Quotes from Jerez - Day 1
"It was pretty good. As Adrian said at the launch, there haven’t been big changes to the regulations this year and the car is an evolution of the one we finished with last season, so there were no big surprises. I think most of the drivers will sit back tonight and think today’s times were pretty competitive.
“It was actually like a Friday practice session in some regards. We started understanding the tires and there were a lot of positives,” he added. “There’s a bit of housekeeping we have to get on top of but, other than that, it’s been encouraging. The car feels similar to last year’s, so the main difference is the tires. With these tires you’re always on your toes. It was good that we had consistent temperatures today, so we got a lot of information and feedback to analyze, which is all good. Generally though, the car feels pretty good, so I’m happy.”
Commenting on the first day’s work with RB9, Engineering Coordinator Andy Damerum said: “We had a very good day’s running today. Being the first day of testing there’s always a few nerves when the car goes out, but we had very few problems and Mark managed to get through just over 323km of running. We were able to get through about 90% of what was on the list for today. If I recall, this time last year we couldn’t run in the morning because of fog, so this first day with the RB9 has been good. Tomorrow, we’ll just crack on with the work load, which means more aero work and getting to know the tires more.”
“The feeling is good from the E21; it feels very similar to the E20 from behind the wheel, even if it does look different from the outside. Once again Enstone has produced a car that is quick from the very first lap. We spent a little bit more time than ideal in the garage today, but that’s normal in testing. I’m happy we completed 54 laps, and even happier that all of them were quick. We now have a good idea of the new tires and we’ll have some challenges from them; the grip level is there but performance does fall away with graining. That said, Jerez is a very specific track in this regard. The speed came easy today and we didn’t respond to the other cars going faster in the afternoon. We should go even better tomorrow.”
James Allison, Lotus Technical Director
“It’s great to see the fruits of our labors take to the track for the first time here in Jerez. Everything has looked positive so far. The feedback from Romain has been encouraging and on the engineering side there have been no particular dramas of note. Overall it was a promising first day for this car and we hope to continue in this vein for the next days of testing.”
“This afternoon’s problem aside, I’m really happy with the start we have made to our 2013 campaign. With a new car there is always the potential for something to crop up and cut short the program, but for the morning period everything went according to plan, which is just the start we needed. I’m sure the Team will get on top of the suspension issue very quickly so we can all pick up where we left off and start putting some more miles on what is obviously a very promising package.”
John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team
“Up until the afternoon session we really couldn’t have been happier with the way things were going for us with the car and Max. It was a big day for him but he has been his characteristically mature and assured self, and as a consequence of that and a very seamless morning’s running, we have every reason to feel encouraged by our big picture. In terms of the specific issue we encountered this afternoon, we will naturally ensure we conduct a thorough inspection of the component in question and see what solution we can bring to recommence our program.”
Mike Coughlan, Williams Technical Director
Jerez is a unique circuit that we don’t race on during the season and it provides the perfect opportunity to do some final test and development work ahead of the FW35 launch. Today was a good day for us with Pastor completing 84 laps in the FW34. We concentrated on running some new systems in preparation for the FW35, as well as some planned set-up changes. We would be reluctant to do these over a normal race weekend as you lose too much track time making the changes, so it was ideal for us to get these into our program today. It was also interesting to see the new Pirelli tires in action and having the FW34 here helped us to really understand how the tires are working.
We had no problems today and the car felt very consistent so we were able to learn a lot, which will be useful for the FW35 development. We planned to run the FW34 to enable us to have a reliable car to test the new tires with and also try some different set-ups. It’s great to finally be back on track after what felt like a long winter and I’m confident we can achieve a lot this week.
“It’s good to be back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car. It was a long day to complete 70 laps, however, the main thing is that the car was reliable, which is a positive aspect and we got through our work schedule for the day. You cannot look at car performance on the first day, when reliability and comfort are more important and, on that front, my seat and driving position were good. So this was a day of tasks that were relatively simple, but also important.”
"I think if you compare to last year it is a completely different planet," said Massa, when asked by AUTOSPORT about how his first day's running with the new car compared to 12 months ago.
"Last year I remember we were struggling a lot to drive the car. It was tricky to keep the car on the track, so this year the base on the car is completely different to last year.
"The car is much more balanced. I felt a good direction on the rear of the car as well, with traction. This is a track that is very difficult on the rear, degradation is very high. I would say that the difference to last year is huge."
Massa said early issues with the F138 have cropped up - like the need to improve cooling in the cockpit - but there were no alarm bells ringing about significant performance problems.
"I don't think it is a difficult thing to fix," he said. "I am not disappointed definitely.
"The 1m18.8s [lap time of Jenson Button] is an incredible time definitely, but the 1m19.7s [of second fastest Mark Webber] I don't think is.
"If you look at the first day, looking at how we ran, how we drove and the direction we had for the first day, I am not really disappointed.
"There is a lot to do, a lot to work on, a lot to develop on the car for the first race. That is clear. But I am not disappointed."
Giedo van der Garde, car #21
“First it’s great to be back at work and I’m pleased with how day one on track has gone. We completed a very decent number of laps today without any major issues and I was pretty comfortable in the car straight away.
“Day one is all about making sure everything in the car works as it’s supposed to and apart from a couple of minor issues with the floor we didn’t really have to make any changes to the car straight out of the box. We also ran through a number of procedures that are new to me, particularly starts as we didn’t do too many of those last year, but the main thing for me is the tires. They definitely feel different to what I ran in the Friday sessions I did in 2012 and that’s going to be a focus for us in the tests, to get as much as we can out of them.
“It’s obviously far too early to make any judgments on the performance levels we can expect from the 2013 package but compared to the car I drove in Brazil it feels like we’ve made some good progress over the winter. Tomorrow will be more of the same for us – running through more procedures and a few setup options across the range of tires we have available here and hopefully getting as many laps in as possible.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Marussia Team Principal
“I’m happy with what we have achieved today. We began day one of the test by revealing the 2013 car with its new livery and I’m very pleased with the reaction we’ve had from around the world to the updated car. It’s always a risk changing something people feel as passionately as they do about F1 car liveries but we’ve had some very good responses to it and seeing it out on track proves that we made the right decision.
“Performance-wise it’s too early to tell where we’re going to line up this season. We’re realistic enough to know that it will take a big effort to fight the teams ahead, but we are patient and we’ve set ourselves achievable targets for the year ahead. One of the keys to helping us reach those goals will be maximum track time in the tests so we have to aim for another three days of clear running and see what we’ve learnt when we get back to the factory.
“All in all it’s been a good day and another bonus for us is to see how well Charles and Giedo have slotted into the team. This bodes well for the year ahead and it’s great to see our driver pairing fitting in so well in the very early stages of the season.”
At the start of winter testing, you often encounter small issues because the car you're running is a brand new design. We had an electrical problem this morning and, once we had found the root cause, chose to modify the parts to make sure it didn't happen again. Of course, at this time of year all you want to do is spend time in the car and get a feeling for how it's working, but these hiccups are just part of the game. During the laps I completed this morning, I had a good feeling with the car and it felt solid.