F1 – United States GP Practice driver quotes

Daniel Ricciardo (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Driver quotes from todays Practice.

INFINITI RED BULL RACING #1 Sebastian Vettel “It was a different practice today, as we focused on Sunday preparation. We had an issue with the gearbox this morning so we lost some time, but overall it was okay. It’s not great knowing that you can’t go out and fully go for it in qualifying tomorrow, but we knew it from the start of this weekend, so we focus on the race and hopefully we will have a good come back from the pit lane on Sunday.” 

#3 Daniel Ricciardo “It was tricky out there today, the wind makes it difficult; it’s quite an open circuit, so any form of cross wind or tail wind upsets the car a lot – we saw a few spins in FP2 from a few guys. We got the car in a good window to work with and hopefully tomorrow we can find a bit more speed. We didn’t run much this morning but in FP2 we ended up in the top five and the long run looked reasonable, so I think we had a pretty good afternoon.”

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS #44 Lewis Hamilton “The car felt good today and we were able to improve consistently over the two sessions. I only got a couple of laps of my long run which was unfortunate as we lost a bit of track time but Nico got the data for the team so we should be ok. I’m not sure exactly what the problem was and we had to stop as a precaution but I’m sure they will identify and fix it overnight. These small glitches happen and I’m confident that we won’t have problems moving forward. It’s better that it happened today rather than later in the weekend, of course. It looks very close with Nico out there and I’m expecting a very tough battle this weekend. I love being here and it’s great to see so many fans around the circuit already, so I’m excited for the rest of the weekend and feeling ready to put on a show for them.”

#6 Nico Rosberg “Our Silver Arrow feels very quick around this circuit which is very impressive to see. Between Lewis and myself, the times were very tight as usual. But it was worrying to see that Lewis had a problem with his car as it shows that our car is still not 100% robust at the moment. We need to work on that but overall I’m really looking forward to the weekend. It looks like it will be a close battle between my teammate and I, so let’s hope we can put on a great show for the fans here in Texas.”

Lewis Hamilton (photo by Mercedes) Kimi Raikkonen (photo by Ferrari) Kevin Magnussen (Photo by Mclaren)

SCUDERIA FERRARI #14 Fernando Alonso “Today we did some good testing, helped by the track conditions, which were definitely different to previous years. It’s possible the races they had here a few weeks ago helped to clean the track and as far as grip levels were concerned, we didn’t have too many problems. In the second session, the situation was slightly worse because of the strong wind, but that was expected over the weekend and did not affect our work too much. The Soft compound seems to last less than expected, but we are well aware how much tyre performance can change as the track evolves. Certainly the race looks like it will be different to past editions, because the likelihood of two stops opens up different strategic possibilities. Today we tried the Virtual Safety Car system and I think that, for a first try it went well, although there is still much to do. All us drivers agree it’s a very worthwhile idea, we just need to get used to it.”

#7 Kimi Raikkonen “The day began with a few difficulties in the first free practice session, in which we concentrated on analysing various aerodynamic components. I did not feel comfortable with the set-up we had and controlling the car wasn’t easy. In the afternoon, we made some changes and the handling of the car was definitely better. On the Medium compound, I managed to do a good lap and I think if I had not been held up in traffic, I could have done even better. We still have a lot of work to do before tomorrow’s qualifying, but the improvement we saw from one session to the next seems to indicate we are going in the right direction. We just have to continue doing our best.”

LOTUS F1 TEAM #8 Roman Grosjean “It was a bit of a rodeo ride out there at times and we’re still working on finding the best set-up for the car today. Certainly the wind in the afternoon didn’t help us with trying to get the car easier to drive although our position on the timesheets at the end of the day wasn’t as bad as we’ve seen on occasion this season! There are a few areas we know we can change which should make an improvement so there is progress to be made.”

#13 Pastor Maldonado “It was great to be out on track again in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas as it really is a fantastic facility. We worked through our usual Friday programmes and learnt a reasonable amount. The car was a little tricky at the limit as myself and Romain both found, but we expect that to improve tomorrow.”

McLAREN MERCEDES #22 Jenson Button “Our car sometimes struggles in windy conditions, as do I: it’s a lot more difficult to be precise when you’re driving in the wind. It’s in slower corners that we’re most affected – such as the start of sector three. And it was certainly very windy today – especially this afternoon. The issues with our pace on the Option tyre can be solved. For some drivers, the softer tyre immediately suits their car’s balance; for others, it doesn’t. It didn’t suit ours this afternoon – but we can work around that. We’ll get it working tomorrow. There were positives and negatives to today’s virtual Safety Car test. I like the idea, but you spend a lot of time looking down at your steering wheel in order to ensure you’re correctly driving to the delta. If you drop below it when the restart happens, you get a 10-second penalty. In that respect, it’s very tricky. With my grid penalty for the gearbox change, it’s going to be a difficult weekend. This isn’t an easy place at which to overtake, but we’ll do our best.”

#20 Kevin Magnussen “This is my first visit to the Circuit of the Americas, and it’s a good track. It has a unique first turn, and the high-speed corners in the first sector are especially interesting. I think overtaking should be possible around here, so I hope I can have an enjoyable race. Today’s running showed that we seem to be stronger on the Prime tyre than we do on the Option. We looked competitive on the Prime this morning, but e need to see if we can find some better pace on the Option. We’ll work on that overnight. The virtual Safety Car test worked as it should – it seems like a good idea.”

SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM #27 Nico Hulkenberg “I think we can be reasonably happy with our Friday. We did all the work we set out to do at the start of the day and it’s always good fun to practice on a track like this. There was a big shift in conditions between the morning and the afternoon – it was much hotter and there was a very strong wind which was challenging. All in all it was a good day: we will have the usual amount of fine-tuning to do on the set-up and we will need to look at the tyre data to understand how the compounds work, but that’s all standard stuff on a trouble-free Friday. It’s Halloween tonight, so hopefully we’ll get more treats than tricks for tomorrow’s qualifying!”

#11 Sergio Perez “It was definitely not a bad start for the weekend. We had some upgrades on the car and our main target was to do as much running as possible to assess their effectiveness. We were able to do some good progress on the balance between the two sessions so I am feeling quite positive for the rest of the weekend. There’s still plenty to look at tonight, especially in regard to the two different compounds, to try and squeeze out more performance ahead of tomorrow. I am quite optimistic even if today’s times don’t really show where we stand, but the points are given out on Sunday and that is what my focus is on.”

SAUBER F1 TEAM #99 Adrian Sutil “It was a normal Friday. We went through our planned programme without having any issues. We tested several set-ups on the car, as well as the soft and medium tyres. Tomorrow we will try to get more out of what we have.”
#21 Esteban Gutierrez “It was quite a tricky day, but it was positive that we completed our programme well. On the other hand, I had some issues which we are trying to solve. The car’s balance is overall reasonable, as we were experimenting with the set-up in order to find a suitable one. The conditions were not easy today, because it was very windy. We need to consider this for tomorrow. In general, the tyres were working well. The soft compound is degrading more than the medium tyre. It looks like both compounds are a good choice for this track.”

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO #25 Jean-Eric Vergne “It was a good Friday. There is still something that we need to understand in order to get the tyres to work better, as this is the key point. The performance of the car on Prime tyres was not bad but we need to improve it on the Options. The long run looks good and even though I missed FP1 I think with a few adjustments from my side there is certainly a good margin of improvement for tomorrow. We will have to analyse all the data tonight but I think the car is there and I’m confident we can have a satisfying rest of the weekend.”

#26 Daniil Kvyat “It was a quite standard Friday for us. We have to understand the characteristics of this circuit and we will work on finding the optimal settings as we always do between Friday and Saturday. Now we have some homework to do for tomorrow, which is usually something we manage to do quite well. So hopefully we’ll come out with something extra to improve our performance. As for the track, I enjoyed it a lot.”

#38 Max Verstappen “The main difference between here and Japan was how the tyres behaved. In Suzuka the fastest lap was the first and after it there was no way to improve, while here it took some time to get the lap in, but it’s good for me to see these differences and learn something more every time I’m in the car. Today I was also trying to understand the tyres better, lap after lap. I would say that the tyres aspect is the main point here. But the car in general was good, considering also Daniil’s performance. Anyway I am not here to set a lap time but just to get confident with the car and learn as much as possible for next year. I don’t need to find the limit now, there is time for that.”

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING #19 Felipe Massa “I always enjoy driving this track and we’ve had a productive day and completed what we set out to do. It was very windy in the afternoon which made it difficult to really judge the car balance and the car was feeling different from the morning to the afternoon because of this, although the wind is likely to change for Saturday and Sunday which may result in us having to adapt our set-up slightly. I’m happy with how the car is feeling and we’re looking on the pace going into the weekend.”

#77 Valtteri Bottas “We gained a lot of information about temperatures and the tyres in FP2 and seem to have found ways to get more performance out of them. The car was not particularly easy to drive today because of the very windy conditions and it was not easy to find the optimum balance, so we have a lot of work to do tonight to understand the car and its true performance at this track. Personally I still think I can find a bit more lap time out there so FP3 will be a chance to push the limits more.”
#40 Felipe Nasr “This was my first time in the FW36 since Barcelona so I had to get back up to speed quickly and this is also a new circuit for me. The track is very fun to drive and has a good flow to it, especially the first sector which has a lot of fast and exhilarating corners. The car has improved a lot since I last drove it with improved grip in all areas and it’s easier to drive. It was a very positive session for me and we managed to cover some good mileage.”


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