefully we’ll be there."
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel, polesitter and winner in Singapore last year, finished the day in fifth.
The German accepted the blame for simply not putting a good lap together but echoed Raikkonen’s positivity ahead of qualifying.
"My lap wasn’t good enough," he said. "Kimi had a very good lap.
"I wasn’t entirely happy, I was struggling a bit with the car balance and therefore not really finding the rhythm, but all in all it’s been a good day.
"Tomorrow is important – it’s very difficult to pass here so we try to trim everything towards qualifying.
"If we get everything right, it will be very tight but we have a good chance to position the car well."
Speaking about the pace of rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, Vettel said: "Both looked very strong.
"Mercedes is the favourite and we are in the same boat as Red Bull."
Kimi pleased with handling “but it’s only Friday”
“The first practice session was tricky, I struggled a little bit, but the second practice was good: everything worked and the car was handling pretty well. Here in Singapore, if you get the car right, it’s a lot easier to go faster. Today we had quite a good feeling, but for sure there is still something to improve. It’s hard to say if we can be strong, it’s only Friday, but the feeling was positive. So far so good, but tomorrow is another day, we’ll see where everybody is and then we’ll go from there. We’ll give our best and hopefully we have the speed to challenge our rivals.”