Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen is confident the Maranello team will be able to further improve after a somewhat difficult day at their home track, Monza. The Italian side struggled to match rivals Mercedes’ pace in the opening day’s practice sessions for the 2017 Italian Grand Prix, but Kimi is confident things can go better when it matters the most, on Saturday and most importantly in Sunday’s race.
While his German team-mate Sebastian Vettel was 0.140s down on Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas at the end of the second practice session on Friday, Kimi Raikkonen was almost four-tenths off the pace. After Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets on Friday morning, Bottas’ 1:21.406 was five hundredths of a second quicker than his teammate in the second session. Just like this morning, the Maranello team finished third and fourth in Free Practice 2, with Sebastian Vettel posting a 1”21’546 and Kimi Raikkonen lapping in 1”21’804. During the session the two Ferrari drivers ran different tyre programmes, fitting the Soft and Supersoft compounds, while running various different fuel loads.
Kimi and Sebastian were well clear of the rest of the field with the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo over a second off the best time. However, the Finn was heard complaining about the balance of his SF70H car after an off late in the day: “Not really front end, just better balance overall. It wasn’t an easy day. We have some work to be done tomorrow but you know it is the normal story.” – the 2007 Formula One champion said at the end of the second practice session, as reported in the afternoon by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport.
Asked whether he believed Scuderia Ferrari would be able to maintain the impressive form that saw them challenge Mercedes last weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix, which took place at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Kimi answered: ““We will see tomorrow. It is the first practice so times are time but we don’t know what people are doing. But to be honest it didn’t feel very easy for me today so I am sure we can improve a lot tomorrow.” – Kimi Raikkonen concluded.