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Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes 19 Jun 2009

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB5.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 19 June 2009 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn Grand Prix.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 19 June 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 19 June 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 19 June 2009 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Practice Day, Silverstone, England, Friday, 19 June 2009

The advantage was undoubtedly with Red Bull on Friday, with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber taking a dominant one-two in both sessions. Here they and their rivals review the first day of action at Silverstone…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1 - 1:19.400, 1st; P2 - 1:19.456, 1st

"Overall I think it was a good day for both of us. I don’t know what happened to Mark at the end of the second session, but otherwise it was a smooth run through the programme. We were able to do a lot of laps and collect a lot of data. The new parts that we brought here seem to be working well, which is a good sign, but on a Friday it’s always difficult to know how quick we really are. I think we’ve made a step forward though and, just like our team slogan Red Bull Gives You Wings, I think they helped us today for our performance on track.”

Mark Webber, P1 - 1:19.682, 2nd; P2 - 1:19.597, 2nd
“It’s been a pretty good day for us; we’ve tried a few new bits here, which seem to be going pretty well. We’ve tried both sets of tyres and need to go through all the data tonight. My second session ended a little early as I hit a kerb on Turn five, which caused the car’s electronics to stop. Silverstone is a spectacular circuit and always has been – it’s phenomenal to drive it in a Formula One car. I was lucky enough to talk to some of the fans when I stopped on the track and they said the car was looking incredible, so it’s nice to see that they’re enjoying what we’re doing.”

Force India
Adrian Sutil, P1 - 1:20.913, 11th; P2 - 1:20.141, 3rd

“Today went well as I was happy with the car the whole day. It was a bit surprising to be third in FP2, but it was a really good session, the best position so far this year on a Friday. We ran through our programme, doing a lot of tyre work and the long runs seem to be quite okay. The soft option goes off a little in the rear but should be fine on Sunday, so no real worries there. I don't think it's realistic to expect us to be third for qualifying, but everything is working really well and I am quite confident about making it through to Q2 again. If we can do this again we'd be quite satisfied.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, P1 - 1:20.838, 10th; P2 - 1:21.413, 19th
“This morning was okay and we had some good runs, and the lap time was not bad. This afternoon however I was suffering with oversteer and we made some small changes, but in the end with the new tyres I was suffering with understeer. It wasn't such a great FP2 but the potential is there as Adrian has set a really good time. I think tomorrow we should go in the top 15 in qualifying.”

Dominic Harlow, Force India chief race engineer:
“It was nice to see Adrian close to the top of the times this afternoon, and we've generally been pleased with today's sessions. The team has worked very well today and being so close to the HQ really spurs us on. It was very windy, and that affected the cars' balance this afternoon with a tendency to oversteer being the result. We ran our usual programme to understand the tyre behaviour and we will have to analyse the data thoroughly this evening. The cars ran reliably through more than two race distances over both sessions and we're looking forward to another good qualifying session tomorrow.”

Williams
Kazuki Nakajima, P1 - 1:21.489, 17th; P2 - 1:20.209, 4th

“Today’s sessions went well for us. I was caught up in quite a bit of traffic in the early runs, but managed to get some clear air later on. We tried many different set-ups with the car; some of which were quite interesting, so we now need to look at the data in preparation for tomorrow’s qualifying.”

Nico Rosberg, P1 - 1:20.815, 9th; P2 - 1:20.468, 9th
“We tried a few things, especially with the car’s aerodynamics, and we definitely learned a lot. The wind made things quite difficult though so it wasn’t so straightforward to find the right set-up direction today, but we made the best of it. It’s always a compromise between the quick corners in the first sector and the slow corners in the last sector. Tyre-wise, maybe the option isn’t quite as good as we would have hoped, but it’s still the better tyre here.”

Sam Michael, Williams’ technical director:
“That was a good Friday session. We ran through lots of checks with the new parts we‘ve brought here for this race. We’ll go through the data tonight, but everything is working well. We also completed our usual tyre evaluations and cooling checks.”

Renault
Fernando Alonso, P1 - 1:20.458, 5th; P2 - 1:20.237, 5th

"It was a normal Friday for us. We need to improve the car, but in the second practice session we were quite happy with the result. However, we know that we will have a very tough fight in qualifying tomorrow and that one or two tenths can make a big difference in terms of position. So we are still trying to find a little bit more from the car, some extra tenths to really maximise our potential, but we've definitely moved in the right direction today."

Nelson Piquet, P1 - 1:21.525, 18th; P2 - 1:20.608, 10th
"It was a busy day and we managed to get a lot done, including the usual set-up work and tyre evaluation. As always at Silverstone it was quite windy, but it didn't cause too many problems and we managed to improve the car quite a bit, especially in the afternoon. We also tried out the new developments that we have this weekend, including the new front wing. We now have a lot of information to go through to try and make the most of the final practice session tomorrow morning."

Pat Symonds, Renault executive director of engineering:
"I'm quite happy with the competitiveness of the car here. We expected the quick corners to suit us and the sector times seem to indicate that we are quite competitive in the faster parts, hence our overall lap times look to be slightly ahead of our normal position. Having said that, we know it will be an extremely close qualifying session and so I'd still like to find a little bit more speed from the car."

Brawn GP
Rubens Barrichello, P1 - 1:20.242, 4th; P2 - 1:20.244, 6th

"We had a reasonable day and made some good progress on the balance particularly in the second session. There is a lot of work ahead for us tonight however and the pace of our closest competitors was impressive which we need to have a look at. We will have to see what tomorrow will bring but hopefully the track will come towards us and we can have a good day."

Jenson Button, P1 - 1:20.227, 3rd; P2 - 1: 20.767, 14th
"We tried a few different evaluations with the aero today and initially struggled as I had no grip in either the high or low speed corners. The wind also really affected the car's performance today. We made improvements towards the end of the afternoon session so we have some good information to look at tonight to try and make further progress before qualifying."

Ross Brawn, Brawn GP team principal:
"The track evolution this morning and the strong winds have combined to make the cars quite difficult to work with today and it has been something of a challenge to achieve our planned programme. However this afternoon's session was more productive with both Jenson and Rubens giving similar feedback on the characteristics of their cars. We will go through all the information carefully this evening but the data gathered this afternoon should give us the right direction on the set-up and aero configuration required for qualifying tomorrow."

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, P1 - 1:20.650, 8th; P2 - 1:20.417, 7th

“It took a while to get used to the car this morning. It feels a little different from what we’ve been running in previous races. Generally, I’m very happy with the balance but, with a revised car and on a high-speed circuit like this, it takes a bit longer than usual to find the limit. It’s no secret that we’re lacking speed in the faster sections. But the car wasn’t too bad today. The balance was good, we’ve made some set-up changes and it now appears to be fairly consistent. But this has already turned out to be one of the best weekends of the year for me because I’m at my home grand prix and the fans are incredible here - I’ve seen and felt their support from the very first lap I did today.”

Heikki Kovalainen, P1 - 1:21.029, 12th; P2 - 1:20.733, 12th
“Firstly, it’s great to be back at Silverstone because it’s a circuit I love. I got pole position last year and I really enjoy driving here. We know we face a tougher weekend this season because we’re lacking grip, but the balance of the car didn’t feel too bad this morning. As Lewis is running without KERS this weekend, we now have to analyse the balance of both cars and see what we’ll do for the rest of the weekend. We’re definitely making progress. It’s still difficult to say whether it’s an advantage to be running KERS, but I felt I was getting a lap time benefit from the system. This weekend will be all about developing our car and seeing what difference the changes make to both Lewis’s and my pace. The whole team is pushing like crazy and we’re getting a better understanding of our car. Whatever happens, we are definitely going to learn a lot of useful things about the car this weekend.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal:
“We’re fully aware that the characteristics of the Silverstone circuit don’t suit our technical package, but we have taken on an aggressive approach for the weekend, splitting our drivers’ development programmes to more fully understand the nature of the changes we’ve made to each car. We’ll learn some valuable lessons from this approach and are confident that it will pay dividends and allow us to mount an increasingly stronger challenge throughout Saturday and into Sunday’s race.”

Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“Lewis today drove without KERS because Silverstone is a circuit where you do not brake too often: you get less of a benefit from the system here than you would on heavy-braking circuits. By way of comparison, Heikki used the system today and our specialists will analyse today’s results and decide whether we choose to continue using the system on his car for the rest of the weekend. Generally, this great circuit with lots of fast corners does not help our cars to be competitive. We need further dramatic improvements to come back to the position where we won five of the last 10 British Grands Prix - the last one in most convincing manner with Lewis last year.”

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, P1 - 1:20.585, 7th; P2 - 1:20.458, 8th

"I had a trouble-free couple of sessions working through the usual programme of evaluating the different tyre compounds and looking at various set-ups. The car feels pretty good but as usual here at Silverstone it was very windy. This makes it quite difficult to set-up the car and it's not ideal when it comes to evaluating different set-ups because the conditions change from lap to lap. But we had no other issues and we just need to improve the outright performance a little bit for tomorrow in order to be closer to the top. I am still optimistic."

Timo Glock, P1 - 1:21.386, 16th; P2 - 1:20.762, 13th
"It has been a reasonable start for us on the whole. We did quite a few laps and looked at various different set-ups. We had no serious problems but of course there are areas we need to work on before qualifying to get the maximum out of our package. The balance is not ideal at the moment but we have the chance to improve that tomorrow morning. If you look at what happened in Turkey, where we made a big step forward on Saturday morning, then we can be pretty hopeful for this race."

Dieter Gass, Toyota chief engineer race and test:
"It was a positive day for us. We have got some new aerodynamic components on the car which we successfully tested. Everything looks fine, we had no technical problems so we went smoothly through our programme which is always a good way to start the weekend. In terms of tyres, these are the same compounds we had in Turkey. We don't seem to have a major worry with them for the rest of the weekend and that is good news because sometimes this year there have been occasions when it was a bit of a challenge. So now we are looking to build on this positive Friday over the rest of the weekend."

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, P1 - 1:21.801, 20th; P2 - 1:20.622, 11th

“It was a difficult day for me. In the morning I had electronic problems on the car which prevented me from doing one single proper outing. Then, in the early stages of the second free practice the engine lost power. A big thank you to the mechanics who did a fantastic job changing it in a very short time! This meant that at least I had the chance to do two problem-free outings in the afternoon and some set-up work.”

Nick Heidfeld, P1 - 1:21.103, 13th; P2 - 1:20.932, 15th
“For me it was a rather normal Friday. I did the tyre comparison and set-up work as planned. The track was very dusty, dirtier than usual, and therefore improved quite quickly during the session. That makes it difficult to make a judgement on the changes and on the new front wing, but I think it is better and gives us more downforce.”

Willy Rampf, BMW Sauber head of engineering:
“We started the race weekend with a new front wing that just was delivered in during the first session. The first impression was positive. We concentrated fully on set-up work today. Nick finished his programme as scheduled and also did a long-run in preparation for the race in the afternoon. Meanwhile Robert lost some valuable time due to various reasons. In the first session he had cut outs due to the electronics. We changed the relevant parts. In the afternoon he told us he had a sudden loss of power. We immediately called him in, because we did not want to run the risk of him having to stop on the track. The engine was changed in a record time of 35 minutes so he was able to finish part of his programme.”

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, P1 - 1:20.471, 6th; P2 - 1:21.005, 17th

“I am not very happy with the way these two free practice sessions went. The track was rather dirty and the wind also had an effect. We didn’t manage to find the right way to go to improve the balance of the car. There is definitely a lot of work awaiting us in preparation for qualifying, where the most realistic target at the moment is to get into the top ten.”

Kimi Raikkonen, P1 - 1:21.179, 14th; P2 - 1:21.132, 18th
“Difficult to say where we are in respect to the others: we will have to wait for tomorrow’s qualifying to find out. Clearly, looking at today’s results, we are definitely not in for an easy weekend. The car’s not bad in terms of balance, but doesn’t seem to be quick enough. The tyres are the same as in Turkey, but of course it is much cooler here: on the first lap, the performance between the two types is quite different, but then over a longer run, they tend to be similar. As predicted, there’s a wind blowing on the track, but it’s not as damaging as I’d expected.”

Chris Dyer, Ferrari chief engineer:
“We had a few little problems on both cars: nothing particularly serious but enough to slow us down in completing the programme we had planned for the two drivers. We have various new components on the F60 and now we will have to analyse the car’s behaviour to try and tackle a weekend that certainly looks like being a tough one, in the best way possible.”

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Bourdais, P1 - 1:21.384, 15th; P2 - 1:20.945, 16th

“We ran the two cars with very different settings: I was fairly happy with mine and when I tried Buemi’s I didn’t like it all, so we went back to our first choice and it was better again, so that gives us a clear indication of which direction we should go in. As for the usual Friday tyre comparison, we’ve got an accurate picture from today’s data. We still lack pace, but it looks better than Turkey and we just have to continue getting the most out of our current package until our major update comes along.”

Sebastien Buemi, P1 - 1:21.590, 19th; P2 - 1:21.668, 20th
I didn’t have such a good day and that was because I did not really find my way with the car set-up on this circuit and the whole thing didn’t really come together for me. I tried a different approach to my team-mate, but I think we will end up going in the direction that he took, as it seemed to work better and that should help me make the best of tomorrow. The tyre comparison went well, nothing went wrong with the car and, looking at Bourdais’ lap time, I think we can be more competitive than in Turkey, but I need to improve a lot.”

Bridgestone
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development

"Today was a little strange. It was very windy, which affects the cars differently depending on the wind direction and can make it difficult to get the best set-up to make the best use of our tyres. In the morning we saw some graining on the hard front Bridgestones, which were the only tyres used in this session. In the afternoon, the track temperature was warmer and both compounds were used. We did not see the expected amount of graining with the soft tyre, meaning that it worked well, and also there was no graining on the hard. There were not the usual improvements in lap time through this session, and we believe that the wind and fuel levels may have made a difference here."

"Not only did we have relatively high winds at the circuit today, it was also colder than we see at most Grands Prix. At today's temperatures, the soft Bridgestone could well be the better qualifying and race tyre for most people, however if the temperatures are warmer the hard Bridgestone could look like a more attractive race tyre."