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German GP 2012

JULY 20, 2012

Friday Team Quotes

Sebastian Vettel, German GP 2012
© The Cahier Archive

Red Bull-Renault

Sebastian Vettel (3rd, 1:27.902): "We couldn't learn too much today, so we just got used to the conditions, as there may be rain tomorrow and also on Sunday. The forecast isn't looking great. It would have been good to have got some dry running in, especially this afternoon to test a couple of things and see how the car feels - it's hard to get a proper baseline when the conditions keep changing. We have to carry the extremes into tomorrow and Sunday, so we obviously tried to limit the running on those tyres."

Mark Webber (9th, 1:28.877): "That was a bit unreal. We didn't expect the rain to be this bad today, but it was quite heavy at times - we even used the extreme full wet tyre. That's two races in a row now with tricky conditions. We haven't done much dry running yet, but Sunday looks like it will be better weather-wise. We needed to check what the track conditions were like in terms of grip level, as it's a different layout here to Silverstone and different asphalt. We tried a few small new parts today. The lap times were all over the place and there were a few incidents, but we got everything we could out of that session."


Jenson Button (8th, 1:28.516): "We got some good running under our belts today. Conditions weren't perfect, but the forecast looks the same for tomorrow; so it was a very useful session for us and I think we gathered some useful data in terms of comparative tyre and set-up work. For us, trying to get the tyres working is one of our main issues, so we spent a lot of time focusing on that - it wasn't all successful, but when things came together, our pace was good. We've still got some more work to do to be quick in the wet, but FP2 was a useful session in terms of telling us where we need to be heading. I think we should be happy with most of the parts we've put on today - most of them worked correctly - so it's nice to see the improvement. I want to say a big 'well done' to the guys at the factory, they've done a great job. Hopefully we'll be able to see the improvement in performance throughout the rest of the weekend."

Lewis Hamilton (19th, 1:30.617): "The men and women back at the factory did an incredible job to get all the upgrades to the track this weekend - they all deserve a big pat on the back for that. It's quite a positive step: it's still difficult to accurately predict was sort of a step we've taken as we couldn't back-to-back between the old and new components, but it's definitely a step forward. Hopefully, we'll get more of an indication as the weekend progresses - although, with more wet weather predicted for tomorrow, it might not be until Sunday that we can tell what we've got. Still, the car doesn't feel bad at all. It's tough in the wet out there; like driving around on an ice-rink - with puddles! - but I feel positive that we can do something good this weekend."

Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Another tricky dry-wet first day of practice at a grand prix. The changeable weather makes it harder to establish an effective baseline of sorts, but we were able to get some decent mileage under our belts today - and that's been important. Firstly, it's allowed us to ascertain the effectiveness of the upgrades we've brought to this race. Secondly, it's helped deepen our understanding of the car's behaviour in wet weather on both the Intermediate and Full-Wet Pirelli tyres. So it's been a positive day - certainly from a data-gathering point of view. Nonetheless, there have been some encouraging signs - we implemented a number of measures to improve wet-weather performance and I'm pleased to say that we appear to have made progress in that area. More pleasingly, our planned series of upgrades delivered without issue and have given us confidence for the remainder of the weekend. The weather still looks unpredictable for tomorrow, with brighter weather beckoning for Sunday's race. For the engineers, tonight will be a question of finessing the car as best they can to cope with the fickle northern European climate - the only thing we seem to be able to predict with any certainty these days is the weather's sheer unpredictability!"


Felipe Massa (12th, 1:29.719): "As happened in Silverstone, here in Hockenheim the rain also made life difficult. This morning, the conditions were changing quickly and it was hard to get a run of clean laps which were useful enough to evaluate the performance of the new components we brought here. In the afternoon, we did not even get a chance to do a single lap with dry tyres, so we concentrated on understanding the behaviour of the car in the wet. It's always difficult to give a judgement when you run in conditions like this, but I have to say the car was going pretty well, so we are reasonably pleased. It is even more complicated to say where we are in the dry, because we did not run enough. Let's see if tomorrow we manage to do a few more laps, but at the moment, the forecast is not very encouraging."

Fernando Alonso (20th, 1:31.207): "All in all, I am reasonably pleased with how things went. We ran in various conditions, going from the dry to a damp track and then a completely wet one and tomorrow, at least according to the weather forecast at the moment, we could have a very similar scenario to today when it comes to qualifying. The car behaved well in all conditions, which is always a good thing and we were also able to see how the various types of tyre worked and when was the right moment to switch from one to another. The technical updates on the car? We did not have enough time to evaluate them in depth: let's hope we can do that tomorrow."

Pat Fry: "At least it seems that the rain is not just an English phenomenon this summer! Joking apart, we would definitely have preferred a nice sunny day or at least, a dry track throughout in order to get through all the work programme we had planned for today. Unfortunately, we were only able to do a few laps on the dry tyres this morning, however, not many of these were useful, because the rain kept making an appearance. From what we could see, the car seems to be more or less alright in terms of balance, both in the dry and the wet. Some of the updates we have here proved to be okay right from the start, while in order to evaluate the others fully, we need to analyse carefully what little data we were able to gather today. Tomorrow, the possibility of having another wet qualifying seems quite high, while for the race, it is meant to be dry. At Silverstone, we were competitive in both conditions: let's hope the same applies here too."

Mercedes GP

Nico Rosberg (2nd, 1:27.564): "We learned a lot today as we were able to test in the different track conditions, and use the wet, intermediate and dry tyres. So I guess we are well prepared for whatever the weekend brings. Unfortunately we have to change my race gearbox here as a precaution after discovering an issue after Silverstone. So I will receive a five-place penalty which is a shame for our home race but I will push hard to gain a good result. As we have seen this season, a lot can happen in the race."

Michael Schumacher (23rd, 1:32.777): "The way I ended the second session was obviously not part of the plan and I'm sorry that my mistake has given my guys even more work to do this evening. I simply slid off track because I lost a little concentration: we were talking on the radio and I was altering some settings at the same time. But that's all part of the game. Overall, the session went ok, even though we didn't do too much running in the first session because the conditions were a bit too inconsistent. I think that qualifying will probably be wet tomorrow, so today's weather was useful in that respect. Now we need to do more work on the computer to tease out the insights we weren't able to get from our track running."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "We had two very productive sessions here at Hockenheim today to start our home Grand Prix weekend. We had some new things to try on the car which we had the opportunity to try in the dry and the wet. The car seems reasonably well balanced but we will have a good look at all of the data tonight to see how we want to proceed tomorrow. Michael's incident on the wet track at the end was a little unfortunate but it didn't cost us any running time."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Not typical Hockenheim conditions for the first day of our home Grand Prix. We looked ok as far as today's lap times can be judged, however they are certainly not a full reflection of the competitive order. Unfortunately, Michael had an off during the closing stages of the session, which is not ideal but better today than tomorrow or on race day. Our team will work hard this evening to repair his car. The forecast also predicts rain for tomorrow and a nice, sunny day on Sunday. It looks like what we had in Silverstone could be repeated in Hockenheim - two days of rain followed by sun."


Romain Grosjean (5th, 1:28.420): "It was a difficult session with the rain coming down. It looks like we'll have more wet running tomorrow so it was good to get a feel for the wet and intermediate tyres. We had a few things we were hoping to test in dry conditions but unfortunately this was not the case. If we get to Sunday without any dry laps then people won't have so much of an idea about tyre degradation and the difference between the compounds, which may help me starting further back on the grid with the penalty. Either way, we now have a good base line setup from today and hopefully this will help bring us a decent result at the end of the weekend."

Kimi Raikkonen (10th, 1:29.327): "We didn't learn a lot today with the weather conditions as they were ; it was like Silverstone when we also didn't have very good conditions. We tried a few different things which I think some people noticed today. It would have been nice to have some more dry track time but you can't do anything about that. The track does feel quite slippery when it's wet ; it's definitely not very grippy in these conditions. Overall, it was a pretty normal Friday when you try different things and get as much running as the weather allows."

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "We saw a tricky first session with track conditions changing a lot due to intermittent rain, which didn't aid the learning process regarding our new parts. The afternoon was far more productive as the wet conditions were reasonably consistent. We looked at both the intermediate and wet tyres in the second session to give us some good data if qualifying or the race are run in similar conditions, and also assessed a variety of set-ups and tyre pressures. Both cars ran with aero updates, which were rather more visible on one car than the other. We've seen encouraging signs from our latest prototype concept and although we won't race it here, it's likely to make another appearance during practice in Budapest."

Force India-Mercedes

Nico Hulkenberg (6th, 1:28.495): "Another Friday practice where it was difficult to find a rhythm and get through the job list. In the morning the rain showers only gave us very limited time to run dry tyres, so I didn't really get a feel for the hard development tyre. The track surface here is also very smooth and it was quite low grip this morning, especially with the damp parts of the track. With the rain showers this afternoon, all we could do was understand the wet and intermediate tyres in case the wet weather continues tomorrow."

Paul di Resta (18th, 1:30.437): "A very short day for me with limited mileage in the wet. The track was drying up quite nicely towards the middle of the session and it was near to the crossover point for slicks until the rain returned. We've done our wet weather preparation so we just need to see what the weather brings tomorrow."

Jules Bianchi: "It was not an easy morning session because of the rain showers, which meant we had to stop and wait for the track to dry. The rain was not heavy but it made the track very slippery. I did most of my laps on the medium compound tyres and I was improving lap by lap. I set my quickest lap on my final run when the track condition was at its best and I was able to get closer to the limit of the car."

Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: "Conditions like we saw today always pose a great challenge as we try to dial the cars into the track and understand the tyres. Jules did a good job along with Nico this morning, although we had to reduce the programme and make sure we were out when the track was at its best. We still managed to pick up some aero data and completed our baseline dry set-up evaluation. The wet session this afternoon has given us a good read on the performance of the intermediates and the wets, but it was difficult to learn much more than that."


Sergio Perez (4th, 1:28.402): "Of course we were hoping for more dry running today, but it is good we now have some experience with both the intermediate and full wet tyres, because we might need them for qualifying tomorrow. I really hope we can put in a strong qualifying performance so we can make the most of our chances in the race. Regarding the new hard tyres we were using in the morning, I found it difficult to warm them up but overall to me they seemed to be alright."

Kamui Kobayashi (13th, 1:29.785): "I was struggling a lot in the wet and I had zero grip. I suppose there was something wrong with my car and we will check that now. Tomorrow is another day and I'm positive we can be strong here."

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "It was another Friday of fighting with the weather. We tried to maximise our learning, and apparently we have to find the best possible compromise because the weather forecast suggests it will be wet for qualifying but dry for the race. In the morning we were able to work on measurements related to aero parts. For the afternoon we had a revised programme due to the rain. Overall it is obviously very difficult to make a judgement on today's performance."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Daniel Ricciardo (7th, 1:28.513): "The morning went well in terms of doing a lot of laps and getting plenty of track time. We evaluated some changes to the front wing, doing a back to back test, in a sort of mini-aero test, to provide the guys with some data. Then, we were able to get on with the usual Friday programme and I stayed on the Prime tyre, rather than trying the experimental Hard that was available today. Considering how many laps I did, I think the lap time was not too bad and I am hoping we can be more competitive here than in Silverstone. This afternoon off the track? I just locked up the front and slid into the gravel. There was no damage done and I'm just glad I didn't hit anything. The wet running went well and could be useful if we have rain for qualifying."

Jean-Eric Vergne (11th, 1:29.364): "In the dry this morning, the car worked pretty well and the lap times don't mean much, as I was running the Hard prototype tyre Pirelli brought here for evaluation purposes. I felt the car was strong in FP1, which means we have a decent car for dry conditions if that's what comes for the rest of the weekend. Then, in the wet this afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised at how well things went on the Extreme wets. When I ran the Intermediates, we did not have the right balance on the car, but I'm sure we can fix that, in which case I would be happy if we had rain tomorrow afternoon for qualifying. It should be good!"

Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer: "We knew it might rain, which is why we did as many laps as possible in the morning, more than anyone else. We had a new front wing to evaluate on Daniel's car and we managed it, even though the conditions were not that stable, but it was enough to gather useful data. This afternoon was entirely wet and again, we tried to do plenty of running and both of them did well not to make any mistakes when they were first out on track, at the time of the wettest conditions. We got the best out of today and, as was the case in Silverstone, we are a bit more competitive in the wet."


Pastor Maldonado (1st, 1:27.476): "It was a challenging practice session for everyone because the track conditions were changing a lot and I was trying to adapt my driving style and the car to best suit those conditions. We have a good balance in the car in wet conditions, even with a damp track, and the time I set in the second session shows that if it rains tomorrow we will be competitive."

Bruno Senna (16th, 1:30.291): "It was a bit of a frustrating day because the weather was so changeable. We started on extreme wets but the track dried out very quickly and we then went on to intermediates where our pace was competitive which is promising. Unfortunately we missed the window to get some good laps in on the drying track but overall the car is feeling good and with a bit more set-up work we can have a good weekend."

Valtteri Bottas: "Unfortunately the rain affected what we were testing and we had to adapt to the weather, but we still managed to do quite a few laps and completed most of what we were aiming for. The session ended disappointingly for me when I lost the back end of the car coming into the stadium section, locking the rear when I hit the brakes but I want to thank the team as they did a great job to put the car back together for Bruno's afternoon session."

Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: "Today's sessions were dominated by the weather, with the second session starting in full wet conditions and subsequently transitioning to intermediate running. Pastor drove well today and was particularly strong in the second session on intermediates. Valtteri went through a development programme in the morning but unfortunately towards the end of the session he locked his rear brakes on entry to T13 and crashed into the barrier. The mechanics worked extremely quickly and did an excellent job to get the car ready again for Bruno at the start of the second session. Bruno got out on track early and worked on set-up in the changeable conditions. The forecast suggests that qualifying will be wet and the race dry so it looks set to be another very interesting race weekend."


Heikki Kovalainen (17th, 1:30.331): "We completed a decent mileage today but I think we still have quite a bit of work to do, mainly on finding grip. The conditions in FP1 were good to start off with and we managed to get through most of the aero programme we'd set, including a couple of very slow single lap runs on dry tyres when it was getting pretty wet! In FP2 we started on the full wets for the first run, then went onto the inters but we still couldn't quite find a really good balance. We'll look at that tonight and make sure we can push on tomorrow in FP3 and qualifying."

Vitaly Petrov (21st, 1:32.241): "I'm pretty pleased with how today's gone. In conditions like we had in both sessions one of the main things is to make sure you don't make any mistakes, and we had a big programme for both FP1 and FP2 and it was important to make sure we go through them with no problems. Inside the car we tried a few setup changes to help dial out the understeer, and on the dry tyres in the morning session we were definitely going in the right direction as the session ended. In the afternoon we tried a few things on both the wets and the inters and, again, made progress, but we have a lot more to come."

Mark Smith, Technical Director: "FP1 was a good session for us on both cars. We wanted as much dry running as we could today to continue the aero work we were doing on Wednesday in France at the straightline test and we had dry running for most of the session. Both Heikki and Vitaly completed 24 laps each and we were able to run through the whole program we had set out for that session. FP2 started with rain that was heavy enough to keep most of the field in the garages but once it had eased off a little we sent the cars out on the full wets to start the FP2 program. We have a couple of minor modifications to the package we introduced in Silverstone and tonight we will be focusing on what they have added, what we can take from the data from both sessions and what can be applied for the rest of the weekend. Fundamentally we are heading in the right direction, giving the drivers the aero balance they need to be able to push and the downforce that is required to compete with the cars ahead. We still have a lot of work to do but I am reasonably optimistic that both the races in Germany and Hungary will see us return to the levels of competitiveness we have targeted for races 10 and 11."

Thierry Salvi, Renault: "This is our first visit to Hockenheim with Caterham but we obviously have a great deal of experience at this track from the last race here in 2010. Hockenheim has a couple of interesting challenges for us, specifically looking at how we can give the drivers maximum top speed down the long straight, which is one of the longest of the season, and make sure their fuel consumption is managed effectively. This track is heavy on fuel consumption so the cars will start this race with one of the highest fuel loads of the season and we have to take that into account in conjunction with the team, particularly when looking at tyre degradation. In addition, we have been continuing to work today on fine tuning the engine maps with the revised exhaust layout the team first brought to Silverstone. For Hockenheim we need to make sure the drivers have good torque response, especially in the stadium section, and that has been a focus area for us today. We have had a good day on that front - the mileage we completed gives us a very reasonable amount of data to work through so this has been a positive day."


Narain Karthikeyan (22nd, 1:32.349): "It wasn't my best day because I didn't run in the morning and FP2 was wet. It wasn't very productive and if tomorrow is dry I will be facing completely new conditions. But it looks like it's going to rain tomorrow so today's data will be useful. I expect it to be tough tomorrow but I'm ready for the challenge."

Pedro de la Rosa (24th, 1:42.566): "Today was a bit of a strange day, but I'm happy to have been able to run this morning on primes and one last stint on intermediate tyres. That way, if it doesn't rain in the race, we've got a small idea of what we can encounter and if tomorrow the track is wet, which it seems it will be, at least we've got an idea of what it can be like. The mechanics did a good job to get the car out today and now we must work on the set-up for tomorrow."

Daniel Clos: "It was an interesting session where I was able to run in dry conditions for a large amount of time, although the track was changing. Some rain drops started to fall which, at times, made it a bit more complicated. But I'm happy with how it went. We did a good job and the car responded well, which is the objective."

Luis Perez-Sala, Team Principal: "Today we were able to give Dani continuity and he was able to do more miles in the F112. The day was complicated because FP1 was mainly dry whilst FP2 was wet. In the afternoon we had a small issue with the braking system on Pedro's car, but the team did a great job and he was able to come out towards the end of the session. Narain ran in wet in the afternoon and he was able to get to know the circuit a bit better in these conditions. Overall it went well but there is still work to do."


Charles Pic (14th, 1:30.090): "It was a good day for me in the changing conditions. What we lost in terms of planned dry weather programme, we gain in experience in the wet conditions in case the next days continue like this. This morning, on my side, we completed a few aerodynamic evaluations to progress our recent upgrade. I lost a little time early on because of a radio problem, but I was quite happy with the pace when I was able to start running. This afternoon we got to try both types of wet tyre but it was a little frustrating that the rain was so changeable because we couldn't really get down to any detailed evaluations."

Timo Glock (15th, 1:30.220): "Unfortunately today did not pan out in the way we had expected in respect of the weather. I thought we would have more stable conditions. In general it was difficult again in terms of it being a mixed day. In FP1 I struggled quite a bit with the car for the same reasons as the early part of the Silverstone weekend, so fighting with instability, and unfortunately at the end we had a problem which cut the morning slightly short; not enough to make a difference thankfully. FP2 was wet again and we started out on full wets. The car was still very nervous and oversteering. I think we could have been quite a bit quicker but the instability issues make it a bit difficult at the moment. We have to look into that and I hope we find the problem overnight and see what we can do to improve tomorrow."

John Booth, Team Principal: "Whilst the rain came as no surprise to us today, what was a little more frustrating was the frequency with which the conditions changed from wet to drying to wet. Having said that, conditions like this on Sunday would make for a seriously interesting and eventful race for the fans and really test race engineers up and down the pit lane. In the slightly more favourable conditions this morning we achieved quite a lot of good work, whereas this afternoon has been more about evaluating the wet tyres at this circuit. All of this is useful however because none of the teams have any experience of the Pirelli tyres - wet or dry - at this circuit. We experienced an alternator problem for Timo at the end of FP1 this morning, but this was clearly attributable to parts mileage and readily addressed to ensure he is equipped for the rest of what is an important weekend for him in front of his home crowd. A good start to the day for Charles also on the other side of the garage."