Friday practice - selected driver quotes 03 Aug 2007
Sakon Yamamoto on making his debut for Spyker; Renaults Heikki Kovalainen on a positive start to his weekend in Hungary; and McLarens Lewis Hamilton on spinning during his last run. All 22 drivers report back on their early progress at the Hungaroring
(Note - all positions and times refer to Practice 2.)
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (1st, 1m 20.919s):
Today was good and I am happy with the how the car feels so far. We spent the morning working on the set-up and limited the number of tyres we used. The track here improves as the weekend goes on so we chose to do all the Bridgestone Potenza tyre evaluation in the afternoon session. I think we are in a good position and I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend where we should continue to be strong.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (2nd, +0.364s):
We ran a slightly unusual programme today, and it seemed to work well for us. I felt confident and comfortable in the car straight away, and the balance was quite neutral through both sessions. I got good quick laps on both types of tyre, and we understand the differences in their behaviour. I think that compared to recent races, this was a much better start to the weekend, and we are on the right track with the set-up. Now we need to improve the car a little bit overnight, and stay focused on producing a good performance on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (3rd, +0.419s):
Today went smoothly, apart from my spin towards the end of the second session, which meant that I missed out on my last run, so maybe I could have gone faster. The spin happened as I was catching Yamamoto on a flying lap and I was probably a little too fast going into the corner. Despite this we were able to make some positive steps and I am confident with our performance so far at this track.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (4th, +0.566s):
We are a bit higher up on the time sheet than we usually are on a Friday, which is a positive sign. Tyres are important this weekend and it's going to be difficult to make the right choice. We worked hard today and discovered some useful things and I think we now have a good idea which set-up direction to take. I am pretty pleased with our progress, obviously we can still improve, but we're heading in the right direction.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (5th, +0.598s):
For us the sessions went well. We had no technical problems and got all the work done. But it is very difficult to get the tyres to work properly. Graining is an issue. As far as I could see, other drivers have the same problem. I think the order between the top teams remains the same here. Compared to last year's F1.06, this year's car obviously performs better on high downforce circuits like Monaco or Budapest.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (6th, +0.670s):
I am not very happy with the handling of my car in these two sessions and obviously we have a lot to do in order to improve. But this is only Friday and there is no point in making a drama out of it as far as qualifying and the race are concerned. I wasn't able to get a really clear picture of the performance of the two types of tyre, especially on the first lap, firstly because of traffic and secondly because of that quick short shower.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (7th, +0.701s):
Overall, I am happy with the day. In the final series of laps I could have done a good time but there was a yellow flag and I had to slow. It's hard to say at this stage of the weekend if we are faster or slower than our closest rivals, but we are definitely competitive. We worked a lot on the set-up and towards the end of the day we found some good solutions. There is still a slight unknown as far as tyre performance is concerned, especially on the softer ones over a long run, while the harder ones however are more consistent.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (8th, +0.779s):
The day got off to quite a difficult start for me, and we had to change quite a lot on the set-up to get a good balance. I still wasn't happy with the car during the short runs at the start of second practice, so I couldn't get the maximum from the tyres, but we made some more changes after that and it really improved the handling. There is work to do overnight, but we have moved in the right direction today, and hopefully that will continue tomorrow morning.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (9th, +0.938s):
Today we made it through our programme smoothly and we did work on both sets of tyres to get an idea about the balance. The main problem has been understeer and front tyre graining. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do but it is good to be back at this track because I normally like it. The weather is still a bit unpredictable and there is a chance that we could see more rain so well have to bear that in mind. The fight for the midfield spaces is very hard and minor factors can affect the course of the whole weekend. At the last race we were unfortunate not to get a result so this time we will be looking to rectify that.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (10th, +0.987s):
The day was quite good. We did a lot of laps to see how the tyres performed. Here in Hungary we use the softest tyre compound of the season, just like in Monaco. Therefore, we completed a lot of long runs to see how the soft tyres behave over the distance. We now have a lot of data that we are going to analyse for tomorrow. So far so good. The track conditions were not ideal today. Off the line it is quite dirty, but this situation is the same for everybody.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (11th, +0.993s):
We had a decent day and we did some good running. We made it through our programme and it went quite well. We had no problems and now Im looking forward to qualifying where we should aim for the top ten. This circuit has generally been quite good for me and I like racing here. Its not a quick track but the rhythm of it is enjoyable and it makes for a good Grand Prix. The last few races weve been in good positions but for many reasons we havent scored points. Its very important for us to convert our pace into results so we will be fighting for any points we can score here.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (12th, +1.068s):
I lost some time in the morning due to an electrical problem which meant I couldn't run through a few of the set-up items I had planned and had to play catch up in the second session. The afternoon was actually quite messy, there was lots of traffic and I was only really happy with my last long run. It felt strong, but I couldn't get the best out of the car today. I hope to find a good rhythm tomorrow in order to extract the best I can out of qualifying.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (13th, +1.406s):
The car had an electrical problem on our second run this morning, which stopped us for the rest of that session as the boys had to change some electrical components. We went okay this afternoon, but I think we need to find some more pace ahead of tomorrow, so we still have some work to do tonight.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (14th, +1.564s):
A normal Friday practice. I wasn't able to use my last two sets of tyres, as it rained lightly towards the end of the session, which affected our programme a little.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (15th, +1.591s):
We just about avoided the rain at the end of session two and got through the whole programme. We found a nice balance with the car despite lots of wear on both sets of tyres. It's going to be interesting to see who can make them work the best throughout the rest of the weekend. I think we're fairly prepared for things to come, but we just worked through the normal Friday programme and got everything that we wanted to get done.
Jenson Button, Honda (16th, +1.631s):
We have had a reasonable day today. We tested a few new things which seem to have made a small improvement to the balance of the car and also the lap time. It started spitting with rain just before the end of the afternoon session but we had done enough by then to achieve a good tyre comparison. There were two yellow flags on my new tyre run at the end of the session, one for Hamilton and one for Massa, so unfortunately I wasn't able to get a good clean run. As a result we are a little unsure of where we are over one lap but the long run pace is looking okay.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (17th, +1.637s):
It was a good test day. At the beginning of the first session the track was dusty and green, with very low grip, so we waited for half an hour for the track to improve before going out again. I then ran through most of the programme and we had a good morning. It was a busy session in the afternoon. We ran through our normal Friday routine and completed the back-to-back tyre programme, but unfortunately I had a small mechanical issue during running; there was a bit of rain and also, during my last quick lap, I encountered the yellow flag issue. But all-in-all I think that we have collected some important data today.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (18th, +1.808s):
As is usual for a Friday there was a lot of traffic today. The car was a lot more competitive in the first session this morning than in the second practice. We struggled with a lack of rear grip in the afternoon so we need to look into that and find a solution. Both our cars covered a lot of laps so this gives us a lot of information to work with for the rest of the weekend.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (19th, +2.217s):
This was not an easy day as the track was evolving through both sessions. The track surface had a lot of marbles on it and it was difficult to complete a good clean lap, as can be seen by the fact many people made some mistakes. This made it difficult to put in consistent laps for a long run. We have to work on our set-up and so I don't think our lap times are representative of where we should be, but we did not put everything together. Overall, the car is not bad but we have to improve over a long run as we seem to have trouble with graining as this circuit is hard on tyres.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (20th, +2.229s):
I have enjoyed my first day and everyone has made me feel very welcome and already I have the impression that I am a full team member. The most important thing today was to get some experience in the car and in that respect I feel we did a good job, picking up a lot of useful data for tomorrow and for the race. I feel good and it was a pleasure to drive the car. Of course, everything about this car is different to what I have driven before, as every car has different controls on the steering wheel and different modes, so I worked on getting used to this.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (21st, +2.754s):
It was a normal day today with no big problems. We tried the two different tyre options here, but the problem is that the option tyre is very soft and goes off very quickly. But in general the car balance felt good, and I think the day went pretty well.
Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (22nd, +5.388s):
As today was the first time I had driven a Spyker car, in the morning we spent time checking the car and my position. The final lap time was quite bad we know, but we worked on this in the later session. For the afternoon our programme was mainly getting familiar with the car and it's a shame we couldn't use the softer tyres to better effect. When I was on them I had traffic and then a yellow flag, which was bad luck, but we have good preparation for tomorrow and will keep working to have another good drive.