Turkish GP 2008
MAY 9, 2008
Friday Team Quotes
Kimi Raikkonen (1st, 1:27.543): "Not the best of Fridays. This morning, I only managed one timed lap before a gearbox problem meant I could not go out for the rest of the session. In the afternoon, I struggled a bit to find the right settings on the car. One of the main problems today was getting the tyres up to the correct temperature, but I think that tomorrow, partly as the grip level on the track improves and partly as we work to improve the set-up, it will be a different situation. We lost valuable time this morning, but we still have enough data to analyse so that we can be ready to tackle the rest of the weekend."
Felipe Massa (3rd, 1:27.682): "Overall, this was a positive day. The track is very fast, even if it's still a bit dirty, which meant it was quite easy to make mistakes. The low temperatures mean it is difficult to get the most out of the tyres on a first timed lap, especially on the harder ones. We tried various settings and now we need to look at the data from everything we have done over these three hours, to be as well prepared as possible. I feel comfortable on this track and I think I can be very competitive tomorrow and on Sunday in the race: it would be fantastic to win again here, after having done it for the past two years."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "For the umpteenth time today we learnt, if indeed we needed to learn it, that it only takes the slightest little hitch to lose valuable time. From what we saw on track, it is very close between us and our main competitors. From our side, we need to work very carefully to find the right settings for both cars and to be in the best possible shape for qualifying and, above all, for the race."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "This Friday's free practice did not go entirely to plan. This morning we had a gearbox problem on Kimi's car which meant he was stuck in the pits for most of the first session. Felipe managed to get through his planned programme and is reasonably satisfied with the handling of his car, while Kimi is less so. As usual for a Friday, we worked on finding the best set- up on the car and on a comparison of the two types of Bridgestone tyre available to us. Now we have to study all the data we have gathered to understand how to improve the performance on both cars."
Robert Kubica (6th, 1:28.431): "Unfortunately I didn't have too much time on the track this morning due to a small technical problem. Therefore we had to squeeze the morning work into this afternoon's programme. We only did four runs and had to work on the tyres and the set up. We still have a few problems with the balance of the car, but tested several set up options which we will now evaluate and then choose the best one. I am confident for tomorrow."
Nick Heidfeld (10th, 1:28.817): "The trouble is I don't get the tyres heated up quickly enough. The long run wasn't bad. As soon as the tyres start to work, it is okay, but it takes too long to get there. We now have to work on that."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "We could not complete our programme as planned. This was because on the one hand the weather conditions were changing, and on the other Robert had a mechanical problem with the car's rear suspension in the first session. In the afternoon everything worked well and we concentrated on comparing tyres, and also did some set up changes. Now we shall analyse the data to find the best set up for this demanding track. On Saturday and Sunday it is supposed to stay dry."
Fernando Alonso (9th, 1:28.681): "The track conditions were certainly not ideal today, buy they were the same for all the teams and did not disturb our programme too much. As usual we worked hard and I was able to evaluate a lot of things with my car and gathered some interesting information. We still have to make a few more improvements tomorrow, especially with the general balance of the car, but today's performance is encouraging for the rest of the weekend."
Nelson Piquet (16th, 1:29.212): "My day was pretty normal. I had quite a busy programme with set-up work this morning and tyre testing in the afternoon. The aim was to feel at home in the car and to try to improve the balance, and we managed to do this because we did not have any problems during the two sessions. The track conditions were relatively stable, even though it rained a little bit at the beginning of the afternoon. Overall I think that we have prepared well, and I am determined to make the most of the final practice session tomorrow."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It has not been easy today. We were expecting low temperatures with the race being held earlier in the year than usual, but the temperatures have turned out to be even lower than we had anticipated. Consequently grip is pretty low, which is why we saw so many incidents on the circuit today. Both drivers are still looking to improve the balance of the car, but I am happy with the work we've done as we have been able to evaluate the tyres and looked at some different set-up options."
Denis Chevrier, Engine Operations Manager: "We only visit this circuit once a year, and so our Friday programme was especially busy as we had to try a lot of different set-up solutions to allow the drivers to feel comfortable on the circuit. It is difficult to draw many conclusions from the practice sessions, but at least we were able to complete our programme without any problems. We also know that we were not the only team to suffer with the track conditions. It is therefore a good basis to work on for tomorrow."
Kazuki Nakajima (8th, 1:28.664): "Practice was good for me today. In the morning I struggled a little with the grip levels because the track was really slippery, but it improved a lot in the afternoon. The rain at the start of the second session prevented me from carrying out some of my scheduled programme, but I did at least do a tyre compare which has given us some useful information. We're looking in reasonable shape for tomorrow's qualifying; there's still some work to do tonight on set-up, but I'm happy."
Nico Rosberg (13th, 1:28.907): "We covered quite a lot of ground today, especially on the aero side. We have definitely made some progress and are taking the right direction, but we are not 100 percent there yet. It was quite slippery out there, and not easy to keep the car on the track, but I don't think the temperatures here are causing us too many problems, which is a plus."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was a reasonably productive day for us, especially taking into account the weather conditions. The track was damp at the start of the first session, due to track washing, and then it rained in the break so we had to start both sessions on wet tyres. Apart from that, we worked through our tyre comparison and have a good idea what direction we'll take on the set-up for tomorrow."
David Coulthard (4th, 1:27.763): "Today was similar to the Friday session in Spain - there were no major problems, it was all about following the track evolution and making sure we had the balance right. There are a lot of long corners on this circuit, you can see people are going off quite easily, so it's critical to get the front end right here. We'll look at the data now and decide what we'll do for tomorrow."
Mark Webber (19th, 1:29.633): "Going off the track at turn six was 100 percent my fault. I didn't respect the green Astroturf that sits on the outside of the track enough. I was a bit too loaded up on the outside of the track, the Astroturf was a bit damp, and I went off, it was my fault. I apologise to the guys and we'll bounce back from this tomorrow."
Jarno Trulli (7th, 1:28.619): "We have come to Turkey at a different time of year so temperatures are unlike what we have faced in the past. But that was a good day despite the mixed track conditions - dusty in the morning then rain in the afternoon. We made it through our programme of tyre and set-up work and we didn't have any problems. The car seems okay so far but there is still work to do in order to improve the handling. Now we have to work hard over the next two days to maintain our strong start to the season with a successful race."
Timo Glock (12th, 1:28.849): "Both practice sessions went pretty well and the car felt good throughout the day. I also had a strong long run with competitive lap times. Graining and understeer were challenges today. On a late run I went off the track and couldn't stop the car from hitting the kerb and damaging the front wing. It was my mistake and I missed the last five minutes but it was nevertheless a good first day. I've had some successful races here in GP2 but it's difficult to overtake so qualifying is important this weekend. Our target has to be to get into the top ten tomorrow, as I did in the first two races this year."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer: "Even though the weather was changeable we still made it through our programme and we collected the information that we wanted. So it was a positive day and we are in slightly better shape than we were in Barcelona. The cold weather doesn't seem to have changed too much about the circuit. In the morning the track was cleaned at the last minute and there were damp spots but it was not a problem for us. We planned to go out late anyway because we know that the circuit's dirty here at the start. That also means the tyres are difficult to evaluate because the track evolves through the sessions. So we still have to investigate that and make our decision for tomorrow. Now I hope we can build on today and come back to the performance level we showed at the beginning of the season."
Sebastian Vettel (17th, 1:29.462): <"I am quite happy with the way practice went today. Obviously, it was difficult because of the changing conditions, which limited our track time. But I think we completed a good and consistent programme, which produced a lot of useful information, especially for Sunday. I feel happy with the car again, which is the most important thing, so I am looking forward to tomorrow afternoon."/p>
Sebastien Bourdais (18th, 1:29.630): "It's my first time at this track and I have to say it is very interesting. Turn 8 is particularly tricky as it is both quick and bumpy and these cars don't like bumps very much! The car can step out on you quite quickly. Today, sometimes the car felt good and at other times, it seemed to get away from me. The conditions were really difficult. I wouldn't say it was a case of low grip, but rather that we struggled to take care of the tyres and this made the car difficult to drive. But we got plenty of data, so we have something to work on for tomorrow."
Jenson Button (11th, 1:28.826): "We made a lot of changes to the car after this morning when I was struggling with a lack of grip on initial turn in which you really need around here. This afternoon was much better right from the start of the session. We tried a lot of different things on the set-up and I'm confident that we know which direction to take for the rest of the weekend. It was a bit damp when we first went out this afternoon but from then on the track was fine. This circuit is very tough without traction control and you could see that a lot of people were making mistakes but that does make it more fun to watch and drive. I was certainly enjoying it out there! The car is working better on the smoother asphalt here and we have made some changes to help with the ride quality, so for me the car feels better than in Barcelona."
Rubens Barrichello (15th, 1:29.024): "The car was nicely balanced in the morning and we were pleased with our progress. However we made a mechanical change over lunch which changed the balance. It was too big a change to go back in the time available so we have some work to do overnight to understand what has changed. We should be able to get the car back to how it felt this morning, then I believe we have a good chance of getting through to Q3 tomorrow. Well most importantly, when I'm in the car, it's a normal weekend for me. It's fantastic to have the celebrations here, with all my family and the team, but on the track nothing changes. When I began my career back in 1993, I never thought that I would break this record, but now it really means a great deal to me."
Steve Clark, Head of Race & Test Engineering: "The sessions ran without any incident on either car which is always good. The damp track at the start of the morning, the rain for the start of the second session and then the red flag caused by Webber's crash of course meant that we could not stick to the original plan. This is the same for everyone and something we just had to deal with. With the disrupted sessions it is more difficult than usual to gauge our speed relative to our competitors. However here we have the front wheel covers, which give a tangible performance gain, so getting one or both cars to a top ten qualifying position and from there a points finish ought to be realistic targets."
Giancarlo Fisichella (14th, 1:29.008): "This morning I was really struggling with the balance and with the grip on the circuit, but then we made a few changes on the car and it felt much better, much more consistent so I think it was a good afternoon, it was definitely a step forward in the second session."
Adrian Sutil (20th, 1:30.832): "This morning was okay. It was difficult for everyone as there was very little grip with not much rubber laid down. I think most people struggled to find a balance, including us. We took the hard tyre for the first session and recorded a standard lap time, but at least we could see where we were. It was okay with the balance and some corners were quite good. We used the harder tyre again in the second session with the longer runs, but it did not work as well at the beginning as I lost all the temperatures in the tyres. After the red flag we realised that there was a clutch issue and we couldn't do any more running so it was a bit disappointing, but hopefully tomorrow will be better."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A reasonably productive day but with a couple of difficulties. As expected, we struggled with the relatively low grip of the circuit and found it difficult to get the tyres working correctly. With Adrian we had a clutch problem in the afternoon session that curtailed his running, but Giancarlo completed his planned programme. Over the longer runs he was very consistent and competitive, but we know there is still more to come from both drivers tomorrow."
Lewis Hamilton (2nd, 1:27.579): "We focused on tyre evaluation and set-up work today and so far things are not looking too bad. Everybody lost a bit of running time in the first session as the track was still wet in places after cleaning. This circuit is constantly evolving which is challenging but also enjoyable. In the first session I stayed on the same set of tyres throughout and experienced no problems. In my last run of the day I put on a new set of tyres but had a small moment which cost me some time. Overall I am pleased with our initial pace and consistency."
Heikki Kovalainen (5th, 1:27.954): "It was nice to get back in the car again and everything was fine. I was on the pace immediately and was able to set some consistent lap times. At the end of the first session I went out on the option tyre but the brake temperature was not quite right, so I was not able to go flat out in that run. The second session went smoothly as well, and we focused on tyre evaluation with some long runs as well as looking at the set-up. A very productive and positive day."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Two productive practice sessions where both drivers managed to complete their programme. Both were quick and consistent. A special mention to Heikki who went out for the first time since his accident and was fast immediately. We seem to be competitive and look forward to the rest of the weekend."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good first practice day. Lewis's and Heikki's lap times looked reasonable, and we completed our planned programme including tyre evaluation. The best news is that Heikki is back in his car, and he drove and worked with the team as we all know from him."