Hungarian GP: Friday Press Conference and Quotes
Eric BOULLIER (Renault)
Stefano DOMENICALI (Ferrari)
Christian HORNER (Red Bull)
Colin KOLLES (HRT)
Q: First of all, can we have a run-down of how things have gone today. Colin, would you like to start.
Colin KOLLES: Well, we had some technical issues but we managed to go through the programs. I think that Sakon (Yamamoto) did a good job. He drove almost the same lap time as Bruno (Senna). We will see tomorrow how he will perform. Traditionally on Fridays we are not as competitive as we are during the race or during the qualifying. In qualifying we should be closer and also in the race.
Q: Eric, interesting to see Vitaly Petrov ahead of Robert Kubica. Maybe there is a good reason for it?
Eric BOULLIER: There is a good reason. Today went as we planned and expected. We had a couple of updates to test and we did some back-to-backs to make sure. Vitaly did a very good lap in the second practice today but the conditions were a bit different with Robert's, so at least now we know exactly where we are and where we are standing.
Stefano DOMENICALI: I think today was pretty intense for us. We had the first session where we needed to test a lot of things also for the future races because of the break that will be effective immediately, starting for us in seven days. Then we did the program for today and it seems that, apparently, the situation is not too bad. But I have seen Red Bull in great shape and I think that here the situation is that maybe some others were covered in terms of their performance and we discover it tomorrow.
Q: Christian, interesting to see quite a margin really for Sebastian Vettel.
Christian HORNER: First of all congratulations to the Hungaroring on its 25th anniversary. It is obviously quite an achievement. The track has produced some great racing over the years, so congratulations to them. Today was a good day for us. We worked through our program. We have had no major issues. Both drivers are pretty happy with the car. The circuit has evolved pretty quickly and the times are significantly quicker than 12 months ago, maybe that's because it is a little cooler here today. But, generally, it has been a good day. Both drivers looked at different set-ups and evaluated different components which has given us a good amount of data to look at tonight.
Q: For the two of you in the front row. There has been a certain amount of controversies recently. Turkey, for example, where two drivers do race together and Hockenheim where they don't necessarily. You seem to have different ways of managing your two drivers. Is that correct to say? Christian, what is your strategy?
Horner: Our strategy in Istanbul, rightly or wrongly, was we let the drivers race. A lot has been made over the last week. Obviously it has not been the most comfortable of weeks for Stefano, but what happened, happened and we will continue to work in a way to try and support the drivers as fairly as we can. Inevitably like we saw in Silverstone sometimes you are going to have a component that you are going to have to make a decision on but we will do our best to try and support both drivers as equally as we can. We have had updates brought here which have gone to both sides of the garage and the team continue to do a fantastic job in ensuring we do treat the drivers as equally as possible.
Domenicali: In that respect I share what Christian has said. The only thing I can say is that in terms of our drivers I just want to say once again it is not a problem of being first and second driver. It is just the fact that we consider Formula One as a team sport with two very strong personalities and this is part of our philosophy. Considering that there was a decision of the stewards and that the situation has to be discussed in the World Council I cannot speak on what has happened last week. We need to move on and we need to be focused on this job here in Hungary.
Q: Eric, would you prefer to have that problem of having two equal drivers or are you very happy with the drivers that you have?
Boullier: Actually I am very happy with both my drivers as they are very equal.
Q: Even though one is much more experienced than the other?
Boullier: Of course it makes the situation a little bit easier as I have got one rookie driver and one experienced driver. Sometimes they can maybe be matched together but obviously the most experienced driver is in front of the rookie one which is completely normal.
Q: Colin, what is your driver policy for the rest of the year as you have got three drivers.
Kolles: We have four. As we always said we have four drivers and we will use all the four drivers.
Q: Do you know what the policy is for the rest of the season?
Kolles: I know yes, what the policy is.
Q: Are you going to tell us?
Q: So will we see Christian Klien back in the car?
Kolles: That's a possibility.
Q: Lots has been said about team orders. Are you in favor of team orders? Do you think the rule should be changed? Do you think it is an out-dated rule? How should it be applied? Colin, would you like to start.
Kolles: Well, I think that the team's interest comes first. What I also think is that maybe each team is managing it in its own way, so maybe my way would be different to manage it as it would be some other team is doing it. I don't think to do it so obvious is the right way.
Boullier: I agree with Colin. We have to work for the team's interests first. It is very clear that the team has to come first. It can happen when both your drivers are first row or clearly fighting for the lead of the race. I don't think there is a need to have a clear team order as normally common sense should be predominant on the situation and that's it. Nothing else to say.
Q: Stefano, is the rule out of date?
Domenicali: You understand what I said before. The team is a very important thing. That is all I can say at the moment.
Q: Do you feel that the rule should be changed?
Domenicali: It is a matter for discussion. If I may say, we do not need to be cosmetic. If this is the point, then for sure there is something that has to be addressed.
Horner: It is a difficult question as what constitutes a team order at the end of the day? I think the regulations as they currently sit are relatively clear, rightly or wrongly. Hence the situation Ferrari find themselves in which is an issue between them and the FIA. But a discussion inevitably will need to take place. The regulation was introduced for a reason. If it is say a rule that cannot be policed then the effectiveness of that rule has to be questioned. Today that rule exists and it is very much an issue for the governing body.
Q: Another slightly contentious thing at the moment are flexible front wings. What is your view on those.
Kolles: We don't have them.
Q: But you wish you did?
Kolles: I wish.
Boullier: I think the FIA has already cleared the answer by let's say by giving the go-ahead of the legality about the suspicious...about any flexible wings. I think we have to work in a different way to understand what the front row here is doing to clear ourselves as a technical point on this.
Domenicali: For me, it is not a matter of opinion. We need to rely on the governing body that is doing all the checks that they want. They did, at least I can say on our car, so it is a matter of respecting the regulations and really that's it.
Q: What do you understand what you can or cannot do?
Domenicali: There are certain tests that you have to do with the front wing as you can do with other parts of the car and you have to respect the loads and the tests that are connected to that part specifically and if you pass that, then that's done.
Q: There was a front wing analysis on television this morning by an FOM cameraman. It was very interesting for us to see how much movement there was in certain front wings. Christian, your view?
Horner: I endorse everything that Stefano has said. There are compliance tests which are pretty stringent that all components have to meet. It is interesting where the emphasis moves. So far this year we have had active ride height, we have had suspension, we have had diffusers looked at. We have had front wings. As always there is never a silver bullet. The performance of any car comes down to how design philosophy and a combination of components work as opposed to any one particular component. There are stringent tests. I am happy that our car complies with all the regulations and take it as a compliment to our engineers when a fuss like this is sometimes made by rival teams.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Ralf Bach - R & B) A question for all four. In your opinion what is more important, to follow the team interests or to respect existing regulations?
Horner: That is a very good question.
Domenicali: On my side, I think both.
Horner: At the end of the day the team should be bigger than any individual. Everybody works for the team, everybody works for the interests of the team. Drivers, all members whether that is technicians, mechanics, engineers, team principals, technical directors, no one individual should be bigger than the team.
Q: But my question was about the regulations.
Horner: It is an interesting question as sometimes you have a conflict of interest where perhaps the team's interest is different to the driver's interests. But each team will address that differently. The regulations are clear and, like it or not, they are the regulations that we abide by.
Boullier: You can have a different interpretation but at the end of the day you need to make it clear and be in line with the governing body. Basically you need to stick to the rules and then think about the team's interests.
Kolles: Well, you can compare it to with the flexible wings. There are flexible wings that comply with the regulations. You can make team orders which comply also maybe with the regulations.
Q: (Michael Trawniczek - Rally & More) I have a question for Mr. Domenicali. I have a friend who likes to bet a lot of money and he is a big fan of Felipe Massa. He thinks he can win this grand prix, so can I phone him and tell him he can bet a lot of money on Felipe?
Domenicali: I think you can tell him, because I never bet, it is up to him to bet his money. He doesn't ask to me what he has to do.
Q: (Joe Saward - Grand Prix Special) Gentlemen, Christian just described the team orders' issue as being between Ferrari and the FIA. Surely it's between all the Formula One teams and the fans. What do you have to say about that?
Domenicali: If I may start with this, I think that we are in Formula One for a long time. We don't have to have short memories. We need to be realistic and put the facts as they are. That's what I would say about that. Sometimes it seems that we apply more pressure, as I said before, on cosmetics rather than other subjects. I think that it's a matter of principle. We believe that it's a team sport and this is the fundamental point, to be honest with you. Then all the other voices, as I said, in my view there's no reason to discuss.
Horner: I'm sure everybody's got an opinion, but at the end of the day, the FIA are the regulator, they have all of the facts, they have facts that probably aren't in the public domain, so that's why you have to rely on the governing body, that's their job and I'm sure they will deal with the issue as they see fit. It's irrelevant for us, it doesn't involve my team or any of the other teams. It's an issue between the FIA and Ferrari.
Boullier: If I understand your question, it's related to the fans' reaction compared with some possible team orders?
Q: (Joe Saward - Grand Prix Special) Should the Formula One teams listen to what the fans are saying? It depends a little bit on which country but the predominant reaction is not positive for what was done. Should Formula One be worried about that rather than worrying about the question of Ferrari and the FIA sorting it out? Should Formula One as a whole be thinking 'what do the fans want to see?'
Boullier: I think F1 already discussed many times the fans by doing some surveys which I guess the first meaning of this act is to listen to some fans and fans' wishes, so yes to your question. We should listen to the fans and make sure that the fans are happy.
Kolles: Cycling is also... the Tour de France is also a team sport and there are some fans who like cycling. I think team orders are fine with me as long as they are according to the regulations. I think the team is the number one and then come the other interests. Obviously there are regulations, and if somebody feels that the regulations have been breached, then this is not for us to decide. This is the point. If a fan would understand that team orders are allowed, you have it in cycling, you have it also maybe in other sports. This is my point of view.
Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado de Sao Paulo) Question is to Domenicali: on one side you have Alonso overtaking Felipe and you get seven points more for Alonso. On the other side you have the country of Felipe, Brazil, and this country has Fiat, Shell, Santander where they have maybe one of the strongest markets for them. And this country has millions of people suggesting that they will never buy Fiat cars any more, Shell fuel and use a bank account. Which solution do you prefer? The seven points more for Alonso, or to face the situation in the country?
Domenicali: As I said, we need to be cool when we discuss these things. We don't have to bring it to an emotional point. In my view, I would say that no one can say that Ferrari... no one more than Ferrari has supported Felipe, every time, all the time. As I said, we go back to short memories. A couple of races ago, a lot of people in this room were pushing us to say what's it all about, what is happening and we always said, no, no, Felipe's a great driver, he's a great man, for sure he wants to win because it's what we want and we want to see him as part of the team because we are feeling for him. So no one can say Ferrari has done anything to Felipe. We always support him, we feel a lot for him. I don't want to follow this because I don't think it is correct and I don't want that people have short memories, because that is wrong, in life and in sport.
Q: (Fredrik Af Petersens) You are all talking about how you see Formula One as a team sport; in 2002 I asked Michael (Schumacher) and Rubens (Barrichello), why do we have an individual World Championship for Drivers? They didn't give me an answer. Perhaps you four can give me an answer: why do we have a Drivers' championship?
Horner: I think we've made it very clear that we let both of our drivers compete for that championship, so rightly or wrongly, we've let our drivers race. We will continue to employ that strategy, but you do have two championships and Drivers' and Teams' both carry the same significance, I would say.
Boullier: If I may there is a Constructors' championship, so it's up to us to back the best of our drivers to win both the Drivers' and the Constructors' championship.
Domenicali: Yes, the same.
Kolles: The same. I think the Constructors' championship is a very crucial one, to be honest with you. It's very important from a financial point of view. You don't gain anything out of the Drivers' championship. You gain, of course, a lot of reputation and maybe indirect sponsorship or whatever but the fact is that the Constructors' championship is more valuable for a team than the Drivers' championship.
Q: (Fulvio Solms - Corriere dello Sport) Stefano, may you sincerely explain to us this double speed of Ferrari: slow and defensive with the international media and fast and aggressive on the tracks and in the interpretation of technical and sporting regulations?
Domenicali: I don't know if it's slow on one side and fast on the other. For sure our main objective is to try, at least, to be fast on the track and this is the most important thing. This year is a tough championship, no doubt. I think that, as I said before, if you divide all the races that we have done up to now, we suffered by not gaining the points that we should have taken, for many reasons, and I think that we found ourselves in a situation where in terms of developing, we were slowing down a little bit, where we were expecting something more, mainly connected to the F-duct development. Then after that I think that when we realized that we were focusing more on the other technical developments related to the other parts of the car, so we gained performance. But I would say, going back to the short memories, to stay cool. Every race is different. We have seen that how, if you look back at the last couple of races, how things can change very quickly. So the only thing that we have to do is really to make sure that we push hard in all areas, because the competition is very, very strong but with these kind of points, everything can happen because if you have a problem and then you are able to be there and take the points, then everything is possible. The other way to do it is to be very pushy in all areas.
Q: (Byron Young - The Daily Mirror) Stefano, is there any concern... you lost Rubens Barrichello because he felt that he'd been treated as a second class driver, a number two driver in your team. Is there any concern now that Felipe Massa might feel the same way and you might lose a very talented driver over the next couple of years?
Domenicali: No, no, I don't think so. No, I don't think so because Felipe, as I said, we have always been very happy about Felipe. We were helping on the personal side, on the professional side, we are proud of him and we don't change our view. I think that the philosophy of his life is really part of our spirit and we respect that and I think that he respects (that) too. At this moment, when you are surrounded by a lot of people that are pushing you, friends, real friends, friends that are not real friends, people that are saying to you something and when you turn your back they say the opposite. It's normal that you react with this kind of energy. It's important that this energy has to be not negative but it has to be positive, positive for him, because that's part of the game, very positive for him once again, as I said, but also positive for the team, because that was also on his statement, so honestly I don't think so.
Q: (Byron Young - The Daily Mirror) Just following up on that, why would Felipe Massa want to help you win the World Championship when you don't want to help him win the World Championship?
Domenicali: I think that once again, short memories, because I think that if you remember, our philosophy was really to try to make sure that our drivers would have the right chance at the right moment and I think that you can remember what has happened in the past, so that's it.
Q: (Peter Farkas - Auto Motor) Actually this is a follow-up, I know it's getting boring but I still have to ask it. We've heard the question that maybe the teams should listen to the fans a bit more but can we ask it the other way round? Maybe the fans should listen to the teams a bit more, because obviously there is a view that Formula One was always a team sport basically but people really don't seem to understand it. Do you think that really the teams together should make a bit more effort to convince people that it's a team sport, because there have been team orders before they were banned and there are team orders since they are banned, so there's no real point in them being in the regulations. It's really the fact that team orders are unpopular, so even if they do it, they will not always openly admit to it, so?
Domenicali: Otherwise I speak alone. We do a press conference...
Horner: It's a good question. You have to listen to the fans. The fans do want to see wheel-to-wheel racing but a lot again comes down to the regulations and explaining the regulations and the practicality of those regulations. So I think it's something that the teams, together with the governing body, need to really learn from the events of last weekend and come up with perhaps a revision or clarity, moving forwards.
Q: (Peter Farkas - Auto Motor) Will it change anything because team orders will still be used and will be unpopular?
Horner: As I said earlier, I think it depends on what constitutes a team order at the end of the day.
Q: (Jonathan Legard - BBC Sport) Just on that, Christian, is there a case then for just saying team orders are legal? Because there seems to be a contradiction because you've all said, and everyone has said pretty much, that team orders are part of the fabric of Formula One and yet they are banned. You have your own unwritten law and yet there is the law in the Formula One rule book.
Horner: We have got a slight contradiction here in that if you look across the different decades of Formula One, whether it was Stirling Moss, Niki Lauda coming through to the more recent eras, Formula One has been a team sport. This regulation was introduced for a purpose to try and avoid obviously what happened in 2002. Generally it's been pretty effective but obviously situations still exist and I think it's an issue that does need to be revisited. It has perhaps been tested more fully recently but it's an important issue for Formula One and clarity also for the teams moving forward as to what the future of team orders is. Do they belong in Formula One or don't they and if they don't then obviously the rules need absolutely clearly deal with that.
Kolles: I agree...
Q: (Alessandro Berbic - Fox TV Serbia) Mr. Horner, now in Istanbul and in Silverstone your seat seemed to be the hottest seat of all on the pit wall. Now do you feel relieved or happy or maybe lucky that now you're not in the position you used to be in?
Domenicali: Let's wait.
Horner: When you're competitive and running at the front, inevitably the spotlight is on you. We had our issues and people are very quick to form opinions about those issues. The Ferrari guys touched each other at Silverstone two weeks earlier but because they were running fifth or sixth or whatever, it wasn't particularly interesting. So inevitably it will move round and I think it's McLaren's turn really to take that spotlight in the next few races!
Q: (Alessandro Berbic - Fox TV Serbia) Now here is the second one for Mr. Domenicali: since you've been at the helm of Ferrari, and since you've been leading the team, there have been some criticisms and maybe hard times for either lack of performance or lack of drivers' performance or whatever but do you feel that this time, for the last five or six days, has been the hardest since you're the boss of the Ferrari Formula One team, for you, personally?
Domenicali: For me personally? For sure during these days it is really not good to see that after such a fantastic weekend, all the pressure is on that side, but honestly, as I said, it really depends from which side you're taking your view, because I know that the reaction from the situation in Hockenheim was totally different if you speak with different people, or different countries. For sure it's something that, as I said, in life, everything has to bring something to anyone. That's for sure. But in our job, it moves on every day. You never know what is happening tomorrow and we will see.
Lewis Hamilton (6th, 1:21.308): "It's been an interesting day. We've just been focusing on our package and trying to optimize what we have. And the car was the best I've ever driven around here - it felt really great through the corners. But, even so, we're losing quite a bit of time in the middle sector, and a couple of tenths in the first and third sectors, too. And then, as you start to push harder, in order to close the gap to the guys in front, the car begins to feel like it's a little bit on the ragged edge. I think we're pretty much getting the best out of the package we have - we're dialing-in the set-up pretty effectively - but there's still maybe a few tenths to come. So we know we've got a lot of work to do: this weekend is really about scoring as many points as we can, and hoping the guys ahead run into trouble. It's going to be tough, but we've got to take the rough with the smooth and stay focused. And we'll do that, no doubt about it. As always, of course, I'll be pushing as hard as I can."
Jenson Button (9th, 1:21.730): "I'm reasonably happy with the car today. It didn't feel too great on the Option tire, but the balance was good on the Prime. However, we're a little bit behind the Red Bulls and the Ferraris. It's probably therefore going to be a tricky weekend for us. There are still areas where we can improve, which is positive, but we're unlikely to close the gap completely here in Hungary. Hopefully, though, we'll see an improvement tomorrow, and that will move us closer. Still, we need to be doing the best job we can with the equipment we have, and that's exactly what we'll be doing. I know all the guys back at the McLaren Technology Centre are working flat-out to keep improving this car, and I've got absolute belief in them."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Today's program was organized a little differently from our regular Friday sessions, as we undertook some shorter evaluative runs during P1 this morning. While we're encouraged by both drivers' feedback, and by the overall balance of the car, the pace of the front-runners was somewhat unexpected. Nevertheless, we've amassed plenty of useful data, and we're armed with a lot of information. As usual, we'll be working hard tonight in preparation for tomorrow's qualifying session, and we're confident of being able to make further improvements to our car. In a championship battle as tight as this year's, the crucial thing is to concentrate on having an error-free weekend and maintain strong consistency - even when faced with challenging circumstances. So that will be our aim for the remainder of this weekend. As ever, it's going to be a question of discipline, hard work and good racecraft, and that's what we'll be aiming to deliver."
Michael Schumacher (10th, 1:21.773): "Today we saw two sessions where neither the long runs nor the single laps were looking particularly good. We are not up to the speed that we normally are on Fridays and unfortunately our car does not look very good here at the moment. We have to look deeply into the data now to see if there are any specific reasons or if it is due to the character of the circuit. I think our specification is better than we had at Silverstone but we have to make it suit this track. We obviously hope for a better performance tomorrow and Sunday."
Nico Rosberg (13th, 1:22.039): "It was an interesting day and even though we have taken a small step back with our upgrades, the car seems to work as it should. The track was unexpectedly fast so we had to do some different things with the set-up just to get a feel for it. My lap time wasn't particularly representative as I didn't set a time because of the traffic so I think we look to be in our general position behind the frontrunners at the moment."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "We had a busy day working with our revised aero package to find the right direction for qualifying and particularly the race. Both drivers completed some good set-up work but Nico and particularly Michael are not completely happy with our position at the end of today. We have a fairly clear picture of where we expect the prime and option tires to be positioned for qualifying and the race but we have a lot of work ahead this evening to improve the cars for tomorrow."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Not a perfect first day of practice for us and there is certainly still work to be done tonight in order to improve the set-up of our cars. If the forecast is correct for tomorrow, there is a chance of thunderstorms around lunchtime which could possibly create an exiting qualifying session."
Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:20.087): "I think this morning didn't really give a clear picture of each team's pace, but this afternoon it was tighter. The Ferraris seem very quick again here, on both the long and short runs. They will be quick again tomorrow and we also shouldn't forget the McLarens; they have proven many times this year that they can make a step forward from Friday to Saturday. It's a difficult track here, quite bumpy and rough, but the car feels good."
Mark Webber (3rd, 1:20.597): "That was pretty good - we got through everything we wanted. The car ran faultlessly and the guys did a good job. The track keeps getting quicker and we learned quite a bit today. The Ferraris look quick again, so we've got to keep an eye on them - you never know what fuel loads people are running on Friday. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Fernando Alonso (2nd, 1:20.584): "I hope we can stay close to our main rivals, who seemed very strong today and be able to fight them in Q3 tomorrow afternoon. For now, we are still a bit behind by a few tenths, even if we won't know the truth until qualifying. We certainly need to work on the set-up of the car to improve its performance, especially in the second and third sectors. Compared to Hockenheim, where the car was well balanced, here we are suffering with a bit too much understeer, but all the same it feels pretty good. We did various aerodynamic tests and, in the end, it seems the car is more competitive without the blown rear wing. Overall, we are happy with how things went today, even if we are well aware that one cannot rely much on Friday's times. As for McLaren, whom one should not forget lead both championships, we seem to have the upper hand, but so often we have seen them struggle on a Friday before then being very competitive. Tomorrow afternoon, it will be very important to secure a place in the top three because it would be hard to fight for the win starting further back."
Felipe Massa (4th, 1:20.986): "As has generally been the case this year, we need to work on our performance on the first timed lap: our main rivals manage to set a time quickly while we struggle a bit more. This is vital, especially for qualifying which, at a track like this, is even more critical than usual. In particular, we have to get the front tires working as well as possible. In terms of race pace, I would say we are pretty good, as was also demonstrated in Hockenheim. Returning to driving at this track was not difficult for me: when you are in the car and you shut the visor, you only think about going quickly. It was definitely good yesterday to go to the medical centre and meet the people who took care of me immediately after the accident, and it was equally emotional to have dinner with the surgeon who operated on me at Budapest's AEK hospital: I wish to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for what they did for me one year ago; they are really extraordinary people."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "Overall, we are reasonably pleased with what we have seen today. The car seems to be competitive, although it has to be said that the Red Bulls were very strong. Now we must prepare as well as possible for qualifying and the race, with the aim of picking up a lot of points, continuing in the same vein as we began in Hockenheim."
Chris Dyer: "It was a very busy day because we had so many irons in the fire. This morning, we concentrated on development of new solutions for the forthcoming races, almost like an old-style test day and we also tried to evaluate carefully the performance of some aerodynamic updates which we brought here, as well as looking at the behavior of the F10 with and without the blown rear wing. In the second session, we went back to the standard Friday program, looking at defining the best set up of the car and tire work. We completed both programs with no particular problems, apart from a small electrical fault towards the end on Alonso's car, which prevented him from getting the most out of the long run on soft tires. From what we have seen, the performance is reasonably good: we can expect a very close qualifying and we hope to be in the fight for the front rows."
Nico Hulkenberg (8th, 1:21.623): "It was a positive day for us, we worked efficiently through our program and got plenty of work done. It looks similar to Hockenheim here in terms of our relative pace and hopefully if everything goes well, we will be inside the top ten tomorrow."
Rubens Barrichello (12th, 1:21.844): "My day went well and we managed to finish plenty of comparative tests which are important for the weekend. We can see already that it is going to be a very close grid and it will require our best efforts to qualify at the head of the group of cars we are running among. All of this makes it a very busy weekend in terms of the effort we need to make."
Patrick Head, Director of Engineering: "Today was a normal Friday for us. Both tires look stable, but it looks as if the softer tire is reasonably faster than the prime. As Nico says, our work in P3 will be aimed at achieving top ten qualifying positions tomorrow afternoon."
Vitaly Petrov (5th, 1:21.195): "It was a good day of practice and I found a good balance with the car. I know this track well and, with the updates we have here, the car feels much better. In the morning we did some basic set-up work and in the afternoon I tried some new parts, including our new rear wing which has much more downforce. I ran with both tire compounds and the track conditions were not too bad, which helped us. Tomorrow morning we still need to keep working away little by little to be ready for qualifying."
Robert Kubica (7th, 1:21.375): "It was a fairly normal Friday for us. We tried to get as much information as we could and we were quite lucky with the weather because I think there was quite a lot of rain close to the track, but we got away with two dry sessions, which was what we needed. The track was pretty good straight away, so we were able to have consistent driving conditions throughout the day. We tried to get a feeling for the two tire compounds and the different parts on the car."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "It has been a very busy day for both cars - busier than normal because we have had a lot of parts to test and both drivers, car crews and engineers have done a very good job to get through the work load. Both drivers appear to be going well here, although they were running slightly different programs today. It can often be quite dirty off the racing line at this circuit, but it was better than usual. The track was in good condition from the start of the day, although it certainly improved in the afternoon. We did a rear wing comparison with Vitaly and ran our floor upgrade with both cars. We also have a new front wing here and both cars will run with all these parts tomorrow. We didn't do a tire comparison as such, but we did a lot of work with the super-soft tire and ran it with high and low fuel to assess its qualifying and long run pace. Overall, it looks very good and we didn't find any problems."
Adrian Sutil (16th, 1:22.507): "Today my main goal was to get as much running as possible with the new blown diffuser. We made very good progress in this regard and didn't have any real problems with it, which is a major achievement given how big a component it is to introduce. It seemed to work quite well with the various mappings, and also the temperatures look under control so we can be quite confident in it. But in general we didn't get the best out of the car today. We are struggling a little on the softer tire and neither Tonio nor myself could improve from the hard tire. There doesn't seem to be a peak with it, unlike the hard tire that you know will peak and come in, but it's much more difficult to understand where we are with the soft one. We'll continue to look at it and hope that we can improve tomorrow."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (18th, 1:23.138): "As always in Hungary the circuit was quite low grip in the second session, although it looked pretty clean. It was very slippery in places but it should improve for tomorrow as more rubber gets laid down. For now the balance is quite good, particularly on the hard tire, but we need to understand why we didn't improve on the soft compound. It's going to be a tough weekend for us, but we've done some productive running today and will look at everything overnight to try and find some more time tomorrow."
Paul di Resta: "Today was my first outing at the Hungaroring so I necessarily spent a fair bit of time learning the track. It's quite a complicated one to get to grips with and get into a good rhythm, with a lot of corners that flow into each other with no real rest. The average speed is quite slow as well so you're not getting the full effect of the cars as you would at a track like Silverstone. All the same, I really enjoyed being out there. The track was low grip to start with but the grip level slowly improved and we were able to run through all the program. I wasn't running the blown diffuser so it is difficult to compare directly how I did relative to Adrian, but I am pretty happy with how it went today."
Dominic Harlow, Chief Race Engineer: "An interesting day here in Hungary as we learned a great deal about our exhaust blown diffuser with Adrian whilst Tonio concentrated on the tire evaluations. Initial indications are positive. The circuit was in quite good shape at the start of the day and, as the temperatures increased the grip became a bit harder to find. We can improve the balance a bit more for tomorrow, and things are very tight in our area of the field so it's really a question of examining the data and going forward from there."
Jaime Alguersuari (15th, 1:22.469): "It was a useful day, as we tested many elements and got a lot of information to analyze. Because we were evaluating some new components today, I expect us to make more progress tomorrow morning in terms of improving the set-up and balance of the car. I did a good long run, which is useful in terms of Sunday's race. As far as our pace is concerned, at this stage I would say the upgrades we have are an improvement and I hope that translates into a better qualifying performance than usual. Traction and braking seems quite good and the main difficulty I am having is mid-corner as the softer tires had some graining on the fronts during my long run. We need to think about that in terms of what it means for the race."
Sebastien Buemi (17th, 1:22.602): "We had a busy program, evaluating various parts on the car and in the second session, I reverted to some of the older components while Jaime stayed on the new one, to get a clearer picture. Now we have to study the data carefully, because at the moment, it is hard to tell what improvement the new parts bring. We had no technical issues, so we ran trouble free in both sessions, which means we have a clear understanding of the tires. As usual here on the first day, the problem is that you do not get much grip from the tires because the track surface is dirty, so at first we struggled a bit, although this afternoon on the Option tire, the grip level clearly improved. But we still need to work on improving the rear end grip for tomorrow."
Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer: "We had a few new aero components to evaluate, some of which we had tested before and others that went straight on the car today. It's good that we got a full day of dry weather, given that there were a few showers in the surrounding area, as it helped our aero evaluation work. Apart from that it was the usual Friday work list: we evaluated the two types of tire and they both performed very consistently. The rest of the time was spent on set-up work, with the usual trade off of very long runs, which we did with Jaime and single lap performance."
Jarno Trulli (19th, 1:24.553): "It was a good, trouble free Friday session, so I'm very happy with how it went. We did a lot of work on the setup so generally the car balance hasn't been too bad. Obviously it's a bumpy circuit which evolves all the time, so it's important to follow up the evolution. We've also been able to evaluate the tires, which is important for both qualifying tomorrow and for the race on Sunday."
Heikki Kovalainen (24th, 1:27.705): "The track is good and there's a great atmosphere out there. This morning we were able to complete the program without any problems, but when I went out this afternoon we almost immediately had a mechanical issue that unfortunately the boys couldn't fix, so we lost the afternoon session. That's the way it goes sometimes, but I'm sure that we'll be ok tomorrow. It's still too early to say how well suited the car is to the track, I'd have obviously had a better idea if I'd been able to run this afternoon, but this morning was pretty encouraging, and it's really not too bad at all when we look at our direct competitors."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "A reasonable day although we had a hydraulic issue on Heikki's car which unfortunately limited his running in the second session. With Jarno we were able to complete the full program, and the cars look like they are where we expect them to be and we have to make sure we have a reliable Saturday and Sunday."
Jody Egginton, Chief Engineer: "Mixed fortunes today - with Jarno we completed today's tasks and put a lot of mileage on the option tire, so we've got a lot of good data from that. Heikki was very unlucky to have a car problem which prevented him from putting in any decent time this afternoon - we tried to resolve it but the time beat us. Despite that we got a lot of valuable information from them both this morning, and more from Jarno this afternoon, so I think we'll be in pretty good shape tomorrow."
Bruno Senna (22nd, 1:26.745): "In the first session, the track was very 'green' and the grip level was quite low. We tried some aero settings in preparation for the qualifying and the race. We could fulfill our testing program and, as we completed almost a whole race distance, you can see that the car is reliable."
Sakon Yamamoto (23rd, 1:26.798): "We had some problems on the car this morning, so we couldn't go through the whole program. In the second practice session, we could fulfill the program and we got a lot of good data. We keep on working hard and getting ready for tomorrow."
Colin Kolles, Team Principal: "At the beginning of the first practice session, the grip level was expectably low. With one car, we did almost half a race distance this morning. Sakon did a very good job today and he was close to Bruno. We will be more competitive in qualifying and the race."
Pedro de la Rosa (11th, 1:21.809): "For me it was a positive and productive day. My car is pretty good on this low speed circuit, which means all the improvements the team introduced during the recent races are also paying off on this type of track. I think we are looking strong here and there is more to come: For the time being my car tends to understeer, the front is a bit lazy, but I'm sure this can be solved by changing the set-up."
Kamui Kobayashi (14th, 1:22.212): "We have done a lot of set-up work today and my car is getting better, but I am not happy yet. The track is quite bumpy and I have to fight understeer as well as oversteer. But my main problem is a lack of grip. I don't really know yet where this comes from, but the data will tell us and we are now going to look at it."
James Key, Technical Director: "It's been a very busy day. In the morning we tested some aerodynamic parts on both cars, which provided us with very useful data in view of future developments. The morning was okay for both drivers as the cars ran fine. The second session was more of a standard program, looking at the set-up of the cars and the tires. The biggest problems today were consistency and traffic. The grip levels were quite tricky and made it difficult to put together a good lap, particularly on the harder tire, but also with the soft compound it was not easy to produce consistent lap times. That's definitely something we have to look into this evening. We've got work to do tonight, and I don't think it's straight forward, but Pedro being 11th on a compromised lap wasn't so bad. For Kamui we need to work on the rear end of his car to make it more stable. I think it's still open as to what will happen tomorrow."
Timo Glock (20th, 1:25.376): "A normal Friday for us without any problems with the car, so it has been quite an easy day for us. We did a lot of set-up work, In terms of our speed we are not where we want to be just yet, but we have a good baseline with which to start the weekend."
Lucas di Grassi (21st, 1:25.669): "We have had a good Friday without any reliability problems so the weekend has started smoothly. We did all the work we needed to do and I am looking forward to improving the car even more tomorrow and continuing the progress. I hope the weather stays stable so we can have a good qualifying session."
Nick Wirth, Technical Director: "A smooth day of information gathering for us. Both cars ran reliably, as we hoped, and we ran through a range of set-ups which we're deep into analyzing at the moment. We're certainly not there yet on the set-up and both drivers had their best laps compromised heavily, so let's hope we make our usual solid set-up progress overnight and have a smooth Saturday."
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