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DATE News (chronologically)
04/03/09
f1
Malaysia GP: Friday Team Principal Quotes  
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari (Team Principal):
“These three hours of free practice would seem to offer a different view of the situation to the one we saw in Australia, which indeed was predictable given the characteristics of the two circuits," commented Scuderia Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali. "Obviously, it's much too early to say what is our level of performance when compared to all the other teams, but it is clear that it very finely balanced, given that the first fifteen in the second session are all covered by less than a second. Reliability remains the main priority: again today we had a technical problem which, if it had happened in the race, would have led to a retirement. Having said that, we must remain focused and calm, while allowing ourselves to look forward to the rest of the weekend being aware that we will have to fight hard to bring home a good result.”

Luca Baldisserri, Ferrari (Team Manager):
“This morning we experienced a short circuit in the kinetic energy recovery system fitted to Kimi's car, which cost us a bit of time, but it didn't compromise our completion of today's program. The main aim was to understand how the two types of Bridgestone tire we have here perform, both over a single first lap and over a distance. From what we have seen today, the situation seems very different to what we experienced in Melbourne, especially when it comes to the consistency of performance from the softer compound. From this point of view, it's been a good day, but we have to work very carefully on every detail when it comes to the reliability of the car.”

Ross Brawn, Brawn-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“The practice sessions in Malaysia today have been our first experience of higher track and air temperatures so we made the most of the available running to learn how the car, tires and engine work in these conditions. We struggled a little with the balance of the car and at the moment it is not performing quite as well as in Australia last weekend. However I am confident that we are on the right path and with some hard work overnight, we should be in a good position for the rest of the weekend.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Once again, we fully utilized the track time during both Friday practice sessions to refine the bodywork developments we are making to MP4-24 and focus on set-up ahead of Sunday's grand prix – a race we anticipate will be one of the hottest and most demanding of the year. MP4-24 continues to evolve, and today's program underlines the encouraging progress we feel we are making with the car.”

Norbert Haug, McLaren-Mercedes (Mercedes Benz Motorsport Vice President):
“We compared both tire compounds and posted consistent lap times. After today, I would not say that we made a step forward but at least it looks as if we are headed in the right direction. The team improved quite a lot since the team test in Barcelona less than a month ago. But everybody inside Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is aware that we still have a lot of work ahead of us until we will be back at the top.”

Pat Symonds, Renault (Executive Director of Engineering):
“The track was quite slippery this morning, probably due to the heavy rain yesterday. The balance of the car is slightly better than we had in Australia, but we would still like to improve stability on the brakes. The hard tire here in Sepang has never been used before so it was a learning process for all of us, however the tires seemed satisfactory.

“Nelson went off this morning after a wheel failure and we are still investigating exactly what happened. Fernando's performance and program today has been compromised by the fact that he isn't feeling well. For the rest of the weekend we have to improve our performance from Australia and early indications are that we can.”

Dieter Gass, Toyota (Chief Engineer Race and Test):
“It was a pretty normal Friday for us. We concentrated on tires and trying to find a balance for the cars. We struggled a bit today getting a perfect balance and we still have some work to be done on both cars overnight to fine-tune the cars in order to get the best out of the package we have. In terms of the tires, we seem to be in a different situation compared to Melbourne, much less at the limit and both tires seem to be working reasonably well. The timing sheets are very close together so we're not worried about the final positions at the moment.”

Simon Roberts, Force India-Mercedes (Chief Operating Officer):
“We managed to get through most of the program today in both sessions and had some good runs on the softer tires in the second session, so we now have a good data point. Unfortunately Giancarlo came off the track in the closing stages of the afternoon and damaged the car, but I think we have got a good basis to move forward from now. Looking forward to tomorrow and the race I would hope that we are in a similar shape to last weekend, or even a slight improvement.”

Willy Rampf, BMW Sauber-BMW (Head of Engineering):
“We stuck to our planned program today, and concentrated on race preparation. One focus point was the tire comparison on the long-runs. Apart from that we tested two different options with Nick today - in the first session he drove with the KERS and in the second without. We did this for two reasons: On the one hand we wanted to get a direct comparison and on the other hand we wanted to practice changing in between the two sessions. We did not have any technical problems.”

Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone (Director of Motorsport Tire Development):
“Today's running was interesting as it was the first time that the teams have used the hard compound. This tire worked very much as expected, in line with our predictions, so we are very pleased. As designed, this tire takes longer to warm-up than the soft, but it looks to deliver good constant performance once in its temperature working range.

“Today we saw most running with the soft compound take place in the afternoon session, when track temperatures were dropping. We did not see the same level of drop off as we did in Australia with the super soft compound. Also, we did not see the same amount of graining as we did last weekend, which should make life easier in this respect for the drivers here. Sunday's race does not start until 17:00 hrs, so we do not expect extreme heat like we have seen in Malaysia in the past, which should make life less difficult for the tires.”

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