Chinese GP - Friday - Team Quotes
Mark Webber (5th, 1:36.092): "It was good today and we achieved a lot of mileage. There are obviously some pretty quick cars out there ‚Äì we saw that in Malaysia before it rained in qualifying. We're getting a lot of information, but we're still in this early phase of learning about the tyres. I think that we have a bit of work to do, but the car doesn't feel too bad, we just have to keep working on understanding the tyres. It's nice to have a stable weekend in terms of weather, which is unusual in Shanghai."
Sebastian Vettel (10th, 1:36.791): "Today was a tricky day for us. I struggled a bit this afternoon and the gap to the guys at the top is a little bit bigger than I'd like. There are two or three things that we need to work on and then we should be in a better shape for tomorrow. I think we know what we need to do. It looks like the soft tyre is the one for qualifying, but it seems that we won't see that many stints on the soft tyre during the race."
Felipe Massa (1st, 1:35.340): "Today, I immediately had a good feeling in the car and even if, at the start, I was not completely happy with the performance of the Medium compound and we were not as quick as our rivals, the times were good all the same. When I fitted the Softs, the car improved a lot and this meant I was able to set the fastest time of the day. It was impressive, like driving two completely different cars. Our race pace looks competitive, the car is handling well on both types of tyre and degradation was not excessive, even if the higher wear rate of the Soft compared to the Medium compound will be an important factor when it comes to choosing the right strategy. I feel confident and hope that the whole weekend can keep moving in this direction."
Fernando Alonso (3rd, 1:35.755): "By the end of the day, the overall feeling is positive. We worked well and on top of that, it's always great fun driving the Shanghai track which has some really unique features, such as the first corner. From one session to the next the track conditions improved significantly, because the other categories that ran after our morning session cleaned the surface. The increase in temperature means the conditions were very similar to those predicted for tomorrow. Once again, tyres will play a key role in this Grand Prix because of the high level of degradation over a long run. We will have to ensure we pick the right strategy for Sunday, as well as deciding on which of the new parts we tried this morning to fit to the car. As usual, we can expect a long evening studying the data."
Pat Fry: "Today we managed to complete our programme without any problems, which is extremely positive for the rest of the weekend. In the morning, we concentrated on analysing various aerodynamic updates we brought here to Shanghai, the result of a lot of hard work back in the factory on the car development front. The first signs are that the updates appear to match our expectations, but we need to analyse the data carefully to make a more accurate evaluation, in terms of which ones we can use for this race and the upcoming ones. In the second session, we continued to work on various specifications with both drivers, doing some set-up work aimed at finding the right balance on both cars. Obviously, we did the normal comparison between the two types of tyre that Pirelli has brought here to Shanghai, with the Soft compound making its debut. The race pace from both F138s is interesting, but once again there is the unknown factor of tyre performance: the Softs seem to degrade quite quickly, while the Mediums offer better stability and last longer. Now we can expect a long night ahead of us to decide on the best combinations for qualifying and the race, with a lot of data to go through."
Jenson Button (6th, 1:36.432): "We can't yet conclusively tell if the upgrades we brought to this race have improved the car. They're perhaps not as big a step forward as we'd expected ‚Äì the issues with the car are still there ‚Äì but the car does feel a little bit better. We've worked very hard over the last few weeks to bring the new parts here ‚Äì which is great. Today's been all about putting mileage on those parts; now we need to sit down and look at the data this evening ‚Äì there's a lot to look through. I feel we'll be using the Prime tyre quite a lot in the race. The Option tyre transforms the car completely; over one lap, there's a lot more grip, but then you start to lose time over each successive lap. My puncture happened after I'd already decided to pit. I got to the braking zone at Turn 14, locked up the front left and the tyre just punctured ‚Äì there was a hole through it. It's a good job that corner is just before the pits. I don't think we'll be fighting at the front this weekend, but we'll definitely be fighting someone."
Sergio Perez (11th, 1:36.940): "Today was a difficult day for me, but an important one for the team. I had two offs ‚Äì in the morning, I was running on cold, worn tyres, locked the wheels and just touched the barrier. went into the barrier. In FP2, we don't really understand what happened because I wasn't really pushing at the time. Still, I'm sure we will improve tomorrow. I'll effectively be starting from zero because I'll adopt a completely new set-up. That won't make things easier, but I think we've gathered some useful data today and that will ensure we make good progress for the future. The target for tomorrow is to get into Q3. For Sunday, the tyres will play a big role; it'll be essential to manage the degradation and plot the perfect strategy, but I know the team is very good in these areas, so I'm optimistic. I think we can have a good result on Sunday."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Today was a very busy day for the whole team ‚Äì we spent both practice session running lots of tests, evaluating a number of new parts and gathering useful data. It's too early to say yet whether any of that work is conclusive ‚Äì there is still an awful lot of data to be analysed by the engineers this evening ‚Äì but, as always, I'm confident that we will take a step forward in performance tomorrow. It's clearly been an incident-filled day for Checo, but it's all useful learning. I'm sure he'll quickly put it behind him and focus on having a stronger day tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd, 1:35.492): "If you look at the lap time it looks to have been a pretty okay day. For sure there are things we have to improve and you never know what will happen tomorrow but it's a reasonable start to the weekend. We seem to be happy with the soft tyres and maybe not as happy with the harder ones. We've still got time to improve and we're certainly not struggling so it could be a good weekend."
Romain Grosjean (12th, 1:36.963): "Today was not so easy for me and I'm still looking for the right setup. I ran with the new exhaust package in the morning and the older one in the afternoon to try to help find where improvements can be made. We now have a lot of data to help find the extra performance we want. The new front wing helps, so that's a step in the right direction. In Malaysia we developed the car as the weekend continued and there are of course a few things we can change overnight. It's a new day tomorrow and we'll hopefully be able to have the car as I'd like it for a strong result this weekend."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "We're reasonably happy with what was a fairly normal Friday for us. Kimi's pace looks strong and he felt he could have gone faster on his flying lap. Romain's lap time is not representative after he got caught up behind Lewis [Hamilton] during his option run. The grip level between the two tyres through certain corners is quite noticeable and ‚Äì as we saw during winter testing ‚Äì the lifespan of the soft tyre could be a talking point. There's no doubt it's the tyre for qualifying, but making it last in the race will be a challenge. Overall we're pleased with the car in terms of pace, high fuel performance and tyre preservation; hopefully we can look forward to a strong weekend ahead."
Nico Rosberg (4th, 1:35.819): "It was good to be back on the track here in Shanghai where I have experienced some really good moments in my career. I felt very comfortable in the car and it was a productive day for us, we definitely learnt a lot. We looked good on one lap, but there is some work still to do on the longer runs. Tyre degradation was particularly high on the option tyre out there today. So we need to analyse this and decide what is best to do in the race."
Lewis Hamilton (7th, 1:36.496): "We've made a good start today but there is a lot of work to do overnight. The car feels reasonable although I'm still finding myself a little uncomfortable so we made a change for the afternoon session which was a really positive step. I'm hoping that we can continue to improve as I spend more time in the car. The tyres are going to be challenging this weekend, particularly the option compound. Our pace looked good and although I had some traffic on my quick lap, there was enough to give me a good feeling. We'll find out in qualifying where we really are."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "We've had a pretty good day here in Shanghai. There were a number of items that we wanted to evaluate and the programme has gone well. The car seems to have a good balance, the feedback from the drivers was positive, and I'm pleased with the race preparation that we have been able to complete. We can see where the challenges are for this weekend and tyre life is certainly going to require some attention. We need to do a good job tonight and then we should be able to have a reasonable final practice and qualifying session tomorrow."
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "This was a good and productive day without any problems for us. We tested quite a few things during the first session in the morning with positive results. As usual we ran both prime and option tyres in the afternoon and did our normal long runs. Keeping the option tyre from dropping off early is quite a big challenge. It's early days and we are sure that there is more performance that we can extract from our technical package at this circuit."
Esteban Gurierrez (13th, 1:37.103): "Generally the sessions were positive and helped us to understand what our issues are and to find a step forward. This is something that keeps us going and pointing us in the right direction. I think there is still a lot of room for improvement. Unfortunately, at the end of the second session we had an oil leak, which, of course, is not what you want to have. However it is good it happened now and not later in the weekend, so hopefully we will have two trouble-free days from now on."
Nico Hulkenberg (17th, 1:38.211): "I think overall the day wasn't too bad. We got quite a lot of testing done and pretty much got through all that we wanted to try. It is quite interesting with the tyres, and it will be a challenge on Sunday with the soft compound. It is much quicker on a single lap. The modified rear wing we have here is a step forward, and the car definitely feels a bit better with it. How much of a step this is, is difficult to say, so we have to look a little bit deeper into the data and wait until tomorrow. Overall, it was a positive day, but there is still some work ahead of us."
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "We evaluated some aerodynamic parts, including a modified rear wing and some other small parts, and they seem to be working as we hoped they would. Unfortunately, with Esteban we had an oil leak on his car cutting short FP2 by 20 minutes. Nico had traffic on his lap with the soft tyres, but overall the drivers are reasonably happy with the car. We've got plenty of data to look at as we prepare for qualifying and the race."
Adrian Sutil (8th, 1:36.514): "I'm feeling happy with how things went today. There were no major issues and we managed to test a lot of different things on the car, especially on the aero side. The important thing now is to understand which are the right parts and the best settings to use for the rest of the weekend. In terms of the tyres there is a big difference between the compounds, with the medium performing better than the soft. I think we look quite competitive, but it's too early to say exactly where we stand."
Paul di Resta (9th, 1:36.595): "I think the story of the day was mainly about tyres and trying to understand how to get the most out of them. We've done as much as we could, but I think everybody found quite a big difference between the two compounds. Also, this is a track with characteristics that are always quite demanding on the tyres. We worked through the programme, tried a lot of different settings with the car and need to study the data carefully tonight to make the right decisions for the rest of the weekend."
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: "It has been an incredibly busy day of practice and both car crews worked well to get through such a full job list. We approached the sessions in a methodical manner and made clear decisions as soon as the data indicated the best direction to take. So much of the focus on a Friday is on tyre performance, but we also managed to complete an ambitious aero programme, which has given us a good understanding of where we need to focus our efforts going forward. Overall I'm pleased with the day's results and I'm confident that our competitiveness is similar to the performance level we showed during the first couple of races. The next target is to get both our cars into Q3 tomorrow afternoon."/p>
Valtteri Bottas (16th, 1:38.185): "We tried lots of things in FP1 and saw some positive results. In FP2 I had a problem at the start but the team did a great job to fix it in time for me to still complete three runs. I feel we have moved a little bit forward since Malaysia, but we'll see tomorrow where we are compared to the others in qualifying set-up. We need to work hard to maximise what we have here."
Pastor Maldonado (18th, 1:38.276): "We will see tomorrow in qualifying what steps we have made as it's too early to say. The car felt like we had made some improvements during FP1, but we struggled this afternoon so we need to analyse the data to see how best to move forward."
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "We felt we had made some progress this morning, but we ended the day two seconds away from where we need to be. We lost some time at the start of FP2 on Valtteri's car due to a problem with the throttle actuation system. The team worked with Renault to fix it as quickly as possible to make sure Valtteri still had time this afternoon to get through some of the tyre work that we had planned. Long run tyre degradation looks like it will make things difficult in the race, but we'll look at the data tonight to see what we can do. We feel we are moving in the right direction but there is still a long way to go and we now need to bring performance."
Daniel Ricciardo (14th, 1:37.203): "We were a little bit pessimistic coming here after how we performed in this race last year. But after today, I am feeling happier, because we definitely look to be in better shape this time. Another good point is that we made progress between FP1 and FP2 today. It's still not enough if we want to catch our closest rivals, but we are moving in the right direction. As for the tyres, the Soft was very good over a single flying lap and I was quite happy with the performance advantage it produced compared to the Prime. On the longer runs the tyres suffer a bit more and there are already plenty of marbles on the track, but we always expected to see quite high degradation here."
Jean-Eric Vergne (15th, 1:38.127): "Last year, the Chinese weekend did not go so well for us and I can say we have made a better start this time round. Daniel and I ran slightly different programmes today as we had a lot of items on our job sheet to work through, so it made sense to split the workload between us. We will look at the data from both cars in order to find the best set-up to move forward tomorrow, so that we can have a better car. I am quite confident we can be quicker. As expected, it looks as though the tyres will have a tough time here, especially the Softs, but it's the same for everyone, so no real concern there."
Laurent Mekies, Head of Vehicle Performance: "Overall it was a positive day for us, generally trouble free, with both drivers completing a lot of kilometres. This was important for our test programme where we had a few minor things to evaluate, both on the mechanical side and in terms of aero. It was also good in terms of building confidence in our reliability levels. It was a busy and full programme completed with both cars, with some of the programme split between the two drivers. Overnight, we therefore will study the data carefully to select the best aspects from the two cars. This afternoon, Jev was slightly less happy than in the morning and we will also investigate that, but in general, we are making some progress and we hope to continue in that direction tomorrow."
Giedo van der Garde (20th, 1:39.271): "Both practice sessions for me were ok but we've had issues all day that have held us back a bit. This morning we had a KERS issue that meant we were running without KERS for the whole session, and that obviously didn't help, and then in the afternoon I overcooked it going into turn one on one of the medium sets and that meant we had to cut short the FP2 plan so we didn't use up another set of tyres. Despite that we have a lot of good data on the medium tyres from both sessions and the performance run on the softs went ok. Degradation levels are going to be big here, particularly on the softs which had pretty much gone by the end of the long run we did on them, so we'll have to look closely at how we deal with that on Sunday. We know this isn't going to be a particularly easy weekend for us but I still think we can fight tomorrow and on Sunday. The atmosphere in the team is good and if we can repeat the sort of race performance we had on Sunday in Malaysia we'll be ok."
Charles Pic (21st, 1:39.814): "I sat out FP1 for Ma and was then back in for FP2. It didn't start all that well as it felt like I had a hydraulics problem early on the first run but we took a look at it in the garage and managed to sort it out pretty quickly. However, that problem did mean we lost enough time to miss one of the runs and that was important for giving us enough options on car setup. Despite that we got on with the normal program, running a couple of setup options on the medium tyres, then onto the performance run on the softs and finishing with a long run on the softs to see how they hold up over a longer distance. The quickest laptimes seem to be on the first lap on the softs but I didn't have a clean lap on my fastest run and that hit my time, but we've completed a lot of mileage today and have a couple of setup options to look at for tomorrow so we'll look for areas to improve tonight and hopefully we can push on tomorrow."
Ma Qing Hua: "It was a very proud moment for me to be the first Chinese driver to take part in an F1 session in my home country, but to be honest I was focusing on doing my job and I'm pleased with how it went. I want to thane Caterham for this chance and for helping make me so comfortable in the car and all weekend. We did 20 laps and my times kept coming down as I was more and more comfortable with the car. It felt like we had a slight issue towards the end of the session that cut the fourth run short but after a few checks it looked like a sensor problem so I was able to finish the session with a car that felt good with the final changes we made. I've learnt a lot this weekend already and that was the main thing in FP1 ‚Äì make sure I completed the runplan and don't push too hard so I could learn as much as possible. Cyril Abiteboul told me he was happy with my performance at the end of the session so I'm really pleased with how it went."
Jules Bianchi (19th, 1:38.725): "It has been a good day today and it is very pleasing to see clear progress since the first two races, not just in terms of the results, but the way we have revised our working methods to ensure we get the best out of the package. It seemed a long time since I was last in the car but straight away I can feel the benefit of the development work which has been carried out in the break, so this is a nice feeling as we know we have to keep pushing hard in the early part of the season in particular. This morning the track was very dirty and it was quite difficult in places, but it wasn't so long before I was up to speed and by the end of the day the conditions were improving. Generally a good day and I am happy so far."
Max Chilton (22nd, 1:43.227): "For a day that started so positively this morning, it is disappointing to have suffered such a setback in the afternoon session. This morning I was really pleased with the car balance and I could feel the benefit of the updates we have here. I was less than a tenth from Jules after FP1 and feeling that we had a nice rhythm going for FP2. Unfortunately that was short-lived as I'd completed just four laps before the engine cut to protect itself and I had to pull over on track. I have to pay credit to the guys for turning the car around so quickly to try to get me out again. Clearly we hadn't quite got the full measure of the problem, but it was a great effort nonetheless. Tomorrow will be quite a challenge so a big night ahead with the engineers comparing data and doing everything we can to hit the ground running for FP3 ready for qualifying."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Definitely a day of mixed emotions. This morning, we were pleased to see that with a revised run programme we managed to get the best out of the tyres and this enabled both drivers to get up to speed with the circuit quickly and the engineers to get some good early data on the Medium tyre. Both drivers identified similar balance problems after FP1 and the set-ups were tuned for FP2 accordingly. Jules was able to get the most out of his FP2 programme and developed the set-up further in the session, getting a good mix of qualifying and race fuel running completed. Overall we were particularly pleased with his progress and that of the car in the session and the development parts we have brought appear to be working well. With Max I'm afraid we had a less than ideal FP2 session. We have to apologise to Max as he has missed some very valuable running this afternoon after such a positive start this morning. Unfortunately it looks like we have had an engine issue which was killed by a protection strategy in the first run and whilst we believed we had fixed the issue at the end of the session it appears to have re-appeared in what was Max's final run."