Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel led the pack closely followed by Ferraris Fernando Alonso.
Sebastian Vettel: “We have some new parts here but the days of big, big upgrades don’t really happen now with the regulations how they are. This afternoon was fairly conclusive, but this morning wasn’t really much good with the weather. It’s hard to say much about the harder tyre, I think the number of pit stops will be the same here in this race as at the last few.”
JENSON BUTTON: “As with any test of an upgrade package, there are positives and negatives to take away from today.
“There’s now a better understanding of the correlation between the track and the wind tunnel. That’s positive for the future, but of course we’d always like more. So I think we’ve moved forwards, but I think the others have too.
“We were limited in terms of the amount of running we could this morning, so there’s a lot of data to sift through and plenty of things to change for tomorrow. We need to look at those elements that are potentially working and those that are not helping the overall car balance.
“We need to focus on a couple of areas – but, hopefully, we can improve them a bit by tomorrow.”
Fernando Alonso: “The signs from today are positive, as we were quick in both the morning and afternoon and the car seems to be well balanced on light and heavy fuel loads. But it is always premature to try and draw conclusions on a Friday when everything seems to be going well, because in the past we have seen how our competitors can take off in qualifying. We have a great deal of data to analyse this evening, especially because the rain in the morning meant we had to squeeze almost all our planned programme into the second session when it was dry. The feeling is definitely good and even though we are aware it won’t be easy, we are sure we can fight it out with the best. I don’t expect any great surprises compared to Bahrain and I think the top group is now defined, with Red Bull, Mercedes, ourselves and Lotus, although we need to see how much McLaren manages to improve, while also keeping an eye on Force India, who have been very strong in qualifying and the race”.
Adrian Sutil: “An interesting day with a big variation in weather conditions. It was useful to have the wet running this morning because it’s an area where we need to be more competitive. The changes we made improved things with each run. The afternoon tyre work was normal, but we also ran on the prototype tyre, which was very hard and felt very different to drive. The normal hard and medium compounds are quite similar, but the difference between the two is bigger than I expected here. The long runs went well and the car felt pretty well balanced on the medium tyre.”
Lewis Hamilton:The team have done a great job to bring our upgrades here this weekend and whilst I could feel the impact immediately, it’s difficult to quantify how much of an improvement has been made at this early stage. After the first session this morning, I felt there was some good promise and the car was well-balanced but I was a little less happy in the different conditions this afternoon. We’ll keep working on it tonight and see if we can make tomorrow a little better.
Result: 1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1min 22.808secs 2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:22.825 3. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:22.891 4. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus 1:23.030 5. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:23.110 6. Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:23.140 7. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:23.398 8. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:23.840 9. Jean-Eric Vergne (Fra) Toro Rosso 1:24.058 10. Paul Di Resta (GB) Force India 1:24.104 11. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso 1:24.175 12. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren 1:24.306 13. Sergio Perez (Mex) McLaren 1:24.854 14. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams 1:24.888 15. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Sauber 1:25.167 16. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams 1:25.321 17. Esteban Gutierrez (Mex) Sauber 1:25.441 18. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus 1:25.851 19. Giedo van der Garde (Ned) Caterham 1:25.963 20. Jules Bianchi (Fra) Marussia 1:26.078 21. Charles Pic (Fra) Caterham 1:26.930 22. Max Chilton (GB) Marussia 1:26.970