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Hungarian GP 2013

JULY 26, 2013

Friday Team Quotes

Fernando Alonso, Hungarian GP 2013
© The Cahier Archive

Red Bull-Renault

Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:21.264): "The car feels okay, but there's always a lot of work to do and there's some room for improvement. My long run wasn't completely clean, as we had to abort it at the start due to the brakes being a bit hot, but you work to find the limit. I don't think the tyres feel massively different, but they are a step in the right direction."

Mark Webber (2nd, 1:21.308): "The tyres feel quite similar to those used previously; we got a feeling already from Silverstone. It went well today and I'm happy, the car felt good and the team did a great job. Sunday is the main thing; qualifying is important, but Sunday is what we have to focus on. It's a demanding circuit and the conditions are set to stay the same, so I don't think we'll be changing a huge amount tonight."


Fernando Alonso (4th, 1:21.426): "As usually happens on Friday, today we managed to get an idea of what sort of pace we should see in Sunday's race. Conditions look like being reasonably stable over the whole weekend and this will help in analysing the times and strategies of the other teams, in order to understand exactly where we are. The type of tyre has not changed, so we can count on last year's experience and apart from that, they are the same for everyone. To gain an advantage over our rivals, it helps to understand them as well and as quickly as possible. Here, more than at other tracks, starting from the front is extremely important and for this reason I believe that everyone will try and optimise their cars for qualifying, even if it means sacrificing a bit for the race."

Felipe Massa (5th, 1:21.544): "All went well today and we tested everything on the programme, with the car seeming reasonably competitive. Even the long runs produced positive results and that is a very important factor for the rest of the weekend. Now we must decide which of the solutions we tried can be used for qualifying and the race. On this track, it's really important to start as far up the order as possible and we will do all we can to be in the game. On Sunday, it will be difficult for everyone, as overtaking is almost impossible here and on top of that, they are predicting very high temperatures, which is a factor that needs to be given plenty of consideration when it come to getting the maximum out of our car."

Pat Fry: "Overall, today was a good day and we managed to get through our entire programme with no problems whatsoever. During the first session and the first part of the afternoon one, we split the programme between the two cars, with the aim of finding the most suitable aerodynamic configuration for this track. The comparisons between the various components and the two compounds made available by Pirelli produced the answers we were looking for and now, with all the data we have from Fernando and Felipe's cars, we, along with them, can get down to preparing for qualifying and the race."


Jenson Button (9th, 1:22.180): "The two sessions were quite a contrast for us because of the difference in temperature from the morning to the afternoon ‘ but it's been a reasonable day in terms of the set-up work we've done. I think we've improved our understanding of how the car works. We actually managed to get quite a few things tested, and our car feels okay around here. There's very little degradation on the Option tyre, it's more front- than rear-limited, so the tyres are working well, which is another positive. I'm hoping we've taken a step forward, but there's still room for improvement."

Sergio Perez (12th, 1:22.529): "The car felt pretty good this morning, and our times were competitive, but the track temperature changed in the afternoon, so I wasn't entirely satisfied with the balance of the car in the end. Now, we've got time to go away and analyse why the balance felt so different between the two sessions. We've got a lot of information to sift through, and I think we have the potential to do better tomorrow. Our aim for this weekend will be to score points and to have another decent weekend as we did in Germany."

Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "The Hungarian Grand Prix has traditionally been a long and difficult race ‘ and this year's edition looks set to be no exception. The searing and unrelenting temperatures of the Hungaroring will make life difficult for everyone this weekend ‘ indeed, after a reasonably positive morning, we found that the afternoon's higher temperatures affected the balance of MP4-28. Nonetheless, although we're far from satisfied with our current form, we're hopeful that we'll be able to take a small step forward in performance here. The engineers now face the unenviable task of trawling through a considerable amount of technical data in order to refine and improve the cars ahead of tomorrow's sessions. As ever, I'm confident that they'll be able to find the improvements necessary to ensure we maintain the positive momentum of the morning."


Romain Grosjean (3rd, 1:21.417): "It's been a good day overall. I didn't get to try the new tyres at Silverstone so the main focus was to work on getting the most from them which all went ok. To be honest they're not really night and day from the old ones, which is good as it means we haven't had to change too much. There's still a bit of graining and degradation to deal with but that's normal. Our pace looks pretty good on both compounds, but the field is quite close so it's hard to say where we are. We'll just keep doing our best to find the right compromise for qualifying and the race and see where we stand at the end of the weekend."

Kimi Raikkonen (8th, 1:22.011): "It wasn't ideal today but it wasn't that bad either. We took a bit of time to understand the new tyres and it was also very hot. It's too early to say if the heat will suit us with these new tyres, but we'll soon have a better idea. I had some traffic in the afternoon and so wasn't able to set a fast lap on new tyres, plus we have some areas to improve on with the setup. We'll try to do the best that we can in qualifying and we'll see where we are. If we get the car right we should be ok tomorrow."

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "A good solid Friday for us with nothing untoward to note ‘ save for a leaky drinks system ‘ during the course of the day. The car is clearly working well here and we have no concerns about the heat. Kimi's afternoon time isn't representative as he got caught up with a McLaren on his fast lap and we have no concerns about our long or short run pace. We paid particular attention to the various temperature levels on the car to ensure cooling levels are sufficient for Sunday and we're happy with all the data we've seen so far."

Mercedes GP

Lewis Hamilton (6th, 1:21.802): "We got a lot of laps in on the new tyres today which was positive and gives us a lot of information to look at and take into our programme for the weekend. We came into the weekend on the back foot a little without experiencing the new tyres. The balance feels different and we need to work on the right set up but we learned over the course of the day, made some changes and will make more for tomorrow. It's difficult to know how the weekend will go for us. Others look quick here but we can generally pull a bit more out in qualifying so let's see how tomorrow goes."

Nico Rosberg (7th, 1:21.991): "That was a busy day for us and we learned a lot in the two practice sessions. We know that it's quite challenging for our car in these hot conditions and we also had to learn about the new tyres for the first time today. I'm pleased with the progress that we made today but some of the other teams look quick here so we have more work to do. Tyre overheating is still an issue but I'm confident that we will be able to find a good set up and hopefully achieve a decent result this weekend."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "It was an interesting day as we were running the new tyres for the first time. It took us a while to find a good balance with the car but our long runs looked respectable this afternoon. Both drivers enjoyed trouble free running in the very hot conditions here in Budapest and we have lots of information and data to work with tonight."

Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A solid first day of the race weekend for us. The target was to do as many miles as possible and collect the maximum amount of information on the tyres, which we managed to do. That means we still have improvements we can make to tune the car balance and that will be our challenge tomorrow morning. There is now a busy evening ahead of us to find the right balance between qualifying and the race but we have made a decent start."


Esteban Gutierrez (14th, 1:22.837): "Overall it was a productive Friday. We were able to draw some conclusions about the new parts we brought here, and it seems like everything is working as expected. But we still have to wait and see what happens in qualifying. We will certainly be pushing in order to improve. The weather is quite a challenge for the tyres, as we saw this afternoon, but that is something everyone has to cope with. It's a matter of finding the right balance between how much you can push and how long you want the tyres to last in one stint. The behaviour of the tyres is different. They are a bit more difficult to warm up, but therefore they last longer. Now we have to adapt as quickly as possible. Overall, I'm quite confident we can get a better result than in previous races."

Nico Hulkenberg (15th, 1:22.841): "It has been a good Friday. I think the level of performance is a bit difficult to judge. We still need to work on low fuel pace, especially for qualifying. My run on the medium tyres also wasn't the best, so there is room for improvement there. The long run was quite consistent and in terms of pace it also looked reasonable. We have a good baseline and did all the tests we needed to do. The tyres were pretty straightforward. Now we have to keep working, improve small bits and see where we finish tomorrow."

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "In FP1 we split the programme between the two cars, allowing us to understand different areas of the update package. FP2 was a standard tyre comparison with the 2012 construction Pirelli tyres. Overall the package delivered what we expected, and we are happy with the data we gathered today, concentrating mainly on race information. Tomorrow morning we'll be preparing to make sure we get the most out of the package in qualifying trim."

Force India-Mercedes

Adrian Sutil (10th, 1:22.304): "It was a positive morning session and quite early on I had found a good balance with the car. In the afternoon we were working mainly on the tyres and trying to get the most from them. I felt better on the soft compared to the medium, but it was tricky to get them working all the time. The main thing is that we got some good information and we can hopefully improve things for tomorrow. Apart from the tyres the overall balance is good: the car behaves well under braking and on turn-in, and I'm feeling comfortable."

Paul di Resta (11th, 1:22.526): "It's not been the most straightforward of days and right from the start of practice I was chasing the set-up of the car. We definitely made some progress this afternoon, but there are a lot of things to discuss tonight to try and get on top of things ahead of qualifying. Today was the first chance to really start doing performance work with new tyre construction and we managed to do 60 laps, which gives us lots of information going into the weekend."

Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: "Changing tyre construction mid-way through the season presents a lot of challenges so today's programme was largely focussed on learning more about the medium and soft compound tyres. It proved tricky to find the right operating window consistently, but it has been a very useful day in terms of learning and gathering the right data. As for the car balance, we made steady progress. Paul had a difficult morning but was happier with the car by the end of FP2. Adrian's feedback was encouraging and he was inside the top ten during both sessions. With the high temperatures set to continue over the weekend, it's clear that we still have some work to do."


Pastor Maldonado (13th, 1:22.781): "It wasn't a bad day for us as our performance looked better than at previous events compared to the times posted today. We still need to work on the balance as the feeling is similar, but we will analyse the data and try to close the gap for tomorrow. The heat is going to be a big factor this weekend for all teams."

Valtteri Bottas (18th, 1:23.646): "We did some good mechanical tests during the first practice session and we now need to look at the second session data to see how we can get more out of the car as the track improves and on the option tyre. The laptimes could have been better but I had some traffic. We still need to find a good balance with the car to try to improve for tomorrow."

Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: "This morning we completed some aero tests with both cars as well as some mechanical tests. We were also fine tuning the set-up to the new construction tyres we have from here onwards. In FP2 Pastor continued with some further aero tests while Valtteri focussed on gathering tyre data with some short and long runs. The tyres are behaving as we expected from the test at Silverstone and on Sunday with even higher ambient temperatures the focus will be on thermal management in all areas including tyres, engine and brakes. We need to analyse the data from FP2 and we'll have both cars running the same configuration from FP3. Overall, we are happy with today and feel we can make more progress over the course of the weekend."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Jean-Eric Vergne (16th, 1:23.369): "In the morning, I tried the car with the new updates the team has introduced this weekend. We had some doubts as to how it was working, so in the afternoon, we returned in some areas to our previous specification to do a check. Performance wise, we were definitely too slow today, so I expect we will need to make big changes on the car for tomorrow. I was overheating the rear tyres too much, which gave me a lot of understeer on the long runs and we were far from feeling comfortable today. A lot of work will be needed to make us more competitive for the rest of the weekend. The tyres are obviously very important in these conditions and we need to find out how to get the best out of them, as I was not very happy with their performance on both the long and the short runs."

Daniel Ricciardo (17th, 1:23.411): "We were optimistic at the start of the morning, because we had quite a few new developments on the car. However, we were unable to get the best out of them on track. We hope they will make the car quicker but it seems it is going to take a bit more study to get them producing their best results on track. We need to do more work on the set-up, but we have been in this situation before, so I expect that after a long debrief and more work this evening, we will be able to make progress in time for tomorrow. On the tyre front, we are seeing the usual difference between Option and Prime and in terms of the developments introduced by Pirelli, they appear to be working fine, which is positive."

Laurent Mekies, Head of Vehicle Performance: "It was a difficult day for us. We had quite a few new elements to try, both on the aerodynamic and suspension side, so we spent our day trying to learn about our new packages, splitting some of the tasks between the two cars and others just using one car. These updates are part of our car development programme and not just intended for the Hungaroring. It is clear we still have some way to go to understand how everything is working and we were not as competitive as we expected. By studying the data tonight, we must try and see where we have lost absolute pace. We will be looking to see which of our updates worked and which didn't so we can decide on which ones to continue with for the rest of the weekend, when it comes to establishing our set-up for tomorrow. Apart from this busy car development programme, we also had a lot of work to do on the tyre front, as that will be a key factor in the hot conditions this weekend. Therefore we spent more time looking at their behaviour over a long run."


Charles Pic (19th, 1:24.325): "For me FP1 was ok. I didn't have as much understeer as Giedo and from the start of the session had reasonable grip. In fact, we had too much grip at the rear for the first couple of runs but we improved that throughout the session. For FP2 we made a couple more setup changes and started with a better balance than we'd had in FP1. On the long runs the degradation was ok - it's there, more at the rear than the front, but it's not huge and for me it's manageable. We can take quite a few positives from today, particularly the gap to our nearest rivals and the long run pace which is again comparable to Williams, I think we could have a good weekend ahead."

Giedo van der Garde (20th, 1:25.065): "Both sessions today were all about understeer. In FP1 we ran a different setup to Charles' car to give us a baseline comparison and we tried some new brake material. To be honest neither the setup nor the new brake material really worked and we had to spend most of the FP1 trying to dial out the understeer. We also had a lot of front locking, something we didn't have last week in Silverstone, so we made a few changes to deal with that. In the afternoon the balance was a bit better but we still had the same understeer issues, and on the long runs we were seeing high degradation and graining on the front left. However, by the last long run the tyres were working better and I felt like we'd made some good progress. We'll work on all everything tonight and even though we have a lot of work ahead of us I'm pretty positive we can have a decent qualifying and race here in Hungary."


Jules Bianchi (21st, 1:25.143): "It has been a busy Friday for us but we are not where we want to be yet with the car. It feels like there is quite a lot more to find if we are going to be able to fight for a better position this weekend versus our direct competitors. We are also struggling with the tyre degradation, which is quite severe, so a lot for us to look at and consider with the engineers overnight."

Max Chilton (22nd, 1:26.647): "It's good to be back on track at the Hungaroring, a place I have great memories of, especially after the win here in GP2 last year. It's been a short day for me, having missed FP1, so I had quite a busy afternoon session to cram everything in. We worked through the usual programme but the car is not quite there yet. I'm happy with my race pace but as I missed the morning session I didn't get to work on my ultimate pace. I also lost a little time on the soft tyre towards the end of the session after a big piece of rubber hit the visor screen on my car and broke it, which meant that I had to come in to have it replaced. We have quite a bit of work to do to try to extract more from the car so that will be something we'll be looking at carefully this evening."

Rodolfo Gonzalez: "After a positive Young Driver Test at Silverstone last week, it was good to be back in the car again for FP1 to apply some of what I learned there. Every new circuit presents a different challenge and I feel that I am starting to get a good rhythm now, which in turn will help me to work on consistency and speed."

John Booth, Team Principal: "This morning we opted to have Rodolfo working through some aerodynamic and control systems mapping work early on in the session before moving on to evaluate some of the cooling options which are very likely to come into play this weekend. Although we didn't quite see the temperatures that were predicted this afternoon, this work will be essential come Sunday, when we are set to see increased temperatures. Jules set about developing the set-up to suit the new Pirelli tyre construction. We had some ideas to pursue from the data we gathered at the Silverstone test, however due to the restrictions in place there this has been the first opportunity for us the rebalance the car. Both race drivers were in the car this afternoon and tyres again became our focus to ensure we got the high fuel long runs completed to give us the best information ahead of Sunday. We are a little disappointed by our short run pace at present but on the flip side neither driver is 100% happy with the balance of the car, so that gives us something to work on overnight."