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After Hungary
Championship Standings:

Drivers' Standings

1 Lewis Hamilton 63
2 Valtteri Bottas 58
3 Max Verstappen 33
4 Lando Norris 26
5 Alexander Albon 22
6 Sergio Perez 22
7 Charles Leclerc 18
8 Lance Stroll 18
9 Carlos Sainz 15
10 Sebastian Vettel 9
11 Daniel Ricciardo 8
12 Pierre Gasly 6
13 Esteban Ocon 4
14 Antonio Giovinazzi 2
15 Daniil Kvyat 1
16 Kevin Magnussen 1
17 Kimi Raikkonen 0
18 Nicholas Latifi 0
19 Romain Grosjean 0
20 George Russell 0

Constructors' Standings
1 Mercedes 121
2 Red Bull Honda 55
3 McLaren Renault 41
4 Racing Point Merc 40
5 Ferrari 27
6 Renault 12
7 AlphaTauri Honda 7
8 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 2
9 Haas Ferrari 1
10 Williams Mercedes 0

Chinese GP: Friday Quotes

Formula 1
Friday, April 17, 2009



Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1:35.679, 1st):
“The balance of the car really improved over the last couple of runs today after we had been struggling a little to find the right set-up early on. We completed a great deal of work with the two very different tire compounds to establish what condition they would be in after longer runs. There seemed to be a lot of traffic on track today so my main concern was finding some clear air. It was a useful first day of running but we still have some work to do tomorrow to be happy with the balance for qualifying.”

Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota (1:35.704, 2nd):
“It's been an interesting day for us. We've learnt a lot, particularly about the tires and how to get the best out of them here. The one major thing for us at the moment though is that this season we have consistency from one track to another. We're now going to a race and not getting any big surprises as we seem to have learnt from our mistakes from last year.”

Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes (1:35.881, 3rd):
“Another positive Friday and we achieved some good work today which will set us up well going into the weekend. Our main focus was on the tires and evaluating the best way of looking after the softer option tire and it was very useful to find out what the tires are capable of. We tried various things but I did struggle for grip with my last set of tires this afternoon. There are a lot of marbles on the track at the moment but it should clean up going into the weekend.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault (1:36.105, 4th):
“We did the normal tire comparisons today, which are important ahead of Sunday as they might be quite a challenge here. The guys did a great job and the car ran faultlessly, which is always a benefit on a Friday. We've dried out from Malaysia and, instead, we had perfect driving conditions today, so we'll see how we go tomorrow. I enjoyed it out there.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault (1:36.167, 5th):
“Overall, it was a quite good day. Unfortunately, in the second practice we had a problem with the rear suspension, it was going to take too much time to fix so we had to stop earlier than planned. Nevertheless, we got some useful information from the car. The main task here for all the teams and drivers is to manage the different tire compounds. As you can see, graining is the main issue, but thankfully I have my helmet and visor, which protects my eyes as the rubber is coming off!”

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (1:36.217, 6th):
“That was a busy Friday for me. This morning we had an electrical problem which cost us a bit of track time but we recovered to complete our program of work on set-up and tires. The track surface wasn't in fantastic condition this morning but it improved during the day. In general I'm still not happy with the car's balance and pace so I hope we can analyze the data tonight and aim for better tomorrow. Then we can target another strong result on Sunday.”

Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota (1:36.377, 7th):
“It was a bit difficult out there for me today. The tires were behaving strangely this morning but they did improve a little this afternoon. I was also struggling to find a good balance. I now need to see where I can improve for qualifying tomorrow. We'll see how we go.”

Timo Glock, Toyota (1:36.548, 8th):
“So far things are going okay for us. The track was quite tricky this morning because there wasn't much grip. I was sliding around on the green track and had to find a way to get the car together. But over the course of the day we sorted out a lot in terms of the set-up. The second free practice session was better and the car felt more together. So we have more work to do to get the car in the right direction for tomorrow. But overall this has not been a bad start to the weekend.”

Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes (1:36.674, 9th):
“I'm very impressed by the performance upgrades for this race. We still need to do more work to find the best balance, but our car definitely feels more stable here.”

Sébastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (1:36.800, 10th):
“Our weekend seems to have started off quite well. We have made progress in terms of understanding the car and using it to its best. There is still some work to do, specifically in terms of making better use of the Option tire. Actually I was quite surprised to see how well they are holding up and they definitely have more than one lap in them. I'm not saying we'll run them for 30 laps, but it's much better than expected. We can definitely see that the small updates we have on the car since Malaysia are working well.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes (1:36.829, 11th):
“It is a change to be here at this time of year. We are used to having around 30 degrees here so with the cooler temperatures it's much easier to drive although the tires take a bit longer to warm up. The medium tires are OK over the longer run, but very hard over a single lap. The supersoft on the other hand is fine for one lap but not as bad as we expected over the longer runs. Overall it went OK, we completed our work and the general balance is good. I'm pleased with the position so I think it was a good start.”

Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1:36.847, 12th):
“We are in a difficult situation on the technical front, but when one thinks of what happened to those who we are close to and in the daily life of the people of Abruzzo, everything else takes on a different perspective. I hope that having the ‘Abruzzo nel cuore’ (Abruzzo in our hearts) message on the cars, as requested by President Montezemolo, might help to make these people feel less alone. As for the track, I can say our fight for the championship is ever more compromised. Here we are also running without KERS and as a result, we are losing even more performance, in addition to not having as much aerodynamic downforce as the best cars. We must try and push as hard as possible on the development of the car, but we know it will be very hard to catch up. The only recipe for getting out of this difficulty is to work.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes (1:36.941, 13th):
“The car instantly felt a bit better [with the upgrades]. I can definitely feel more stability and downforce from the front. We've definitely made a step forward for this race. The car feels much stronger through the corners and I think we've got a very positive baseline for the rest of the weekend. My first run on the options felt quite consistent. The drop-off definitely feels manageable. This was a good day, although we still need to work on MP4-24's medium- and high-speed balance.”

Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari (1:37.054, 14th):
"The balance of the car isn't bad and one doesn't feel the lack of KERS. The point is that we are too slow compared to the teams currently at the top of the order. We must try and improve the car: at the moment, we are not able to fight for the title. We must not give up the fight because, with the whole team working hard, we can get back into a winning position. It's not an easy time, but our group is strong and we know what needs to be done to get out of this situation. The softer tyre seems to work better than it did in Australia."

Sébastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (1:37.219, 15th):
“It's my first time here and beforehand I spent a lot of time on the Red Bull Technology Simulator and it was definitely a big help and I plan to use it more in the future. It is difficult to quantify, but for sure it helps. I had a technical problem in the morning which cost me some time, but everything was back to normal this afternoon and we were able to make a step forward. We look more competitive than in Malaysia and we are definitely improving. I didn't get a perfect lap today, so I think I can do a lot better tomorrow. I like the track; it's very big, very new, very everything!”

Nelson Piquet Jr., Renault (1:37.273, 16th):
“The track conditions were quite poor early on but later in the day things were a bit better. We improved the car between the two sessions, but we still need to find more performance and I'm still not totally happy with the set-up. So we still have a lot of work to do tomorrow morning to make sure we get the most from qualifying.”

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber-BMW (1:37.491, 17th):
“We completed our standard Friday program and tried to learn more about the nature of the track and to understand the tire compounds. While the option tires are quite fragile, it is difficult to make the prime tire work. Additionally, this was the first time I was running KERS at a Grand Prix weekend. There were a lot of tests to do. Now we have to check and evaluate the data.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber-BMW (1:37.544, 18th):
“As is normal for us on Fridays we focused on tire evaluation for the race. They do not really work as we would like them to. We now have to try to improve the balance of the car.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (1:37.638, 19th):
“Although we are at the bottom of the timesheets, I don't think we should be too worried as we concentrated more on race configuration today. Tomorrow morning in the third free practice session we will be preparing for qualifying and so I think we can remain optimistic for the rest of the weekend. We need to try to reach Q3, as we did in Malaysia, and aim to score as many points as possible. I think overall today we struggled to find the right set-up, but even looking at the times, we still have high hopes for this weekend.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes (1:37.750, 20th):
“I'm not particularly happy with how today went. I am struggling with the car balance at the moment. It's not consistent just yet and I don't feel entirely comfortable. At the moment we don't have a problem with the tires - in these temperatures we are pretty much OK. We have some ideas of what we can do so I think we will improve for tomorrow.”

Team Principals

Ross Brawn, Brawn-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“We have had a productive day which has enabled us to complete a thorough evaluation of the prime and option tires ahead of the weekend. Our main focus was on the softer option tire and establishing the best way to work with this compound in qualifying and the race. Although we are not quite satisfied with the balance yet, the car worked well in the cooler temperatures that we are experiencing this weekend with the race taking place six months earlier than usual.”

Dieter Gass, Toyota (Chief Engineer Race and Test):
“We made it through our program without major issues on the car so that was a solid start to the weekend. Jarno did have a slow in-lap this morning with an electrical problem but it didn't unduly affect our program. That included a test of some new aerodynamic and suspension development parts which we completed successfully. The consistency of the tires doesn't seem to be as much of a drama as we were expecting, so that is good news for the race on Sunday. The lap times seem to confirm our good form from the first two races so we are confident for the rest of the weekend.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“The team, both at the track and back in the factory, has done a fantastic job to get these bodywork upgrades to Shanghai – and initial analysis would suggest that they have contributed to a slight uplift in our overall competitiveness. We are still working on MP4-24's overall balance, but nonetheless concluded some productive tire evaluation work. Heikki's day was compromised by a hydraulic system problem which failed to adjust his front wing flaps correctly, a fault that distracted both him and his engineers from their regular program.”

Norbert Haug, McLaren-Mercedes (Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice President):
“Seeing Lewis in P1 after this morning's session brought back some good memories – although we are aware that the team's package is not yet competitive. Still, the improvements we have made to the car – which are particularly relentless at the moment – should see us making another encouraging step forward. Sunday's race will be greatly influenced by the performance over a stint of the Bridgestone super-soft, but our consistency on both tires looks quite okay at this early stage of the weekend.”

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari (Team Principal):
“President Montezemolo was keen to give a sign of support for everyone who lived through this tragedy and we are proud for our cars to carry the name of a region of Italy which is very close to our hearts, especially at a time like this. As for today's track activity, I can say it turned out much as we had expected. We will have to run a few races on the defensive and try and do the best we can. Clearly, without KERS, we lose a bit of performance and initial indications are that we are not seeing any improvement in the balance of a car that, let's not forget, was designed to carry this system. We are in a difficult situation and we must try and stay calm and work hard on all fronts."

Chris Dyer, Ferrari (Chief Engineer):
“We worked mainly on evaluating the two types of tyre made available to us here by Bridgestone, in terms of Sunday's race. Here, the softer tyre seems to work better to what we saw in Australia, while the harder one has performed as we had expected. We had no technical problems during the three hours of practice and we were able to evaluate new aerodynamic solutions, that, today, were fitted to Felipe's car. Tomorrow, they will be used on both cars."

Pat Symonds, Renault (Executive Director of Engineering):
“The track was a bit dusty this morning to start with, but it soon picked up. The car has a little bit of oversteer, but we worked on the balance of the car and made some improvements. The super-soft tire is performing better than we expected. The medium tire still remains the better race tire.

“We haven't encountered any particular problems today. Clearly there is work to do but we have more improvements to fit to the car tomorrow. So we are hopeful of moving up the order.”

Willy Rampf, BMW Sauber-BMW (Head of Engineering):
“Our concentration today, as usual, was on race preparation and, as expected, we completed the full program. At the moment we are not satisfied with the results. For the first time both our drivers used the KERS. The positive side was we did not have any technical problems.”

Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone (Director of Motorsport Tire Development):
“Today the circuit surface delivered very little grip initially in the first practice, but this improved and the track was better in the afternoon. As we would expect on a Friday, we saw graining, but the amount of graining varied across the teams. Of particular note, the tire appearance of the Brawn and Toyota cars was very beautiful and even, meaning they appear to be using their tires well, but some other teams are still finding the best set-ups. In the second session we saw both tires used and the performance of the super soft in terms of degradation was not as bad as in Australia.

“We decide the allocations for the races based on many factors including past experience, test information and feedback from the teams. All teams have a dedicated Bridgestone engineer who works with the drivers and team engineers so we have constant information regarding any tire issues. The teams are made aware of our allocations for races many weeks in advance, so there is plenty of time for feedback. For 2009 we are making a bigger difference between the two compounds and this is in response to requests for this from the FIA and the teams. This gives more of a challenge for the races, and of course any change brings many opinions. Here we have the medium tire, which should be a strong race tire, and the super soft, which will require good tire management in terms of car set-up and driving style. Of course, we saw different approaches to using the super soft tire in Australia, with some approaches working much better than others, so it will be interesting to see competitors rise to the challenge here in Shanghai.”

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