Friday practice - selected driver quotes 24 Aug 2007
Toyotas Ralf Schumacher on his positive start in Turkey; Alexander Wurz on his set-up problems in the Williams; and Sakon Yamamoto on getting used to the different tyre types in the Spyker. All 22 drivers report back on their early progress at Istanbul Park
(Note - all positions and times refer to Practice 2.)
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 28.469s):
I am happy with the performance so far, especially as the conditions today were not ideal. It is a shame that both sessions were interrupted, however the work we did was productive and we made some good progress.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (2nd, +0.293s):
I am reasonably happy with the way things went in the morning and a bit less so when it came to the afternoon. For some reason, probably a change in the wind direction, conditions were rather difficult and we will have to evaluate very carefully the data from the second session because it is easy to go down the wrong route. As for the two types of tyre, from what we have seen today, both work well but we will have to wait to do a more complete evaluation tomorrow. We have a good package which we must try and get the most out of.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (3rd, +0.304s):
So far everything is going fine and we can be happy with our work today. We went through most of our programme despite the time lost in the second session. We worked on set-up and tyre choices and everything seemed to go well. The results today were encouraging with 3rd place in second practice and we hope we can convert our form today into a strong qualifying result. Its only Friday so its hard to tell where we are but our first target for qualifying is to get both cars in the top 10. I think we have a good chance to do well. My performance in qualifying and the race in Hungary showed we are capable of fighting for strong results and I hope we can do that again. Now we will focus on getting the most out of the car for qualifying, when I hope to give myself another opportunity to score good points.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (4th, +0.405s):
It was a reasonable day for me today. We worked on the set-up but I had a bit of an issue getting the car exactly how I want it. I was not so happy with the balance and I felt that under braking I could not push as hard as I wanted to, so now we will work hard to find a compromise before qualifying. We will look at the data before practice tomorrow and work hard to improve the balance so I can get the most out of the car. I am really focused and motivated this weekend to score points again because I have had a couple of unlucky races. I expect to once again get into Q3 and from there I am ready to score points. The battle in the midfield is very tight and we know we cannot afford any mistakes but I am confident we can push for another strong result here.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (5th, +0.415s):
I am happy with the outcome of these three hours of free practice. Both this morning, when I was running without the latest aerodynamic updates and this afternoon, the car was well balanced. There is still some room for improvement, but that is just part of the normal evolution of a race weekend. Both types of tyre seem to be very quick and consistent in terms of performance. We will have to evaluate them carefully in terms of their performance for the race. In the afternoon, probably because of the wind, the track conditions changed and overall, there was less grip. I set my best time in the first minutes when I was still on worn tyres. I think we will be competitive.
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (6th, +0.478s):
Track conditions were a bit of a problem today. It was slippery this morning when we first went out, but we made some adjustments and that seemed to make a difference. Then this afternoon it was very windy, and we started to suffer a little from understeer, which we will work on overnight. We are definitely among the strongest here, but as expected it will be a tough fight with Kimi and Felipe.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (7th, +0.526s):
I think we had a good practice session today. We did a lot of work with the set-up, trying different options, so while it was a lot of effort, we ended up in a good place. The tyre choice doesnt seem so obvious at the moment as they seem pretty close, but I think we have two good tyres for this weekend. The red flag in the second session cut our time a little short, but it is was the same for everybody and we managed to get through our complete programme in any case.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (8th, +0.556s):
I was quite happy with the balance from the first run this morning, and we improved it all the way through the two sessions. I had a yellow flag on my final run, which stopped me from improving my time, but everybody had the same conditions. The red flag meant we weren't able to do all of our set-up changes, and there are still some improvements that we know can be made to find more pace. It has been a positive start to the weekend, I am happy with the car at this stage and I know there is more performance to come tomorrow.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (9th, +0.624s):
In the first session I lost a bit of time due to some problems with a set-up change, so I lost the last run of the morning session. In the afternoon we worked through a tyre comparison. However, getting set-up exactly right on a circuit like this is very difficult and you just have to accept some compromise. I think we are in okay shape, but we still have to find a little bit more from the car.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (10th, +0.899s):
This morning the track was really slippery and many drivers went off, so the conditions were very difficult. In the afternoon the conditions were better, we mainly concentrated on the long runs to compare the tyres and we have done some good work. Unfortunately the session was stopped for quite a while, so we had to drop some set- up work, but we have some time to do that tomorrow. I would have liked to do one more run, but it was the same for everyone.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (11th, +0.966s):
My car had a fuel leak and fire at the end of this mornings session, so the team had to find the leak and change the engine. The boys did a great job to get the car out again when they did, as there was a lot of much work to do - it was a good effort. Originally we were going to use the T car for the second session, but I wanted to stay with the race car, so we changed the engine instead. Once the car was ready, we got on with working through our normal Friday practice.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (12th, +0.987s):
I had a small problem with the engine mapping on the final run, which meant I wasn't able to get a good answer on the final set-up changes, but otherwise there was nothing unusual for me in either session. We had to change the programme round a little bit after the red flag, but the situation was the same for the other teams as well. The car balance is still a little bit inconsistent, so there are areas for us to work on overnight, but I think we seem to be in our usual position in the bottom half of the top ten - and we have made a good start.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (13th, +1.323s):
I enjoy driving here and I like the track, although in the morning in particular it was very slippery. Despite losing almost half an hour of track time, we completed all the important jobs and compared the two tyre specifications. The set-up is not ideal yet and, in my view, my long runs at the end were not perfect either.
Jenson Button, Honda (14th, +1.476s):
Finally, at the end of the session, we seemed to find a reasonable set-up, which is something we had been struggling with throughout the day. I'm much happier with the car now. This morning I didn't get a good run on either tyre. We did some laps on the option at the end of the day and that seemed to be reasonably consistent. We've made good progress over the two sessions and it seems we are getting there.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (15th, +1.586s):
The day had been progressing quite well, up to the point where I hit the drain cover. We checked the car and it seemed there was no obvious problem beyond the punctured tyre and damaged wheel, but when running resumed the car didn't feel very good at all. We need to check everything carefully to ensure there is no underlying damage because things were going reasonably well before that and I hope we can get back to how the car felt earlier in the day.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (16th, +1.635s):
I am very glad to be back racing after the summer break. The team is upbeat and looking forward to the second half of the season, especially after our last race in Budapest where, towards the end, our pace was strong, so we have a very positive attitude here in Istanbul. Of course everybody else has made progress as well as us, but we need to find more speed. However, I think it was a very good day. We completed the normal tyre comparisons, even though we were interrupted by the red flag, and I am reasonably happy with the car balance.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (17th, +1.846s):
Ive been struggling all day in the car. Weve got work to do this evening; we just need to get our heads down now and see where we can improve before the qualifying tomorrow.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (18th, +2.061s):
It was a difficult day and we found it hard to find a good car balance in these windy conditions. We struggled at the beginning of the first session, but we made some set-up changes and were making good progress towards the end with a reasonably competitive lap time. In the second session we were facing similar problems as we had experienced in the morning, and then we had the drain cover incident and the track took a while to come back to a good grip level again. After setting a competitive time on the prime tyre, we went out for an option tyre run at the end of the afternoon and unfortunately I made a mistake going into Turn Three, ran wide and touched the barrier. I am comfortable on where we are with first lap performance at the moment, so I am looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (19th, +2.233s):
This morning I was quite happy with the balance of the car, particularly over long runs. Then in the afternoon, we worked on tyre comparisons and this session did not work out quite as well, because we had a problem with the hydraulic system, which unbalanced the car and the power steering and the throttle were not working properly. So from the mid-point of the session our work was not so productive. We will have to work on this tonight as up until this problem, everything had been going well.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (20th, +2.332s):
This morning we struggled a bit to find the right way to progress with the car, but we were still optimistic about improving in the afternoon. Unfortunately, a sensor broke deep inside the gearbox which meant we had to pull the back end off the car and replace the sensor and that cost us some time, but fortunately the red flag period meant I did not lose so much time compared to the others. Once back on track, we concentrated on acquiring as much data as possible in the short time remaining. In general, I think there is still room for improvement. This track is where I made my Grand Prix weekend debut last year, when I was very impressed with this circuit. That feeling remains this time, and Turn Eight is as impressive as ever. It is a very technical track and I enjoy that.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (21st, +2.684s):
Today was a fairly standard Friday practice for us. At first the track was very dirty so we tried to do some longer runs and wait for conditions to improve. Over these runs we checked temperatures and then did some set-up work. The car balance was not quite right as we had a lot of understeer and the tyres are very hard and difficult to use, but we will check the data tonight and do all the normal things to set it up for tomorrow. We should be alright as normally we manage to get a good set-up for the race and I think we should be able to do it here too.
Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (22nd, +2.706s):
Today I am very happy as I got used to the different type of tyre and got more familiar with the car. We also did some long runs with a heavy fuel load, which hopefully is good for the race as I could get a feeling of how the heavier car behaved. We finished our whole programme and I am very satisfied but we will keep working for tomorrow.