Hungarian GP 2007
AUGUST 3, 2007
Friday Team Quotes
Fernando Alonso (1st, 1:20.919): "Today was good and I am happy with the how the car feels so far. We spent the morning working on the set-up and limited the number of tyres we used. The track here improves as the weekend goes on so we chose to do all the Bridgestone Potenza tyre evaluation in the afternoon session. I think we are in a good position and I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend where we should continue to be strong."
Lewis Hamilton (3rd, 1:21.338): "Today went smoothly, apart from my spin towards the end of the second session, which meant that I missed out on my last run, so maybe I could have gone faster. The spin happened as I was catching Yamamoto on a flying lap and I was probably a little too fast going into the corner. Despite this we were able to make some positive steps and I am confident with our performance so far at this track."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "An encouraging start to the weekend, with both cars looking competitive. Obviously we will work hard for further improvements overnight but we are comfortable with the progress we have made so far. Unfortunately Lewis spun in the closing minutes of the session, but this did not hamper our programme too much."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good first practice day on this challenging track. Both drivers went through their planned programmes and posted quick and consistent lap times. Of course traffic is always an issue here so you will find slow lap times in everyone's long runs. Nevertheless the base from which the team will work from tomorrow is a good one."
Heikki Kovalainen (2nd, 1:21.283): "We ran a slightly unusual programme today, and it seemed to work well for us. I felt confident and comfortable in the car straight away, and the balance was quite neutral through both sessions. I got good quick laps on both types of tyre, and we understand the differences in their behaviour. I think that compared to recent races, this was a much better start to the weekend, and we are on the right track with the set-up. Now we need to improve the car a little bit overnight, and stay focused on producing a good performance on Sunday."
Giancarlo Fisichella (8th, 1:21.698): "The day got off to quite a difficult start for me, and we had to change quite a lot on the set-up to get a good balance. I still wasn't happy with the car during the short runs at the start of second practice, so I couldn't get the maximum from the tyres, but we made some more changes after that and it really improved the handling. There is work to do overnight, but we have moved in the right direction today, and hopefully that will continue tomorrow morning."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "The times on Friday are not always a reliable indication of teams' true pace, and they must always be treated with some caution as teams often run quite different programmes. On a circuit such as this, that is probably even more true. We focused on completing our programme today and started to get a handle on the tyres. As always, the track was very low in grip when we started running, and the constantly-improving track conditions further complicated our attempts to find a good handling balance. It was important to avoid chasing the track evolution with our set-up changes, and I think we made good progress on the basic performance of the car in spite of this."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "We enjoyed a trouble-free day of running as we worked to adapt the RS27 engine to this circuit. As usual on a Friday, we completed more laps in the afternoon than the morning, and the focus was primarily on understanding the tyres and chassis performance over short and long runs. The Hungaroring is not intrinsically demanding for the V8, but the temperatures mean it is critical to get the right coolingcompromise. We are searching for every last bit of downforce at this twisty circuit, and being too conservative with our cooling can cost aerodynamic performance. So far, the weekend has been incident-free, and we have found good settings for the engines which can now be transferred to the race engines tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen (6th, 1:21.589): "I am not very happy with the handling of my car in these two sessions and obviously we have a lot to do in order to improve. But this is only Friday and there is no point in making a drama out of it as far as qualifying and the race are concerned. I wasn't able to get a really clear picture of the performance of the two types of tyre, especially on the first lap, firstly because of traffic and secondly because of that quick short shower."
Felipe Massa (7th, 1:21.620): "Overall, I am happy with the day. In the final series of laps I could have done a good time but there was a yellow flag and I had to slow. It's hard to say at this stage of the weekend if we are faster or slower than our closest rivals, but we are definitely competitive. We worked a lot on the set-up and towards the end of the day we found some good solutions. There is still a slight unknown as far as tyre performance is concerned, especially on the softer ones over a long run, while the harder ones however are more consistent."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "The way these three hours of free practice went revealed a slight difficulty on our part when it came to finding the right balance for the car, especially on Kimi's. We picked up a lot of data and we will have to analyse it very carefully to improve the situation for qualifying and the race. On top of this comes uncertainty over the weather and the influence that could have in terms of set-up, especially for qualifying which is so important. Therefore, it is easy to see why it is really difficult to make predictions for the rest of the weekend. The handling of the two types of tyre we have available is rather unusual so far: we have a big difference in terms of consistency of performance, while on the first lap the results are very similar."
Jenson Button (16th, 1:22.550): "We have had a reasonable day today. We tested a few new things which seem to have made a small improvement to the balance of the car and also the lap time. It started spitting with rain just before the end of the afternoon session but we had done enough by then to achieve a good tyre comparison. There were two yellow flags on my new tyre run at the end of the session, one for Hamilton and one for Massa, so unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good clean run. As a result we are a little unsure of where we are over one lap but the long run pace is looking okay."
Rubens Barrichello (18th, 1:22.727): "As is usual for a Friday there was a lot of traffic today. The car was a lot more competitive in the first session this morning than in the second practice. We struggled with a lack of rear grip in the afternoon so we need to look into that and find a solution. Both our cars covered a lot of laps so this gives us a lot of information to work with for the rest of the weekend."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "We have made a reasonably good start to the weekend with both of the drivers completing the full programme of set-up work. In free practice one the track conditions changed a lot during the first part of the session, however both drivers found a good balance. This afternoon they concentrated on tyre evaluations with a heavy fuel load in preparation for the race on Sunday. Apart from traffic on the new tyre runs and a small brake duct problem on Rubens' car, all went according to plan."
Nick Heidfeld (5th, 1:21.517): "For us the sessions went well. We had no technical problems and got all the work done. But it is very difficult to get the tyres to work properly. Graining is an issue. As far as I could see, other drivers have the same problem. I think the order between the top teams remains the same here. Compared to last year's F1.06, this year's car obviously performs better on high downforce circuits like Monaco or Budapest."
Robert Kubica (10th, 1:21.906): "The day was quite good. We did a lot of laps to see how the tyres performed. Here in Hungary we use the softest tyre compound of the season, just like in Monaco. Therefore, we completed a lot of long runs to see how the soft tyres behave over the distance. We now have a lot of data that we are going to analyse for tomorrow. So far so good. The track conditions were not ideal today. Off the line it is quite dirty, but this situation is the same for everybody."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "We completed our programme without any problems. Only the short shower in the afternoon interrupted this slightly. Anyway, we collected enough data, which we are going to analyse now. We concentrated on race preparation today. The decision for the tyre choice requires more data. There is still a small possibility of rain for Saturday and Sunday, so we have to take this into account and prepare accordingly."
Jarno Trulli (9th, 1:21.857): "Today we made it through our programme smoothly and we did work on both sets of tyres to get an idea about the balance. The main problem has been understeer and front tyre graining. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do but it is good to be back at this track because I normally like it. The weather is still a bit unpredictable and there is a chance that we could see more rain so we'll have to bear that in mind. The fight for the midfield spaces is very hard and minor factors can affect the course of the whole weekend. At the last race we were unfortunate not to get a result so this time we will be looking to rectify that."
Ralf Schumacher (11th, 1:21.912): "We had a decent day and we did some good running. We made it through our programme and it went quite well. We had no problems and now I'm looking forward to qualifying where we should aim for the top ten. This circuit has generally been quite good for me and I like racing here. It's not a quick track but the rhythm of it is enjoyable and it makes for a good grand prix. The last few races we've been in good positions but for many reasons we haven't scored points. It's very important for us to convert our pace into results so we will be fighting for any points we can score here."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "That was a usual Friday session. We managed to get through everything we had planned without any technical problems. We have a new front wing and some modifications to the floor here and we made it through a lot of work on the tyres. There is not as much of a difference between the two compounds as we were expecting and we found issues with graining on both. So I think it will be very important to handle the tyres properly on Sunday to get the best possible performance. Today shows again that the midfield is very close together so it will be important to get the most out of qualifying to set us up for the race."
Mark Webber (13th, 1:22.325): "The car had an electrical problem on our second run this morning, which stopped us for the rest of that session as the boys had to change some electrical components. We went okay this afternoon, but I think we need to find some more pace ahead of tomorrow, so we still have some work to do tonight."
David Coulthard (14th, 1:22.483): "A normal Friday practice. I wasn't able to use my last two sets of tyres, as it rained lightly towards the end of the session, which affected our programme a little."
Nico Rosberg (4th, 1:21.485): "We are a bit higher up on the time sheet than we usually are on a Friday, which is a positive sign. Tyres are important this weekend and it's going to be difficult to make the right choice. We worked hard today and discovered some useful things and I think we now have a good idea which set-up direction to take. I am pretty pleased with our progress, obviously we can still improve, but we're heading in the right direction."
Alexander Wurz (12th, 1:21.987): "I lost some time in the morning due to an electrical problem which meant I couldn't run through a few of the set-up items I had planned and had to play catch up in the second session. The afternoon was actually quite messy, there was lots of traffic and I was only really happy with my last long run. It felt strong, but I couldn't get the best out of the car today. I hope to find a good rhythm tomorrow in order to extract the best I can out of qualifying."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We've had a productive Friday, working through our usual schedule of preparations for the race and particularly concentrating on the car's set-up so we can correctly manage the tyres on Sunday. We didn't experience any problems with cooling or with the brakes, but we did have an electrical fault on Alex's car in the morning session. The guys fixed it quickly so fortunately it didn't impede the programme too much. We'll now work on our set-up for qualifying tomorrow."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (19th, 1:23.136): "This was not an easy day as the track was evolving through both sessions. The track surface had a lot of marbles on it and it was difficult to complete a good clean lap, as can be seen by the fact many people made some mistakes. This made it difficult to put in consistent laps for a long run. We have to work on our set-up and so I don't think our lap times are representative of where we should be, but we did not put everything together. Overall, the car is not bad but we have to improve over a long run as we seem to have trouble with graining as this circuit is hard on tyres."
Sebastian Vettel (20th, 1:23.148): "I have enjoyed my first day and everyone has made me feel very welcome and already I have the impression that I am a full team member. The most important thing today was to get some experience in the car and in that respect I feel we did a good job, picking up a lot of useful data for tomorrow and for the race. I feel good and it was a pleasure to drive the car. Of course, everything about this car is different to what I have driven before, as every car has different controls on the steering wheel and different modes, so I worked on getting used to this."
Adrian Sutil (21st, 1:23.673): "It was a normal day today with no big problems. We tried the two different tyre options here, but the problem is that the option tyre is very soft and goes off very quickly. But in general the car balance felt good, and I think the day went pretty well."
Sakon Yamamoto (22nd, 1:26.307): "As today was the first time I had driven a Spyker car, in the morning we spent time checking the car and my position. The final lap time was quite bad we know, but we worked on this in the later session. For the afternoon our programme was mainly getting familiar with the car and it's a shame we couldn't use the softer tyres to better effect. When I was on them I had traffic and then a yellow flag, which was bad luck, but we have good preparation for tomorrow and will keep working to have another good drive."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "With both drivers not having driven here before, today was all about acclimatising to the track. As always in Hungary, the green first day track conditions and tyre graining dominate, but overall both drivers didn't make any mistakes and got a lot of laps in to familiarise themselves with the track. Tomorrow we need to work on the finer set-up of the car, but today was pretty much a trouble-free day."
Anthony Davidson (15th, 1:22.510): "We just about avoided the rain at the end of session two and got through the whole programme. We found a nice balance with the car despite lots of wear on both sets of tyres. It's going to be interesting to see who can make them work the best throughout the rest of the weekend. I think we're fairly prepared for things to come, but we just worked through the normal Friday programme and got everything that we wanted to get done."
Takuma Sato (17th, 1:22.556): "It was a good test day. At the beginning of the first session the track was dusty and green, with very low grip, so we waited for half an hour for the track to improve before going out again. I then ran through most of the programme and we had a good morning. It was a busy session in the afternoon. We ran through our normal Friday routine and completed the back-to-back tyre programme, but unfortunately I had a small mechanical issue during running; there was a bit of rain and also, during my last quick lap, I encountered the yellow flag issue. But all-in-all I think that we have collected some important data today."
Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: "A fairly normal first day in Hungary. It was a very green circuit at the beginning of running, but we worked through our programme. A very small shower in the second session affected us slightly, but normal Friday information was collected. It is going to be a tough weekend."