Carlos Sainz #55
“It has been a positive day. The updates seem to work well and the car felt good, especially on the flying laps. The long runs were a bit more challenging due to the graining. For sure, today’s high temperatures were an important factor to consider, but we need to look carefully into how we can protect the tires as much as possible.
Given I’ll take a penalty on Sunday, we now need to focus on preparing the car for the race. There is room for improvement, so we’ll keep digging!”
Charles Leclerc #16
“The sessions went quite well today. Our qualifying pace was pretty good, so our focus now will be on our race pace. Tire management will be key, as the temperatures are so high this weekend. I am confident that we will be all set by the time Sunday comes as we know where we need to improve.”
“I think FP2 was a little bit more difficult for us than FP1 as we didn’t get the balance that we had hoped for. We were also trying different things with the car. We’ll have a look at it all overnight and of course try to be quicker tomorrow. I think the long run is better but the tires are running really hot so it’s difficult to judge where you really are. Overall, this track is tough on tires, I think we all needed a few more laps to have a more accurate look at the long runs.”
“We had a delay in this session due to a bit of an issue with one of the roll bars, but it was nothing major. I am not overly comfortable with the car at the moment, I think there is some good work and understanding to be done overnight. We also only had a short stint on the soft tire, but hopefully tomorrow we are able to pull it all together and be in the fight for qualifying and the race on Sunday.”
It was quite enjoyable to be back out there at this track as it’s quite a fun one in certain aspects. Some teams struggled more than others with the high temperatures. We only did five consecutive laps but we’re also probably a bit further off the pace than what we had hoped for. We have work to do tonight here at the track and back at the factories. There’s a lot to go over and we need to make sure we can optimize our pace for tomorrow. From the running today, it looks like we’re finding time but all the other teams keep bringing updates too, and the whole grid moves forward. So, although we’re finding time, our competitors do as well. And we need to look at the data to see if our upgrades are working as sometimes it’s not as simple as just seeing it on the lap charts.
Nyck did a strong job this morning, he was great out there and I’m grateful for the work he did. We made some changes from FP1 to FP2 which is crazy considering I haven’t even driven the car yet. We still have a lot of work to do, we’re not spectacular here and I don’t know why, so hopefully overnight, we can make a little bit of a step forward as we’re further behind than what we anticipated for this weekend. We need to dig deep into the data, but it looks like were lacking downforce today. It wasn’t the best session for me, mostly because I missed the first one. I tried to get up to speed, but it was very hot here and there are a lot of slow laps so overall, I think I did alright.
Nyck de Vries
I’m very grateful for the opportunity, it was a great experience. Obviously, it was very cool to be back in such a fast car and a bit of a reset of what I’m used to. All in all, a great session and great opportunity. We went through all test items and managed to do quite a bit of work for the team. It was a good session, it felt quickly on the pace and I felt comfortable with the car. The team was very supportive, and we got the information that we needed. Lewis was amazing and also very supportive. I also had Angela by my side as well which was really sweet. So overall a very productive session.
Firstly, Nyck did a great job for us in the morning session. Considering how little time he’s had in the car, it was impressive how quick and consistent he was. We used the session to get through a test program varying the car specification each run and we’ve acquired some useful learning on the back of it. George was evaluating some update parts through the first session and wasn’t particularly happy with the balance of the car but managed to get it closer to his liking in the afternoon. This is the first time that one of the race drivers has had to sit out an FP1 session and Lewis had his work cut out trying to recover the lost time – he wasn’t particularly happy with where the car was and we need to work on that overnight, but we’ve got a pretty good idea of where we want to go on setup. For one reason and another, we didn’t get as much work done on high fuel as we’d have liked so we don’t really know how we compare to Red Bull and Ferrari but we do at least look closer to them than to the midfield. We’re not expecting to be on their pace tomorrow, both those teams looks like they are very strong on a single lap, especially Ferrari but hopefully we can get a bit closer in the race on Sunday.
Pierre Gasly (AT03-01, Car 10)
“Clearly, in terms of performance, we were back in the Top 10 with 5th this morning and 7th this afternoon. The feeling in the way the car behaved showed a lot of positive signs with the new parts we brought this weekend. It is great to have this package for my home race and to see all the people around the track. Now we need to work to understand what we tested today and go through all the data to be able to put it together for Quali tomorrow. The way the front reacts is sharper and more reactive, especially in these longer corners where we used to wash out and overheat the tires badly. The tires are still overheating, which we will have to work on for the race, but it should be a fun one.”
Yuki Tsunoda (AT03-03, Car 22)
“We had a good comparison to Pierre this morning, which gives us enough data for tomorrow. There was a clear difference with the new package this afternoon straight away from the first push lap, so I’m happy about that. It will be challenging, but based on the performance we had today, we can be positive. There are things we still need to adjust, but hopefully we can fine-tune them in FP3 to be able to make it into Q3 in Qualifying. I didn’t feel crazy degradation, so that’s positive, but the race will be hotter so we will have to see.”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“We brought some aerodynamic updates to this event and ran those with Pierre all day, keeping Yuki on the old car in FP1 to allow an across car comparison. Based on the data gathered in FP1, the updates were working as expected and delivering a good step in terms of performance. We therefore migrated Yuki’s car to this configuration for FP2 and continued the optimization of the setup around the new package. Short run performance has clearly taken a step forward, and we look forward to being able to fight again within the midfield – something we had been struggling to do at the last couple of events. With the very high track temperatures, and some long heavily loaded corners, it made it hard on the tires – especially the front left. We evaluated the tires over the long run, so we have all of the data now to help define the best strategy for Sunday. We are happy with today, but will continue our analysis of the car tonight to see if we can extract a little more performance out of it for tomorrow.”
“I went a little faster than I did yesterday in the 100-year-old car! We ran with two different specs on the cars today. It was good to compare but now we have to pick and choose what works best for FP3 and qualifying tomorrow. The key for us will be to try and make it into Q2 tomorrow so we have a good starting point for the race. The midfield is really tight so I hope we can be a bit more in the mix. Our race pace always seems to be slightly better, so hopefully we can find more of an edge for Sunday. Whatever happens, it is going to be hot.”
“It was a good day today. The car felt okay – particularly on the long runs we did in FP2 – but it was definitely hot out there for everyone this afternoon. We will look at the data tonight and what we can work on for tomorrow. It is a tight midfield so it is tough to predict where exactly we will be in qualifying.”
Alfa Romeo Sauber
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77):
“Stepping into the car at the beginning of FP2, it took me a few laps to get into the rhythm but I had a good feeling with the car straight away. The midfield seems even closer than usual, and I have a feeling there’s a lot more to come, both from the car and myself. I am looking forward to qualifying: I think we have a good chance of doing well.”
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24):
“It has been quite a smooth day for me; we went through the whole program we had set out to achieve without issues. It was very hot out there, very tricky in terms of managing the tires, but it’s the same for everyone and the key will be to find the best way to set the car up. FP1 has been very good, and I was very comfortable, while in FP2, where we tried something different on the two cars, I personally struggled a little bit: however, I reckon the direction we need to take for tomorrow is clear, so I am looking forward to qualifying. Looking at our performances today, I think we look stronger than in Austria, so it’s a good step up, but then again it is once again super tight in the midfield battle, and tires will make the difference: it will be all about getting laps together in qualifying and trying to avoid getting into traffic. Tomorrow will be a challenge and Sunday will be too, given the heat and the temperature, but I can’t wait to put myself in the game.”
Robert Kubica (car number 88):
“It’s been a busy session on my side of the garage: we had quite a lot of boxes to tick in these 60 minutes, from rake runs for data at the beginning of the session to a tight schedule of runs later in the hour. It was definitely warm out there and not the easiest conditions: still, it is always nice to drive a Formula One car and help the team with learning the set-up for the track. The feeling with the car was quite different from my previous outings, perhaps because of the heat: it will be interesting to go through the data with the engineers and understand better what we encountered, to make the car better for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance:
Today went smoothly and we were able to run through some tests without issue. We steadily improved the car during the day but there is still more to come tomorrow, especially for Nicholas.
It has obviously been hot today – and this will continue for the rest of the weekend – but the track has been in good condition and the tires have behaved well. We have some work to do before Sunday to understand the best way to approach the Grand Prix in terms of tire degradation and strategy, but we have made a decent start today and we have a solid platform that we can build on.
It was a good day for us as the car was feeling really good around this circuit, so I’m feeling positive. Hopefully we can use this and do a bit more and come out even stronger for tomorrow. All in all, I’m really happy with today.
Overall it was a tricky day straight from FP1 – I just didn’t get the best feeling with the car which is something we’ll have to investigate to see if there was something not quite right. I don’t feel there was anything upgrade related which is good sign, so we’ll just have to see. It’s a positive that we have some good cross car data and are now running both cars on the new aero package, which means double data for the team. Let’s see what we can do overnight and tomorrow.