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Bahrain GP: Practice notes - Ferrari

NEWS STORY
20/04/2012

Coming from the Far to the Middle East has not changed much for Scuderia Ferrari, apart from the much higher temperatures on this island in the Persian Gulf, than in China. Therefore it looks like another weekend on the defensive for Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, whose F2012s are practically identical to the way they were seven days ago in Shanghai. Today went off without any technical hitches and that meant the team was able to gather all the necessary information to be as well prepared as possible for tomorrow's qualifying and Sunday's race. The F2012 covered a total of 101 laps, equivalent to around 550 kilometres: 52 for Fernando, 49 for Felipe.

Fernando Alonso: 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: 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.

Pat Fry: 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.

Check out our Friday gallery, here.

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