MARCH 8, 2011
Barcelona, day 1 quotes
Jenson Button (2nd, 1:22.910): "The last couple of tests haven't been perfect for us, and I think that's partly due to us lacking set-up work. But today I think we made some positive progress with MP4-26's balance. This morning, I did a number of short runs and, in the afternoon, we did some long runs, looked at set-up and balance, and spent the rest of the day looking at tyre consistency. I know there's not much testing left - I only have one more day in the car - but, after today, I feel we can make further positive progress over the next few days. Given the limited amount of set-up work we've completed this winter, I feel we now have a good base upon which we can build. And that's nice to see."
Mark Webber (1st, 1:22.544): "It was a pretty good day and not much has changed since last week. We got some good laps in today. I think everybody is limited by tyres - we don't have unlimited sets of tyres these days, so the mileage is a bit controlled by how many you have at your disposal. But, all in all, we had a good afternoon and got some good information."
Ian Morgan, Head of Race Engineering: "Today was the first proper test for Chassis 02 and I'm happy to say everything went according to plan. We had a mixture of things to get through today, concentrating on some short runs in the morning and then longer race-distance type runs in the afternoon. The only difficulties we encountered were the slightly low ambient temperatures and some windy conditions," he added. "It would be nice to get the chance to test in hotter conditions and we hope for a bit of increase as the week goes on. But that was a small problem really on a pretty useful day for us."
Vitaly Petrov (3rd, 1:22.937): "We didn't do a massive number of laps this afternoon, but we managed to check the balance and did some set-up work ready for tomorrow. The new aero parts are another step forward and have given us some more downforce."
Nick Heidfeld (5th, 1:24.735): "I have a cold at the moment so the team said I could try the car this morning and stop in the afternoon. The priority of the day was to assess some new aero parts. That's why we did a lot of in and out laps for the aero mapping. We are still analysing the data, but the feeling was positive. Then, we used the rest of the morning to do a few starts, system checks and looked at some development items."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "Nick wasn't feeling too well today so we didn't do anything too strenuous in the morning. We wanted him to get a feel for the new aero parts and his initial feedback was very useful. Vitaly took over in the afternoon and ran the same parts. Again the focus was on gathering data for the aero package, so he did some constant speed runs. He also began a set-up programme and ran on both the hard and soft tyres."
Paul di Resta (6th, 1:25.039): "All things considered, a good afternoon of running. We missed a bit of running after lunch as the guys fixed the problem from earlier in the day but when we did go out we got through a lot of productive work. It was my first time running the KERS system as we didn't run it last time in Barcelona, and all went well with that. Using the DRS [drag reduction system] and deploying KERS together takes some time to get used to but with time it will become a lot more natural. We also used the hard and soft tyre compounds from Pirelli and are understanding their behaviour a lot more. I'm looking forward to building on this programme tomorrow when I'll be in the car all day."
Nico Hulkenberg (9th, 1:26.030): "It was good to be back in a Formula 1 car as the last time I drove was about a month ago in Valencia. It was also my first outing in the VJM04 so there were quite a lot of new systems to get used to, such as the KERS and moveable rear wing. There's definitely a lot more work for the driver to do on the steering wheel and quite a lot of information to take in and get to grips with. We ultimately finished a little early with a reliability item just before the lunchtime break, but although we are still learning about the new systems, I can see we're heading in the right direction for the first part of the year."
Dominic Harlow, Circuit Engineering Director: "A busy programme today as we shook down a new chassis, plus it was Nico's first opportunity to familiarise himself with the VJM04 before his free practice outing in Australia. There are several new systems from the VJM03, including KERS and the DRS, but he equipped himself well and gave a lot of valuable feedback that we will push back into our programme for the remainder of this test. Paul took over for the afternoon, conducting his first-ever test with the live KERS system. Apart from one reliability problem before lunch we had no major issues and we'll continue with race simulations with Paul tomorrow."
Sebastien Buemi (8th, 1:26.004):
Davide Valsecchi (7th, 1:25.406): "First I want to thank Team Lotus for the opportunity to drive the car today. It was a great experience and one I want to build on with the team. To begin with it was obviously all new to me - new seat, more power, better brakes, the whole package, but by the end of the morning I was much more confident in the car and had the chance to push. By the time the morning session ended I think the team were pretty happy with how I performed so I can't really ask for more than that. It's definitely been a good day."
Luiz Razia (10th, 1:26.723): "It was really good to get back into an F1 car and pretty much from the first laps I could feel that this car is a step forward from what I have driven before. Despite the delay this afternoon while the car was being fixed I'm pleased with how I performed. I know that with more running my times would have come down but today wasn't about setting fastest laps - it was about learning how to work with the team to the agreed plan and give feedback that helps the car and the team continue to develop."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "A pretty good first day of this fourth test. We managed to run through our whole programme with the two drivers and they both did an excellent job. Apart from one small spin for Davide at the end of his session neither of them made any mistakes and Luiz performed very well, despite his time in the car being slightly cut short due to a minor mechanical issue. I'm sure that he would have improved even further with more running and after having completed our plans for the day I want to thank both drivers for the work they have done in the car today."
Sergio Perez (4th, 1:24.117): "The morning session was quite positive with all the updates we have here. The afternoon started over an hour late for us because of an hydraulic leak, but in the end we managed to recover a bit. I hope Kamui can complete the evaluation work tomorrow. On Thursday I will be focussing on getting ready for the race in Melbourne."
James Key, Technical Director: "Generally it was a good day of work despite a few problems after the lunch break. We had our start of season package on the car with a lot of new parts for both tidying up areas on the car and improving its performance. It is a significant aero package and it generally worked. We spent the morning evaluating new parts and carrying out back to back comparisons and aero measurements. In the afternoon we then worked on set up changes to adapt to the new package and tyres. So far we have seen reasonably positive results. Unfortunately for Sergio he had traffic on his fastest lap towards the end of the day, but this is nothing to complain about. Tomorrow with Kamui we will be running a similar programme, doing basic set up work and further evaluations."
Jerome D'Ambrosio (11th, 1:32.060): "On the one hand it is a shame that Timo can't take part in the test this week as the combined inputs of two drivers provides more detailed feedback for the engineers. On the other hand, four days of running will give me a lot of beneficial time in the car to prepare for my first race, so I'm looking forward to a very busy week for me and the team. With the track being so 'green' today and the conditions quite cold, our focus has been on pitstop practice, which has been extremely valuable for myself and the crew. With more pitstops in the races this year, perfecting our execution is even more critical as the stops can be crucial in making up ground to other teams during a race. It's been quite a start-stop day however, so I'm looking forward to some longer runs starting tomorrow to work with the hard and soft compounds that we will use in the first three races."
John Booth, Team Principal: "None of the teams expected to be running here at the Circuit de Catalunya this week and it feels a little strange to be back in Barcelona when we would ordinarily have been in Bahrain. Nonetheless, what we can look forward to is a weekly of highly representative running at a track where the characteristics really lend themselves to honing our car for the first 'few' races rather than just the season-opener. It's been a cold start to the week here so we've tailored our programme accordingly and as the temperature comes up over the next few days we'll really start to feel the benefit of working with the specific tyre compounds in race representative conditions. It's a big week for J√©r√¥me as we've handed him the baton for four full days, but there can be no better situation for him to ensure he is fully prepared for his racing debut in Melbourne. Timo's feedback would obviously have been extremely beneficial here, but it's more important that having recovered well from his operation we don't take any risks as we need him to be fighting fit for the opening race. He will be here later in the week though to ensure he is across all of the data and as close to the action as we can get him for now. It will be good to have him back."
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