Kimi pleased with prac­tice ses­sion for Malaysian GP

Weekend Witness - - Sport -

SEPANG — Fer­rari’s Kimi Raikko­nen was in a sur­pris­ingly pos­i­tive mood af­ter mod­i­fi­ca­tions to his car helped him keep pace with favourites Mercedes dur­ing yes­ter­day’s prac­tice at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Finn was sec­ond in both 90­minute ses­sions at the steamy Sepang cir­cuit be­hind Lewis Hamil­ton and then Nico Ros­berg to give him hope of be­ing more com­pet­i­tive in to­mor­row’s race af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing start in Mel­bourne a fort­night ago.

“This was def­i­nitely a pos­i­tive day and I had a bet­ter feel­ing com­pared to Fri­day in Mel­bourne,” the Finn told re­porters.

“I was more com­fort­able with the F14 to­day and even if we had no prob­lems what­so­ever, we know there’s still a long way to go and a lot to do.

“Our pro­gramme con­cen­trated on car set­up and on test­ing the com­pounds that Pirelli has brought here. The han­dling seemed to be good.”

Raikko­nen had dis­missed sug­ges­tions that his strug­gles at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix were caused by a brak­ing is­sue.

He said in­stead that the car would need to be per­son­alised to his lik­ing if he was go­ing to match the suc­cesses of his first three­year spell with the Ital­ian team, which ended in 2009.

Alonso was 11th fastest be­fore im­prov­ing to fifth in the sec­ond ses­sion, 0,194 sec­onds be­hind Ros­berg.

The Spa­niard was more guarded when talk­ing about pos­si­bly im­prov­ing on his fourth­place fin­ish in Mel­bourne.

“We are on a learn­ing curve, which is not un­usual for the start of a cham­pi­onship and, to find out how com­pet­i­tive we are, as usual we will have to wait un­til Satur­day and Sun­day [to­day and to­mor­row],” the dou­ble world cham­pion said.

“Usu­ally, Fri­day is a very con­fus­ing day, be­cause ev­ery­one is work­ing on their own pro­grammes, but this year it’s even more the case be­cause of all the new el­e­ments. Ev­ery­thing went well, with no re­li­a­bil­ity prob­lems and we man­aged to do a fair num­ber of laps, enough to get a good un­der­stand­ing of the tyres, which will be a very im­por­tant fac­tor here be­cause of the high tem­per­a­tures.” — Reuters.

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