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DATE News (chronologically)
04/03/09
f1
Malaysia GP: Friday Driver Quotes
Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari (1:35.707, 1st):
“This morning we had a problem with the KERS, which cost us a bit of time, but we managed to make up for most of it in the afternoon. We had felt that the situation here could be different to Melbourne, but it is still too early to say where we are up against the opposition. What we can be sure of is that when the car runs trouble-free, we are competitive. We hope we can do a good job in tomorrow's qualifying.”

Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1:35.832, 2nd):
“The situation seems different compared to Australia, at least in terms of how the tires operate. There is more grip and the softer tires work well, even over a long distance. At the start of the long runs, I had a bit of understeer in the high speed corners and oversteer in the slow ones, but towards the end, the handling of the car improved continuously and I could set some great times. Clearly, looking at the time sheet today, there's a slight feeling of relief, even if it has to be treated with caution: we are very motivated and the whole team will be trying its best.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault (1:35.954, 3rd):
“The heat in Malaysia is always a surprise, even if you're here for a couple of days before you jump in the car. It's very hot with the suit and everything and, no matter how much you prepare, the first outing is always a bad surprise - but, you quickly adapt. Every time you come in to the box it's like you've been in the shower. Fortunately I've got a bag with dry ice in it, which I put next to my balls, so at least they stay nice and cool! Today went well, with smooth running. We ran through our program, did a lot of laps and got a lot of information about our tires. There were no major problems with either car, so it was a good day.”

Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota (1:36.015, 4th):
“We had a very good day and made a lot of set-up changes, and made good progress in finding a way forward. We also completed a good tire test which is important as I think we now have a good idea of what is going on with the tires for this circuit. Everything worked out well today and of course we all had our first sessions driving in the heat, but I think my fitness preparation over the winter has helped a lot.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault (1:36.026, 5th):
“Today was a lot better for us in terms of reliability than Friday in Melbourne, so it was a big step forward. Both cars ran well and obviously it's a big challenge for the cars around here with the heat, so that's good. We got all of our program completed in plenty of time. Performance wise, we're not too bad here. We have a bit of work to do tonight, but in general it was a pretty good day for the team and for me.”

Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes (1:36.161, 6th):
“We achieved a good day's work today on a challenging track where it is always difficult to find the right balance with the car and tires. Our evaluations with the prime and the option tire were particularly useful and although we still have some work to do on the balance, overall it was a positive day.”

Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes (1:36.254, 7th):
“We completed some useful running today to work on improving the balance of the car. My biggest problem was that we are locking the tires and brakes very easily so we need to have a good look at this. We're not quite there yet but we are going in the right direction and I'm confident we will achieve the optimum set-up ready for qualifying tomorrow.”

Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota (1:36.290, 8th):
“Today was a very positive day and we have carried over our competitiveness from the last race. Whether we are as quick relatively as we were in Melbourne remains to be seen, but certainly we are far further ahead than we were here last year and we'll keep pushing on tomorrow and see what more we can find.”

Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes (1:36.397, 9th):
“The track grip was immediately good, and less dusty than in Australia. We've made some good progress with the car's development. As we started pushing, the car started to move around quite a bit and was more difficult to drive. But our consistency over the long runs looks quite promising. I just need some aircon in the car – it's totally boiling!”

Nelson Piquet jr., Renault (1:36.401, 10th):
“We had a good first day with no major problems and so things look a bit better than they did in Melbourne. There is still a lot of work to do, but I'm happy we improved the car between the two sessions. It will be a tough race with these temperatures, but I look forward to it.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes (1:36.515, 11th):
“Clearly, we still need a bit more grip but our balance, particularly through the high-speed stuff, felt good. The car felt stronger than I expected.”

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (1:36.516, 12th):
“Today went fine and it was a very standard Friday session for us. The track was a bit slippery this morning but it cleaned up quickly and by the second session it was fine. We went through our program and tried a few things with the set-up and the tires to improve the car. If you look at the timing sheets we don't look as competitive as I expected before coming here but I think the car is definitely there and it is just a matter of getting the right direction on set-up. The soft tires seem to be pretty competitive and they were faster but the hard ones were a little bit too hard.”

Sébastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (1:36.628, 13th):
“I drove here last year in GP2, so I know the track. It's different of course in an F1 car but no problem. The heat is not bothering me and you just have to make sure you drink a bit more to cope with the sweating. Today, the track remained pretty consistent which meant we were able to try several things on the car. I am quite happy with what we have seen. In terms of tires, it doesn't look as though the difference between the two types is a great as in Melbourne and the degradation appears to be less. Our speed seems reasonable, but we still have a lot to do. Q2 tomorrow? Who knows, it might be wet, so let's wait and see.”

Timo Glock, Toyota (1:36.639, 14th):
“It has been quite a tricky day for me today. The car this morning didn't feel quite right and I had some trouble with the stability, then at the beginning of second practice I was getting some oversteer and the car felt light. But we worked on some different set-ups and by the end of the day it was feeling better. We still have plenty of work to do before qualifying but we had a similar situation in Melbourne and we made a lot of progress so I am still optimistic.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (1:36.640, 15th):
“We tried not to do too many laps today as I wasn't feeling one hundred percent. It's a very demanding weekend in terms of the heat because we sweat so much, but it was important that we still got enough information. I hope what we have learnt today will be useful for tomorrow and allow us to work on improving the set-up. Hopefully I will recover more this evening and feel better tomorrow so that I can give my maximum in qualifying, which I think will be one of the most important parts of this weekend, so we need to be ready for that.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes (1:36.875, 16th):
“It was a good day today overall. We got through all our work and had no problems with the car. We have some work to do with the set up, it's still a bit understeery in the high speed corners and we can still make some improvements in this respect. The soft tires seem to work quite well, but the hard tire at the moment is really hard and never seems to come in. Overall it was a pretty productive day to set us up well for the weekend.”

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber-BMW (1:37.267, 17th):
“Today we concentrated totally on race preparation, and particularly on tire comparisons. The specifications that Bridgestone have brought to Malaysia are very different from the ones we used in Melbourne, and obviously Sepang also has different characteristics. In addition, the track temperatures were much higher here, so it was a new situation. We gathered a lot of data and have the basis to use the tires to their full potential during the race. While we were doing long-runs today, tomorrow we will focus on the single lap performance.”

Sébastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (1:37.278, 18th):
“As was the case here last year, the track improved a lot between the start and finish of the first session and then again in the second. It was a dramatic change and the few drops of rain that fell did not help us in understanding the situation. In the afternoon, we tried something on the car which took us down the wrong route. It's still a case of finding out what works and what doesn't on the car. I felt there was a big difference in terms of grip from the prime and option tire so I did not get the most out of them. A long run on the options was quite satisfying and I was fairly happy with the balance compared to what I had on the shorter runs, so that is encouraging.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes (1:37.432, 19th):
“We are still finding the best compromise under braking as there is front locking and poor grip and traction so we have to work a lot to make the balance work for us. Over the longer runs it doesn't look too bad however. It's a shame about the accident in the afternoon - I just went a little bit wide as there was some graining on the tires and I lost control of the car. It was just unlucky to go onto the gravel and into the barriers.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber-BMW (1:37.930, 20th):
“Certainly the results don't look good, but in Melbourne it was a similar picture on Friday. Nevertheless we do have some work to do in order to improve the balance of the car. In the first session I was running with the KERS and in the second I didn't use the device. Using it makes a huge difference to the car's balance, but without it there is the loss of the boost. This was the experience we wanted and why we took it out for this session. Now we will throw everything into the mix - lap times, data and my feelings - and then decide whether or not to use the KERS here.”

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