Ferrari Formula One Team Friday practice roundup for 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

For Scuderia Ferrari, the 2012 F1 season has started on a competitive note with Fernando Alonso finishing on the top of the podium at the Malyasioan Grand Prix. Ferrari team drivers, Felipe Massa, and Fernando Alonso tested their F2012s at FP1 and FP2 yesterday without any technical fault enabling the team to much needed data. The team did a total of 101 laps at Friday’s practice session.

Ferrari team driver Fernando Alonso had this to say, “Traditionally, I’ve always gone well at this track, one of the few where I have won three times. And so it’s always a pleasure to drive at Sakhir and once again today I had fun. The first day of the Bahrain Grand Prix is always very difficult, because the track conditions are never at their best, mainly because of the sand and wind. On top of that, this track is used only very rarely, which adds to making Friday hard to interpret, maybe more so than other places. That is why, basing all your choices in terms of set-up on what one has seen today is not always the right move, because we need to bear in mind that the track will change a lot between now and Sunday. We tried as best we could to check the tyre behaviour: we have the same ones as in Shanghai, but the temperature is very different. There is still a lot to do, especially on the rear end, to try and find more grip.”

Felipe Massa went on to say, “It was a very hot day, on which we concentrated mainly on analysing the behaviour of the Pirelli tyres. From what we could see today, the degradation is very marked with both compounds, more so than at other tracks. It was an important task, especially looking to the race, but also for the session that will decide the grid positions. Without a doubt, we still have a lot of work to do. The fundamental thing will be to put together a car that is consistent in performance terms, to try and slow the rate of tyre degradation.”

Technical director, Pat Fry added,“Only the track has changed and the car has remained practically identical, therefore it would be hard for our position relative to the others to be any different. Above all, we are at a track where traction and straight line speed are two key factors in achieving a competitive performance and, currently, the F2012 has shown itself to be particularly lacking in precisely these two areas. Therefore why should we be surprised by our position and the gaps to the quickest? In contrast to Shanghai, the temperatures are much higher here, which has a significant effect on tyre behaviour. Today, we did the usual work, comparing aerodynamic configurations that are slightly different to one another, while also working on the set-up of the two cars. Now it’s a case of analysing the data well and putting together the best of what we’ve got. We can expect qualifying to be very tough tomorrow: there’s no denying that getting both cars into Q3 will be very difficult.”