Friday practice - selected driver quotes 01 Aug 2008
Renaults Nelson Piquet on muscling his way to second to split the two McLarens; Toro Rossos Sebastian Vettel on covering just nine laps in the STR03; and the Force India men on getting the better of the Honda of Rubens Barrichello. All 20 drivers report back on their early progress at the Hungaroring (note - positions and times refer to practice two)
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st, 1m 20.554s):
The track was very dusty this morning so we took our time before starting our run programme. Once again, the car felt good even though I encountered quite a lot of traffic during both sessions. This afternoon, I also got to try the revised aero package for the first time - it definitely seemed to make the car better balanced, which is very encouraging.
Nelson Piquet, Renault (2nd, +0.194s):
Our free practice programme went well and we have made progress. The car was reacting well to the different set-up solutions that we tried and so I am quite satisfied with the days work. The track changed a lot during the day and its quite a demanding place with lots of corners, but I enjoyed driving the circuit and I hope things continue like this tomorrow.
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (3rd, +0.206s):
Another positive day for us. The car started the day pretty strongly but we were able to keep improving it throughout both sessions. This afternoon, I was able to find a particularly good balance and focused on conserving the tyres rather than going for a laptime. I had a little bit of graining, but things look very promising for tomorrow.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (4th, +0.374s):
It was a typical day of practice with a lot of laps covered and lots of data to analyse this evening to be ready for tomorrow. Overall we improved the car and we are moving in the right direction. We still have a few things to improve, but if we can make the most of the final free practice session tomorrow morning, we should be able to approach qualifying in good shape.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (5th, +0.455s):
"We worked on various set-up options for the car. I also tried the new engine cover, but it is hard to assess it in any detail. The situation is not too bad, the car handles better, but our main rivals seem to be still a little bit quicker than us, even if there is the usual question mark over any difference in the fuel loads. There is still room for improvement and we will concentrate all our efforts on this in preparing for qualifying and the race."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (6th, +0.456s):
"It's hard to say exactly where we are compared to the opposition, but clearly they are very quick. I did not feel too comfortable on the softest tyre while on the harder one, which I used first, the situation was much better. As usual on the first day at the Hungaroring, it is difficult to understand how the tyres are behaving because you always get a lot of graining, while the situation changes bit by bit as more rubber goes down on the track surface. We know in which direction we have to work and we will do all we can to bring home a good result. It will be tough, but I am confident all the same."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (7th, +0.584s):
"In the beginning it wasnt good at all. I guess many drivers had trouble with graining, so I don't think I was the only one. But I found the balance of my car really poor. We made several changes during both sessions, but they didn't lead to the progress we wanted. For the very last outing we then made major changes and luckily this proved to be a step in the right direction. I'm happy we tried this because we now know a lot more."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (8th, +0.809s):
"We did the usual Friday programme. We evaluated the tyre compounds and worked on the car's set-up in order to find out how the car and the tyres behave on this track. We will now analyse today's data and prepare for Saturday."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (9th, +0.951s):
"As usual here in Hungary it was a difficult Friday because of the dusty circuit. It was hard to draw clear conclusions because there was tyre graining that affected the car's performance and general balance. So we concentrated on finding out what kind of behaviour we can expect from the tyres. I hope we can have another strong weekend because I like this track, the car has been competitive recently and we are looking to score more points."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (10th, +1.027s):
"We didnt start the day quite the way we wanted and had to make several changes throughout the sessions in order to find the best direction for us. We definitely went the right way with the changes, and have made some good progress with the car. Tyre-wise, we have yet to make our decision. Its not immediately clear which option to go for, but well analyse that tonight. Once again, the competition is looking quite strong, especially the Renaults."
Timo Glock, Toyota (11th, +1.108s):
"The morning went well for me on the dirty track surface and we had no problems with the car. In the second session the track changed, there was a bit more grip and the car started to be a bit trickier to drive but overall this was not a bad first day. Hopefully we can continue with this speed. If I can qualify well and we can have the race pace we had in Hockenheim then a points finish should be possible. After my accident in the last race I've completely recovered. I tested at Jerez last week without problems, I passed a further medical check yesterday and I felt fine driving the car today."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (12th, +1.179s):
Weve got some work to do tonight to try and work out where we can find some more pace in the car. We had a good run in terms of laps completed, but it would always be nice to be a bit quicker. Well be back tomorrow and will do our best.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (13th, +1.283s):
A normal Friday for us today, making our tyre comparisons and getting used to the conditions. I think its going to be very tight again in the mid-group, but well see how tomorrow goes.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (14th, +1.348s):
"Our pace wasnt where we wanted it to be in the morning session, so we made a few changes in the break between sessions. The changes worked better for us as we certainly found some more pace in the afternoon. We still have some work to do this evening to make sure we get the best from the car tomorrow. I also know that I have to do some work to improve my pace as well."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (15th, +1.401s):
Not too bad today. This morning was the first time I have driven here since the track configuration was changed, so I was finding out what its like in a Formula One car. That went okay. This afternoon it was the usual programme of evaluating the tyres with different fuel loads. The track rubbered in quite a lot towards the end and as I did low fuel runs earlier in the session, this did not show in our later lap times. I was struggling a bit on the Option, which I had expected. As this track changes a lot, if you dont have a major problem with the car, its best to leave it alone and see what happens on the second day. Otherwise, you make changes to the car which are not appropriate for the Saturday conditions. You have to be patient!
Jenson Button, Honda (16th, +1.596s):
"Overall we had a good day today which enabled us to further understand the new rear suspension that we will be racing for the first time this weekend. We made some positive changes after the morning session to improve the car as I was not happy with the balance when we had very low grip at both ends. The changes ensured that the car was a lot more responsive this afternoon and an improvement over how it has felt for much of this season. Our long run pace is looking okay but we have further work to do over one lap as the balance is not quite there yet."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (17th, +1.643s):
"The upshift is better with the new gearbox and obviously a good step forward, but unfortunately for us we are not going to use it tomorrow and Sunday. We are struggling with the grip level at the moment as there is a lot of inconsistency and the balance is not quite there. Over the day the track conditions did improve a lot and the last 10 to 15 minutes of the second session were much better. Let's see for tomorrow and how it improves again as we use it more."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (18th, +1.804s):
"Quite a good day today, the gearbox did a good job and we didn't have any issues at all. The car balance was still difficult as the track is not yet at its best so it was hard to find a good set-up. On my last run I had some traffic and couldn't really get the maximum out of it but I have a good feeling all the same. I think we are on the right track and the car is behaving well with no problems. I hope we can translate this into a good performance tomorrow in qualifying."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (19th, +1.894s):
"It has been a challenging day today, which we expected as we continue the set-up work with our revised rear suspension and new aero parts. Once the track had improved this morning, we worked on getting the right balance on the car and conditioning the tyres. Unfortunately we struggled with understeer and we need to look at the data closely this evening to confirm our direction before qualifying as the lack of overtaking opportunities here makes it important to get a good grid slot."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (20th, +2.391s):
I had hydraulic problems in both sessions. A shame because I lost a lot of track time and Fridays work is very important. I hardly ran at all and therefore we are lacking information which will be a handicap for the rest of the weekend. Obviously, this means the data from the other car will be twice as important as usual. I will try and learn from Sebastien, but relying on your team mate is never as good as finding your own way around the track. Hopefully I can catch up a bit tomorrow morning.