F1 – Italian GP Practice driver quotes

Sebastian Vettel (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)Driver quotes from todays Practice.


INFINITI RED BULL RACING #1 Sebastian Vettel “It was quite slippery out on track; this year’s cars are down on grip and we have minimum down force in Monza. It was a good day for us, we didn’t have any problems and were able to do a lot of laps and test some things. It’s important to get Friday right in order to be able to build on that for the rest of the weekend. The tyres mean it should be a one stop race on Sunday, but we will see. I think some struggled to get them to work; there’s not so much different between the medium and hard tyres here. I think tomorrow should be better, as it should be warmer and the track will start rubbering in a bit. I felt a bit more in charge of the car today.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo “We didn’t get much running this morning due to an engine issue, but it was okay and we recovered well in the afternoon. The track’s always fun here, for a track with so few corners it’s very challenging and with the low downforce braking it’s very difficult. Obviously we want to be a bit further up, but I think we can chip away at it tomorrow, the Mercedes will be quick, but if we can sneak into the top 5 in qualifying then we’ll have a good crack at the race. Getting temperature into the tyres is tricky, especially for the first timed lap.”

#44 Lewis Hamilton “I felt really good after the practice session this morning and we have definitely got a competitive car this weekend. Unfortunately we lost some track time this afternoon but the guys did a great job to get me back out so I got a few laps at least. We made some changes over lunch and then another during the session and, although I didn’t have a lot of laps, the car feels great. Hopefully I’ll be able to have the full session tomorrow and get some good running. Monza is quite an important circuit to put the car at the front as it’s very difficult to overtake here. It would be great to have a trouble-free qualifying tomorrow afternoon.”

Lewis Hamilton (photo by Mercedes) Fernando Alonso (photo by Ferrari) Jenson Button (photo by Mclaren)

#6 Nico Rosberg “It seems that we are quick on one lap but on the long run the others were very fast. I didn’t feel 100 per cent confident in the car, so I can’t be happy with today and I have a lot of work to do tonight with the boys. It’s really great to be back on such a traditional track here at Monza with all the history. Now being here with this quick Silver Arrow makes it very special for me. The fans are very enthusiastic as always and also very kind to us. I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”

SCUDERIA FERRARI #14 Fernando Alonso “For various reasons, Friday in Monza is always a bit different to the others, with a special significance for our team in the weekend of its home race. The track characteristics also make it one of a kind: here you run with low aerodynamic downforce, you feel the car is quicker down the straights and lighter in the corners and, as was the case today, you need to try different downforce levels. In general, I’m happy with the work we did on set-up and tyres and especially with the time I did with a heavy fuel load. Towards the end, we were worried we had a problem, but to banish any doubt, we went out for another lap and everything seemed back to normal. Now, we are preparing for tomorrow and we hope to do well for all the fans who were already here today cheering us on from the stands.”

#7 Kimi Raikkonen “That was a very busy day, but a positive one. We made the most of every minute available to us in both sessions, managing to try everything we had on our programme. In the morning, we concentrated on assessing different aero configurations, in search of the best level of downforce. Then in the afternoon, we opted for an intermediate solution that seemed to produce the best results on both compounds. The difference between the Medium and the Hard is more or less what we expected; the softer one behaves well, but in terms of driveability, I found the Hard wasn’t bad either.”

LOTUS F1 TEAM #8 Roman Grosjean “We knew that it would be tough here in Monza and it is. We had some small issues – some little details that we can work on to improve the car and go into the right direction, even if it might not mean that we will be significantly faster. We tried a new front wing today and new small wings on the car and there is more that we will try in FP3 tomorrow. We will work hard to improve the car as usual, to prepare for the qualifying session, and try to achieve the best result possible.”
#13 Pastor Maldonado “The balance of the car felt okay today, however these downforce levels have been very challenging for us. Our pace looked more consistent and competitive on high fuel; hopefully this will allow us to drive a good race. There are opportunities to overtake here in Monza and if you manage your tyres well it is possible to make places. But first we still have a lot of work to do tomorrow morning and then perform the best way possible in qualifying. We’re pushing hard to get the best possible result on Sunday.”
#30 Charles Pic “It was a very good feeling to be back in the E22 this morning. For the team it will be a challenging weekend here in Monza as the track doesn’t seem to suit the cars very well. Our goal this morning was to work towards optimising the car and getting it ready for the weekend. The programme was mainly focused around aerodynamic work and it was valuable – one direction worked out better than the other so we had useful findings on some specific points. We will now continue to work and prepare for Saturday’s sessions.”

McLAREN MERCEDES #22 Jenson Button “There’s still some work for us to do, but, all in all, it’s been a relatively good day for us. Our single-lap pace looks quite good, but we’re probably lacking in race pace compared with some of the other teams. Still, it’s always difficult to know where you are on a Friday – we don’t yet know quite where we stand. The revised run-off at Parabolica is still slower, if you go off-track, but now you don’t get penalised. I’m definitely carrying more speed into that corner than I did last year – because you’re less wary of the gravel exit, which is no longer there. It’s different, but I’m still not sure whether I like it. Looking at tyre wear, it’s going to be a one- or two-stopper around here, but the warmer weather that’s forecast could make it easier to blister the tyres. And that could make the strategy a little trickier for everyone.”

#20 Kevin Magnussen “I think the high-fuel runs this afternoon were pretty promising. Our straight-line speed and braking both feel good, so I think we should be able to race reasonably strongly with this car, which is pretty important around here. Hopefully, we should be able to get a good qualifying result – but I’d rather have good race pace than good quali pace. I think a low-downforce track with big braking zones – areas where our car is usually quite strong – means that we should definitely be trying to get a decent result this weekend.”
SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM #27 Nico Hulkenberg “This morning was quite normal for a Friday, but the afternoon was a bit more difficult and it was not easy to find a nice rhythm. I just didn’t find the balance and harmony I was looking for and that showed in the lap times. So we need to dig deep into the data and see what we can improve for tomorrow. Apart from that it was a successful day with the tyre work and collecting the long-run data.”
#11 Sergio Perez “Today was a promising start for our weekend and we managed to do everything we had planned. We have good pace already, especially during the long runs, where we look competitive. Now it’s just a matter of getting everything right and having a good qualifying position tomorrow to make the most of our strengths.”

SAUBER F1 TEAM #99 Adrian Sutil “It was a good Friday. As I could not run in the first free practice, I was not driving much today. At the beginning it is always difficult to find a good rhthym. In general the second free practice was quite good, but I am not totally satisfied with the balance of the car yet. We have to work on having less understeer. On the other hand, we completed our planned programme without any issues.”
#21 Esteban Gutierrez “In the morning we went through our planned programme. We tried different mechanical set-ups and changed the aero balance on the C33. At the beginning it was ok, but with the modifications that we made at the end of the first free practice I did not have a good feeling. In the afternoon we changed the modifications back again to the ones from the beginning of FP1, and the session was overall ok. I think we can still improve the car a bit further. We are looking into it for tomorrow, and we will also concentrate on the grip evolution.”

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO #25 Jean-Eric Vergne “I wasn’t really happy with the car today. Tonight we’ll look at all the data with the engineers with the aim of getting the right solution for tomorrow and as much performance as possible for the rest of the weekend.”
#26 Daniil Kvyat “It was a busy day today but unfortunately we are not yet where we want to be. With the warm temperatures, it was a bit tricky out there and tyre management wasn’t easy. We still need to work on the car balance, which I wasn’t very comfortable with today. So we still have some homework to do tonight in order to get the most out of the car for the rest of the weekend.”
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING #19 Felipe Massa “The day was ok; we have a lot of work to do overnight and some more tomorrow. We can still make improvements and move further up to be a strong challenger to the teams at the top. We have worked hard throughout the day and completed our programme, so tomorrow we will be able to compare our pace to everyone else’s.”

#77 Valtteri Bottas “We tested the new aero package today which works well. With the low downforce the car does slide a bit more, but it’s manageable. I am really pleased with the long run pace, but think there is a little more to get from it. Qualifying is going to be tight tomorrow, so we are all ready to work hard tonight and find all the gains we can.”

MARUSSIA F1 TEAM #17 Jules Bianchi “It’s great to be back here at Monza, at the start of what I think can be a promising weekend. It has taken us the two sessions to get the car much closer to a more ideal balance, but I’m pretty comfortable with where we have finished the first day. We’re close to Sutil and ahead of the two Lotuses, so although we still have some work to do ourselves, I think we can perhaps enjoy a good race here in front of the Scuderia Ferrari home crowd.”
#4 Max Chilton “I’m pleased with how things have gone on the first day of running. This morning in FP1 the car felt good pretty much straight away, so it has been more about fine-tuning it to try to move us forward. Jules and I have been close on the timesheets for most of the day and I’m sandwiched between the two Lotus cars and ahead of both Caterhams, so I think there are some positive signs there for the weekend ahead.”

CATERHAM F1 TEAM #9 Kamui Kobayashi “It was good to get back in the car again after my last outing in Budapest. I needed a bit of time to get used to the car again, as we had some updates in Spa and the car felt a bit different to start with. Now we just need to fine-tune the set-up and have a bit more time out on track tomorrow as today I only had a 90-minute practice. I am happy with today’s session; we were able to go through the planned programme. It’s good to be back and we are quite close to our rivals, so I am looking forward to a close battle this weekend.”

#10 Marcus Ericsson “This morning started with a pretty decent run in FP1 and we got quite a good baseline set-up straight away, but unfortunately during the second run with the second set of tyres we had an issue with the brakes, so we couldn’t improve our lap times. It was a shame, as it would’ve been good to continue the work during the rest of the session instead of losing some essential track time. We were able to sort out the braking problem for FP2, so we were able to build-up the pace again straight away. It was a good session for us – we completed plenty of laps and got a good feel from both tyre compounds. We also did a long run on the option tyre, so it was a decent afternoon. We now have a lot of data to look at and we need to work hard tonight. I think we can build on this for the rest of the weekend.”

#45 Roberto Mehri “It’s been an amazing day today. My dream finally came true and I drove a Formula 1 car out of the garage for the first time in my life. I’m very happy and it was an impressive experience – the car was pretty quick on the straights and the first outing was amazing when I went full on power, a very nice feeling. I’m satisfied with my performance today, to complete so many laps without a mistake was my real highlight of the day. I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for giving me the opportunity to drive the car on a Friday of a Grand Prix weekend.”


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