Dutch GP 2023

AUGUST 25, 2023

Friday Team Quotes

George Russell
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Oracle Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen (2nd, 1:11.353): "Today was a good day, we tried a few different things on the car. There’s a couple of things we want to fine tune like the balance, but on the whole it was handling well, even on the long runs. The car has a lot of potential so hopefully we can have a good day tomorrow. I’m feeling confident that we can be ahead in qualifying. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow, it’s fantastic to see all the orange in the grandstands and around the track, I certainly feel the support."

Sergio Perez (7th, 1:11.817): "It was a positive Friday, the grid is looking really tight out there once again. We got plenty of information and got to try all the different compounds on the high fuel which will help the Team. I think it is looking competitive so I’m looking forward to the weekend. We just have to keep the momentum into qualifying tomorrow and get the perfect lap together, qualify where we should and then show our race pace. Our Sunday will depend on how qualifying goes, we have a strong car and if we are where we should be we will be in a good place for the race."

Scuderia Ferrari

Charles Leclerc (11th, 1:11.915): "It was a difficult day for us overall. The field seems to be very tight here and there is still quite a lot of pace to be gained, especially on the qualifying runs. We will work hard on that overnight. The weather forecast for tomorrow predicts rain, so that’s something we will have to adapt to."

Carlos Sainz (16th, 1:12.093): "Overall it was quite a tricky Friday for the team and missing FP1 is obviously never ideal. I got up to speed quickly in FP2 but it’s true that this weekend we seem to be struggling for pace and balance overall. This circuit at the moment is not suiting us very well but we’ll work to make a good step forward for tomorrow."

Robert Shwartzman: "Our focus for FP1 was to test some aero balance solutions. I'm happy with how I managed to work with the car, because everyone expected it to be challenging. I knew from the beginning that it wasn't a performance run and the team briefed me about the programme and what to expect in advance. I did most of the laps in race mode to see how the car performs lap by lap. We also completed a practice start, which was quite good. It has been a really good experience and the track is super challenging. I have never driven here with the current configuration and the banking. It was also my first experience in the SF-23. I found it interesting and fun. It was a tough session, but we completed it well and collected some data. The car felt quite similar to the way it does in the simulator. It is important for us to understand that relationship, in order to improve the current car and work on next year's one. I'd like to thank Scuderia Ferrari again for the opportunity and I'm looking forward to my next outing later this season."

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

Lewis Hamilton (4th, 1:11.638): "That was a great day for me. I woke up this morning so excited to get back in the car, and from the first lap it felt like we had a good starting point to work from. The first practice session was generally good; we made some changes for FP2, and I'm not sure if we progressed or not from them, so we will deep dive tonight to investigate. Overall, the car is feeling more competitive here, so we want to hold onto that and see if we can extract more for tomorrow."

George Russell (14th, 1:12.009): "It felt good to be back in the car after several weeks out of the cockpit. Overall, it's feeling good out there: the race pace was looking strong, and there is plenty of potential in there for qualifying as well, even if it didn't quite show in the headline times for me today. Definitely this was one of our better Fridays and I'm optimistic for the rest of the weekend."

Andrew Shovlin: "We're all really excited to get back to racing after the break. We've been able to bring a few updates to this race which will hopefully help nudge us in the right direction; certainly, the car seems be working reasonably well. We had quite a few test items in the first session which meant we were running new tyres a bit later than normal, as a result the red flag was quite inconvenient to us as we were trying to use new tyres when most of the field was on race runs. The second session was quite clean, the medium tyre was working well but we've got room for improvement on the soft, neither driver felt that they got the best from it so that's something for us to work on overnight. The long runs were okay, we need to find a bit of consistency but the pace looks to be there and the balance is reasonable. Overall, an encouraging day."

BWT Alpine F1 Team

Pierre Gasly (6th, 1:11.766): “It feels great to be back in the car after the summer break and back at this amazing track with its unique atmosphere. It’s been fun to put in lots of strong laps and get back in the swing of driving. To finish sixth in Free Practice 2 is very positive for us and means we’ve had a great start to the weekend. We have some work to do on some finer details as the whole field is extremely tight. Tomorrow, every hundredth of a second will make a big difference in Qualifying. We made a good step between Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 and now we need to find a bit more for tomorrow.”

Esteban Ocon (13th, 1:12.001): “It’s nice to be back behind the wheel after the summer break. I’ve definitely missed driving a Formula 1 car. Zandvoort is always enjoyable with the amazing atmosphere and it was no different here today. On track, it’s been a pretty straightforward Friday where we’ve just focused on our programme, tried some different things and collected valuable data for tomorrow and Sunday. The car felt good and we have plenty to review tonight to be in better shape for Qualifying. We’re focusing on ourselves and what we need to do to come away with a positive result.”

Bruno Famin, Interim Team Principal: “Firstly, it’s good to be back on track again. It’s the first race with a slightly different trackside structure and it’s been great to see collaborative work amongst staff members in implementing this new positive system. We have made a reasonable start to the race weekend here in Zandvoort where we’ve given ourselves a strong base to work from looking ahead to Saturday and Sunday. We have gathered a lot of data to run through to find some set-up changes to put ourselves in contention when it counts. We look forward to taking on the rest of the weekend and building off this good start.”

McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris (1st, 1:11.330): "A reasonable day. A nice way to end, in terms of position. We did quite a bit of aero running this morning which cost us a little bit and we couldn’t quite focus on what we wanted to do from a pure performance perspective – but we knew that was going to happen, so we understood it. I think we got in a good rhythm and found a reasonable balance with the car. We’re looking good on low fuel, but we’ve got a bit of work to do on high fuel, so that’s our target tonight."

Oscar Piastri (19th, 1:12.901): "A shame to end the day like that, I just went into Turn 3 a bit too quick and lost the rear. It’s a shame to have picked up the damage and give the team a long night but their hard work is appreciated. Otherwise, I think the pace looked quite good today. I was feeling pretty good with the car, so we’ll try to bounce back tomorrow and have a positive day."

Andrea Stella, Team Principal: "A trouble-free day on Lando’s side that meant we could go through the programme, which included some rake work, aerodynamic evaluations and then understanding of the tyres. On Oscar’s side, after a normal FP1 with some rake work too, we had to stop his session early in FP2 due to a spin in Turn 3 that led the car onto the barriers. Oscar missed some information in terms of preparation for qualifying and the race, but his pace was competitive until that point. Overall, we seem to be in a decent place, so we will do our best to be ready for qualifying and the race where we’ll try and score some good points."

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake

Valtteri Bottas (9th, 1:11.857): “It’s a nice feeling to be back on track, especially on such a challenging and intense track. This is a tight circuit, with not much space and lots of sand off-line, which could make it interesting in qualifying, when you need to give others a bit of space. It was important to hit the ground running, and the first feeling with the car isn’t bad: we know that, on such a short track, margins will be small but I think we’re there or thereabout, with top-ten speed. There’s still work to do, of course: not just on qualifying trim but also in terms of race pace. We know we need to execute our job to perfection to maximise our qualifying position, but we can be in the mix for a good result.”

Guanyu Zhou (15th, 1:12.074): “The first feeling with the track was alright: we lost a bit of time in FP1 with some technical checks, but we recovered all lost ground with a clean FP2, so we are in a good place going forward. There’s some fine-tuning to do, as always, and the field is in such a small range that one or two tenths can make a massive difference: but the car made a step forward from the first to the second session so I think there is potential. The aim in qualifying will be to fight for Q3: tomorrow’s session will be tricky, given the characteristics of the track, but we are in with a shot.”

Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

Lance Stroll (8th, 1:11.835):

Fernando Alonso (10th, 1:11.863):

Mike Krack, Chief Operating Officer:

Dan Fallows, Technical Director:

Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen (17th, 1:12.404): “I think the updates made a difference. It’s more of an upgrade in terms of bettering the characteristics of the car a little bit, and I think it helped. There’s lots of work to do, I don’t think it will move us much out of the place we’re in at the moment, but nonetheless it’s a step, I’m happy about it. It seems we’re struggling a bit more for pace this time but there’s always hope and always opportunities, so we’ll see what we can do.”

Nico Hulkenberg (18th, 1:12.693): “FP2 was smooth, no real problems. The main problem is not having enough pace, and we’re looking for pace and balance, and finding more performance really. [In FP1] there wasn’t much damage at all, it wasn’t a big thing that I tried – it was just a little too much speed, a little bit of wind in that situation, the brake balance was a little bit too much rearwards, and those combined mean you can have an off. This is an old school track with gravel, so I didn’t do too much damage but lost some track time.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: “The good thing today is that we got through our run program. We’ll see what the data says about the new parts that we’ve brought as we haven’t got all conclusions yet, but we’re obviously not happy with the pace shown in FP1 and FP2. We tried a few things, so maybe we just need to get things together. We need to look deeper into what the new parts brought and what they haven’t, and start fresh again tomorrow morning.”

Scuderia AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda (5th, 1:11.720): “I was obviously in the car when Daniel crashed, but he was competitive and doing really well. I saw him after he got back, and he still had a smile on his face. He is such a positive and strong guy, I hope he recovers quickly and is back in the car soon! I finished high on the leaderboard after practice today, and Daniel also showed good performance. I didn’t expect that much pace from the car, to be honest, I think we’re in good shape and just have to put it all together. Daniel on the hard compound tyre was immediately strong, and I was comfortable on the soft tyres too, so I’m really optimistic. The car feels good, especially in the short runs, but I found more limitations during the long run, so we’ll have to look into why. The inconsistent wind makes things trickier, but so far, it’s been okay. Other than that, it was a positive Friday on my side of the garage.”

Daniel Ricciardo (20th, 1:13.096): “I was very excited to be back after the break. The day was going pretty well. We made some changes for FP2 and the few laps I did on the hard tyre before the crash felt good; we were building up and improving. At that time, we were pretty competitive, and I was feeling positive. I remember coming into Turn 3. I had already gotten into the corner and then saw Piastri, so it was either hit him or the wall. When I hit the wall, I didn’t have enough time to take my hands off the steering wheel, so the wheel came and hit my hand. It's really unfortunate and frustrating, but I’ll try to recover as quickly as I can. Obviously, I’d love to get back soon, but I also want to ensure we do things the right way, so I come back strong and competitive. I wish the team well, and I’m sorry for the change in plans again. It’s a chance for Liam to have a go, and I wish him and the team a strong weekend.”

Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer: “The summer break was a great opportunity for the team to recharge the batteries in preparation for the busy second half of the season. During that time, we had devised a busy test plan for Zandvoort. With Spa having been a Sprint, there was little opportunity for testing on Friday, so the test matrix had built up. Today, we ran with rakes on Yuki's car in FP1 for aero correlation and completed several other aerodynamic test items across the two cars. Being surrounded by sand, the track always starts very dusty and has high evolution, so the lap times continue to improve through the session, and with it, the balance changes. Overall, both drivers were happy with the balance in FP1, with just minor tuning for FP2. We ran the hard compound tyre at the start of FP2, and Daniel was looking very competitive but, unfortunately, had to avoid Piastri, who crashed just ahead. In doing so, he also hit the barrier and, as a result, hurt his hand. Daniel was taken to the hospital for further checks, which confirmed he had broken a metacarpal on his left hand. The whole team wishes him a quick recovery. Yuki’s short run on the soft compound looked competitive, and we hope to be able to fight for a place towards the front of Q2 in tomorrow's qualifying. With Daniel recovering, we welcome Liam back to the team to drive his car, but this time in a much more competitive situation. It has all happened very quickly, but Liam has shown he is more than ready to step up to the challenge, and he has the whole team behind him.”

Williams Racing

Alexander Albon (3rd, 1:11.599): "We’ve seen this before and obviously don’t know what everyone else is doing, however the car felt good from the moment we touched down in FP1. It’s a bit surprising if I’m honest and I'm sure everyone will make a big step forward tomorrow, but we’ll try hold on and keep the position. The traffic tomorrow will be tough, with the need to manage the tyres well but it keeps you on your toes. I don’t think today’s pace is representative of the field but either way we’re still in a good place. It’s going to be tight, though I’m feeling quite positive."

Logan Sargeant (12th, 1:11.934): "It’s my first time driving here in Zandvoort and it’s nice! It’s a rollercoaster that’s for sure, and it reminds me of a quicker version of Monaco. It’s been a pretty good Friday; we’ve had the car in a good window since we put it on the ground this morning, the high fuel runs seem to look pretty good and I feel comfortable. We’re in a good place and now it’s about fine tuning. The weather looks pretty tricky tomorrow so that’s probably going to throw a curveball as it has on a lot of weekends this year but, all in all, it’s been a good start. I’m ready to have a good day tomorrow."

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: "It was good to get a full day of dry running done under a standard event format. We started FP1 in a good place and with the setup well suited to the conditions. We tried a few things in FP2, and we now need to decide what was better and what wasn’t. The pace of the car wasn’t too bad today but it’s always difficult to know here as cars don’t always get clear laps and the tyres can be tricky to manage. The weather for the next two days is likely to change a bit with a small threat of rain and a change in wind direction. We have a decent baseline, but we will still need to keep on top of the evolving conditions if we are to get a good result on Sunday."