INFINITI RED BULL RACING
#1 Sebastian Vettel “It was a bit of a shame to lose some laps; we had something with the gearbox, but fortunately we got it checked and went out again. It meant that we were maybe a bit off the rhythm compared to some of the others, but it seemed to be alright and we still got some good laps completed. I think there’s still a lot if improvement we can do, the Mercedes is very quick, but it was okay as a start to the weekend.”
#3 Daniel Ricciardo “The driving was good today, but looking at the time sheets we’ve got some work to do! We got some good references to go by and we need to put some work in tonight – I enjoy driving around here and there are a lot of fans in the grandstands. It seems that we’re close to some of the other teams, so we’ve just got to extract as much from the cars as we can over the weekend.”
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS
#44 Lewis Hamilton It felt pretty good out there today but we’ve still got improvements to make and there is more to come from the set-up and balance tomorrow. This is quite a technical circuit which is all about the kerbs and apexes; you have to have a car that reacts well to the bumps. You’re always trying to find the limit so we’re not quite where we want to be yet. The Ferraris looked quite close today and the rest of the field seemed closer in general but hopefully not too close! It’s very hard to overtake here so pole position is important. Nico looked very quick today as well so I have my work cut out for sure. We’ll find out everyone’s pace in qualifying tomorrow afternoon so let’s wait and see what happens.
#6 Nico Rosberg That was a great day and I felt very comfortable in my Silver Arrow. This morning, we worked on some different things with the brakes which didn’t quite work out so we had to change that this afternoon. It was much better for the second session so I’m quite happy now with that. But I’m still a tenth off the quickest time so I’ll work hard with our engineers tonight to find that extra pace. It’s a unique track here and it’s very difficult to hit the kerbs just right. It was also great to see so many spectators here already today and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
#14 Fernando Alonso “I am reasonably pleased with the day’s testing as we got through a lot of work without encountering any particular problems. We tried some new components and now we must concentrate on getting a good understanding of how they are working. As always on a Friday, we must analyse all the data we have gathered to try and be as well prepared as possible for tomorrow’s qualifying, also taking into account the fact that tyre behaviour is very similar to what we saw in Monaco. Certainly, the Supersofts are not like they were in the past and in a race, they last for many laps. For that reason I think there won’t be any problems either in qualifying or the first stint of the race.”
#7 Kimi Raikkonen “Like every Friday, today’s programme centred on looking at different set-ups in the first session and a race simulation with both compounds in the second one. This morning, because of a problem on my car, I was unable to run as much as planned and that’s never a good thing, because getting in plenty of laps is very important. Thanks to speedy work from the team, in the afternoon, we managed to make up for the run lost in the morning and even if it’s too early to make predictions, overall, it didn’t go badly and by the end of the day my feeling with the car had improved. I am still not 100% happy with the handling of the F14 T, but I am sure that an analysis of the data we gathered will point us in the right direction for qualifying and the race.”
LOTUS F1 TEAM
#8 Roman Grosjean “We’ve made good progress with the car since Monaco and the team has made improvements in the areas where we struggled there so that has been a real bonus today. We knew we would struggle on the straights here so we’re doing everything we can to make up for that. It looks like we should be able to find some more speed after looking through the data and the weather’s due to be hotter so we’ll be pushing hard to get into the top ten for qualifying tomorrow.”
#13 Pastor Maldonado “We had a couple of small issues today but we still got a good number of laps completed so we know where we can improve. It’s a short lap here so the lap times are very close; I was just two tenths off Romain in the afternoon but that meant 15th rather than 11th on the monitors. We know what we want from the car and what we want to achieve tomorrow in qualifying.”
#22 Jenson Button “In theory, this circuit should quite suit us: our car’s pretty good in a straight line, there aren’t many high-speed corners, and we’ve got the softest selection of tyres, so we should be okay. “This morning’s long-runs looked quite respectable, but we made some set-up changes for the second session, which weren’t so bad when we were running low-fuel, but weren’t quite so effective when we switched to running higher fuel-loads. “On my long-run, I also hammered the Supersoft tyre while running a high fuel-load – just to see what would happen. I anticipated that there might be graining – and there was. The Supersoft compound is a tyre that definitely requires you to look after the rears more than the fronts. “Nevertheless, we gathered a lot of useful data, and that will inform the processes and decisions we make – not only about how to balance the car, but also about the inputs that’ll be needed from the
drivers to manage the tyres during the race.” “It’s been a pretty useful day.”
#20 Kevin Magnussen “Obviously, this is my first time at this circuit, and I really enjoyed driving it – it’s a really good track. It has a really nice series of corners and braking zones – for a relatively low-speed circuit, it’s really cool. “The car feels good, which is positive, and hopefully I’ll be able to look after the tyres during the race. If it continues to get hotter over the weekend, then tyre overheating will become more of an issue, particularly on the Option tyre. It’ll be the same for everyone though, so we’ll just manage it as best as we can. “I have a good team behind me and I think we’ve prepared for this weekend really well. So far, it looks as if we’ll be fighting towards the top of the mid-pack; if we can stay there, we should be satisfied with our weekend.”
SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM
#27 Nico Hulkenberg “We’ve had a pretty good day of practice, although there is obviously more work to be done. The car feels very driveable around the circuit, but I feel there is more to come from it, especially on the super-soft tyres. Our target is to squeeze out a bit more performance overnight. The whole field is very competitive and close here and finding the perfect balance will be crucial. It’s about getting all the pieces of the puzzle together and having a clean lap in qualifying.”
#11 Sergio Perez “It was quite a normal day of practice. Trying some different settings and aero parts this morning, and then looking at the soft and super-soft tyres in the afternoon. It went to plan, apart from a small problem at the end of the day, which is why we had to finish our session a little earlier than expected. The positive thing, however, is that we have good information to improve our performance tomorrow. We have a fair bit of work to do tonight to get in the best shape possible for tomorrow’s qualifying and obviously for the race on Sunday.”
SAUBER F1 TEAM
#99 Adrian Sutil “This morning was quite good. It’s really fun to drive on this track! Obviously the surface has very little grip. In addition there are numerous chicanes, but overall the car was quite good to drive. The main challenge in the morning was to get the tyres to work. In the afternoon this was a bit easier. We tried different downforce levels. We still have to sort out some issues with the aerodynamics. Apart from that, there were no big surprises. We are where we are, and we have to make the best of it. The car is still not exactly where we want it to be, which is where it works the best, so we have some work left left to do for tomorrow.“
#21 Esteban Gutierrez “It’s been a tough day. We had some technical problems this morning, which is not ideal because we lost valuable track time. This afternoon we managed to solve the issues we had in the morning, but I’m still not completely happy with the car’s overall handling. But we have good information in order to put everything together for tomorrow, which is pretty important so that I can feel confident with the car and drive it to the limit. The whole driveability into the corners is quite tricky, and the car is snappy, which is obviously not ideal on a track that is quite slippery. In addition, it’s important to have a stable car when you want to drive on the kerbs.”
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO
#25 Jean-Eric Vergne “Despite the little issue that we had this morning, which cut my session short, we managed to still achieve a good test programme today. As for the car performance, I’m not 100 percent happy because, even though it looked quite promising in the morning, we lost some speed in the afternoon. On the positive side, the long run pace was not too bad and we know in which areas we have to work to improve for FP3 and Qualifying, so I remain pretty confident for tomorrow.”
#26 Daniil Kvyat “We had some problems with the car today that limited my track time. That’s not ideal as I have never driven here before, but thanks to a useful simulator session last week, I found myself quite confident with the track straight away and felt able to attack the kerbs and the corners. It’s a very interesting circuit, very different to anything else we have raced on so far. Apart from the problem, the car felt good, so I am still confident and feel we can aim high for tomorrow.”
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING
#19 Felipe Massa It was a good Friday. Unfortunately I lost some laps this morning, but in the afternoon we were able to run a lot to understand the set-up, the tyres and the long runs. I was happy with the balance today. I hope we can have a very competitive car on this track and I hope we can fight with Red Bull and Ferrari, which is never easy.
#77 Valtteri Bottas
It was more or less what we expected. We got some good results from the changes we made from the last race, so it was nice to see some progress. It seems like everyone is still struggling with tyre warm-up with the prime, but the option felt a lot better. I still think we can improve our overall performance from today. I didn’t have the perfect lap yet with the supersoft, so I think there’s more to come.
MARUSSIA F1 TEAM
#17 Jules Bianchi “It has been a tough day today, which is a difficult start off the back of our last weekend’s performance. At least we have some data to work with to try to prepare for tomorrow but FP3 will be a little bit like heading into the dark. Still, we have turned things around before and I am confident that we can still have a good weekend.”
#4 Max Chilton “I’m pleased with where I’ve ended the day on the timesheet. I think we got quite a lot of the car today and in particular I had a very positive FP2. We got a good long run with the car in which we seemed to be quite competitive, so hopefully we can maintain this progress into tomorrow.”
CATERHAM F1 TEAM
#9 Kamui Kobayashi “Tyre temperatures, braking issues and grip dominated FP2 for me. On both tyre compounds I was struggling to bring the tyres up to temperature efficiently which certainly cost me laptime, and that also contributed to the low levels of grip I had for the whole session. “There’s definitely more time to come from the whole package here. Our final time isn’t a true picture of where we really are pace-wise, so we have to continue working as hard as possible tonight to give ourselves a chance to fight tomorrow. We’ll do just that and I’m sure we’ll make progress in FP3 and quali.”
#10 Marcus Ericsson
“33 laps in FP1 meant we could work through a lot of the program and even thought at first there was very little grip, by the end of the session we were starting to find a balance that was working ok. The track was very green for the first couple of runs and the car was sliding around a lot and I was having problems optimising the braking – it was like driving on ice, but we made a few setup changes and those, combined with the rubber going down throughout the session, meant that the grip levels had improved by the end of the first session. “We made quite a few changes over lunch to improve the balance but on the first run of FP2 it didn’t feel like a positive step so for run two we went back to a similar setup to that we’d had before lunch.
However, after 13 laps and on my second run I lost transmission and had to pull over. That was the end of the session which is obviously not ideal but with 33 laps this morning and another 13 in FP2 it’s not been too bad a day. I’m sure we’ll make progress overnight and be back pushing on tomorrow.”