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A very busy day of free practice for Scuderia Ferrari here at Singapore's exciting Marina Bay street circuit. The first session began on a damp track, but from then on there was no more rain in the area, so the second session went off normally. The two F2012s completed a total of 91 laps, almost equally divided between the two drivers with Fernando completing 46 and Felipe doing one less.
Fernando Alonso: "We tried various new components on the car: some seem to be positive, others less so, but maybe in the case of the latter, we need to spend a bit more time for them to be developed as well as possible. Overall, I would say today was positive, even if the first impression is that we are not as competitive as we were in Monza, two weeks ago. We still lack a bit of performance on tracks like this one, where you need maximum aerodynamic downforce. From what we saw today, there's a significant difference between the two types of tyre, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to get a clear picture of the situation on this front. Maybe today's difference has been somewhat exaggerated by the evolution of the track surface. Testing the tyres over a long distance is very complicated on a track like this, because of the traffic, therefore it's difficult to make a direct comparison to our main competitors. I am reasonably sure that, on Sunday, we will see rather significant degradation and it will be important to manage that as well as possible."
Felipe Massa: "It wasn't an easy day for me. The car wasn't right all day and I also suffered particularly badly with tyre degradation in both sessions. At the end of the second session, we found something that wasn't working properly, but that doesn't explain all my problems. We must find out what happened so we can fix it for the rest of the weekend. We have reasonably clear ideas about the direction to go in when it comes to set-up: one thing's certain, there's a lot of work to do."
Pat Fry: "We had a full programme to get through during the three hours of free practice and, despite the track conditions not being ideal at the start of the first session, we managed to complete practically everything, which is always important. We split the work between the two drivers: Fernando concentrated mainly on evaluating some new components, while Felipe looked more at finding the best balance on the car. It was the same when it came to analysing tyre behaviour, with the drivers tackling different tasks, so as to gather as much data as possible. Fernando started his long run on the Supersoft, while Felipe started on the Soft. There were various updates to try, mainly on the aero side: some lived up to our expectations, others less so. Now we must study the data carefully to decide which will be the best combination for qualifying and the race. There's definitely a lot to do to get the car right. As for qualifying, it will be important to prepare for the single quick lap as well as possible, while as far as the race is concerned, tyre degradation will be one of the crucial factors. On Friday, it's always hard to say where we are compared to the others, but it's clear our main rivals seem very strong, both on a single lap and on a long run. Having said that, we all know it's Sunday that matters."
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