Sakhir, 4 April – It was a day of mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari as we witnessed the first ever night time session at this desert track, in preparation for Sunday’s third round of the world championship. Fernando Alonso had a relatively straightforward day to finish third in both sessions behind the currently unstoppable Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. But on the other side of the Ferrari garage, Kimi Raikkonen was having a more difficult day, which ended with the 14th fastest time. It’s been well reported that the Finn is not yet finding himself at ease in the cockpit of his F14T and today his troubles were compounded by the fact he broke the floor of his car in the first 90 minute session, after a heavy landing on the kerb at turn 4. Time lost having to fix that added to his woes.
We have begun to know what to expect in night races now after the experience of Singapore and Abu Dhabi and today’s track action followed a similar pattern, with lap times dropping considerably in FP2, not just because of the track cleaning up but also because its temperature was 12 degrees cooler in the second session. Another clear lesson was that Pirelli’s Soft compound was producing significantly faster lap times than the Medium.
Completing the top six tonight were Daniel Ricciardo, fourth for Red Bull, Felipe Massa next in the Williams, with Jenson Button sixth for McLaren. Tomorrow’s qualifying takes place at the same time as did FP2, so the lessons learned and data acquired will provide useful pointers for the grid deciding session.