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Kimi Raikkonen went fifth fastest and Romain Grosjean set the ninth fastest time at the end of Friday's two practice sessions at the Buddh International Circuit ahead of Sunday's Indian Grand Prix. Both drivers used the team's new Coanda exhaust system, with new updated rear bodywork sections, whilst Kimi evaluated a new evolution front wing. Both cars ran reliably throughout the two 90 minute practice sessions.
We ran the Coanda exhaust system on both cars for the first time following its successful debut with Kimi in Korea. New bodywork around the exhaust area to better harness and utilise the Coanda system was employed on both cars. Kimi evaluated the latest evolution front wing. Pirelli's hard compound tyre was used in the morning, the hard and soft used in the afternoon.
We're confident we'll be able to put in a good showing tomorrow. We need to find more pace on the hard tyre, but soft tyre pace is good. We are yet to reach a conclusion on whether we will use the updated rear bodywork. The front wing will be used by both cars for the rest of the weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen: "The circuit is nice. For me it was easier to learn than the Korean track ; it's not as technical but it's good. It's always nice to come to a new place like this - I've been racing for many years, and you always end up going to the same places so it's good when you get a new place and a new circuit. For sure we can still improve on one lap but I think we are not far away from our maximum speed. Of course I hope that we are faster than McLaren. Our car was working well, especially on soft tyres but with the hard tyres it was more difficult to find grip."
Romain Grosjean: "It's been very hard to set-up the car as the track has been evolving a lot through the day ; from zero grip in the morning to much better in the afternoon. However, we've made good progress today and we're working on improving further overnight. There are a few blind corners, and some quick places where you don't want to make mistakes either. Hopefully we find the car we want for qualifying and get what we want tomorrow."
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "Both drivers got up to speed pretty quickly on a new track once more. We spent the morning session evaluating the new front wing and some new rear diffuser parts ; we need to investigate further the diffuser parts but the new front wing looks good so we'll run it with both cars for the remainder of the weekend. We were able to conduct an uninterrupted FP2 programme, running both tyres reasonably early on, followed by a long run on the soft compound. We're missing a little pace on the hard tyre so we're investigating our tyre temperatures and pressures, however on the softer tyre our car looks very competitive on both low and high fuel loads. It would be nice to squeeze another two or three tenths out of the car in qualifying, but nevertheless we confident of the potential for a good show tomorrow."
Check out our Friday gallery, here.
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