Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen says that he is still struggling to come to grips with the front end of his F14T racer after Friday’s free practice sessions at the Sochi Autodrom for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Räikkönen was 11th fastest in the afternoon session but admitted that he and the Scuderia need to work on a solution that will allow him to feel comfortable.

“This first day of practice was given over to learning the track, which I like and although it’s new, the grip level was good,” said the 2007 World Champion.

“We focused on tyre behaviour, with both compounds taking a long time to reach the maximum performance, which is unusual, especially for the soft tyre.

“In order to have a clear picture on this topic, we will have to wait for the track to evolve,” he added. “

Unfortunately, here too I still don’t feel comfortable with the front end and this prevented me from putting together a good lap. Now, along with the team, we will try and find a solution that will allow me to get the most out of the car.”

Meanwhile, teammate Fernando Alonso said he was surprised with the amount of grip available on the Sochi circuit, which allowed him to set the third fastest time in practice two.

“[What was] surprising today was the good level of track surface, which is unusual on a brand new circuit,” the Spaniard said after his Friday running.

“From this point of view, I felt comfortable right from the first lap and that helped a lot when it came to today’s most important job, namely learning the track.”

Image via XPB Images

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Michael Terminello

Journalist at MotorsportM8