MARCH 11, 2011
Barcelona, day 4 quotes
Sebastian Vettel (8th, 1:22.933): "The preparation has been good. It was a long winter and we did a lot of kilometres, I think more than we ever have done before during testing, which is positive. Now we are just looking forward to Melbourne. If you ask me about performance, all I can say is I think we are there or thereabouts, and, as I keep saying, it's impossible to know until we get to Australia. But am I in a positive mood? Yeah, I think I am!"
Ian Morgan, Head of Race Engineering: "We have a reliable car, that has been good out of the box, and the performance looks good too," he said. "You never know how things will shake up until the end of Q3 in Melbourne, and while there are things you could always do better, I think we've done our homework well."
Jenson Button (13th, 1:25.837): "As today was my final day of testing, it was disappointing not to be able to put more mileage on the car. But I think we learnt some positive things: today was never about pace, as we weren't running lower fuel-loads, but there is pace in the car - it's just been masked by reliability issues. Now, I'm looking forward to Melbourne: you can't under-estimate a team as determined as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: we're all pulling together and we've got some interesting developments in the pipeline. Finally, I just want to add that today's events at the track are really put in their perspective by the terrible tragedy in Japan. Right now, my thoughts go out to everybody in Japan, particularly in the worst-affected area of Sendai. My heart is with them."
Fernando Alonso (2nd, 1:21.614):
Michael Schumacher (1st, 1:21.268): "We have been developing the car step-by-step this week with new parts arriving each day. So our focus today has been on understanding how to get the best from the car now that it is pretty much in its final configuration for the first time. The car has behaved as we expected and it's been a very productive day. We completed our programme and I should also be able to get some experience of the expected wet conditions tomorrow."
Nico Rosberg (3rd, 1:21.788): "First of all, it's super that I was able to do some laps today, given the forecast for tomorrow. It was a good few laps, and obviously now that we have most of the developments for the car, it was handling much better and I had a good feeling. So I'm pretty pleased with the situation and would like to thank the whole team for getting everything onto the car that we wanted. We've made good progress over the winter."
Rubens Barrichello (5th, 1:22.233): "I did a race simulation this morning on some new tyres. The car felt OK but we are still not quite where we want to be just yet."
Pastor Maldonado (12th, 1:24.108): "We lost some time while we changed the engine and then during the installation lap we had another minor engine problem. In the end I only did one long run but the most important thing was that I got to drive the car with the new aero package which does feel better. Hopefully we will get a full day of running in tomorrow."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Rubens completed a race distance this morning, which marked the end of his winter test programme. The mileage and input he has given towards setting up the FW33 has been invaluable to the team. We had an oil leak on the engine at lunchtime before Pastor took over for the afternoon. As it was high mileage, we chose to change it. We achieved most of our programme today and it looks like we'll be into some wet running tomorrow. We will continue to run in Barcelona without KERS, but everyone's pushing to ensure we have it on the car for Melbourne."
Patrick Head, Director of Engineering:
Nick Heidfeld (4th, 1:22.073): "For our final day in Barcelona we started by working on car balance to be ready for Melbourne. The set-up work was useful and taught us quite a few things. We would have liked to do more laps and I was hoping to do a race distance later in the day, but the problems with the gearbox after lunch meant we spent a bit too much time in the garage. However, we managed to get out for the final hour and did some running on heavy fuel."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "We had a good morning. The car was working well and showed good pace. The programme involved the continuation of our set-up work from earlier in the week. For the afternoon we had planned a race distance, but unfortunately we had to change the gearbox at lunchtime. In the end we opted to do a very long run on high fuel."
Paul di Resta (10th, 1:23.653): "I got a chance to get back in the car this afternoon for my final laps before the Australian Grand Prix. We got some reasonable running and tested part of the aero upgrade package for the start of the season. We've still got some fine-tuning to do for Melbourne so we'll go back to the factory to work on this. It's been a really useful time for me, I've learnt what we need to focus on so I'll spend the time between now and the first race making sure we're running to our full capabilities to be fully ready for my Grand Prix debut."
Adrian Sutil (11th, 1:23.921): "Twenty six laps for me today, working on getting more information on the new aero parts we introduced yesterday. We wanted to do a qualifying sim as we missed this yesterday but in the end we only managed one run on the soft tyres as we had some set-up changes that took a bit longer than expected. It gave us an idea of where to go, but unfortunately we ran out of time to do a run on the supersoft, which ultimately would have put us further up the final classification. We've identified some areas we can improve on the car and a general direction so we're going to concentrate on this between now and Melbourne."
Dominic Harlow, Circuit Engineering Director: "Both Adrian and Paul shared the driving in the VJM04 today in order to complete their respective programmes. We continued to look at some aerodynamic test items as well as further set-up changes. Both proved useful and we head to Australia with over 5,500km covered during the pre-season testing. As ever there is more to do to improve the performance of the car and there will be some further developments for the first race. Our reliability over the race distances here has been good and we've collected a lot of data on the tyre performance that we feel will be useful as we prepare our race strategies at the coming events."
Jaime Alguersuari (7th, 1:22.675): "I would sum up all of the pre-season testing as reasonably positive for our team. We have learned a lot about the new parameters we have from this year's rules and obviously understanding the new Pirelli tyres has been an important element of these tests. It has been very different to the previous year, so now we start a new championship in Melbourne, with a new philosophy. I think we have a good car, which shows potential. However, we still need to improve a lot and that will involve plenty of hard work in the coming weeks."
Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer: "Overall, these final four days have been productive. We did a lot of laps, including a couple of full race simulations and we practiced pit stops extensively. Compared to the first three tests, we also acquired much more data regarding tyre performance and degradation, given that we did many more long runs with high fuel loads. Now, we must wait until Melbourne to see the true level of our performance."
Heikki Kovalainen (9th, 1:23.437): "That is obviously a fantastic end to the tests. Everyone in the team has put in a lot of hard work and days like today are the reward. Completing a double-race distance has given us the chance to make a lot of progress on track and we have accumulated a huge amount of data that will be very helpful in Australia, Malaysia and China. I'm not only pleased with the mileage we've done today, i'm also pleased with the pace we've shown. It's too early to make predictions but I think we'll go to Melbourne and have a good chance to taking the step forward we want to. A good day!"
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "An excellent last day of the test, and a very good way to finish the four pre-season tests. We completed our full programme today, worked through a lot of set-up options and also completed two race distance runs which is very satisfying. To have finished with a double-race distance is a great effort from the team who have worked extremely hard. It is clear that compared to this time last year we have made a huge step forward so this a great way to finish and now we can look forward to the action in Melbourne."
Kamui Kobayashi (6th, 1:22.315): "I ran through the scheduled programme with a qualifying practice and almost a race distance today. But now all my thoughts are with the people in Japan. My country has suffered an enormous catastrophe. The news is depressing and I'm very sad. I can't really put in words what I feel."
James Key, Technical Director: "Today we ran a similar programme to yesterday. The morning was very productive with the track conditions for the qualifying practice quite cold and difficult compared to yesterday. In the afternoon we did a race simulation, first using old tyres and then a new set at the end. Unfortunately we suffered a drive shaft problem which stopped us some laps early. The problem still has to be investigated. Today we reached the end of winter testing and are now looking forward to the season's opening race in Melbourne. I'd like to thank Kamui for the professionalism he has shown today."
Jerome D'Ambrosio (14th, 1:27.375): "I have had an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding week here in Barcelona and I feel we are now as prepared as we can be for the season opening Grand Prix in Melbourne in two weeks' time. Over the course of the past four tests we have achieved a great deal of mileage, learned a lot about the new car and how to get the best from the current package and how we can develop it from here through the early part of the season. Aside from some time in the simulator next week the track-oriented work is done and I will now switch focus to the mental and physical preparation for my racing debut. It has been a long time coming since I signed for the team, but to be honest I haven't had time to worry or think about it because we have been so busy with testing. I guess now I can start to look forward to it properly. I know that taking to the track for the first time in Melbourne is going to be something really quite special. I would like to thank everyone in the team for an incredible push to get us ready for the season. Everyone has done a great job throughout testing and I really do feel very much at home with a great team of people. I hope the hard work pays off for us all in Australia."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Today we conclude not only the Barcelona programme but our entire pre-season testing programme and what I think we take away most from this experience is just how far we've come in the space of 12 months. The difference between our 2010 and 2011 programmes is huge and whilst there is still some way to go in terms of performance, I think we can feel justifiably proud of how we have grown into a professional racing operation. The mileage differential in itself speaks to that fact; last year having achieved just 1985kms versus an impressive 4642kms with the 2011 package over the last four tests. With regard to today it was a little frustrating to lose valuable track time due to a faulty sensor on the engine side, which had to be changed, but we were at least able to complete an aerodynamic programme this morning which appears to be a step forward thanks to a new rear wing. This afternoon we also completed some useful set-up work, although the temperatures fluctuated quite a bit so we ended up chasing the track rather a lot. On the whole we have to feel very pleased with what we have achieved this week and we head to Australia in good spirits and eager to see where we stand with the usual barometer of outright performance that Friday Free Practice at the opening race typically provides. On a final note, congratulations to everyone in the team for a fantastic job so far this year. We look forward to continuing this trend."
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