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Thursday 17 April 2014

F1: Iceman Raikkonen fastest in Bahrain heat

Lotus Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland drives during the second practice session of the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at the Sakhir circuit, south of Manama April 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Darren Whiteside (BAHRAIN  - Tags: SPORT MOTORSPORT F1)
Lotus Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland drives during the second practice session of the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

FORMULA One 'Iceman' Kimi Raikkonen lapped fastest for Lotus in the Bahrain desert heat today after Ferrari had set the early practice pace.

The Finn, 2007 world champion for Ferrari and chasing his 21st successive race in the points, sped to a best time of one minute 34.154 seconds in the afternoon session when track temperatures hovered around 42 degrees celsius.

 

Brazilian Felipe Massa kept Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso off the top in the morning with a lap of 1:34.487.

 

The Spaniard, winner of the third race of the season in China last weekend, was 0.077 slower. The Ferrari pair focused on long runs in the afternoon, one on the medium tyres and the other on hards.

 

Massa then switched to the hards after complaining about wear on the rears.

 

Germany's Nico Rosberg was third fastest in the morning for Mercedes, who had Lewis Hamilton only 13th, with Red Bull's triple champion and overall leader Sebastian Vettel taking that place after lunch.

 

Australian Mark Webber, making his 200th start this weekend with a three-place grid penalty after a nightmare race in Shanghai, was seventh and second for Red Bull in the two sessions.

 

Finland's Heikki Kovalainen, dropped by Caterham at the end of last season, made his return to the team as a reserve driver and lapped 20th of the 22 drivers in the first practice.

 

Another reserve, Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez, made his first Friday appearance for Marussia in place of Jules Bianchi but completed only seven laps due to a gearbox problem.

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