German GP: Friday Quotes
Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:30.416): "I wasn't so happy with the car this morning and Mercedes were quick, but in the afternoon we were in better shape. We'll see, but so far I am happy. To be clear about yesterday and the GPDA meeting: the general agreement was that we're happy Pirelli bought a new specification of tire for this event and want to thank them for their flexibility and reaction times, "they were able to find a solution in only a couple of days. The circumstances that we raced under in Silverstone were not what we can accept, but I don't think we will see those issues again."
Mark Webber (3rd, 1:30.683): "It was okay today and we had dry weather, which was good, "it meant we could get our runs done on both compounds and the new tires seem okay. Pirelli have done what they can and gone back to tires they know work here. It's impossible to tell how they will affect the performance of the car, "but it feels comfortable so far."
Fernando Alonso (6th, 1:31.056): "Today went better than last Friday and even if there is still a long way to go, in general we seem to have made a step forward and returned to the level of competitiveness which we had prior to Silverstone. One of the positives was the behavior of the tires which worked well today and did not create any problems. Unfortunately, we lost the morning session because of a programming problem on the electronic control unit, which we then changed. That halved our work program and this evening we will have to do all we can to make up for it, but we already have an idea of where and how to make changes, because Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus are ahead of us and we want something better than being the third or fourth team in the classification."
Felipe Massa (7th, 1:31.059): "It was a particularly busy day, because we had a lot of things to test and we did as many laps as possible in order to complete the program. We split the time between assessing the Pirelli tires and a long run test. There is a big difference between the two compounds, caused by the high degradation of the Softs compared to the Mediums and it will be interesting to see how much influence this will have in the race. As usual, choosing the right strategy will be very important. Qualifying remains our weak point, because usually we are less competitive than in the race and that's why we will do our utmost to try and start from as far up the grid as possible. Over a long run, the car behaved well and this makes me very confident for Sunday."
Pat Fry: "After a series of rain affected Fridays, today we hoped for conditions that would allow us to evaluate various solutions and to put together the best possible package for the weekend. Unfortunately, the problems with the electrical system on Fernando's car affected part of the work which we had planned and the major part of the data that our engineers now have was acquired in the afternoon session. Felipe and Fernando completed the usual tire comparison and the first impressions are that the new Kevlar construction has not affected the balance of the car. Certainly, we will have to do a lot more work to get the tires working as well as possible: it will be very important to succeed in finding a set-up that allows us to manage the degradation as well as the phenomenon of graining, which is much more accentuated her than at other circuits we have been to so far."
Jenson Button (9th, 1:31.568): "The car felt pretty good as soon as I drove out of the garage this morning. We're still a way off the front, but our pace relative to the cars around us doesn't seem too bad. The overall feeling with the car is not so bad. The Pirelli tires are working very well here; obviously, the Option has much more grip than the Prime. It seems that the idea behind the two compounds is to give us a qualifying tire that doesn't last long, "the Option, "and a race tire, "the Prime. It's not a bad compromise, we just need to deal with the tire not lasting too long on Sunday. We won't be challenging the cars at the front this weekend, but it would be nice to be able to attack the teams who are normally immediately ahead of us."
Sergio Perez (14th, 1:32.086): "I think it's been our best Friday for a couple of races, "partly because of the dry weather, but also because we got a useful amount of work under our belts. We're still in the same situation as we were in last weekend, "the potential of the car hasn't changed dramatically, "but I think we can fight tomorrow to get into Q3. That may still be hard, but that's our target."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "We've made a little bit of progress with the car and can hopefully continue to improve it throughout the weekend. Naturally, the majority of the day was spent learning about the new Pirelli tires that we have for this weekend. Pirelli has changed the construction of the tire, "and it was good to see that it was a quiet day on the tire front. Both drivers conducted a range of development runs in the morning, before spending the afternoon running a comparison test between the Prime and Option tires, and undertaking longer runs using a heavier fuel-load. It's clear that there's a significant step in both performance and longevity between the two compounds, "that will inevitably make for some interesting considerations during the race."
Romain Grosjean (4th, 1:30.843): "We had a pretty good day today. We ran the Device in the morning to gather some data then went back to our previous package for the afternoon, where we played with the setup a little but spent most of the time analyzing the new tires. We made a step forward with the upgrades that were brought to Silverstone, and we're seeing the benefit here as well. Getting temperature into the tires can be a bit tricky for us in colder conditions, but today it wasn't an issue which is a good sign. It's only free practice, but the car feels ok so let's see what we can do tomorrow."
Kimi Raikkonen (5th, 1:30.848): "We tried quite a few things today; some were good and some were not, so we have a good idea of what to do tomorrow. Our long run pace wasn't as good as it could have been as we were running with a different setup which would have taken too long to change back during the session, but we now know which setup works better so it's not a worry. The rear tires weren't much different, but we already knew that from when we tried them in Canada."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "It was a fairly routine day for us. Romain ran the Device in the morning in order to gather more data, which we did, but there is no plan to run it for the rest of the weekend as any potential benefit is only marginal at this track. Kimi concentrated on setup work in the morning using the new slim line aero package. In the afternoon, both cars went with the slim line package. With Kimi's car we tried a different aero setup at the rear, which didn't deliver quite the results we wanted. Neither driver was 100% happy with their car today, but we look to be in reasonable shape on the soft tire and on long runs too. We've certainly got some more pace to come from the car, so we're hoping for a productive day tomorrow."
Nico Rosberg (2nd, 1:30.621): "It's a great track and a lot of fun to drive here with my current Silver Arrow. It was an interesting day for us as we had to adapt to the new tires. They are different and require a different set-up, so today was a good opportunity to learn something. We want to understand them quicker and better than the other teams. Generally it seems that we are quick again over one lap and the long run was not bad. It's difficult to predict where we are, because you never know exactly about the fuel levels of the others. Also it's going to get warmer on Sunday and this could change also the whole picture again."
Lewis Hamilton (8th, 1:31.304): "It's been a reasonable day of practice for us. This morning went pretty well and the car felt good, but then we made some changes which didn't quite work out for us this afternoon. The car felt a little off balance during P2 so we'll have a look into that overnight and probably backtrack on some of those changes for tomorrow. I'm sure we will be back on form for P3."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "We had a good session of race preparation this afternoon, with our priority being to complete long runs with fuel on the new tire construction. Both Lewis and Nico were running with understeer today, so we still have work to do to improve the car balance for them. The circuit itself was picking up grip quite quickly and we didn't quite get the set-up correct as we tried to track it. However, the priority was to collect plenty of information about the new tires for both tomorrow and Sunday, which we managed to do. The car seemed reasonably competitive and that's reassuring, as we know there is still more performance to be found when the drivers are fully comfortable with the car."
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "We had a solid first day in the cool conditions here. The new tires ran without any incidents and we learned a lot about them, even if there are clearly some areas where we can still improve. The car balance was not great but both Lewis and Nico seemed quite competitive, so hopefully we can take another step forward tomorrow. The weather is forecast to warm up, so we will need to make the right changes tonight in order to anticipate the warmer conditions over the weekend."
Nico Hulkenberg (15th, 1:32.495): "Finally a Friday with consistent weather conditions. We were able to work through the whole program without any difficulties. We tested a lot of different things, and I think the positions we are at reflect where we can be with the speed we currently have. However, there is still some room to improve the set-up of the car. So now we have to have a good look at the data in order to get the maximum out of the car. Tomorrow will be another dry day and, of course, I will do everything possible to get into Q3."
Esteban Gutierrez (16th, 1:32.762): "I think it was a very productive day. We managed to run through the whole program without any problems. We were trying different se- ups, which varied a lot, so it was tricky switching between the different ones. This was something we don't usually do, but at the end we gained valuable information. The day went well and it seems our performance in the long runs has improved. With all the data we gathered, I think we made a step forward."
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "We had two dry sessions today, with both cars running reliably, so were able to complete our test program. We continued with our extensive correlation program gathering some useful data for the factory. The drivers were pretty happy with the car initially. We explored some different set-ups today. We still have some work to do on the low fuel pace, but the higher fuel long runs were pretty strong. Now we have to look at our data tonight to give ourselves the best car for FP3 tomorrow."
Paul di Resta (10th, 1:31.797): "Quite a tricky session with lots to think about overnight. There's room to improve the set-up because I'm not feeling as comfortable as I usually do. Tire-wise we've done a lot of running across the two compounds to give us enough data to understand the impact of the new rear tires. The two compounds are different extremes so we need to make sure we can get both in the right operating window."
Adrian Sutil (11th, 1:31.824): "It was quite a good day and the car looks competitive with a similar performance level compared to the last few races. We are back on the soft tires here, which offer good grip but have very high degradation. They are nice to drive and will be a very good qualifying tire, but long runs were quite difficult. The medium tire performs well and is very consistent, so there is a good combination for the race."
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer: "A very busy day for both cars, but it was a relief to finally have a completely dry Friday. We evaluated some aero items this morning and will look over the results to make sure we deploy our best parts tomorrow. The afternoon saw our usual tire program and it immediately became clear there was a big delta between the soft and medium tires, which will make the strategy interesting for Sunday. The car performance is about where we expected it to be, but we do need to find some more pace ahead of qualifying. We have a few more items to deploy tomorrow, which should help optimize the car further. Overall I believe we are in good shape and I'm optimistic that we can be up there in the top ten with both cars tomorrow afternoon."
Valtteri Bottas (17th, 1:32.879): "We were running some mechanical tests in the car today and we got some good data in terms of looking at how the car set-up should be for the weekend. The temperatures will be a bit warmer on Saturday and Sunday, so we need to make the most out of the tires on both days. The gap between our car and the others hasn't changed much but we'll do our best with what we have to see if we can find something more for tomorrow."
Pastor Maldonado (18th, 1:32.880): "It wasn't a great day for us but the feeling in the car was better during FP1 than the previous race. We were trying different set-ups and rear wings across both cars, but we still need more speed to close the gap to the cars ahead. I like this circuit and the track conditions were improving every lap. We need to analyze what we found today to make further changes to improve for tomorrow."
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "We continued with the work we started last week at Silverstone to confirm the direction we chose there. We tried different configurations on the mechanical set-up to optimize what we have for this circuit. Tire temperature was an issue in these conditions so we were lacking some grip. We tested some different rear wing levels as well and so this evening we will decide how much compromise we need to make between setting the car up for qualifying and race performance. We are making progress and everything we are working on is showing that we are making steps in the right direction."
Daniel Ricciardo (12th, 1:31.855): "We had quite a smooth day with no troubles on the car or with the tires and I managed to do a lot of laps. We don't seem to have quite the pace we saw last week in Silverstone, when we had a good weekend. It would be nice to continue like that, but we knew this circuit would not be quite so favorable to us. I'd need to look at our competitors' lap times to get a better understanding of where we really are in the order. My final sector seemed quite strong, but we were lacking in the first one, which only has a few corners so we need to find some more pace. My long run felt okay, but there is a margin to improve and if can come up with some ideas for fine tuning the set-up overnight, I think we can improve tomorrow."
Jean-Eric Vergne (13th, 1:32.055): "It's my first time driving a Formula 1 car at this track, but that had no effect on my day. The different type of tire is performing more or less as we had expected and from the safety point of view, we saw no signs of problems, so that is a positive thing. In terms of the car's pure performance, we need to work a lot overnight, because we are not where we wanted to be. Even if we knew the Nurburgring configuration would not suit us so well, I am reasonably hopeful that we can find some things to do to the car to improve for the rest of the weekend."
Laurent Mekies, Head of Vehicle Performance: "We had a productive Friday. Obviously, the tires have changed for here and so we spent a reasonable part of our time looking at the implications of that. We had a first look at these tires in Canada, but we did not get in many laps there. Overall, everything looks okay. As far as our performance is concerned, we knew the track layout here would be less favorable to us than Silverstone, so our pace today was not a surprise. I would say it is very close between McLaren, Force India and us here, so it is going to be down to all the little details we can put together tonight to try and get ahead of this group. It will be a more challenging weekend for us than the last one."
Charles Pic (19th, 1:33.695): "I said before we arrived here that this is my favorite track and I'm pleased we've had a good Friday here, a solid day where we've clearly made a bit of progress. We started FP1 with more aero work, running a couple of laps with flow-viz to continue the evaluation of the updates we brought to Silverstone and here where we have some more refinements to the brake ducts. After that we began the full program and at the start we were having issues bringing the front tires up to temperature. The track conditions were ok, cooler than it looks like it'll be on Sunday, so that'll obviously change the way the tires behave in the race, but we worked on that on run three and made some progress in setup for tomorrow. Over lunch we made a couple of changes to ride height and the rear anti-roll bar and at the start of FP2 we went straight into a six lap first run and immediately found we had a better aero balance. That carried on to the performance run on the options and by then I was pretty happy with the way the car was performing. It was the same on the long runs. The pace was consistent on the options and good on the primes with pretty low deg on both and when the session finished I think everyone was quite happy with the work we did today. We definitely needed a clear Friday to help us catch up with the workload we had from Silverstone and back to Canada. Fridays are obviously so important and with the mileage we covered today we've set ourselves up well for Saturday and Sunday. Now we need to carry this momentum through to the rest of the weekend and with the race pace we have I'm really looking forward to seeing where we are on Sunday."
Giedo van der Garde (20th, 1:33.804): "Overall it's been a good day for us, starting with FP1 which was a good session. We ran a couple more aero programs at the start and a number of new ideas across the car, including the brakes where we've gone for a new setup that looks like it's working well as I was almost immediately able to brake later and harder. In general the first couple of runs were dominated by understeer so we spent a bit of time dialing that out and by the end of the session the car was behaving relatively well. One real positive from FP1 was something we tried on the rear that gave me good grip on the throttle on corner exits. This track is mostly low to medium speed corners so good traction out of them is important, so that's something we'll want to maintain for the whole weekend. For FP2 we started with a different floor, so we could run more comparison tests with the new version we had at Silverstone. The car still had a bit too much understeer but we made a couple of mechanical changes and by the time we tried the options for the first time the car was getting better and better. On the long run we had reasonable deg levels and by the end of the session I have to say I was pretty happy with where we were. We've had much better weather here than we had on Friday in Canada or Silverstone and that's definitely helped us catch up with the aero work we needed to do. That's given us a lot of data to work through tonight and we'll aim to find another step tomorrow. It looks like we have some clear air to the team behind us and we've definitely made a bit of a gain to Williams here, so more hard work overnight and this could be a good weekend for us."
Jules Bianchi (21st, 1:34.017): "Today was a very short day for me, which is unfortunate. It was already scheduled some time ago that Rodolfo would drive in FP1 and as things turned out that enabled me to rest and hopefully feel better. This afternoon I completed two runs in FP2 - 10 laps in total - but I was not feeling my best, so it was better to stop and properly recuperate. I hope after a good night's sleep I will be back on form tomorrow."
Max Chilton (22nd, 1:34.667): "The timesheets don't paint the full picture in a day where I've actually been reasonably comfortable with the car. This morning I was pleased to split the Caterhams and this afternoon we focused more on long run pace in preparation for Sunday. Tomorrow in qualifying we will have a better idea of our outright pace here versus the competition, but for now I am pleased with the general direction."
Rodolfo Gonzalez: "I am pleased to have had a good FP1 this morning and achieve 21 laps. It took some time to get up to speed but I have to be realistic because until today I had only completed six laps. I think the Young Driver Test will be my best opportunity to play catch-up and then hit the ground running a little more from Hungary. For now though, the Team have been very supportive and gave me lots of suspension and aero work, and the priority was to complete this and not focus so much on lap time. I am happy to have provided some useful information which should help us for the rest of the weekend."
John Booth, Team Principal: "We've had a slightly unusual Friday with Rodolfo in the car this morning as part of his program of FP1 sessions and the expected transition back to Jules this afternoon being rather short-lived. Rodolfo worked through a program of aero and set-up evaluations and did a very solid job considering his running was very stilted from lap to lap. This afternoon Jules took over his car again but he was only able to complete 10 laps. He is recovering from a mild stomach bug and gave FP2 his best shot, but it was quite clear that he was not up to full strength and it was best to let him rest a little more. We hope to see him back on form tomorrow. On a positive note, Max has worked very methodically through the day to provide the baseline data we need to progress during the rest of the weekend. He has done a good job and seems comfortable with the car here."