Raikkonen gets a chance to show his pace

Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:37am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Kimi Raikkonen has had to watch new team mate Sebastian Vettel make headlines so far this season but the Finn joined the Ferrari party in Friday's Chinese Grand Prix practice.

Vettel, who joined the Formula One glamor team from Red Bull at the end of last year, has made an immediate impact after going toe-to-toe with dominant Mercedes in Melbourne and winning in Malaysia.

Raikkonen, who talked up the car in pre-season testing, meanwhile suffered bad luck in the first two races.

Botched pit stops ruined his race in Australia before the 2007 world champion battled to fourth place in Sepang after a compromised qualifying session and early puncture.

On Friday, he finally enjoyed a trouble-free run in practice for Sunday's race and proved more than a match for everyone bar championship leader Lewis Hamilton as he chased the Briton's Mercedes home in the afternoon session.

The Finn easily outpaced Vettel and showed again that Ferrari are a force to be reckoned with.

"Overall it has been a good day of work. In the afternoon, we had a problem with the brakes but the mechanics did a very good job and managed to fix it, then I was able to go back on track and go on with the program," Raikkonen told reporters.

The Finn clocked one minute, 37.622 seconds in the afternoon, around four-tenths slower than Hamilton, but held back on making a forecast for the race.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland drives during the second practice session ahead of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit April 10, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria