Friday practice - selected driver quotes 04 Aug 2006
Felipe Massas impressive time for Ferrari bodes well for the teams qualifying performance on Saturday. Further down the order, Christijan Albers afternoon session was marred by an engine problem on his Midland, while McLarens Kimi Raikkonen struggled with tyres. All 27 men report on day one at the Hungaroring. (Note - all positions and times refer to the second session.)
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1st, 1m 21.778s):
"Today, as usual, we have worked on evaluating the tyres and on finding the best set-up car for the car. The track is very dirty and so it was very difficult to drive. We will have to look at all the information we have very carefully to make the right choices for qualifying and, even more importantly, for the race."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (2nd, +1.319s):
It was a good start to the weekend for me. The conditions were very low grip today and that meant the car balance was quite inconsistent, but we managed to do our normal programme, get a feel for the tyre performance and start making some set-up changes. I was having some problems with the rear end to begin with, but we managed to calm it down during the session and we will carry on working in that direction tomorrow. The times seem competitive, so I think we are on the right track.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (3rd, +1.411s):
I had a problem on my first lap when the traction control cut out on the exit of turn 7 and I half-spun. But we fixed it in the garage, and after that started the normal programme. It's much colder than usual here in Hungary, and that means the conditions are very low grip indeed, coming from the track but also the tyres. The car was quite tricky to drive because of this, but we made some good changes and need to do some more overnight. It is going to be a difficult weekend because of the conditions, but we seem to be in reasonable shape.
Robert Doornbos, third driver, Red Bull (4th, +1.417s):
"It was a special day with the weather changing so much. It was pretty cold on the track so it was difficult to get the tyres up to temperature and be able to push hard, but we did a good job. The team reacted to the changes well this morning and we completed our tyre programme, which is important for the weekend ahead."
Anthony Davidson, third driver, Honda (5th, +1.720s):
"The temperatures here are much cooler than we expected which has made it a tough day for everyone. The tyres that we have for this race just aren't designed to be operating in this temperature window so we have to hope that the rest of the weekend gets warmer, then we can start to work the tyres properly. All the drivers had the same problem, we're seeing a lot of graining which makes it difficult to set the car up properly. It wasn't about going fast today
but saving the tyres and looking for a good balance. Still we were able to complete a lot of laps so we have some good information to look through before tomorrow."
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (6th, +1.969s):
"It's unusual to see the Hungaroring in cool conditions like this so it was a difficult day for all of us because we were prepared for different temperatures. Tyre graining is always a problem in low temperatures like we had today but as rubber goes down over the rest of the weekend that should improve. We managed to go through all the work we needed today but it will be a long night to discuss what type of tyre we will pick for the next two days. At the last three races we've shown strong pace even if we haven't always converted that into results. Now we must look to score well before we head to the August break."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (7th, +1.993s):
"This is the first time I can remember seeing clouds in Hungary so it will be a very different weekend from usual here. Obviously when you choose tyres in advance you cannot predict the weather and you have to go with what you have seen during the last few years. That means the weather is an important variable this weekend, but at least we expect it to stay dry. Today there was low general grip and a lot of tyre degradation but it was difficult to draw too many conclusions. Still, I am hopeful because the combination of our chassis and our Bridgestone tyres has been working well in recent races."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (8th, +2.153s):
"It is always hard to judge the results on Friday. We need to take a close look at the data to get a clearer picture of the situation. We spent a long time on track in the second hour and I was not able to keep an eye on what the other drivers were doing. Overall, we can say that our car-engine-Bridgestone tyre package is good, but we don't know how competitive the others are. The low temperature is not a problem: the key is to choose the right tyre for qualifying and the race. Naturally, we hope to be at the front of the grid and I think we have a good chance of doing just that."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (9th, +2.156s):
The grip level was very low, which was due to the temperatures and the rain as the track is a lot cooler than everybody expected. This was the problem today in terms of finding the right set-up and balance of the car. On my second run this afternoon I drove less than we originally planned because we did a set-up change after the first run, which cost us some time.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (10th, +2.328s):
This wasn't the sort of Friday I have been used to! It was a new track as I raced here once five years ago and I don't remember a lot. I only did five flying laps so it was not easy, but I am looking forward to free practice tomorrow when we can do some more running. The track is really bumpy with very little grip, so it was not easy to push straightaway. The balance of the car was okay, there are a few things to improve but we know what to do.
Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (11th, +2.474s):
"We were running early in the morning in the first session to work out a base line for our set-up as there was rain threatening during the afternoon session. We only ran used tyres in the afternoon and have been working on the balance, but we are not satisfied yet and have to improve in tomorrow's free practice."
Markus Winkelhock, third driver, Midland (12th, +2.603s):
"It was a pretty good day for me, all things considered. First of all, I had to learn the track because Id never driven here before and the conditions were quite challenging, so I took it easy on the first few laps. But I picked it up in a short amount of time, as I usually do on strange circuits. We're having some problems choosing the right tyres and I'm not really sure which way to go at this point, so I'm going to have to discuss all the options with the engineers. But overall, I'm pretty happy with the job I did today, putting in a good number of laps and getting a lot of data. Hopefully, it will help the team move ahead tomorrow."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (13th, +2.667s):
"It was quite a normal Friday today really except for the weather. The track will be very different on Saturday and Sunday but we had a reasonably competitive car today and should be able to adapt to that. My thoughts today are with my friend Cristiano da Matta who is in hospital in America and I wish him all the best."
Jenson Button, Honda (14th, +2.687s):
"It's been a frustrating day for us today and the main problem is with the tyres. It's the same for everyone really in these conditions and the graining is causing some big issues. Anthony managed to complete some decent work this afternoon though so we'll just have to hear what he says and see how things look tomorrow."
Tiago Monteiro, Midland (15th, +2.730s):
"We're having some problems with our tyre choice right now, because apart from Markus' car, we weren't able to get much data today. Personally, I wasn't able to get much running in - 4 timed laps in the morning, 4 in the afternoon - so it wasn't a very productive day for me, to be fair. Time-wise, we didn't do too badly, but we don't know what the other teams are doing or what kinds of problems they're having. We're going to have to sit down for a nice long meeting with the engineers, analyse all the problems, and work together with Bridgestone to find a good solution."
Alexander Wurz, third driver, Williams (16th, +2.831s):
The morning session went according to plan and we completed our tyre comparison. Of course the track was still very green and we quite quickly saw that track conditions were a bit too cold for our liking. However, conditions improved as more rubber was laid on the circuit, which is often the case. I think everything is still open. My car balance wasnt ideal and this is something we have to tune for Mark and Nico, especially for the race distance. I am still very happy because I am signed for a race drive with WilliamsF1 next year, but today I wasnt feeling very well. I must say Ive enjoyed happier days, considering I didnt have much sleep last night as I was cuddling the loo instead. Not so funny!
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (17th, +2.845s):
It was a good day for us. During the first session we studied the aero mapping, which we are obviously unfamiliar with for this particular high downforce spec package we have brought to Hungary. Unfortunately this morning the track temperature was very low so we were limited in the amount we could achieve. However, the car ran smoothly and we had no problems. The second session was encouraging and we completed the medium to long runs we needed because we don't have a third driver to evaluate the tyres here. The car performed well, so we will see what develops for tomorrow.
Nico Rosberg, Wiliams (18th, +3.015s):
First of all, thanks to Alex for getting in the car and giving us some valuable data again because he wasnt feeling the best. It was quite difficult for us today. I think everyone struggled, though, so getting grip was the main issue of the day. Im not happy with the set-up just yet, but we will improve upon that when we work on it tonight and get it right for tomorrow.
Neel Jani, third driver, Toro Rosso (19th, +3.076s):
"I was very happy with today's work. The conditions suited our car. Tyre choice is very difficult. It is hard to say where we are."
Christijan Albers, Midland (20th, +3.260s):
"My luck seems to be at a low point right now: another race, another engine change, another back-of-the-grid start. But the only thing you can do in situations like this is to keep fighting and keep pushing. I see it as a test of character and, believe me, I will use it as motivation to show what I'm made of. I have nothing to lose now, so it will really be a 'maximum attack' charge from me on Sunday."
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (21st, +3.374s):
"I was unhappy with today's work. The conditions did not suit our car. Tyre choice is very straightforward and very difficult. I had some oversteer and understeer in the quick and slow corners. The track is very dirty. It is easy to say where we are."
Mark Webber, Williams (22nd, +3.615s):
It was a tough day for us. The car isnt working that well yet and we only get a short period in which to make it work. Today is just about getting as much information as you can though and we have plenty of it. We need to find out why we werent that strong in practice and make it work for tomorrow and more importantly, Sunday.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (23rd, +3.869s):
"It was tricky to drive out on track today - there wasn't much grip due to the weather conditions. The car had a lot of oversteer and was difficult to drive, so we've got a lot of work to do before tomorrow."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (24th, +4.065s):
"We're not looking that good today, but it's just that we're working to our own programme which is obviously different to others. Everything was pretty much the same as during a normal Friday practice, the only difference this week is that we're in Budapest."
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (25th, +4.190s):
"When the Michelin tyres were new the car felt really good and was quick, but we struggled a little this afternoon on old tyres, and I think we need to try a different tyre tomorrow to see if that is better."
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (26th, +4.420s):
"I was happy with today's work. The conditions suited our car. Tyre choice is very difficult. I had some oversteer and understeer in the quick and slow corners. The track is very dirty. It is hard to say where we are."
Sakon Yamamoto, Super Aguri (27th, +5.099s):
This is the first time that I have driven at the Hungaroring so I tried to learn as much as I could about the layout during the first session. In the afternoon we concentrated on adapting the car set-up for this track and we have collected a lot of data. I am going to talk to my engineers now about preparations for tomorrow and to find out which parts we have to improve upon. Taku has done a very good job today, so I want to compare data with him and see where's where.