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Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean took to the track for the first practice sessions of the third round of the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship at Shanghai in cold and damp conditions.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: In FP1 we completed limited running due to the inclement track conditions. Both drivers completed the majority of running in the first session with Pirelli's intermediate tyre as we evaluated new parts. FP2 saw heavy fuel running, evaluating the medium and soft compound tyres.
Track temperature was colder than expected meaning the car did not handle as predicted. We saw understeer from both cars, possibly symptomatic of the cool temperatures.
Kimi Raikkonen: "It's not often that you have a perfect car on Friday and there are certain things we have to improve. To be honest, it doesn't matter if you are the slowest car on Friday if you are fast for the rest of the weekend. We now just need to look at the information and change the usual things on the car to improve it. We're aiming for better results than what we've achieved from the last two weekends. For sure, we have some work to do on the car. We tried some different things with the set-up today so we have some information to look at, and we know there are certain areas where we have to improve."
Romain Grosjean: "We had strange conditions this morning and a little bit of a difficult session this afternoon to be honest. We're not where we would expect to be, partly due to the low temperature which we didn't expect. We'll analyse what's changed coming from two warm weekends to here where it's pretty cold and has changed the game. On a positive note I'm comfortable with the way the car feels; we have a few set-up issues but it's not as if the car is nowhere. I'm sure we'll improve tomorrow, and of course if the weather changes again then everything will change. It's never easy to learn a new track in varying conditions, but it was good to get out there and find my way around, and also to get a proper impression of the intermediate tyres which is a bonus for me. The track itself is quite nice to drive, and I was pleased to be reasonably close to Kimi who obviously has a lot more experience around here. I'll be working late with the engineers tonight."
James Allison, Technical Director: "We spent today trying to make the E20 good for the race and tomorrow we'll look at ultimate qualifying pace. The morning session was damp and drizzly, and the afternoon was a bit cold. We're not certain that today will be representative of the race conditions we'll see. We didn't find a balance that either driver was happy with today, but we experienced a similar Friday scenario in Albert Park and Sepang and managed to get the cars sorted for Saturday."
Check out our Friday gallery, here.
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