Spanish GP Friday Quotes
Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:22.808): "We have some new parts here but the days of big, big upgrades don't really happen now with the regulations how they are. This afternoon was fairly conclusive, but this morning wasn't really much good with the weather. It's hard to say much about the harder tire, I think the number of pit stops will be the same here in this race as at the last few."
Mark Webber (3rd, 1:22.891): "It looks reasonably tight. We couldn't have got more out of it today really, the weather made things a bit tricky, but it was a pretty good day overall. We had a few things to test this morning which we had to move to the afternoon when the weather was better – but it was okay. We still have work to do tonight. It's a nice grand prix to come to – one of the most popular of the year."
Fernando Alonso (2nd, 1:22.825): "The signs from today are positive, as we were quick in both the morning and afternoon and the car seems to be well balanced on light and heavy fuel loads. But it is always premature to try and draw conclusions on a Friday when everything seems to be going well, because in the past we have seen how our competitors can take off in qualifying. We have a great deal of data to analyze this evening, especially because the rain in the morning meant we had to squeeze almost all our planned program into the second session when it was dry. The feeling is definitely good and even though we are aware it won't be easy, we are sure we can fight it out with the best. I don't expect any great surprises compared to Bahrain and I think the top group is now defined, with Red Bull, Mercedes, ourselves and Lotus, although we need to see how much McLaren manages to improve, while also keeping an eye on Force India, who have been very strong in qualifying and the race."
Felipe Massa (5th, 1:23.110): "Everything went well today, even if this morning's rain reduced the amount of time we had to test everything we had planned for the first session. We began that job as soon as the track dried and then finished it off in the afternoon session, paying maximum attention to the handling of the car on both types of tire Pirelli has brought on this track, especially the new Hard. Even on the long run, the car seemed competitive and this makes me confident and so I hope we can continue to do well right to the end of the weekend."
Pat Fry: "This morning's rain strongly affected the work we had planned for today, preventing us from completing a sufficiently representative evaluation of the updates we brought here to Barcelona. We have got an immediate and positive validation for some of these, but with others, we will have to wait for the next races and hope for better weather. But it's normal that if, apart from evaluating updates, one also has to pay particular attention to the tires, a vitally important element in this season, everything gets more complicated. When the sun finally came out, thanks to a program split between the two drivers, we were able to get a substantial amount of data on the Hard and Medium compounds. First impressions seem positive: both on a single flying lap and on a long run, we were always in the top five and the new Hard compound shows improvement in terms of performance and degradation. As usual, now we can expect a long night analyzing in depth the performances we have seen today and making a more precise comparison with the competition."
Jenson Button (12th, 1:24.306): "As with any test of an upgrade package, there are positives and negatives to take away from today. There's now a better understanding of the correlation between the track and the wind tunnel. That's positive for the future, but of course we'd always like more. So I think we've moved forwards, but I think the others have too. We were limited in terms of the amount of running we could this morning, so there's a lot of data to sift through and plenty of things to change for tomorrow. We need to look at those elements that are potentially working and those that are not helping the overall car balance. We need to focus on a couple of areas – but, hopefully, we can improve them a bit by tomorrow."
Sergio Perez (13th, 1:24.854): "Today was basically all about the afternoon session, and collecting as much data as we could from some very intense running. It possibly wasn't the day we were hoping to have, but we collected a lot of data for the engineers – that's a positive. It was difficult to draw any clear conclusions from today, but the main positive we can take away is that we have a lot of data to feed into our simulation software in order to improve our understanding of the correlation. We've made a slight improvement. Once we get a better grip on our understanding of the correlation, I think we'll start making bigger steps. Over the next few races, hopefully we can make more progress."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "This morning's showers limited our ability to gather any meaningful data – the track was only really suitable for running on the dry tire in the last 20 or 30 minutes. As a result, we set ourselves the task of gathering a lot of data during this afternoon's session, which meant there's now a lot of information for our engineers to unravel. Considerable credit is due to the men and women back at the MTC who worked so hard to design, manufacture and freight such a large volume of new parts to Barcelona for this weekend – their efforts are often overlooked, but they play a crucial role in our efforts to return to full competitiveness, so hats off to them all. For the moment, our focus is on sifting through some very useful data in a bid to move forward if we can in practice and qualifying tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen (4th, 1:23.030): "It was a pretty normal Friday. We tried some things on the car, ran with some different tires and we'll have a look at all the data to see where we think we are. We finished the day not too far off the fastest time, so we can say that the day wasn't a disaster, but for sure there are some things we have to improve with the car which is normal after the first day's running."
Romain Grosjean (18th, 1:25.851): "Today was okay. It may not look great on the timesheets, but we didn't finish our lap on the medium tires as I had to come back in. The circuit isn't an easy one to understand in terms of tire performance as there is a lot of degradation, and of course this morning the weather conditions made things a bit difficult. We completed a good number of laps to collect as much data as possible, so we'll be working on the set-up this evening where we should be able to take some steps forwards."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "We're pretty happy with today's performance. Romain's position in the afternoon session is not representative of his potential as a cracked exhaust cost him performance for his run on the softer tire, but other than that he's comfortable with how his car is performing. Kimi was happy with the handling and balance of his car and that's reflected in his pace. The morning rain was actually beneficial for us as it afforded an opportunity to run our latest developments aimed at addressing a relative lack of wet weather pace, and we're happy with the progress made in this area."
Lewis Hamilton (6th, 1:23.140): "The team have done a great job to bring our upgrades here this weekend and whilst I could feel the impact immediately, it's difficult to quantify how much of an improvement has been made at this early stage. After the first session this morning, I felt there was some good promise and the car was well-balanced but I was a little less happy in the different conditions this afternoon. We'll keep working on it tonight and see if we can make tomorrow a little better."
Nico Rosberg (7th, 1:23.398): "It seems that we are quick again on one lap but we need to focus very much on achieving a good race pace. There is still a lot work to do but in general I felt that we had a good test program today and learned quite a lot. It's difficult to manage the tires in these conditions and we have seen a lot of graining today because of the lower temperatures."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "We've been working hard on improving our long runs and there are some signs of improvement today but we need to have a good look at the data this evening before making any conclusions. The car seems to be quite good on low fuel as we know. Tire degradation is going to be a key consideration over the weekend and we must remain focused to ensure that we get the best possible performance from the car in the race. That's our priority."
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A quite difficult day at the office for us today. The car seemed quick over a single lap but what matters for Sunday is how we perform on our long runs. They looked more difficult for both drivers today and we have plenty of work to do overnight to improve our pace for the weekend."
Nico Hulkenberg (15th, 1:25.167): "The day was ok. Unfortunately we could not run our aero program as planned due to the rain in the first session this morning, but you can't change the weather and the situation was the same for everyone. We were able to work through the whole program during the second free practice without any problems. The new rear wing is an improvement. However, if it's enough of an improvement to catch up to our competition I can't say yet."
Esteban Gutierrez (17th, 1:25.441): "We were able to work through the whole program today. The stability of the car has improved, which gives me more confidence to push during the long runs. We were able to analyze the new parts we brought to Barcelona. The team is doing a good job and we are pushing to be able to close the gap to our competition. It's hard to judge where we stand at the moment, but I think qualifying tomorrow will show where we are at compared to the rest of the field."
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "Obviously a wet start to P1 is not ideal when you are trying to evaluate development parts and the different tire specifications. But that's the same for everybody. We split the program between the two cars to gather as much data as possible. It's clear we have some work to do, so we will analyze the data tonight and put together the best possible car for tomorrow."
Adrian Sutil (8th, 1:23.840): "An interesting day with a big variation in weather conditions. It was useful to have the wet running this morning because it's an area where we need to be more competitive. The changes we made improved things with each run. The afternoon tire work was normal, but we also ran on the prototype tire, which was very hard and felt very different to drive. The normal hard and medium compounds are quite similar, but the difference between the two is bigger than I expected here. The long runs went well and the car felt pretty well balanced on the medium tire."
Paul di Resta (10th, 1:24.104): "It was difficult to learn a massive amount today with the wet conditions this morning and our limited running. We had some new parts and both cars were slightly different to allow us to evaluate as much as possible. We will decide tonight the best overall package to carry forward. The baseline of the car is very similar to how it was in February during testing so we seem to be in the right operating window. My day was cut short with the tire issue, but at this stage we're waiting for Pirelli to analyze exactly what happened."
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: "Not the easiest day with a mix of weather conditions and some lost track time for Paul. The wet weather this morning made it difficult to get a complete understanding of our new developments – both aero and mechanical – and we saw once again that our wet weather performance is an area where we need to improve. In the dry afternoon session our performance level was around about where we expected it to be and both drivers seem happy with their general car balance. Most of the teams around us have shown strong pace over long runs so it's clear that we need to try and extract some more performance from our package and make the most of tomorrow morning. In terms of the tire problem for Paul, it occurred during his long run on the medium tires. We are awaiting further information from Pirelli about what happened."
Valtteri Bottas (14th, 1:24.888): "It was an interesting day for us. Unfortunately the weather wasn't quite right in the first session, but this was the same for everyone. We were trying different parts on the car today, particularly in the second session, so we have a lot of data to analyze tonight to work out the best set-up for tomorrow. The initial feeling is that we are starting to take steps forward."
Pastor Maldonado (16th, 1:25.321): "We've been working on different set-ups today and testing a number of new parts on each car. We feel a little more positive, but we will analyze everything we tested today and hope to show the improvements in qualifying tomorrow."
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "We continued to work through some aerodynamic comparisons today following on from the work we started in Idiada last week. We ran a number of different upgrades across both cars, and the initial results are as expected. We have made some small steps but there is still a lot of work to do. In FP2 we did some further tire work and our long run pace looks more competitive. We lost some time during FP1 due to the wet weather but we completed our planned program. We'll spend tonight analyzing all the data and aim to continuing progressing tomorrow."
Jean-Eric Vergne (9th, 1:24.058): "Earlier this week, I said I hoped we could have a positive weekend and that our updates would show signs of improvement and I have to say this is the best Friday we have had for many, many races. It's encouraging, but we still have work to do, analyzing the data overnight, to try and improve still further. But we are looking in much better shape than in previous races: I am really happy, because everyone at the factory has done a very good job over the past few weeks to prepare for this race and the next ones after that. Tires? All seems fine at the moment."
Daniel Ricciardo (11th, 1:24.175): "Overall, this was a pretty positive day and in the intermediate conditions in the morning, we were always in the top three or so, which looked quite good. Then, this afternoon we were also alright in the dry. I'm sure some of the teams, like McLaren will find more speed for tomorrow, but I think we can too. I expect it to be a close fight with a reasonable chance of getting into the top ten in qualifying and our long runs were also pretty good. It's always interesting to test new components and set-ups as you have to change your driving style a bit to deal with them. The best thing today was that the team brought a lot of parts here and, even if they might have looked good in the wind tunnel, it was reassuring to feel an improvement in the car on the track, where it matters."
Laurent Mekies, Head of Vehicle Performance: "It was a very busy day for us, because we had quite a lot of new parts to evaluate, mainly on the aero side. We distributed the test elements across the two cars and as far as the program was concerned, I feel we found the right compromise between checking the new components and running a good preparation program for the race. The rain this morning didn't help, but of course it's the same for everyone and anyway, it was useful to get a feel for the car in these conditions. So far, we seem to be working in the right direction, making steady progress and we got through everything with an essentially trouble free day. It's going to be very tight with the rest of our nearest competitors, with four or five teams within the same two or three tenths. Hopefully we can be at the front end of that group tomorrow."
Giedo van der Garde (19th, 1:25.903): "With Friday morning's weather we didn't get as many laps done as we'd like in FP1, but I was still happy with how the car felt with the new parts on it. We didn't have KERS for the session which obviously knocks off about 3/10ths a lap, but we were focusing on testing the new parts so even though the times were ok it was more important to gather as much data as possible. In the afternoon session we carried on with evaluation of the update package and we definitely made more progress. The car had good balance on the medium tires, both on short and long runs, and I think we showed quite good pace on that compound and on the hards but we need to work on the car's behavior on the entry into corners. Against that is the fact that the car has much better traction out of the corners and that's a really positive sign. Now we have the normal late Friday ahead of us and we'll be focusing on improving the setup generally so we can attack quali as hard as possible, and put us in good shape for the race on Sunday."
Charles Pic (21st, 1:26.930): "Having sat out FP1 I was looking forward to trying out the new parts in FP2. On the first couple of runs the car had too much understeer in the low and medium speed corners so we made a couple of mechanical adjustments and the balance started to improve on runs three and four. Tire degradation was also not too bad on either compound, but we have more work to do on bringing the tires up to temperature so we can get them working efficiently as soon as possible. We'll look at that tonight, and how we can optimize the setup with the range of new parts we have here to improve the overall balance as we have quite a lot of time to come from that, and then we'll aim to pick up where we finished in Bahrain."
Heikki Kovalainen: "For me that was a pretty good session, even though we lost quite a bit of time with a mechanical issue. Once that was fixed we got on with the program and ended up only losing one run and as FP1 started with a wet track everyone else was limiting their track time as well, so the relative loss was minimal. In the session we were mainly working through back-to-back comparisons of some of the new parts we've brought here and it was good to see that the car generally felt much better than the one I drove in Bahrain. The balance has been improved, especially mid-corner and in both low and high speed turns, so it's easier to push, but with so few dry laps today it's too early to tell how much we've gained from the package we have for this race. The rest of the weekend is supposed to be better weather so we'll learn more about how to get the most out of the new parts in FP2 and FP3, but we'll only really find out where we are, and where everyone else is, on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday."
Jules Bianchi (20th, 1:26.078): "It's good to be back at Barcelona. It feels like only yesterday when I made my debut for the Marussia F1 Team in testing here, but so much has happened since then and I have learned a lot. The car feels quite different to when I last drove here and the improvements we have made are clear to see, which is good. The developments we have brought here seem to be working well so far. It was a big step to make going straight from the prototype to the option, which made it very difficult to get the most from the tire. Extracting the most from the new components will take a little more time but once again we seem to have followed a good path and I hope we can be where we want to be this weekend."
Max Chilton (22nd, 1:26.970): "A short day for me having sat out FP1 this morning with Rodolfo in the car, which makes for a rapid learning curve in the afternoon. It's a shame I didn't get the best out of the Medium tire because of traffic and we still have some work to do to try to optimize the new components, but we have a good basis to build on overnight to better prepare us for qualifying."
Rodolfo Gonzalez: "It was good to be back in the car again, although the weather and damp track made it difficult to get into a good rhythm. I had a very specific program to work through with the new development parts, which we completed, and this will provide the engineers with plenty of data to compare with that of the race drivers today."
John Booth, Team Principal: "We have brought a fairly significant upgrade package to this race and so it was perhaps a little frustrating to be met with wet conditions this morning as we were unable to get straight down to the business of evaluating those parts in the way we would have hoped. Nonetheless, as the day has progressed we have been able to start the process of understanding what the new components bring us and the early signs are promising. Rodolfo hasn't had much luck with his FP1 sessions so far; today it was the weather which hampered his progress. We hope his next time out will prove more fruitful for him."