16 LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF-24, action during the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2024, 3rd round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from March 22 to 24, 2024 on the Albert Park Circuit, in Melbourne, Australia - Photo Eric Alonso / DPPI

Formula 1 News: 2025 Australian GP Friday Team Quotes

Quotes from all 10 Formula 1 teams after Friday practice for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne at Albert Park.

Oracle Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen (2nd, 1:17.658): “Today was a little bit messy because of what happened in FP1: we had some damage to the floor and chassis, which took a bit longer to fix meaning I had a bit of catch up to do. The turnaround was very quick and Team did a great job but we ended up losing a bit of running time in FP2. Normally I would have liked to have had a few more laps and I didn’t manage to do many long runs but I think that the laps we did were good. I think we know what we have to focus on and we have a few things to fine tune but we are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez (8th, 1:18.090): “It was a tricky Friday in general and overall, I think we have some work to do overnight. Melbourne is also quite difficult when you move to the afternoon because the visibility is super poor with the low sun in your face. I think we are in a good place this season with the car though and we should be looking strong for tomorrow. We need to put it all together because it will be important to qualify high up. Degradation wise it looks quite high on the long runs; we need to look at that and it will be interesting to see what the best strategy will be this weekend. I think Ferrari look strong, this circuit seems to be better for them, they have been competitive in the long runs. They will be a challenge to beat this weekend, generally they are quite fast around here so it could be interesting to see how we match up.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20 during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Friday March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Horsburgh / LAT Images for Pirelli)

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

George Russell (6th, 1:17.951): “We were pushing the limits today and I had a few moments out there. It was all under control in the end though. It was very tight out there in the first session with FP2 slightly more spread out. I was on for a really good lap on my last push on the Soft tire, but just ran wide in the last two corners and picked up some minor damage to my front-wing. Without that, I think we would have finished the session P3. We are trying to understand this car further and made some changes after Saudi Arabia. Every single lap is so valuable as you learn more about the car and try to get it into the sweet spot. We will have the team back at the factory working hard in the simulator to get more performance out of it. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. When you arrive the next day, it can often be very different.”

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell 2024 Australian Grand Prix, – Sulay Kelly for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (18th, 1:18.834): “It didn’t feel great out there today. We began the day on the front foot and in FP1, the car generally felt good. The first run was actually the best the car has felt so far this year. To continue our learning, we made some big changes into FP2 and unfortunately, that made the car worse. It was tough but there are positives we can take from the first session. We will be working hard overnight to make improvements ahead of tomorrow.”

Andrew Shovlin: “We had a good FP1 session. The changes we made to improve our high-speed cornering performance and reduce the bouncing after Saudi Arabia seemed to be a good step in the right direction. Overall, the car was feeling quite good. Unfortunately, FP2 wasn’t as strong. Lewis felt that we had gone in the wrong direction with our changes. Frustratingly, they weren’t quick to unwind so he had to live with that throughout the session. George found the car a bit trickier in the windier conditions of FP2 compared to earlier in the day. We could have ended a bit higher up the time sheets had he not had a bit of damage. Overall though, it’s clear that we’ve got work to do overnight to improve the car.”

Scuderia Ferrari

Charles Leclerc (1st, 1:17.277): “It was a solid first day, everything felt good from the start and I was comfortable in the car. The most important thing for us to do tomorrow will be to go with the track and anticipate what the evolution will be like. We will focus on optimizing our balance and try to make a step forward before qualifying. It looks good for now but we have to wait and see how it will look tomorrow, I expect the field to be much tighter.”

Charles Leclerc

Carlos Sainz (3rd, 1:17.707): “It’s been a couple of tough weeks leading to today and to be honest I’m very happy I could complete both sessions feeling reasonably comfortable. I will continue to take it step by step to make sure I come to qualifying and to the race in the best form possible. I’m confident tomorrow will be better and overall, the car seems to be in a good place this weekend. We’ll try to maximize everything from body and machine!”

SAINZ Carlos (spa), Scuderia Ferrari SF-24, portrait during the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2024, 3rd round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from March 22 to 24, 2024 on the Albert Park Circuit, in Melbourne, Australia – Photo Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

McLaren Formula 1 Team

Oscar Piastri (7th, 1:18.077): “First day in Melbourne. All-in-all, not a bad day. We were a bit up-and-down but there were definitely some positive signs. We’ll have a look and see what we can find for tomorrow – but it’s been nice to be driving back at home. We’ve got a few things to look at and try to work on but I’m feeling optimistic.”

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38 during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Friday March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Simon Galloway / LAT Images)

Lando Norris (9th, 1:18.155): “A reasonable day. We struggled to find a bit of confidence given the gusts of wind, so we didn’t get the best feeling, but I think the pace is reasonable. We’re in the mix, which is a good sign. It should make our lives exciting tomorrow – but we’ve still got a lot of work to do to make the most of it.”

Andrea Stella, Team Principal: “A productive day of practice here in Melbourne. We could test all the set-up items that we had in the program, including understanding the tires, which will make the race interesting from a strategy point of view. From a performance point of view, it’s been an encouraging day. The car behaves well in general but there are some aspects to improve. We have a lot of data to look into this evening to prepare for Qualifying and the race.”

Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team

Lance Stroll (4th, 1:17.822): TBD

Fernando Alonso (5th, 1:17.912): TBD

BWT Alpine F1 Team

Pierre Gasly (15th, 1:18.691): “It’s been a busy day for us here in Melbourne. We had a couple of small issues on the car in Free Practice 1, which limited our running a little bit. We managed to fix those ahead of the second session to have a much better feeling in the car. The overall balance was in a good place. We were probably stronger on the Medium tire and that means we have some work to do on the Softs, which we seemed to have more difficulties with. There’s some work ahead of us understand how best to get the tires in the right window ahead of Qualifying. We know the situation we are in and we know it will be challenging so we will keep working hard to improve what we have in our hands. Tire degradation looked quite high on long runs, which could mean the race will be more eventful.”

Esteban Ocon (17th, 1:18.705): “Today was productive and it was good to get out on track in front of full grandstands on a Friday, which is always the case with the fans here in Melbourne. The field is very tight, as it tends to be at Albert Park, so it will be important to extract the maximum from the package, as it could be the difference between one or two rows on the grid. There’s still some things we can improve ahead of tomorrow and we will keep working hard overnight to get prepared for Qualifying. It was interesting today to test the new softer compound tire for this event compared to last year. In general, this is a low degradation circuit, so these changes could offer up some different strategy options and opportunities for the Grand Prix on Sunday.”

Williams Racing

Logan Sargeant (13th, 1:18.578): “There was good grip out there compared to last year but the wind picked up this afternoon, making it a little more unpredictable. Generally, on low fuel, we have a decent car with the good news being that we’re at the fine-tuning stage, however, I obviously lost that Medium tire on the spin and didn’t get a high fuel run. Despite this, we’re in a good place ahead of tomorrow and there’s still some more to get out of the car. As a team, we’re on the back foot a bit this weekend but we’ll do what we can.”

Logan Sargeant, Williams FW46 during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Friday March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Simon Galloway / LAT Images)
Logan Sargeant, Williams FW46 during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Friday March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Simon Galloway / LAT Images for Pirelli)

Alexander Albon (20th, No Time): “It was a tricky session in FP1 and I paid the price for it. I ran a little wide and went up onto the exit curb and bottomed out when I landed, so it’s frustrating. I think we have a car that’s quite quick this weekend, so it’s disappointing to not have been able to participate in FP2. We don’t have a spare chassis and I know the team are working hard on what repairs can be made, so we’ll know more soon.”

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: “It has been a difficult day for us with issues in both sessions. Alex lost the car having hit the curb in FP1, causing a lot of damage to the car, including the chassis. He was unable to run in FP2 as a result. Logan damaged his Medium tires early in FP2 and so his high fuel work was done on the Soft tire, which wasn’t our intended plan. We have a lot of work to do tonight to understand where the performance of the car is, particularly at high fuel. At low fuel, the car is working well, and we know where we can find more time, but we didn’t learn much at high fuel today and so it is less clear what we need to do in preparation for the race. We’ll work through the data that we have and complete some further testing during FP3 to finalize the setup for Qualifying.”

Visa Cash App RB Formula One

Yuki Tsunoda (10th, 1:18.188): “As a first day, we’re in good shape compared to the last two races. The team did a fantastic job in terms of preparation, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Obviously, the field is very tight in qualifying as we know, so we’ll fine-tune the small details, and I know those things will come and we’ll be able to put it all together tomorrow. Now it’s maximum preparation tonight, I’ll push as much as I can and hopefully, we make it to Q3!”

Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo (12th, 1:18.534): “Firstly, it was just nice to be back on track – it’s a good one. For myself, Oscar and Valtteri it’s obviously emotional. The crowd is crazy like you’d get at a rock concert, there are so many people here for a Practice day. I think Albert Park has always done a good job at keeping it full all day. You come to watch on a Friday and you don’t just see F1, it’s V8, Porsche, F2, 3 – it’s a lot. It’s good that Aussie motorsport is strong, and it’s reaching areas like Valtteri in Finland. I drove here in 2022 when they just made the track changes. It’s a lot faster than it used to be, it’s good. I think as a team we started the morning on the front foot, and I think this afternoon, the others found a little more. I think we’re definitely still within a shot of Q3 tomorrow. There are a lot of corners where, because it’s still a street circuit obviously, you put it on the edge. I think the conditions and grip were pretty good and it was fun to get into it. There’s a little bit of work to do tonight but nothing too crazy. As always, I think there’s a bit of fine-tuning of the car, and it should give us a good chance for tomorrow. In terms of race pace, with the little long run that we did, it seems okay. Let’s qualify in the top 10 and then it’ll all get easier from there.”

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Alan Permane, Racing Director: “Today was a fairly routine and trouble-free day. We, like most people, ran a medium and then a soft tire in the first Practice session to get up to speed, start looking at the car balance and assess the car for qualifying on the soft tire. The same again for the second session; the medium and then the soft compound, and then high fuel running on the medium tire. Both drivers were pretty happy with the car straight away and had no issues at all. It’s been a nice day where we’ve just worked through our programs, completed everything we wanted to do, and now we’re preparing the cars for tomorrow.”

Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber

Guanyu Zhou (11th, 1:18.421): “It is always great to be back in Melbourne. The fans bring an incredible sense of passion which makes coming back to the track exciting. Today was about understanding our upgrades and the track evolution, and I found a good rhythm with the car. After both sessions, this feels like a car I could push with, and shows the efforts the team, both here and back in Hinwil, has been making. We had a few setting changes between FP1 and FP2, and each time we develop the car, it seems to be going in the right direction. Our front wing upgrade is designed to help with the overall car balance – and there is still more to extract and learn about the car over the weekend. As we continue to fine-tune our package, I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend and believe we might be fighting closer to the points.”

Valtteri Bottas (14th, 1:18.585): “Today was really productive for understanding the car, especially in light of the new upgrades we brought to Australia. We focused on fulfilling our program and on set-up work where we have taken a small step forward: but there is definitely more to unlock tonight. We are aiming for a minimum of Q2, but if we get everything right on Saturday, Q3 could be possible for us. Outside of the track, it’s been absolutely brilliant to be in Melbourne and witness all the passion from the fans. The energy is always great, and I hope we can give the crowd some excitement this weekend: I’m looking forward to it.”

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Nico Hulkenberg (16th, 1:18.702): “It’s been very windy today and I think that’s why we’ve seen so many people go off; it makes it pretty tricky out there. It’s such a high-speed circuit now and there’s no margin for error, so you can get caught out very easily. Our Friday was fine with no issues, so it was the usual program to clean some things up for tomorrow. I feel our one-lap pace wasn’t shining today so we have a bit of homework to do to find some performance over one lap. I think in the long run, I felt better than on my low-fuel run, so that’s nice for a change as that wasn’t always the case last year but we’re trying to optimize both as much as we can.”

Kevin Magnussen (19th, 1:19.275): “We had two good free practice sessions today so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow. It’s a very tight field so we could be anywhere almost, certainly in the mix for P10 or P11. I got a run on the soft tire but I didn’t set a time on it – I messed up my laps – but on the medium compound it looks promising so we’ll look at the sectors. There’s some pace in there.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal: “This event is the first time that we’re using the C5 compound as the soft tire. We struggled a little bit to extract the performance out of it compared to the C4 medium, so we need to study that a little. On the long run, as we expected, graining is the biggest issue so we need to look at the data and see how we can improve for Sunday. I think with our qualifying pace we have a bit more to find, the same with race pace, but with the C5 we have a bit more focus on qualifying.”

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