Friday practice - selected driver quotes 07 Sep 2007
Heikki Kovalainen on his tricky day for Renault; Spyker drivers Sakon Yamamoto and Adrian Sutil on the teams new B-spec car; and Super Aguris Anthony Davidson on the clutch problem that relegated him to the bottom of the timesheets. All 22 drivers report back on their early progress at Monza
(Note - all positions and times refer to Practice 2.)
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (1st, 1m22.396s):
Today went really well. We had a good idea of our performance from the test last week, and although the conditions have changed slightly since then, we were able to get an understanding of the set-up for the race, and I am happy with how the car felt. I missed a little time in the morning session when the team were fixing a small problem with my steering, but it didnt really make too much difference to our overall results.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (2nd, +0.823s):
We went through our usual set-up and Bridgestone Potenza tyre comparison work and now have a good understanding of our competitiveness this weekend. The car feels really good to drive round here, and we have already made some good steps forward today. However you never know what everyone else is doing, so we will be looking for further improvements before qualifying tomorrow.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (3rd, +1.198s):
Today went a bit better than normal, and I am more optimistic than at the last few races. We worked through the programme without any problems, we made good progress with the set-up of the car and by the end of the day, the balance was not too bad. Qualifying will be tough, especially because the times seem even closer than usual here at Monza. But it was a good first day and a positive start to the weekend.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (4th, +1.213s):
We were testing here last week, so we know a bit about the cars balance and other things, and that was why we didnt run a lot in first practice. However, it looks like the condition of the track is pretty different, and the braking stability, especially, is worse than it was in testing. In the second free practice we did many long runs, comparing the tyres, and these were looking quite good. I think we have quite a lot of data to look at and analyse.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (5th, +1.293s):
Today we went through two or three things that I really wanted to try here last week which we couldnt do due to the bad weather. Im pleased we did them because we gained some helpful results. Monza has proved to be a very interesting track for the tyres. We havent made a decision yet on which direction well take and will spend time going over that tonight. Generally, Im quite pleased with how the sessions went.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (6th, +1.336s):
We tackled the two free practice sessions in a different way, working mainly on race pace in the afternoon. We still have work to do on the car set-up to find the best balance on the single lap, while over a long run I would say that we are in reasonably good shape. Today, the track was a bit dirty but definitely in better condition than it was at last week's test.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (7th, +1.435s):
I think in general our configuration is good. Both sessions were trouble free. However, my lap times on the long runs are less consistent than I would like. The balance of the car changes, with it being better during the test, so we now have to analyse the data. But I still hope we can come close to Ferrari.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (8th, +1.447s):
The first session went well, but in the second one I lost a lot of time with a hydraulic problem and I only managed to do one run of laps on new tyres in the final moments. We therefore don't have much of a reference point on where we actually are, on top of the fact that as usual there are the unknown factors linked to the fuel loads and tyres used by the other teams during the practice. The balance of the car is not bad, but we definitely have work to do to improve the performance, especially for qualifying, where our rivals are particularly competitive. But our race pace should be good. Monza is Ferrari's home race and I will be doing my best to give the team and all its fans something to be happy about.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (9th, +1.462s):
I had quite a tricky day. I flat spotted the tyres on the first lap this morning, which delayed the programme a bit, and I didn't find the same good balance that I had at the test last week. So the car isn't feeling too good at the moment, but we are working to improve the situation. However, reliability was good and we compared the tyres, which is the main objective on Friday. Now we need to work on the set-up overnight, and look carefully where we can make improvements. I know I can do a good job with the engineers, so I am confident things will be better tomorrow.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (10th, +1.495s):
Practice went okay. We changed a couple of things in the first session and went for a long run at the end which was very interesting. Theres more to come from the balance of my car so Im working on that tonight. Surprisingly, we actually found that todays conditions were relatively the same as those at last weeks test, which is good because it means we can use some of the useful data we have collected already.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (11th, +1.533s):
Monza has always been a special venue for me both for the track and for the atmosphere, especially now it is the only Italian race on the calendar. The car always feels lighter here because you run with such low downforce for the long straights. My two days of testing last week went well and we improved our set-up and braking stability. Today everything went pretty smoothly and we carried out the usual work on set-up and tyres. But we have some work to do overnight to improve the handling so I can push hard for a strong race here in front of my home fans.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (12th, +1.536s):
Last weeks test was a bit frustrating for me because both the days of running I did were heavily disrupted by rain and the track was very green. That meant I still had plenty of work to do on the set-up of the car in the better weather we saw today. Were reasonably happy with what we achieved and we didnt have any technical problems. But its clear that we still have a lot to do on the car side. The kerbs are a challenge for everyone but we have to find a way to get the most out of them. So we have some work to do tonight to plan for the rest of the weekend but Im confident qualifying will look better for us tomorrow.
Jenson Button, Honda (13th, +1.751s):
A pretty straightforward Friday in terms of our programme. This morning the balance seemed quite encouraging and we got off to a reasonable start. This afternoon we concentrated on doing long runs to evaluate the tyres as well as some more specific set-up work. The balance wasn't as good as this morning, especially on the new tyres, so we need to have a look at the data now and work out why.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (14th, +1.942s):
We were testing here last week, so we were just checking and reconfirming a few things today. Wed like to be faster of course, but we know what we need to work on and well do what we can tonight.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (15th, +2.076s):
This morning we had a big deficit in terms of straight-line speed, so this afternoon we tried a number of changes and have found some improvements. The set-up and balance also felt better this afternoon so we are making progress, but there is still a lot of work to achieve tonight and tomorrow morning.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (16th, +2.219s):
It was a normal Friday practice, we ran through everything we needed to. I tend not to pay too much attention to the times in testing, its tomorrow that counts.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (17th, +2.942s):
We had to cover some of the testing programme that we could not complete here last week and it was good to see that we made some progress. We knew that it is going to be a tough weekend for us, but on the positive side, I think that we can improve our performance in the morning tomorrow.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (18th, +3.073s):
We were quite happy with the early runs this morning, but after that the day seemed to get more difficult. Of course the track conditions are very different to last week when we had quite a good test session here. That was actually my first test session in this car and certainly, every lap helps. But now we have to concentrate on this weekend and hopefully we will be able to work out what to do to get more pace out of the car.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (19th, +3.145s):
We had a big programme we wanted to try today, but unfortunately we had a gearbox problem early on in the second session, which meant we had to cut short the schedule. We were at least able to do a long run on the softer tyre though, which was quite good. I think this morning was in general a bit better as the air was so hot in the afternoon we lost some straight-line speed and couldn't improve on our time from the morning. I think there is still a lot more to come from the car though as I am not so happy over the kerbs, it's very snappy there. If we work overnight we should find some more time.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (20th, +3.181s):
Overall this was a very difficult day. Since the morning session we had a problem with the car reacting strangely in the corners, with a bit of an imbalance between right and left turns. We never found the right set up despite changing several things on the car. I continued to struggle in the afternoon, when I also had an electrical problem which meant I had to stop before the end and before doing a run on new tyres, so we are lacking a bit of data.
Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (21st, +3.477s):
Today was our first day using the B-spec over a race weekend after the test last week and we really followed on from our programme there. I completed our normal progress steps today, trying both the soft and hard tyre, set-ups for Qualifying and the race and importantly put lots of mileage in and did some good preparation for tomorrow.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (22nd, +3.635s):
A clutch problem put me out of the running at the beginning of the second session, which was a disappointing end to the day. I believe that this wont prove too much of a problem, so I am looking forward to making up for lost time in the morning and to having a good day tomorrow.