Turkish GP - Friday - Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:28.469): "I am happy with the performance so far, especially as the conditions today were not ideal. It is a shame that both sessions were interrupted, however the work we did was productive and we made some good progress."
Fernando Alonso (6th, 1:28.947): "Track conditions were a bit of a problem today. It was slippery this morning when we first went out, but we made some adjustments and that seemed to make a difference. Then this afternoon it was very windy, and we started to suffer a little from understeer, which we will work on overnight. We are definitely among the strongest here, but as expected it will be a tough fight with Kimi and Felipe."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "The high winds and slippery track conditions added an extra challenge to both of today's practice sessions. Nevertheless we were able to get a clear understanding of our performance level and are looking relatively strong for the rest of the weekend."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "The track conditions were rather tricky with winds and some dust on the circuit today. Still, our times on new and used tyres looked quite okay."
Heikki Kovalainen (8th, 1:29.025): "I was quite happy with the balance from the first run this morning, and we improved it all the way through the two sessions. I had a yellow flag on my final run, which stopped me from improving my time, but everybody had the same conditions. The red flag meant we weren't able to do all of our set-up changes, and there are still some improvements that we know can be made to find more pace. It has been a positive start to the weekend, I am happy with the car at this stage and I know there is more performance to come tomorrow."
Giancarlo Fisichella (12th, 1:29.456): "I had a small problem with the engine mapping on the final run, which meant I wasn't able to get a good answer on the final set-up changes, but otherwise there was nothing unusual for me in either session. We had to change the programme round a little bit after the red flag, but the situation was the same for the other teams as well. The car balance is still a little bit inconsistent, so there are areas for us to work on overnight, but I think we seem to be in our usual position in the bottom half of the top ten -and we have made a good start."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "From the team's perspective, it was a pretty straightforward day. The time we lost with the red flag meant that we had to shift our programme around a little, which compromised things slightly. Equally, the yellow flag in the first sector at the end of the session prevented the drivers from improving their times. But those were factors that every team had to deal with, so we didn't lose anything in relative terms. Both tyres are performing well at this demanding circuit, and the drivers are pretty comfortable with the car."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "As always when visiting a circuit where we run only once a year, there was plenty to do today, fine-tuning parameters such as the engine mapping and gear ratios to extract maximum performance from the RS27 engine. It was a trouble-free day, and both engines performed well. The red flag during second practice cost all of the teams some set-up time, and perhaps on Sunday evening, that will prove to have been important. From the team's point of view, though, this was a promising start to the weekend, and we will hope to build on it to ensure a strong qualifying performance tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd, 1:28.762): "I am reasonably happy with the way things went in the morning and a bit less so when it came to the afternoon. For some reason, probably a change in the wind direction, conditions were rather difficult and we will have to evaluate very carefully the data from the second session because it is easy to go down the wrong route. As for the two types of tyre, from what we have seen today, both work well but we will have to wait to do a more complete evaluation tomorrow. We have a good package which we must try and get the most out of."
Felipe Massa (5th, 1:28.884): "I am happy with the outcome of these three hours of free practice. Both this morning, when I was running without the latest aerodynamic updates and this afternoon, the car was well balanced. There is still some room for improvement, but that is just part of the normal evolution of a race weekend. Both types of tyre seem to be very quick and consistent in terms of performance. We will have to evaluate them carefully in terms of their performance for the race. In the afternoon, probably because of the wind, the track conditions changed and overall, there was less grip. I set my best time in the first minutes when I was still on worn tyres. I think we will be competitive."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "It was pretty much a normal Friday, when we concentrated on finding the best set-up for the car and on comparing the two types of tyre we have here. We had no particular problems on either car. The only difficulties today were caused by the long red flag period, which meant we had to slightly shorten the programme and also by the change in track conditions. This was probably due to a change in the wind direction which caused a slight lack of grip, especially in the final sector of the track. Even taking the cautious view, we can however be moderately confident about how the rest of the weekend should go."
Jenson Button (14th, 1:29.945): "Finally, at the end of the session, we seemed to find a reasonable set-up, which is something we had been struggling with throughout the day. I'm much happier with the car now. This morning I didn't get a good run on either tyre. We did some laps on the option at the end of the day and that seemed to be reasonably consistent. We've made good progress over the two sessions and it seems we are getting there."
Rubens Barrichello (15th, 1:30.055): "The day had been progressing quite well, up to the point where I hit the drain cover. We checked the car and it seemed there was no obvious problem beyond the punctured tyre and damaged wheel, but when running resumed the car didn't feel very good at all. We need to check everything carefully to ensure there is no underlying damage because things were going reasonably well before that and I hope we can get back to how the car felt earlier in the day."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "We have had a relatively straightforward Friday. By the end of the session both drivers found a consistent balance on both hard and medium tyres. The only small problem came when Rubens hit a drain cover which had lifted and was lying on the track. This destroyed the rear left rim and tyre. After that the car balance was not the same, so we have to check the car thoroughly overnight. For tomorrow we will try to reduce the understeer without compromising the traction."
Robert Kubica (10th, 1:29.368): "This morning the track was really slippery and many drivers went off, so the conditions were very difficult. In the afternoon the conditions were better, we mainly concentrated on the long runs to compare the tyres and we have done some good work. Unfortunately the session was stopped for quite a while, so we had to drop some set- up work, but we have some time to do that tomorrow. I would have liked to do one more run, but it was the same for everyone."
Nick Heidfeld (13th, 1:29.792): "I enjoy driving here and I like the track, although in the morning in particular it was very slippery. Despite losing almost half an hour of track time, we completed all the important jobs and compared the two tyre specifications. The set-up is not ideal yet and, in my view, my long runs at the end were not perfect either."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "We can be satisfied up to now. We lost valuable track time for the set-up work, but that is the same for every team, so we concentrated on long runs. Now we have to look into the data, but we are happy with the lap times set over the longer runs. Tomorrow our focus will be preparation for qualifying. For Sunday we can expect similar temperatures to today, so we have a hot race ahead of us."
Ralf Schumacher (3rd, 1:28.773): "So far everything is going fine and we can be happy with our work today. We went through most of our programme despite the time lost in the second session. We worked on set-up and tyre choices and everything seemed to go well. The results today were encouraging with 3rd place in second practice and we hope we can convert our form today into a strong qualifying result. It's only Friday so it's hard to tell where we are but our first target for qualifying is to get both cars in the top 10. I think we have a good chance to do well. My performance in qualifying and the race in Hungary showed we are capable of fighting for strong results and I hope we can do that again. Now we will focus on getting the most out of the car for qualifying, when I hope to give myself another opportunity to score good points."
Jarno Trulli (4th, 1:28.874): "It was a reasonable day for me today. We worked on the set-up but I had a bit of an issue getting the car exactly how I want it. I was not so happy with the balance and I felt that under braking I could not push as hard as I wanted to, so now we will work hard to find a compromise before qualifying. We will look at the data before practice tomorrow and work hard to improve the balance so I can get the most out of the car. I am really focused and motivated this weekend to score points again because I have had a couple of unlucky races. I expect to once again get into Q3 and from there I am ready to score points. The battle in the midfield is very tight and we know we cannot afford any mistakes but I am confident we can push for another strong result here."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "It is good to be back in action, particularly here in Turkey where we have such great facilities. Overall it was a positive day for us and we had no major trouble. The long interruption in the second session was a bit of a shame because we couldn't get through all our planned programme. But that was out of our hands and in general everything went well. As usually in Istanbul the circuit evolves quite a lot, especially on a Friday, and we expect the circuit conditions to evolve more as the weekend goes on. We worked on the medium and hard tyres and they pretty much behaved as expected, so we should have a clear picture of their performance for Sunday's race. We are happy with our level of performance so far and we hope we can make a further improvement overnight. We seem to be in strong shape."
David Coulthard (11th, 1:29.435): "My car had a fuel leak and fire at the end of this morning's session, so the team had to find the leak and change the engine. The boys did a great job to get the car out again when they did, as there was a lot of much work to do - it was a good effort. Originally we were going to use the T car for the second session, but I wanted to stay with the race car, so we changed the engine instead. Once the car was ready, we got on with working through our normal Friday practice."
Mark Webber (17th, 1:30.315): "I've been struggling all day in the car. We've got work to do this evening; we just need to get our heads down now and see where we can improve before the qualifying tomorrow."
Geoffrey Willis, Technical Director: "After more than a year away from F1, it's good to see the cars in action and up close again. While there have been some regulation changes in that time, the racing challenge is very much the same, so it's interesting to see the differences in the Red Bull approach. Certainly the Red Bull Racing facilities and working environment at the track are impressive. Having spent a month now with Red Bull Technology my first impressions are on the whole very positive, although there is plenty of work to do and as usual not much time to do it in! The level of competition in the sport is now so high that it is important that all parts of the team step up in performance level. Together with its excellent resources and new facilities at Milton Keynes, the team has a great deal of potential. It is an interesting and different new role for me and will, I am sure, provide more than enough challenges in the coming months."
Nico Rosberg (7th, 1:28.995): "I think we had a good practice session today. We did a lot of work with the set-up, trying different options, so while it was a lot of effort, we ended up in a good place. The tyre choice doesn't seem so obvious at the moment as they seem pretty close, but I think we have two good tyres for this weekend. The red flag in the second session cut our time a little short, but it is was the same for everybody and we managed to get through our complete programme in any case."
Alexander Wurz (9th, 1:29.093): "In the first session I lost a bit of time due to some problems with a set-up change, so I lost the last run of the morning session. In the afternoon we worked through a tyre comparison. However, getting set-up exactly right on a circuit like this is very difficult and you just have to accept some compromise. I think we are in okay shape, but we still have to find a little bit more from the car."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We had a productive Friday. On Alex's car, we had a small problem in P1 with a suspension change which meant he could not do his final run, but we solved the problem quickly over the break and it's not a problem going forward. The rest of Friday was spent checking brakes, cooling and tyre choice and everything looks pretty straightforward. Now we'll work on qualifying set-up."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (19th, 1:30.702): "This morning I was quite happy with the balance of the car, particularly over long runs. Then in the afternoon, we worked on tyre comparisons and this session did not work out quite as well, because we had a problem with the hydraulic system, which unbalanced the car and the power steering and the throttle were not working properly. So from the mid-point of the session our work was not so productive. We will have to work on this tonight as up until this problem, everything had been going well."
Sebastian Vettel (20th, 1:30.801): "This morning we struggled a bit to find the right way to progress with the car, but we were still optimistic about improving in the afternoon. Unfortunately, a sensor broke deep inside the gearbox which meant we had to pull the back end off the car and replace the sensor and that cost us some time, but fortunately the red flag period meant I did not lose so much time compared to the others. Once back on track, we concentrated on acquiring as much data as possible in the short time remaining. In general, I think there is still room for improvement. This track is where I made my GP weekend debut last year, when I was very impressed with this circuit. That feeling remains this time, and Turn 8 is as impressive as ever. It is a very technical track and I enjoy that."
Adrian Sutil (21st, 1:31.153): "Today was a fairly standard Friday practice for us. At first the track was very dirty so we tried to do some longer runs and wait for conditions to improve. Over these runs we checked temperatures and then did some set-up work. The car balance was not quite right as we had a lot of understeer and the tyres are very hard and difficult to use, but we will check the data tonight and do all the normal things to set it up for tomorrow. We should be alright as normally we manage to get a good set-up for the race and I think we should be able to do it here too."
Sakon Yamamoto (22nd, 1:31.175): "Today I am very happy as I got used to the different type of tyre and got more familiar with the car. We also did some long runs with a heavy fuel load, which hopefully is good for the race as I could get a feeling of how the heavier car behaved. We finished our whole programme and I am very satisfied but we will keep working for tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A reasonably productive and useful day, working through the programme with no real issues. We had a difficult first session with the track conditions and low grip on the harder tyre, but both drivers were able to complete their programmes including some long runs. A particularly impressive session from Sakon in the afternoon as in only his second time in the car he matched the pace of his team-mate."
Takuma Sato (16th, 1:30.104): "I am very glad to be back racing after the summer break. The team is upbeat and looking forward to the second half of the season, especially after our last race in Budapest where, towards the end, our pace was strong, so we have a very positive attitude here in Istanbul. Of course everybody else has made progress aswell as us, but we need to find more speed. However, I think it was a very good day. We completed the normal tyre comparisons, even though we were interrupted by the Red Flag, and I am reasonably happy with the car balance."
Anthony Davidson (18th, 1:30.530): "It was a difficult day and we found it hard to find a good car balance in these windy conditions. We struggled at the beginning of the first session, but we made some set-up changes and were making good progress towards the end with a reasonably competitive lap time. In the second session we were facing similar problems as we had experienced in the morning, and then we had the drain cover incident and the track took a while to come back to a good grip level again. After setting a competitive time on the prime tyre, we went out for an option tyre run at the end of the afternoon and unfortunately I made a mistake going into Turn 3, ran wide and touched the barrier. I am comfortable on where we are with first lap performance at the moment, so I am looking forward to Qualifying tomorrow."
Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: "Hot and tough. With a dusty circuit at the beginning of the day, we waited for quite a long time before going out on track. We obtained some decent information from this morning's run, but the Red Flag this afternoon compromised a proportion of our information gathering exercises and Anthony's 'off' towards the end will also rob us of a little data. However, Taku seems to have got on well with the car and I believe that we have gathered enough from today to benefit us tomorrow."