Spanish GP - Friday - Team Quotes
Fernando Alonso (1st, 1:21.397): "A great start to my home Grand Prix with a trouble free Friday practice. We went through the usual programme of tyre evaluation and set-up work, but had a pretty good balance early on. We have definitely improved the car further since Bahrain. I look forward to the rest of the weekend and really want to do my best for all the supporters."
Lewis Hamilton (5th, 1:22.188): "We completed our pre-planned programme focusing on tyres and set-up work. Everything went well. I set my fastest time early in the session and was able to be consistent throughout, so I'm fairly confident for the rest of the weekend."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Since the Bahrain Grand Prix the team has worked really hard on improving the car and there is no doubt that this has paid off, but we have to wait until Sunday to see how effective our developments have been. However we have had the best possible start to the weekend."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good start for the team at Fernando's home Grand Prix with competitive and consistent times from both drivers. The team's efforts in the build-up to the European season have been positive, but we have to wait and see until qualifying what steps forward we have taken in comparison to our competitors."
Giancarlo Fisichella (2nd, 1:21.684): "It was a normal day for us: we planned a busy programme, and completed everything without any problems at all. As we made changes to the car, we managed to improve the set-up a little bit, but the handling is still slightly inconsistent. But to be honest, that is what we expect at the moment. My feeling is that we are possibly a little bit closer to the cars in front of us, even if we are clearly not fast enough to be second in the times on speed alone. As always, we have to remember this is only Friday, so we need to wait and see what happens tomorrow. The fight between the midfield teams is extremely close, and we will need to push to the limit tomorrow to get a good grid position."
Heikki Kovalainen (3rd, 1:21.966): "I think it was a positive start to our weekend to be honest. We did our programme, everything ran smoothly, and we improved the car balance a bit from where we started. So we have a good starting point for tomorrow in the final practice session. I had a spin at the end of the session, but it was nothing serious - I was pushing hard on a timed lap and ran wide behind a Red Bull, and lost control. But that's the way I drive, attacking all the time, and we will keep on pushing tomorrow. The target has to be to qualify in the top ten but, just like at the last three races, it is going to be tough."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "In spite of the fact that we tested at this circuit only last week, the track temperatures we have encountered today, and forecast for the rest of the weekend, are around 20¬∞C higher than they were at the end of the test. Barcelona is well-known as a sensitive circuit where small rises in temperature can have a big impact on a car's behaviour. A change as big as 20¬∞C means we have to run quite a different set-up to what we used last week and, as a result, we ran a completely normal Friday programme today. It is obvious that our final laps were done with a lower fuel load as part of our planned technical checks, and that our positions are therefore unrepresentatively high in the timesheets. However, our pace on the long runs seems to show that the status quo has not changed much since Bahrain."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "From the engine team's point of view, it was a normal, trouble-free day. Both cars came close to their nominal target mileage of 300 km, and our focus was very much on tuning the engine performance in this weekend's hotter conditions. A quick look at the timesheets shows that less than a second separated P3 from P15 in today's second session. When the competition is so close, every hundredth of a second counts - and that means the fine-tuning we conducted today is of capital importance for the rest of the weekend. We have a solid platform to work from now, and will look to build on this tomorrow."
Felipe Massa (4th, 1:22.048): "It is difficult to assess the situation after these three hours of practice. The track conditions are definitely very different to these we had in testing last week, but all in all, I am reasonably happy with the work we have done today. Just how happy I will be, we will only know on Sunday after the race!"
Kimi Raikkonen (6th, 1:22.251): "Track conditions were very different to those we found when testing here last week and it is definitely more slippery. So, we are struggling a bit to find the right balance of the car. All our work has centred on finding the best race set-up on the car. We will have to study the data carefully to improve, both for qualifying and for Sunday's race."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "The track has changed compared to the way it was at the test here just last week. Our work programme centred one just thing, preparation for Sunday's race and on the comparison of the two types of tyre that Bridgestone has made available to the team for this Grand Prix. We did not have any problems but we still have to find the ideal set-up for the F2007, especially in terms of its performance over a single lap. But we are confident enough about our chances on Sunday."
Jenson Button (13th, 1:22.808): "We spent four days testing here last week so we had a good idea going into this weekend of how the car would perform. Today we did the usual Friday work, setting-up the car for qualifying and race conditions. We have made some small steps with the stability of the car since the last race but the outright pace has not yet improved a lot. However, both Rubens and I covered a lot of laps today so we will look at all the data this evening and see what progress can be made."
Rubens Barrichello (14th, 1:22.926): "A very conventional Friday. We test so often at this circuit, most recently last week, that we know how the car performs and pretty much where we stand versus the competition. I think the car has improved since Bahrain and we have a decent race pace but not such a good pace for qualifying, so we need to look at that this evening and try to improve during tomorrow's final free practice session."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "A fairly smooth day in terms of achieving our planned programme and with no specific problems. The car behaved pretty much the same as in the test last week but the track conditions have changed slightly, so it was good to do the comparison work with both tyre options to ensure we have all the right data available for the strategy. I think overall we have made a small step in the right direction in terms of car performance but obviously there is still a long way to go."
Nick Heidfeld (8th, 1:22.543): "For me it was important to drive in both sessions today. We have been testing here, but I wasn't able to compare the two tyre specs because the second of my two test days was very wet. Our preparation work looks good and also the new front wing seems to work alright. I think our position today doesn't reflect how competitive we are. The new section of the track changes every lap because the tarmac is so new. That makes it a little bit more difficult for driving on now, but I'm happy with the circuit's modification as it makes it safer."
Robert Kubica (11th, 1:22.710): "We found different conditions to when we were testing here last week. The car's balance is quite different, and we were struggling a bit with rear axle oversteer and it is snappy. We have to analyse everything and find the right balance for tomorrow. We just put the new front wing on this morning for the first time, and also checked it again in the last run of the second free practice. It is a bit better but we need to run it more."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "We have only been focussing on race preparation today. Although we tested here last week, there is still a lot of set up work to do. We managed to complete our scheduled programme and also collected enough data for the tyre comparison. On top of that we were running a new front wing today, which we have not tested before. Of course we now have to look at the data, but the drivers' response was positive."
Ralf Schumacher (17th, 1:23.219): "We had a good morning but we had some mechanical problems during the second session that we needed to sort out before we could continue our programme. That cost us a bit of time but generally we went through most of our plan and looked at the things we wanted to. So in the end it was not much of a problem and hopefully we will have a good day tomorrow. We had a positive test here last week and I made some progress with setting up the car to my liking. It seems to be working well again so I remain hopeful of an improvement."
Jarno Trulli (18th, 1:23.307): "That was a solid day's work but as usual at Barcelona the wind made things difficult out there. All the teams have made a big effort for the first European race so this weekend we'll get a clearer idea of what direction the championship is taking. Barcelona is a good reference circuit and our car behaved well at last week's test here. But everyone was running different programmes today so we will have to wait for tomorrow to find out where we all stand. I hope we can continue our run of good results and make the points again."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "Like most teams we have come here with a major aerodynamic upgrade including new wings, engine cover and floor. We had quite a promising session this morning, making it very smoothly through our programme and setting some competitive lap times. But we struggled a bit in the afternoon session with both cars. This is partly because we were concentrating on long run preparation for the race but we also had some mechanical issues on the car which we have to look into. Nevertheless, we have collected all the data we need about the tyres and based on our morning performance we are confident for the rest of the weekend."
Mark Webber (9th, 1:22.589): "We got through most of the programme as planned today, which was good, We made the car more stable this afternoon, compared to the morning, and the track was better too. We have a lot of good data for tonight and it was a faultless programme from the guys. The mechanics worked bloody hard last night and all of today, and the entire team's working really well."
David Coulthard (12th, 1:22.719): "Although you can't really tell too much from a Friday, I was perhaps hoping to show more solidly, relative to Renault and some of the other teams, today. Looking at fuel levels, of course we've all got some fuel on board, but you don't know if any of the teams have gone for a low fuel run, so tomorrow will be the real test. Lots of people target Barcelona for upgrades, so if everyone ends up gaining the same amount, the status quo remains - we'll know more after qualifying."
Nico Rosberg (7th, 1:22.415): "We made a good start today and everything went well. We tried various directions on the set-up to adapt to the track conditions here and, as always, some things proved to be not particularly valuable while others looked quite promising. All in all, I think we achieved some interesting results. We also tested the tyres and found some pretty clear results there too, although we are not too sure which tyre we will go with for the long runs."
Alexander Wurz (15th, 1:22.950): "Everything went to plan today while we worked through different set-up options and tyre comparisons. The only thing that perhaps didn't go to plan was that, every time I went out on new tyres, I ended up caught up in traffic so I'm further down the time sheets than I should be. It's Friday, though, so it doesn't matter too much."
Patrick Head, Director of Engineering: "We've been playing catch up today after a test where we didn't get a lot done due to two accidents and a wet day's running. We ran both cars through the different set-up variations which we'd planned to do last week. The guys working on the car, the engineers and the drivers have all done a great job to get through a busy programme and now we have a lot of data to get through tonight and decide which direction to take. The car seems to be running well and we hope to get back on course for a good result on Sunday."
Scott Speed (10th, 1:22.617): "We definitely seem to be more competitive this weekend, although my tenth place today doesn't mean much. The developments we tried at last week's test, especially those on the aero front are a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go to make up for lost time this winter. But we are doing better, the team is doing a good job and this is an improvement. But there have been growing pains today with problems on my front wing endplate and my seat. But these are little things that are easy to fix."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (16th, 1:23.143): "Honestly, I was expecting something a bit better after some useful testing at this track last week. Unfortunately, we had some niggling problems with things like the electrics and the car set-up. That means we've got a lot to do to get the car sorted out for tomorrow. We'll have to wait and see. Towards, the end of the session I was forced to stop early with a hydraulic problem, that had started around the halfway point in the session."
Adrian Sutil (21st, 1:23.609): "This was the first track I have been to this year with prior experience, so I know every corner and feel very comfortable as I don¬°¬¶t need to spend time learning the circuit or getting a basic set-up. The first session was OK, I was quite happy with the balance, but the second session was a bit more difficult than we expected. We tried out the softer tyre and normally it makes a big difference, but this time we couldn¬°¬¶t seem to find that improvement in time as we hoped. We¬°¬¶ll just work on it for tomorrow but we are moving forward all the time."
Christijan Albers (22nd, 1:23.736): "Even with the testing, it was not an easy day, but step by step you see that we are going quicker compared to the others. I¬°¬¶ve been working hard with Jody, my engineer, and we saw some improvement today, but we know we have to work to get a better result in Qualifying. The car is more stable, we still have a couple of issues, but I think tomorrow we¬°¬¶ll be up there fighting with the others."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "It was a productive day. We didn¬°¬¶t have any mechanical problems on either car and worked on evaluating the two types of tyre available this weekend. The balance of both cars was pretty good and both drivers were reasonably happy; I think we¬°¬¶ve benefited from having tested here before. The pace of the car was better and we¬°¬¶re now much closer to the pace of the group in front, a trend we hope we¬°¬¶ll continue throughout the weekend."
Takuma Sato (19th, 1:23.493): "We came to Barcelona with good car balance from the test, but it took a little time to work on the set-up today. We are happy with the evaluation the tyres we completed during the practice sessions, but I think that we need to look over the data tonight to work on a competitive package for tomorrow."
Anthony Davidson (20th, 1:23.497): "It was an interesting day. We had different weather conditions to what we experienced at the test; it's a lot warmer here now and the car reacted slightly differently. We changed the way we worked with the tyres as well, so it was not as predictable a day as we thought, but a good day nonetheless. I am happy with the work that we achieved during the sessions and we came away finding a good balance."
Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: "It was a very productive day for the team. We had a good session this morning and although the circuit was quite green we seemed to pick up from where we left off at the test here last week. We concentrated on a number of longer runs in the afternoon and I think we have found a good handle on the Bridgestone tyres."