Italian GP - Friday - Team Quotes
Fernando Alonso (1st, 1:22.386): "Today went really well. We had a good idea of our performance from the test last week, and although the conditions have changed slightly since then, we were able to get an understanding of the set-up for the race, and I am happy with how the car felt. I missed a little time in the morning session when the team were fixing a small problem with my steering, but it didn't really make too much difference to our overall results."
Lewis Hamilton (2nd, 1:23.209): "We went through our usual set-up and Bridgestone Potenza tyre comparison work and now have a good understanding of our competitiveness this weekend. The car feels really good to drive round here, and we have already made some good steps forward today. However you never know what everyone else is doing, so we will be looking for further improvements before qualifying tomorrow."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "A solid start to the weekend for both drivers. We took our usual conservative approach to both sessions, so the results so far have been encouraging."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good start to the weekend. We completed our programme as planned following our test here last week. It looks like we have been able to build on the work carried out there. We now need to continue in the same direction tomorrow and on Sunday."
Giancarlo Fisichella (3rd, 1:23.584): "Today went a bit better than normal, and I am more optimistic than at the last few races. We worked through the programme without any problems, we made good progress with the set-up of the car and by the end of the day, the balance was not too bad. Qualifying will be tough, especially because the times seem even closer than usual here at Monza. But it was a good first day and a positive start to the weekend."
Heikki Kovalainen (9th, 1:23.848): "I had quite a tricky day. I flat spotted the tyres on the first lap this morning, which delayed the programme a bit, and I didn't find the same good balance that I had at the test last week. So the car isn't feeling too good at the moment, but we are working to improve the situation. However, reliability was good and we compared the tyres, which is the main objective on Friday. Now we need to work on the set-up overnight, and look carefully where we can make improvements. I know I can do a good job with the engineers, so I am confident things will be better tomorrow."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "The rain we encountered during testing last week left us with a little more work to do today, and the good conditions, coupled with perfect reliability, allowed us to get through what we needed to do. Heikki's day was slightly compromised when he flat-spotted his front tyres at the start of first practice, but we adapted the programme to suit, and we found some good set-up directions for tomorrow with both cars."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "Although we tested here just a week ago, Friday was a busier than usual day for all the teams. Our technical programmes focused on more detailed fine-tuning than usual, but there is a genuine incentive to run as much as possible today. With unlimited engine mileage on a Friday, and given the fact that Monza is among the most demanding circuits of all for the V8, it is only logical that all the teams tried to work through as much of their technical programme as possible, especially given the good conditions. We managed to do so without any incidents, and we will be aiming to maintain our strong reliability throughout the rest of the weekend."
Felipe Massa (6th, 1:23.722): "We tackled the two free practice sessions in a different way, working mainly on race pace in the afternoon. We still have work to do on the car set-up to find the best balance on the single lap, while over a long run I would say that we are in reasonably good shape. Today, the track was a bit dirty but definitely in better condition than it was at last week's test."
Kimi Raikkonen (8th, 1:23.833): "The first session went well, but in the second one I lost a lot of time with a hydraulic problem and I only managed to do one run of laps on new tyres in the final moments. We therefore don't have much of a reference point on where we actually are, on top of the fact that as usual there are the unknown factors linked to the fuel loads and tyres used by the other teams during the practice. The balance of the car is not bad, but we definitely have work to do to improve the performance, especially for qualifying, where our rivals are particularly competitive. But our race pace should be good. Monza is Ferrari's home race and I will be doing my best to give the team and all its fans something to be happy about."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "There were two sides to today. This morning, everything went according to the set plan, but in the afternoon we had a hydraulic problem on Kimi's car which took some time to sort out. Now we have to establish what caused it. Luckily, we also have available to us the data from last week's test at this track. Felipe struggled a bit to find the right balance on the car on the first lap but his long run pace was quite good. To sum up, we are certainly not in for an easy weekend, but we have the potential to do well."
Jenson Button (13th, 1:24.137): "A pretty straightforward Friday in terms of our programme. This morning the balance seemed quite encouraging and we got off to a reasonable start. This afternoon we concentrated on doing long runs to evaluate the tyres as well as some more specific set-up work. The balance wasn't as good as this morning, especially on the new tyres, so we need to have a look at the data now and work out why."
Rubens Barrichello (15th, 1:24.462): "This morning we had a big deficit in terms of straight line speed, so this afternoon we tried a number of changes and have found some improvements. The set-up and balance also felt better this afternoon so we are making progress, but there is still a lot of work to achieve tonight and tomorrow morning."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "After last week's test here in Monza we our set-up work was more straightforward than usual as the track conditions were similar. We concentrated on fine-tuning the car balance for the race conditions with both Prime and Option tyres. Both cars ran our modified front and rear suspension and we will maintain this configuration for the race on Sunday."
Robert Kubica (4th, 1:23.599): "We were testing here last week, so we know a bit about the car's balance and other things, and that was why we didn't run a lot in first practice. However, it looks like the condition of the track is pretty different, and the braking stability, especially, is worse than it was in testing. In the second free practice we did many long runs, comparing the tyres, and these were looking quite good. I think we have quite a lot of data to look at and analyse."
Nick Heidfeld (7th, 1:23.821): "I think in general our configuration is good. Both sessions were trouble free. However, my lap times on the long runs are less consistent than I would like. The balance of the car changes, with it being better during the test, so we now have to analyse the data. But I still hope we can come close to Ferrari."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "After testing here last week, we began the morning session with a good set-up base. However, there was still enough to do. We concentrated totally on the race preparation, and completed some long runs with both tyre compounds so we have all necessary data available. I'm pleased with our performance so far. We didn't have any technical problems whatsoever and were able to complete the whole programme. Tomorrow morning we can now focus on preparing for qualifying."
Jarno Trulli (11th, 1:23.919): "Monza has always been a special venue for me both for the track and for the atmosphere, especially now it is the only Italian race on the calendar. The car always feels lighter here because you run with such low downforce for the long straights. My two days of testing last week went well and we improved our set-up and braking stability. Today everything went pretty smoothly and we carried out the usual work on set-up and tyres. But we have some work to do overnight to improve the handling so I can push hard for a strong race here in front of my home fans."
Ralf Schumacher (12th, 1:23.922): "Last week's test was a bit frustrating for me because both the days of running I did were heavily disrupted by rain and the track was very green. That meant I still had plenty of work to do on the set-up of the car in the better weather we saw today. We're reasonably happy with what we achieved and we didn't have any technical problems. But it's clear that we still have a lot to do on the car side. The kerbs are a challenge for everyone but we have to find a way to get the most out of them. So we have some work to do tonight to plan for the rest of the weekend but I'm confident qualifying will look better for us tomorrow."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "Following our test here from a week ago there were not too many surprises concerning the handling and balance of the car. Nevertheless we did a lot of fine tuning on the set-up, mainly trying to improve the handling over the kerbs, which is important here in Monza. We also collected more data on the tyres for our race strategy. The two specifications seem to be quite similar in their behaviour and even on the first lap there is not a big difference between them. So far we seem to be a bit further down in comparison to where we were in practice in Hungary and Turkey. But we will look into the data tonight and try to make an improvement tomorrow. We have new front and rear wings and other aerodynamic modifications and we will try to make the most of our package over the rest of the weekend."
Mark Webber (14th, 1:24.328): "We were testing here last week, so we were just checking and reconfirming a few things today. We'd like to be faster of course, but we know what we need to work on and we'll do what we can tonight."
David Coulthard (16th, 1:24.605): "It was a normal Friday practice, we ran through everything we needed to. I tend not to pay too much attention to the times in testing, it's tomorrow that counts."
Nico Rosberg (5th, 1:23.679): "Today we went through two or three things that I really wanted to try here last week which we couldn't do due to the bad weather. I'm pleased we did them because we gained some helpful results. Monza has proved to be a very interesting track for the tyres. We haven't made a decision yet on which direction we'll take and will spend time going over that tonight. Generally, I'm quite pleased with how the sessions went."
Alexander Wurz (10th, 1:23.881): "Practice went ok. We changed a couple of things in the first session and went for a long run at the end which was very interesting. There's more to come from the balance of my car so I'm working on that tonight. Surprisingly, we actually found that today's conditions were relatively the same as those at last week's test, which is good because it means we can use some of the useful data we have collected already."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We've had a productive day at Monza. We completed a lot of the normal Friday systems checks such as brakes and cooling at the test last week so today was about set-up changes and tyres. The Bridgestone Potenza tyres both look strong. We didn't have any reliability issues during the day."
Sebastian Vettel (18th, 1:25.459): "We were quite happy with the early runs this morning, but after that the day seemed to get more difficult. Of course the track conditions are very different to last week when we had quite a good test session here. That was actually my first test session in this car and certainly, every lap helps. But now we have to concentrate on this weekend and hopefully we will be able to work out what to do to get more pace out of the car."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (20th, 1:25.567): "Overall this was a very difficult day. Since the morning session we had a problem with the car reacting strangely in the corners, with a bit of an imbalance between right and left turns. We never found the right set up despite changing several things on the car. I continued to struggle in the afternoon, when I also had an electrical problem which meant I had to stop before the end and before doing a run on new tyres, so we are lacking a bit of data."
Adrian Sutil (19th, 1:25.531): "We had a big programme we wanted to try today, but unfortunately we had a gearbox problem early on in the second session, which meant we had to cut short the schedule. We were at least able to do a long run on the softer tyre though, which was quite good. I think this morning was in general a bit better as the air was so hot in the afternoon we lost some straightline speed and couldn't improve on our time from the morning. I think there is still a lot more to come from the car though as I am not so happy over the kerbs, it's very snappy there. If we work overnight we should find some more time."
Sakon Yamamoto (21st, 1:25.863): "Today was our first day using the B-spec over a race weekend after the test last week and we really followed on from our programme there. I completed our normal progress steps today, trying both the soft and hard tyre, set-ups for qualifying and the race and importantly put lots of mileage in and did some good preparation for tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "Generally a very productive day with the new spec car. We had a problem with the gearbox on Adrian's car in the second session that delayed him slightly, but overall we had no real mechanical issues. From a performance point of view we are certainly very competitive with the group in front of us and are learning all the time about the new car. I think there is more to come."
Takuma Sato (17th, 1:25.328): "We had to cover some of the testing programme that we could not complete here last week and it was good to see that we made some progress. We knew that it is going to be a tough weekend for us, but on the positive side, I think that we can improve our performance in the morning tomorrow."
Anthony Davidson (22nd, 1:26.021): "A clutch problem put me out of the running at the beginning of the second session, which was a disappointing end to the day. I believe that this won't prove too much of a problem, so I am looking forward to making up for lost time in the morning and to having a good day tomorrow."
Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: "Frustrating. With the poor weather at the test here last week we wanted to complete a lot of laps here today, but we haven't been able to achieve that. We had a problem with Anthony's car which stopped his running early on in the second session and so we didn't get any long runs in from him at all. The information that we obtained from car 22 isn't really enough for sufficient analysis, so we will look hard into the data overnight to come up with better performances for tomorrow."