Kimi Raikkonen got within four-tenths of the lead F1 W06 Hybrid in both FP1 and FP2 and also showed promising long-run pace, suggesting the Silver Arrows could come under much greater pressure than they did at the season opener in Australia two weeks ago.
“We'll need to work hard as Ferrari looked great out there,” Hamilton admitted after topping the timesheets in FP2, despite engine issues delaying his early progress. “It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.
“In terms of set-up I didn't have time to make any changes - I just went with what we brought over from the last race. It's probably quite a bit off where I'll eventually want it so there's definitely improvements to be made.”
However Raikkonen, like Hamilton, indicated that there was plenty of room for improvement from Ferrari’s side too: “Today we did all we were supposed to do. In the morning the feeling with the car was better; in the afternoon it was a bit more tricky (and) we had some handling issues and some problems with the wind and the heat - but the lap times were not so bad.
“The car is still not perfect, but I’m sure we can improve for tomorrow. We have some work to do on the set up to make everything easier, but we’ll do our best and we’ll see where we end up in qualifying.”