Turkish GP - One-two and two-five
First and second in the morning and second and fifth in the afternoon, for Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa respectively in today's two ninety minute sessions of free practice at the Istanbul Park circuit. Both drivers were happy with the way their F2007 handled this very challenging circuit, which is hosting the Turkish Grand Prix for only the third time. In fact, it was the morning session that produced the quickest times as wind changes in the afternoon reduced grip levels and Raikkonen is the only man to have dipped below the 1m 28s barrier all day, completing a total of 43 laps. Massa did two more. In the morning, the Finnish driver evaluated some minor aerodynamic updates, while Felipe ran without them, to allow for an accurate comparison test. In the afternoon both men ran identical specifications.
Ending the day on top of the time sheet was Lewis Hamilton for McLaren- Mercedes, while third behind Kimi was the Toyota of Ralf Schumacher, followed by his team-mate Jarno Trulli. After Felipe, and completing the top six was the reigning world champion, Fernando Alonso. It is a long time since we have experienced a really warm race weekend, but so far in Istanbul, the mercury in the thermometers is hovering around the mid- thirties and the forecast is for more of the same over the next two days.
"I am reasonably happy with the way things went in the morning and a bit less so when it came to the afternoon," said Kimi. "For some reason, probably a change in the wind direction, conditions were rather difficult and we will have to evaluate very carefully the data from the second session because it is easy to go down the wrong route. As for the two types of tyre, from what we have seen today, both work well but we will have to wait to do a more complete evaluation tomorrow. We have a good package which we must try and get the most out of."
Luca Baldisserri commented, "It was pretty much a normal Friday, when we concentrated on finding the best set-up for the car and on comparing the two types of tyre we have here. We had no particular problems on either car. The only difficulties today were caused by the long red flag period, which meant we had to slightly shorten the programme and also by the change in track conditions. This was probably due to a change in the wind direction which caused a slight lack of grip, especially in the final sector of the track. Even taking the cautious view, we can however be moderately confident about how the rest of the weekend should go."