Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished the day less than a tenth off the pace of timesheet topper Daniel Ricciardo after making a setup direction change after FP1.
Raikkonen’s best time of 1:42.864 in FP2 was enough to finish just 0.069 behind Ricciardo’s best in the same session, having spent the 90 minute session running the Soft and UltraSoft compound Pirellis. It was a quietly strong day for the Finn, with the Ferrari driver explaining afterwards about his decision to change setup direction after the morning session:
“It was not very easy to start with, so during the first practice we decided to switch to a different set up. Unfortunately these kind of changes take quite a long time, but I’d rather skip or lose some track time in the first session and be ready in the second one. All in all, it was the right decision and our P2 was pretty decent. This is a street circuit but not a traditional one. The grip was really limited, especially since low downforce settings are used here. For sure there are things to improve as always, but we were not far from the top today. I think the long run was ok, the race pace looks good. Now we have to analyse all the data and see what we can do for tomorrow”.
Sebastian Vettel was less hooked up during the day, spending the track time evaluating the SuperSoft and UltraSoft tyres. A mistake on his UltraSoft run before concentrating on race runs meant he set a 1:44.127 and finished P11:
“I think that in this place it is quite tricky to find the rhythm and in the first session I didn’t,” Seb commented. “At the beginning of the second one I lacked pace and could not put the lap together, but that can happen very easily here. I made some mistakes under braking, but I think that the long run was a little better. I think we can improve the car for tomorrow and it should be ok. It’s just the beginning after all. We have to understand what the car needs and we have a little bit of time to reset. Hopefully, it can be better tomorrow”.