BRITISH GP - FRIDAY - TEAM QUOTES
Giancarlo Fisichella (2nd, 1:22.294): "I didn't really get much of a feel for things today - I only did one timed lap, had a spin at Stowe, and then a problem that kept me in the garage for the rest of the session. We are not worried though: the problem will be fixed for tomorrow, and we have done a lot of testing here as well so we know the circuit. Obviously, conditions are quite different to what we saw in testing, but Fernando's work means we know the direction we need. So not really a busy day for me - but we are still confident of being competitive."
Fernando Alonso (7th, 1:22.603): "I had a lot of oversteer on every run today, and although we improved the car, we still haven't got the balance we want yet. It is also windy out there, which makes the car inconsistent from corner to corner. So it was quite difficult to drive, but I think the situation was the same for everybody. Lots of people were spinning off the circuit, so it seems the hot conditions have caught everybody out a little bit. With the balance problems we had, it is hard to say too much about the performance - but we are in a good position on the times, and we know the car can be quick here. So I am looking forward to improving the set-up overnight, and a good qualifying session tomorrow."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "As is so often the case when we come to a circuit at which we have already tested extensively, the weather and track conditions were significantly different to those we had prepared in. From what we could see on the TV monitors, though, we were not the only ones suffering from oversteer today. Giancarlo's running was restricted by a small car problem, but it is not a worry: we had planned a light programme as we have plenty of data about the circuit, and his engine will also have to complete a demanding race in Montreal in two weeks' time. As for Fernando, he worked to try and improve the oversteering car balance. While we made improvements, there is still some way to go."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "From the engine side, this was a normal day of practice as we fine-tuned the mapping of the RS26 V8. The hotter temperatures relative to the test change the acoustic conditions for the engine, but we were able to adjust to this without any difficulty. We already had a good baseline of information from our last test here, and began to build on that with Fernando's running today. The leaderboard showed us that lap-times were significantly slower than those seen in testing, owing to the hotter, windy conditions, and that finding a consistent chassis balance will be the main priority for the weekend."
Juan Pablo Montoya (14th, 1:23.199): "We tested at Silverstone at the end of April and gathered a lot of data, but obviously it's quite a bit warmer today. The balance of the car was not perfect, but we still have practice tomorrow to solve this. We managed to complete our planned programme where we focused on tyre selection with Michelin, but we are still not 100 per cent sure what direction we want to go. The Free Practice session tomorrow morning will give us more of an idea of where we are compared to the competition."
Kimi Raikkonen (21st, 1:23.915): "As usual we were conserving tyres and didn't want to put too much mileage on the engine, so we were not planning to do a lot of running today. However a fuel pump problem meant that we didn't complete our short programme, but as we have been testing here we have a lot of data to work with. Tomorrow is when the action really starts and hopefully we should be able to put in a good showing,"
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "It's great to be at our home Grand Prix at Silverstone. Kimi's practice was shorter than planned as a result of a mechanical fuel pump problem. This is a little frustrating but should not affect us too much as we completed a lot of testing here at the end of April. At this test it was obviously a lot colder and consequently Juan Pablo concentrated on Michelin tyre selection today to primarily evaluate the effect of the higher ambient temperature on our earlier tyre choices."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "The usual limited programme on a Friday where we focused on race set-up and tyre evaluation work with Michelin, so we will see more tomorrow."
Felipe Massa (6th, 1:22.476): "We worked mainly on comparing the two available types of Bridgestone tyre. Unfortunately, the track was very dirty and so it was quite tough to find the right car balance immediately, but that was the same for everyone. Now we must analyse our data to be as well prepared as possible for the rest of the weekend."
Michael Schumacher (8th, 1:22.825): "It's a bit difficult to judge the situation after these two hours of free practice: tyres, fuel levels and work schedules are all different and they all have a bearing on performance. What we can say is that it is very tricky as the track is still very slippery. That's why so many, me included, went off track. We have to look carefully at the data to understand the situation, taking into account the wind, which also played its part today. There is no reason why we should not be competitive here too. Last week's Barcelona test was very encouraging, so we can be confident in our ability to fight for the win."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "It's always special to return to Silverstone, where we have not run since last year's British Grand Prix. This is one of Formula 1's historic circuits and the home track for almost all our adversaries. Today, the track was not yet at its best, but we still managed to work through all our programme. We worked on defining set-up and on the comparison of the two types of Bridgestone tyre at our disposal. They came here well prepared. Now we must study the data we have acquired and then try and improve in all areas for the rest of the weekend. But from what we could see in these two hours of free practice, the situation seems reasonably good."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "The two hours turned out to be pretty complicated, starting with a car that was not perfectly balanced. However, from what we could see on the television, it seemed everyone suffered a bit. Then, bit by bit as the track improved, the balance of the car also got better and by the end the situation was quite good. Now, using the data, we have to work out which direction to go in for the next two days, given that the track will change a lot. The team and drivers worked intelligently, without losing the thread when things did not seem to be going the right way. Given that we have not run at all at this circuit this year, we can count ourselves satisfied with what we have seen today."
Jarno Trulli (5th, 1:22.437): "We probably had a bit more work today on set-up than some of the other teams because we haven't done any testing here at Silverstone this year. There was not much grip out there and we tried different tyres in order to understand which direction we should take. We still have a bit of work to do on setting up my car but in general everything went well. The new TF106B raced in Monaco and after our strong Barcelona test last week this will be the first time we can race it at a high speed circuit. What brings a smile to my face is the weather. You never know what to expect here but the sun suits us fine."
Ralf Schumacher (11th, 1:23.114): "It was slippery out there today which made life a bit difficult for all the drivers and a lot of cars spun. At least we managed to keep the car on the track and we made it through our programme without problems. We still have a bit of work to do on the set-up side but hopefully the grip will become a bit better as the weekend progresses. The first time I tested a Formula 1 car was here at Silverstone ten years ago. They've changed the circuit since but I still enjoy racing here and I like the track lay-out. We still have some work to do to reach the level of performance we would like but we should hope for a strong result here."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "It's nice to be in England in such warm, sunny weather and today was a solid day of practice for us. We had more problems with grip than you would expect at Silverstone and the drivers reported that it was difficult to find a balance. So that made it a hard day's work, but we have made some adjustments which helped solve the balance problem. We also went through the tyre comparison without any major issues so we are in reasonable shape for the rest of the weekend."
Alexander Wurz (3rd, 1:22.300): "I am sure everyone will say the same today, but the circuit is different to the conditions at the test here. Nevertheless, we tried to be analytical today and not become too worried because the lap times were slower for everyone, so we just continued with the programme and tyre choice work. At the same time we did some set-up adjustments so we have got some information from all three cars and now we just have to bring that information together tonight. Today was certainly not the easiest Friday I have had, but that's life and we will keep on pushing."
Mark Webber (9th, 1:23.099): "It was a pretty uneventful day and we managed to work through everything we needed to. Obviously the track is very different from when we were here for the test, but that's the same for everybody, so we'll work on that tonight. The tyre comparison with Alex went well and we now have some good data. Today wasn't so bad actually, it all went ok. Hopefully, we'll continue to enjoy the good weather tomorrow and we'll keep working our way towards the front."
Nico Rosberg (19th, 1:23.816): "It has been very difficult to set up the car today, because track conditions are pretty different from our last test here. The track was quite green and it was very windy which affected the car's behaviour a lot. By the end of the day though, it was going much better having tried a few options that improved the car, so I am quite happy about our progress today."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was a good first day on all three cars and we worked through various set-up options we could use for the race here and we now have the data to go through. Bridgestone have brought two good tyres here once again and we have a reasonable indication of which way we will go on tyre compound - although we will look at the data later and do some more checks before we make a final decision. On Alex's car we followed a standard routine of cooling, brakes and normal long runs for tyre degradation and encountered no problems at all."
Simon Corbyn, Cosworth: "Cosworth had a good start to our home race weekend at Silverstone. It is encouraging to run competitively at a circuit where outright engine performance is a significant factor and no problems have been identified with either Mark or Nico's ex-Monaco race engines."
Anthony Davidson (4th, 1:22.310): "We had a good day in terms of getting through our planned programme and learning about the two different tyre options that we have here this weekend. I feel I did a good job today in making things run as smoothly as possible and getting some really valuable data to look at tonight. I'm confident in the tyre choice for the weekend already and the car has had a nice balance all day, so overall it's been a good Friday."
Rubens Barrichello (10th, 1:23.104): "It was quite a straightforward Friday for us today. We worked solidly through the two sessions without any real problems. We do need to improve the balance as I was happier with it earlier than I was this afternoon, but we will look at the data and work on that later today. Hopefully we can keep moving forward through the rest of the weekend."
Jenson Button (17th, 1:23.707): "We've been having very strange track conditions here today and in particular it's very windy, which is causing problems for a lot of the drivers. The balance is not too bad although there is certainly room for improvement, so we'll see what the data tells us this evening."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "This has been a good Friday for us. We were able to complete all the planned running for the day with the three cars and with no major issues. The track conditions are quite unusual for Silverstone, and we need to continue working on improving the balance of both race cars."
Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda Engineering Director: "We have had a good day with all the drivers doing quite a lot of laps. Anthony in particular has done a lot of work. Both race drivers are on new engines this weekend which are an upgrade on the ones we used in Monaco."
Robert Doornbos (12th, 1:23.140): "That was a disappointing day, the worst this season I think, which is a shame at the home race for the factory. We had some mechanical problems this morning, so I wasn't able to complete a timed lap. This afternoon the set-up of the car just wasn't there and we had to do too many things in a short period of time, so that's why we were not very competitive. I wish the guys more luck for the coming weekend."
Christian Klien (23rd, 1:24.158): "It's very windy out on the track today so it was difficult to drive. The wind had a big effect on the car through the high-speed corners and we struggled with down-force. As a result, I spun in one corner and damaged one of my tyres. That meant I had to use a second set today, so I've now lost a set for the weekend. In the second run, we improved the car balance a little, but it was still difficult to drive. You couldn't really work on the set-up that much because tomorrow there might be no wind, so it up would all be different all over again - but no wind will definitely mean better balance."
David Coulthard (25th, 1:24.392): "We seem to have more oversteer, compared to when we tested here. Obviously, we've got more to come when we start unleashing engine modes and so forth, but obviously, we're a lot further away than we were relatively on day one in Monaco."
Robert Kubica (1st, 1:21.082): "It was a good Friday and we have done a lot of tyre testing. I think our performance after the Barcelona test last week looked pretty okay. We saw there we were quite strong on long runs and today has confirmed this. The tyre choice will not be easy, but we have a lot of data. We are now going to analyse it, but the track conditions are very different now to when we were here a month ago. It was not really quick today, so we have to take into consideration that the grip will improve and decide on the best tyres."
Jacques Villeneuve (18th, 1:23.750): "On the first run the first two laps were quite quick on what is normally a very slow beginning to a race weekend, so it is promising. Then I think we destroyed the rear tyres, so we need to work on the set up. Despite this I think we will be all right."
Nick Heidfeld (20th, 1:23.895): "Driving here on the Silverstone circuit is always fun. We have had a trouble free practice so far, and now we will work on improving the balance of the car as it is a little nervous at the rear."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "It was a positive first day of practice. Robert did not only complete a very large programme, but he also achieved excellent results. I am not only referring to his best time of the day, but also his contribution to the tyre choice and the set-up of the car. I believe this information will form a good basis for our preparation for qualifying and the race."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director Chassis: "It was a totally trouble free Friday. Jacques and Nick were working on the race set up, and this was based on data we recorded at our test here in April. Robert concentrated on the tyre evaluation and completed long runs. He did a very good job which will help us a lot."
Tiago Monteiro (13th, 1:23.194): "I'm very pleased with our work today. The car was very well prepared and the team was really on its game. We did a really good job of focusing on our set-up programme, making adjustments while on the same set of tyres, and when we thought we had it figured out, we switched to the new ones. Well, there was such a difference in the level of grip that I made a mistake in the Abbey chicane and almost lost the car! It's a shame because that one-tenth could have put me in ninth position. Still, it's very encouraging to be so close to the pace here. Now we need to keep our cool, work hard tonight, and come out strong in qualifying tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it!"
Christijan Albers (15th, 1:23.499): "Overall, I think we had a pretty good day. It's a shame I couldn't use the new tyre set as I wanted, but everyone did a good job and the car was quite nice to drive on this circuit. We put in some reasonable times although I have to say that I believe we could have gone even faster if we hadn't encountered a technical problem in the second session. It's nothing major, so it should be resolved in time for tomorrow, and hopefully we'll be able to improve on our qualifying performance."
Giorgio Mondini (16th, 1:23.529): "We tried some new aero parts on the car today that seem to be working well, considering our pace. I had a spin in the first session that limited my tyre programme a bit, but we were able to get the required data and I think we're on the right path to making the correct choice. The progress we are making is very clear and everyone on the team seems very motivated. Let's hope it continues throughout the weekend!"
Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "We've been quicker here in testing, but that probably has more to do with the track conditions than anything else, because everyone is slower. I think we are definitely heading in the right direction. The gap compared to last year is much, much smaller. Obviously, we'll see where we really are tomorrow in qualifying, but we are very much looking forward to it. It certainly looks promising."
James Key, Technical Director: "Both sessions were quite satisfying for all of our drivers, I think. There were no significant issues with the cars to speak of. Giorgio had a small spin this morning, but then this was the case with a number of cars because the track condition was very difficult to start off with. All things considered, the performance level was a little better than expected today, but the important thing is tomorrow afternoon, so we'll see where we are then. All three drivers did a very solid job and we had some aero developments which seem to be working as intended. We've got some homework to do tonight on balance and tyre selection, but otherwise we're in relatively good shape."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (22nd, 1:24.012): "Quite a good day, but we still have some work to do on the handling of the car for tomorrow's qualifying, as we seemed to struggle a bit when running on new tyres. As for race pace it's not too bad and we still have tomorrow morning to try and improve."
Scott Speed (24th, 1:24.167): "From what we have seen today and looking at the times, it's clear we are going to struggle a bit this weekend. The car is working well, it's got good balance but we just don't have the power down the straightaways. Although it's much hotter than we expected, there are no problems on the tyre front. My spin? For some reason, I had a big problem with stability on rear brakes. I hit the brakes and suddenly I was facing the wrong way. So we still need to improve our rear end stability a bit."
Neel Jani (26th, 1:24.666): "It's a very special weekend for me as I'm driving in both F1 and GP2. In the morning session, everything went well and we seemed to have reasonable pace, even on old tyres. This afternoon, I was doing a long run and at one point I took a trip through the gravel, but we still got the tyre comparison done and got some useful data."
Takuma Sato (27th, 1:25.870): "We had a sensor issue during the morning session so we only completed a few laps and one timed lap. We had a smoother run in the beginning of the afternoon, but we had another chassis problem on the car. Although we completed our tyre test programme there maybe a good chance that our information may be misleading, so I will have to rely on the other two drivers' data. We shall now work with the information that we have as a team for tomorrow's practice session."
Franck Montagny (28th, 1:26.248): "We did not run this morning and this afternoon we encountered a few problems too. We had a lot of snap oversteer and it was very difficult to calm the car. We did not find a good set during the sessions, even though with new tyres the car was a lot better for sure. My attempts at quick laps were also not clear of traffic, so we unable to gauge the speed of the car here, but it is definitely a difficult track for us, so we have a lot of work to do before tomorrow."
Sakon Yamamoto (29th, 1:27.908): "It was my first time to drive the SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM car and it was fun! I was able to feel the car and I think keep consistent runs during both sessions. The car is a little bit hard to control, but I enjoyed my first day very much. I was able to learn a lot from these two sessions and I am looking forward to the next Grand Prix."
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "We had some problems with cars No:22 and No:23 during the morning session, but we were able to solve these by the afternoon. We were able to test the race settings as scheduled and I think that Yamamoto did a good job testing, so I am pleased with his performance today. He said that he is getting used to the car and the team so I am not so worried about him settling in. The weather is unbelievably sunny at Silverstone, so I am looking forward to the weekend and hopefully another two-car finish for the race."