Friday practice - selected driver quotes 25 Apr 2008
The first day at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya saw Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen dominate proceedings, Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella finish in the top ten for Force India and Heikki Kovalainens McLaren succumb to mechanical problems. All 22 drivers report back from Spain (note - positions and times refer to practice two)
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (1st, 1m 21.935s):
"I am pleased with this first day of testing. We did the work we needed to do and had no problems, this being probably the most positive thing. The balance of the car is good, even if there is always room to improve and its handling was also good on both types of tyre. As usual on Friday, it is hard to judge where we are up against our rivals and I think we can expect a very close fight. The new nose? We wouldn't use it if it didn't give us a little something extra!"
Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault (2nd, +0.084s):
I am happy with the days work. The car felt good, we have tried lots of different settings and we have made good progress with the evaluation of the tyres. I covered a lot of laps and completed my programme. We therefore have lots of data which we will look at this evening so that we can continue progressing and be in the best possible condition for qualifying.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (3rd, +0.097s):
This first day of running allowed us to finish the work we began in testing last week. We have therefore tried different configurations and have been able to collect lots of information. But the conditions on the track were very different to those we had last week, with more wind and much less grip, and you had to get used to it. I am satisfied with my days work and the results that we have registered. However, we still need to improve here tomorrow to ensure a good qualifying session because that will determine our race on Sunday.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (4th, +0.237s):
It was a good day for us today. We tried some different set-ups options in both sessions and have found a good direction to take us into qualifying. We will be doing some more work this evening, but we are well prepared for tomorrow.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (5th, +0.294):
"This was a good day. From what we have seen, I think we will be competitive this weekend and we are working in the right direction. Track conditions will improve over the next couple of days. Today, it was a bit on the limit and it was easy to make mistakes. In fact, when I spun this morning, I flat spotted the left rear tyre and that's why I didn't do many laps in the first session, as it wasn't worth using a new set of tyres. I could have posted a quicker time in the afternoon, but I had some traffic on my first flying lap on soft tyres. It's my birthday today and I would love to give myself a nice present on Sunday."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (6th, +0.303s):
It was a good day for us, carrying on from where we left off at the test. We are running with all the new aero parts we tested last week and they are all working in the right direction. We had a small problem in the first session but the afternoon was faultless for us. We got through all our programme which was aimed mainly at preparation for Sundays race. I am quite happy with the car and we will do a bit more work tomorrow morning. I am sure it will be very difficult but I think we can make it through to Q3 tomorrow afternoon.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (7th, +0.331s):
In the morning we tried something that really didnt work out so we had to change back for the afternoon session. The car felt a lot better straight away, but we still have a few balance issues that we need to try to sort out as it doesnt feel so great on the track. Circuit conditions have changed a lot since we tested here last week, so we have to have another look at the set-up before tomorrow.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (8th, +0.354s):
We ran a normal Friday programme today. While we have a lot more experience of the track because of last weeks testing here, it doesnt actually matter what you achieve in a test day because the track conditions are only relevant to that day so were trying to find a balance as always. Testing the tyres last week gave us some information, but its warmer than at the test, which means the properties of the tyre are different, the humidity is different, so the downforce is different. You get less horsepower on a warm day because there is less oxygen to burn so there are many factors which affect the way the car feels.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (9th, +0.448s):
The car balance in the afternoon was especially good. In the morning we had a lot of understeer, but there was a big difference between today and the test. Today there was in general much less grip, more understeer and wheelspin, so this morning I was struggling a little bit. In the afternoon I was happier and we went in the right direction. It's too early to say definitively but it doesn't look too bad.
Adrian Sutil, Force India (10th, +0.613s):
Today was not bad. I think we started quite well, although the track conditions were very different to testing. We just lost a lot of grip from last week so this morning was okay, but this afternoon was even better. We put on some new tyres and did some new tyre runs in the second session and the balance was very good. I was quite happy, but then later on the wind increased and although the longer runs were not bad, I was not happy with the balance. On the last run of the day it was not as I expected: the wind just changed and I couldn't really react to it so the last runs could have been better for sure, but overall it was an improvement over the last three races. Step by step we are getting better.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (11th, +0.750s):
"We struggled with the balance of the car throughout both sessions today. There was too much oversteer and we tried a lot of different things to improve but didnt make the progress we wanted. We will look at the information overnight, and I am confident we will find the improvements needed. As is often the case we ran with heavy race fuel loads throughout the long runs in both sessions so the times dont really mean that much. Tomorrow is when it counts and I am looking forward to getting some more running under my belt."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (12th, +0.853s):
It was very important for me to do a lot of laps. I did not have the chance to prepare for this Grand Prix during last week's test as I worked with the 2009 tyres then. However, during today's programme we did a lot of set-up changes and evaluated the tyres. We now have to look at the data and will prepare for tomorrow.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (13th, +1.195s):
From my point of view this first day of practice was okay. We had no noteworthy problems, we tried and tested everything as planned. Regarding the car's balance it is not perfect yet, but I think we can improve it for tomorrow.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (14th, +1.289s):
Today was a bit of a struggle for us. It was windy out there and that helped make the car hard to set up. So we will have to go through the data and try to understand where we can improve for tomorrow. My test here last week was disrupted by the weather but overall it looked promising so I'm confident that we can keep moving forwards. Our results this year show we have a strong car and like most teams we have a new package here. Now we need to keep doing our job well throughout the weekend to get a good result.
Jenson Button, Honda (15th, +1.328s):
"Today was really important as I didn't get any testing mileage last week due to the bad weather we had here on the final day, so it was good to get some laps in with the new developments on the car. We haven't found the best set-up yet as I was struggling with the balance today, but I'm confident that we will find the improvements tomorrow.
"After the test last week, our expectations were to be challenging for a place in the final part of qualifying and the top ten. We achieved this in Bahrain and given the improvements made to the car I hope we have taken enough of a step forward to do this again."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (16th, +1.329s):
"A disappointing day for me unfortunately. I managed to do a bit of running in the first session, but the time was cut short when a problem developed with the gear box oil pump and the guys had to change the gearbox between sessions. Then in the second practice all of a sudden I lost all power when the engine switched off and was told to pull over, and that was the end of that. We will have a good look at the car overnight to understand what caused the problem in the second session and then start a new day tomorrow. There is still time left and a lot can happen."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (17th, +1.480s):
"We've had a tough day today and the main challenge has been to get the car working in the same way that it did at the test last week. The balance and feel of the car was completely different today, so we had to really work around the set-up trying to rediscover the feeling we had from the test.
"We have a lot of work to do tonight in terms of studying the data to understand where the issues lie. I felt very confident after the test, and although there is an improvement in the car here, we still have work to do to
achieve our expectations of progressing to the third session of qualifying. It's going to be difficult but not impossible."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (18th, +1.726s):
Even though I know the track and the circuit, I haven't tested here since February and conditions were obviously very different today. It was quite a productive day but there is still a lot of room for improvement. We identified various areas to work on and the good thing is that in the afternoon we made progress with that and moved on from the morning, even if from the outside, you cannot see the improvement in terms of pace. I am not sure where we are in terms of the order, but this is definitely going to be a tough weekend. But of course we will continue working tomorrow and keep fighting.
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (19th, +1.749s):
The conditions are very different to our last test here in February and our main job today was to try and make the most of the package we have got. Our potential is not strong enough to be a mid-field contender at the moment, as everyone has made big steps forward with their newer cars.The wind moved around from the morning to the afternoon, affecting the balance of the car. But overall, I think we made a step forward from the morning. It's going to be tough and now we will see where we are in qualifying when we take the fuel out, which makes the car a different animal. If things go well, maybe we can get through to Q2.
Timo Glock, Toyota (20th, +1.948s):
It was hard work out there today. The car went well at last week's test but the track feels completely different now and there is a general lack of grip. It is the same for everyone but it was a struggle to find the right balance for most of the day until we made a change for the last run. That was an improvement but now we will have to work hard to find the right direction for tomorrow and the race.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (21st, +3.175s):
It is nice to be back behind the wheel in Barcelona again because I have not been here since the race last year where we scored our first point. This weekend started during a difficult time for the team and I am proud of the way everyone has pulled together. Looking at performance, it is also very hard. We completed the usual Friday programme, trying to improve the set-up of the car, but we are some way off the pace. We shall try very hard to improve things for tomorrow and I know that everyone is giving 100 percent.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (22nd, +3.228s):
It has been a difficult week; mentally tough for all of us in the team, but we are pushing on. The balance of the car did not feel too far away today, so I am happy about that. Unfortunately I had a problem with my brakes in the second session and it felt like the rears were working too much compared to the fronts, with a very long pedal. If we can sort that out, then I am looking forward to being back in the car and to Qualifying tomorrow.