German GP 2008
JULY 18, 2008
Friday Team Quotes
Felipe Massa (2nd, 1:15.722): "All in all, it was a good day. We were always competitive, as were our main rivals. It won't be a stroll in the park, but we can take them on. We also worked on a wet track and I feel I can claim we will be on the pace in any conditions. There was not much difference, today at least, in pure performance terms between the hard and soft tyres but I think the latter will be a little bit quicker still and will definitely be the right choice for qualifying. Now we have to study our data to be in the best possible shape for both qualifying and the race."
Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:15.760): "Friday's results always need to be looked at with a degree of caution as you never know for certain what the other teams were doing and today is no exception to that rule. For our part, we tried to improve the set-up of the car compared to the point we had reached at the end of the test and we found, especially towards the end of the day, a few settings that could be interesting. So, I am reasonably pleased with how things went and I think that there is still room for improvement. The times of our main rivals? As I said at the start, there are too many question marks to be certain: what I can say is that we will be competitive, especially as right up until the final minutes, the times were all very similar."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "It was a reasonably positive day. We were able to work without interruption which is the main thing on a Friday. In general, both drivers are pretty pleased and I think our performance level matches that of our main rivals, which was also the case in last week's test. The weather looks like being a bit uncertain tomorrow, therefore we will have to be ready to tackle every eventuality and I think we can hold our own both in qualifying and in the race."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "It's positive to start a race weekend doing so many kilometres without experiencing any technical problems. We worked from a good starting point having run at this track for three days last week. The pecking order seems similar to that at the test, with our car pretty competitive over a long run. Now we will analyse all the data we have to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying, which involves a degree of uncertainty over the weather, although it is not expected to rain for the race."
Robert Kubica (8th, 1:16.363): "We tested the tyre compounds and did some basic set-up work. Unfortunately, this morning I touched the white line with the grooved tyres. There was some standing water. I lost control of the car and hit the barrier. However, we did not miss a lot of running time in the dry. This afternoon we were more or less able to complete the programme as planned. We now have to analyze the data and improve the balance of the car."
Nick Heidfeld (9th, 1:16.377): "Compared to last week's test the car's balance was better today. We have made several changes during the practice sessions and completed the tyre comparison. After wet conditions this morning, we knew there was a chance of more rain at the end of the second session. Consequently we switched to soft tyres earlier than usual. Overall both sessions went quite well."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "After the conditions were bad in the first free practice, we had a very busy afternoon session, trying to work on the car as much as possible. We mainly concentrated on the tyre evaluation but also did some set-up work. However, the conditions were not consistent which gave us a bit of a challenge also in the afternoon. Nonetheless, we are quite happy with our pace. According to the weather forecast, it could be raining tomorrow, but we expect dry conditions on Sunday. Therefore it was important to collect a lot of data today."
Fernando Alonso (6th, 1:16.230): "It was a normal day without any difficulties. The rain this morning affected our programme slightly, but it also allowed us to run on a wet track which could turn out to be useful for later in the weekend. We must still improve the general balance of the car, but we have already laid the foundations for the weekend."
Nelson Piquet (15th, 1:16.734): "As we drove here last week, we already had a good basis to work from and we have built on that today by driving on a damp track this morning and a dry track in the afternoon. We were able to make good progress and have improved the set-up of the car. We will continue to work on this tomorrow morning so that we are ready for qualifying, but we are certainly moving in the right direction."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "As at the last race, we recently tested on this circuit and therefore the focus of our programme today was mainly to resolve unfinished business. The conditions were slightly different than at the test last week, but it remained cold and the grip level was basically low. The balance of the car is not yet everything we want, but we have done our homework today and are now looking forward to a competitive weekend."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "Having tested here last week, we know this circuit well and so today was not about discovering new things. Instead it was primarily about optimising the behaviour of the car based on the data we had gathered last week and to make the most of the three hours of practice that were available to us. In terms of the engine, everything went well as we had worked on various aspects such as the cooling last week. Today was just a case of validating this."
Nico Rosberg (7th, 1:16.355): "During the pre-race test here last week, we have some mechanical updates to make our aero package work more effectively. This circuit definitely suits us a bit better, so we can look forward to a better weekend than recently. Out on the track today it was pretty windy and on the straights I was being buffeted from side to side. However, we managed a good tyre test even though our decisions may change with the rain we are expecting. If the bad weather does come, it's no problem as we seem to go well in the rain."
Kazuki Nakajima (17th, 1:16.829): "The morning practice didn't go too badly and we had both wet and dry running, which is good preparation for the weather we are likely to see here. However it wasn't a great afternoon as we lost quite a lot of time with a problem on the car. By the time we had fixed this, everybody out on track had moved on to doing their long runs and it was very difficult to find free space on the circuit, so it was difficult to see exactly where we ended the day."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was a fairly standard day on Nico's car. On Kazuki's car we had a misfire in the afternoon session. We changed quite a few parts and we believe we have got to the bottom of it, so it shouldn't happen again. Now it is just a matter of looking at the data tonight to get ready for qualifying tomorrow."
Mark Webber (5th, 1:16.017): "We didn't get all the running in that we expected to, as we had an electrical problem with the car this afternoon and were a little bit on the back foot. But, at least we did some testing here last week and we've got some good information to go through. The temperatures are unusually cool this year and that's something we have to get used to, normally the German Grand Prix is pretty hot, but nonetheless we'll be fighting as usual."
David Coulthard (10th, 1:16.378): "A green track means it's more difficult regarding tyres, as the track's rubbering in, which has an effect on graining and things like that. But, it's the same for everyone. Other than that, it was a normal Friday practice for us."
Jarno Trulli (12th, 1:16.530): "It was a normal Friday for me. We did a lot of set-up work and evaluated the new aerodynamic package. It all went very smoothly and we had no problems so we have a lot of information to help us tomorrow. Now we will wait to see how competitive we are. As usual I have come here wanting to fight for the points. We had a successful test here last week, I did a lot of laps and got a lot of mileage but I don't want to be overly optimistic as it depends on many things and the battle is very close. We will fight hard tomorrow to achieve the best possible grid position and then battle for points."
Timo Glock (16th, 1:16.781): "The first session this morning was pretty good despite the changing track conditions but in the second session the car felt completely different. It was difficult to drive and the wind was changing, so it was pretty tricky to find the right way in terms of set-up. Also I ran wide at the last corner and the car was launched into the air so we need to look carefully to make sure it is okay. We have to analyse all the set-up data and work out which direction to go in tomorrow. I have always had a good experience here at Hockenheim and in the test last week we looked pretty good. Qualifying in the top 10 should be possible."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "It was a trouble-free day which is always good because that allowed us to run through our complete programme without any delays or interruptions. We did a lot of work on the car, looking at different set-ups and comparing the tyre options. We spent much of the day evaluating our aerodynamic options and we will study the data tonight to determine which one to use. After the rain this morning the circuit was definitely different compared with what we experienced at the test here and the car was not behaving in the same way. That is something we have to look into overnight and make the necessary changes in time for qualifying. In general we are reasonably happy with what we have achieved today and we are optimistic for the rest of the weekend."
Sebastian Vettel (11th, 1:16.422): "It's much cooler than last week and we are not seeing the hot and sunny side of Germany! I think the rain between the test and this weekend means the track surface has much less grip. The track needs to get rubbered-in again. This afternoon, the wind was quite tricky too and you could lose the car because of that. Overall, I think we can be quite happy with the set-up and the balance we found, which was based on the data from last week, while today we did a few more tests to figure out what to do for tomorrow and for the race."
Sebastien Bourdais (18th, 1:16.860): "I did not get to do too many laps today, because in the morning I had a problem with a flywheel sensor and then this afternoon it was the gearbox. But the guys did a great job to get me out before the end of the session. The track is very different to the way it was at last week's test. So we had to make some changes to the set-up. The car's not bad and I think we know the way to go to improve."
Jenson Button (13th, 1:16.542): "A busy but productive practice for us today. We made some improvements to the balance and set-up of the car in both sessions, in addition to conducting an evaluation of the prime and option tyres. However I am not completely happy with the balance, so we have some work ahead of us before qualifying."
Rubens Barrichello (14th, 1:16.677): "We found a reasonable balance on the car during the morning session, however unfortunately we struggled to continue the progress this afternoon. The car had a real lack of grip in the slightly warmer afternoon temperatures, with the rear in particular feeling unstable. It was a tough session as we tried to work out the problem and we have a lot of work to do overnight to get the car back to a driveable set-up."
Steve Clark, Head of Race & Test Engineering: "The track has lost a lot of grip since the test last week due to the rain over the last few days. This has highlighted a number of issues which were not apparent during the test with braking stability and poor traction being our biggest challenges today. There is no doubt that we are not alone in experiencing this situation, however we do seem to suffer more than our competitors in low grip situations. On the positive side, as the track improves over the weekend, we expect that to be reflected in our performance. As always, we will be thoroughly analysing all of the data this evening to improve the car tomorrow. We believe that we understand the cause of Rubens' handling issues today and this will be fixed overnight. The changeable weather conditions may play a part over the rest of the weekend and as seen during the last race at Silverstone, we have had some of our best results in the wet."
Adrian Sutil (19th, 1:17.008): "It was a fairly difficult day to be honest as the grip level was very low and we expected better track conditions. The set-up we had at the test last week was quite good, but today we weren't able to replicate it with the way the track was. Sometimes the car had oversteer and then understeer, so it made it very difficult to drive. Otherwise in the end we tried a lot of different things, so for sure we will improve over the weekend."
Giancarlo Fisichella (20th, 1:17.047): "Today was okay, although the grip was not as good as we had last week at the test and obviously there was some rain this morning that made it even worse. We still have to work on the balance for tomorrow as it was quite inconsistent and at times it was difficult to push, but there's still another practice session tomorrow. We weren't so far away from Q2 in Silverstone last time, so we can certainly try again here."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A productive day with both cars. There was certainly less grip than there was at the test, although the damp track at the start of the morning session at least allowed us to just find out the balance on rain tyres. Overall however it was a normal programme, with no real problems. The car looks consistent on long runs, but we just need to find more one-lap pace."
Lewis Hamilton (1st, 1:15.025): "The car felt quite different this afternoon compared to this morning's running. Maybe the wind had picked up, or changed direction, but the car didn't feel as stable. But by the end of the session, however, the car felt a lot more consistent - we found a good direction with the tyres and the set-up and so things look positive for tomorrow."
Heikki Kovalainen (4th, 1:15.990): "The front-end of the car felt very good, but I felt less comfortable with the rear of the car, particularly in some of the slow-speed corners. But we made a number of small changes to the set-up and, by the middle of the session, I definitely felt I could push harder and found improved handling under both braking and traction. A good start to our weekend's work."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Both Lewis and Heikki enjoyed a trouble-free opening day of practice, and while we don't know the respective fuel loads of our rivals, we nonetheless feel comfortable with our pace. As the second of the team's two home races, this is an important event for everybody - particularly for our colleagues in Stuttgart, thousands of whom join us this weekend. Lewis's lap at the end of second practice looked extremely impressive - but we're fully aware that there's a lot of work ahead and that this will be an exciting and closely-contested grand prix."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Friday's best time by Lewis was a good start to our home Grand Prix, the second one after Silverstone a fortnight ago. Before that we have been fast and consistent - now we will try to maintain this form for tomorrow and Sunday."