Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes 28 May 2010
McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes GP were the leading teams at Istanbul Park on Friday, with Lewis Hamilton taking the top spot in the morning. After lunch, Hamiltons team mate Jenson Button was the quickest runner. All the drivers and senior team personnel reflect on their early progress in Turkey
Jenson Button, P1 - 1:29.615, 2nd; P2 - 1:28.280, 1st
This morning was reasonably good, and this afternoon was better. I was struggling a little through Turn Eight, its an area well be working on overnight because its pretty tricky through there at the moment. Its a tough corner, especially if the cars moving around - so weve got to hope we can solve some of those issues before tomorrow. The car feels reasonably good around here there are still some areas where were not so strong, and the Red Bulls will once again be the cars to beat in qualifying tomorrow, we cant get away from that. I just hope were closer than weve been in the last two races. I think the Ferrari will be quick here too. It should be the top four teams that we normally see, and possibly Renault as well, so I dont think qualifying tomorrow will be boring. There should be some good battles.
Lewis Hamilton, P1 - 1:28.653, 1st; P2 - 1:28.672, 4th
This is such a great circuit, and the grip didnt seem too bad today. It also seems very tight between all the frontrunners - the times are very close. Our car doesnt seem to be performing too badly, so Im happy with todays running. Turn Eight is quite bumpy as always, and you could see today that some of the others were having a few difficulties through there, but it wasnt a problem for us. I have no doubts that tomorrow in qualifying the Red Bulls will pull out something extra, which they always seem able to do. We havent made too many changes to the car for this race, but weve got a chance this weekend, and I think well be able to compete with them.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
Weve made a number of small improvements to the car for this race, and we spent the day evaluating and back-to-backing those components on Jenson and Lewiss cars. The job for the engineers now is to evaluate that data ahead of tomorrows sessions. Were reasonably confident with the pace we showed today. While its not indicative of overall performance, we feel that our package should be quite efficient here, and, as always, were confident that well be able to refine the car overnight ahead of qualifying tomorrow. This is a demanding circuit - for both drivers and engineers, and weve still got plenty of work to do to optimise our cars for qualifying and the race.
Mark Webber, P1 - 1:30.097, 8th; P2 - 1:28.378, 2nd
The engine went at the end of P2, but it was a high mileage engine, so we were expecting it to be on the edge. Theres no hand brake on a F1 car so when I stopped I was trying to tell them to put something behind the wheel to stop the car rolling back. A frustrating thing to explain from within the car! We need to analyse the new F-duct system tonight, we know its not the most straightforward of systems. The guys have done a phenomenal job to get it to this point and were happy with how it went today but, whether we race it or not, we dont know yet.
Sebastian Vettel, P1 - 1:29.867, 5th; P2 - 1:28.590, 3rd
It was a reasonable day - and quite tough as we introduced the F-duct. We still need to do some fine tuning, but it looks good. I think McLaren looks very competitive here, their system seems to be working well and they seem quite a bit quicker than everyone else on the straights. You can make up time in the corners, but there are quite a few straights joining them. Well see if we keep our system on. It feels more natural now with the new chassis, it was good to change it and overall I was happy with the balance of the car.
Fernando Alonso, P1 - 1:30.294, 9th; P2 - 1:28.725, 5th
Compared to the Spanish Grand Prix, I think the situation is a bit better, down to the fact the track characteristics are different and do not require the maximum aerodynamic downforce, but rather an intermediate level which is better suited to our car. However, it would be a surprise if the Red Bulls were not ahead of everyone. We are thereabouts, behind them along with McLaren: that is my prediction. We tried some solutions for finding the best way to manage the blown rear wing system and have made some progress, even if it is not yet perfect: we will work on it for the upcoming races.
Felipe Massa, P1 - 1:30.867, 13th; P2 - 1:29.620, 10th
I was not able to do a time on the soft tyres because I ended up spinning on my first timed lap at Turn Eight. This was the most inconvenient factor today, as that set of tyres was no longer useable and I had to do almost the entire second session on just one set of the harder compound tyres. The track improved from the morning, bit by bit as the cars did more laps, which is something to bear in mind for the rest of the weekend. We have to improve the car still further to be competitive: McLaren and Red Bull seem very strong here. Having said that, I think we can manage to find the right way to progress to take the fight to them.
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
As is always the case on the first day of a race weekend, it is difficult to draw any conclusions as to the hierarchy among the teams. We worked on race preparation and on finding performance and we are reasonably happy with what we have seen. One has to be very careful when assessing the level of competitiveness, given we are up against very strong opposition: all the same, it did not strike me we were seeing anything very different to the previous six races of this championship.
Chris Dyer, Ferrari chief engineer
A reasonably positive day overall. We had a very busy work programme and we got through it without any particular problems, with the sole exception relative to Felipes performance on the softer tyre, because of his spin at Turn Eight on his first timed lap. The F10 seems to be okay, even if there are some details that we still need to fine tune and we believe we can do well in tomorrows qualifying and in Sundays race.
Nico Rosberg, P1 - 1:29.855, 4th; P2 - 1:28.914, 6th
"We made some good progress today and have been working hard with our updates for the car. It wasn't a perfect day as we lost some time in the process of evaluating the new developments, particularly in the second session, so I was playing catch-up this afternoon. However we achieved a lot of interesting work and arrived at a decent balance by the end of the day so I am reasonably happy. We have a few question marks remaining and it will be a busy final practice session tomorrow. The early indications are that we have made a decent step forward and although we don't know how much yet, it is a good job from the guys at the factory and at the track to get everything here and working."
Michael Schumacher, P1 - 1:29.750, 3rd; P2 - 1:28.974, 7th
"It's really difficult to judge what the current picture is after today's practice sessions, especially as we don't know who was running on what fuel loads. We certainly have some improvements on the car which you can notice but it is very difficult to quantify the full effects coming from Monaco to here and thus not having a clear reference and comparison. Clearly the improvements are in the right direction but as always it is a matter of how quick we develop compared to our competitors. Turn eight is still a nice challenge here. It has small surprises in terms of bumps and it is fun to drive obviously. It is exciting and technical at the same time. Let's wait and see what is going to happen tomorrow."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"Today's two practice sessions were particularly busy for the team as we had our first opportunity to evaluate our new developments on the track. Without track testing it is always a challenge to bring new parts directly onto the car but we were able to achieve some good work today. Both drivers are reasonably happy but as always, we will not be able to make a valid judgement on our progress until the end of the weekend."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Quite a busy start into the weekend for us. The team evaluated different aero options and in the end our long run pace in race conditions looked quite promising."
Robert Kubica, P1 - 1:30.061, 6th; P2 - 1:29.225, 8th
This morning the track conditions were not ideal but we did a couple of runs to evaluate the balance of the car and to decide which direction we should take with the set-up. We also did a comparison with the new front wing, which seemed to give us an improvement compared with the previous wing. In the afternoon we mainly concentrated on improving the balance of the car and I did a long run with the option tyre to check the degradation rates. Everything is working pretty well, but we just need to improve the balance a bit more before qualifying.
Vitaly Petrov, P1 - 1:30.065, 7th; P2 - 1:29.501, 9th
Im pleased to be back here in Istanbul Park because its a circuit that I enjoy and I won the GP2 race here last year. The track conditions today were not great to begin with and the track was quite dirty, but it was the same for everybody and hopefully it will improve during the weekend. Overall it was a fairly normal day because we started with a basic set-up and just tried to improve the balance in the morning and the afternoon. The car felt quite good by the end of the day, but we can still improve it, so I will work my engineers tonight to be ready for final practice tomorrow morning.
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
The track here is not used very often so it was quite dusty to begin with, but it had a steady evolution throughout the day. Weve brought a new front wing here and we ran it this morning with Robert. His feedback was positive, as was the data, so we will continue running it for the rest of the weekend. Vitaly will have the new wing from tomorrow onwards. Its been a fairly normal Friday for us with no dramas to report. Weve run both high and low fuel with both tyres compounds and have done some good homework ahead of the race. Robert had a very good balance with the prime tyre, and not such a good balance on the option tyre, which is something we will look into this evening. Vitaly was suffering with a little bit of understeer which were confident of curing over night.
Adrian Sutil, P1 - 1:30.501, 10th; P2 - 1:29.629, 11th
We got as much data as we could on the new developments we have this weekend. The morning was pretty useful to get the first information about our switchable rear wing, and we also got a lot of running in on the hard tyre. Unfortunately I had an accident towards the end of this session - I got some understeer through turn eight and went wide on the marbles and that was it really, I was into the barriers. I was OK but the front right suspension was pretty damaged. The team did a fantastic job to get me out in the second session and we made a few runs to at least get some data on the option tyres. At this stage it's good to get the information, we'll look at it tonight and see how we can make some improvements for tomorrow.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, P1 - 1:30.853, 12th; P2 - 1:30.627, 16th
It was quite a productive day today. In the afternoon the balance of the car was not ideal, but in the morning it was good and we could get some useful data on the new SRW. I think it's working pretty well, it's a clever solution to it and not too difficult to use considering what you have to do. We made some progress to understand it over the two sessions so now we just need to work on the balance as we are still not in the right ball park just yet. Overall a positive day and I can definitely feel an improvement over the last weekend with the car.
Dominic Harlow, Force India chief race engineer
Interesting sessions today as we worked on understanding the switchable rear wing on its track debut. We have collected a great deal of data and now have to determine the best approach for the remainder of the weekend. The circuit is a little green and grip quite low overall and unfortunately we lost some track time after Adrian went off track at T8 this morning. The team worked hard and did a good job to get the car back out for FP2. Otherwise the developments we have brought to this event seem positive and we expect a close qualifying session tomorrow.
Nico Hulkenberg, P1 - 1:31.355, 16th; P2 - 1:29.987, 12th
Today was a typical Friday. We had a problem in the afternoon with a hydraulic leak, but we still managed quite a few laps and covered everything that we wanted to test. We will see where we are tomorrow.
Rubens Barrichello, P1 - 1:31.464, 17th; P2 - 1:30.766, 17th
I had a busy day. The car didnt really perform that well so we need to search the data tonight to see what we can find for qualifying.
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
We evaluated a couple of aero parts in the morning, which we continued with in the afternoon. With Rubens car, we spent some time working on car set-up, and we still have quite a lot of work to do before tomorrow. Nico made good progress today, but he lost the majority of the second session due to a hydraulic leak. The problem is fully understood and resolved.
Kamui Kobayashi, P1 - 1:30.615, 12th; P2 - 1:30.053, 13th
"To me the balance of the car felt fine but we do have two areas to look at. We have a lack of grip and we are too slow on the straights. If you work on one issue you tend to increase the other one. But we will find a good compromise. I enjoyed driving a lot and as we had no trouble with the car it was a productive day for us."
Pedro de la Rosa, P1 - 1:31.238, 15th; P2 - 1:30.176, 14th
"In the afternoon we had a very good test with comparing the race tyres - the harder prime compound versus the softer option compound. We did a lot of race preparation today which went very well. The long runs were good and pretty consistent. What we still need to work on is to find the right balance with new tyres."
James Key, BMW Sauber technical director
"It was a fairly standard Friday where we ran through the programmes on both cars looking at setting up the car for the circuit and the tyres. There are significant balance changes with different fuel levels and tyre compounds we need to consider for the qualifying and the race. Otherwise no technical problems, the drivers are fairly happy with the conditions they found the cars in. I think the race pace looks reasonable, we got some work to do for lower fuel levels but we have some clear directions to pursue for that. It's obviously very close in the midfield, so we have to make sure we get the best out of the cars."
Sebastien Buemi, P1 - 1:31.011, 14th; P2 - 1:30.386, 15th
We had a lot of things to test today and the programme went quite smoothly. I think we have seen what we needed to see from the data side, so we have a clear picture of the car, which is positive. It was a good day for us, even if the circuit was very dirty this morning and took a long time to clean up. The high temperatures were useful, as it should be like this on race day and at the moment I am feeling quite confident for the rest of the weekend.
Jaime Alguersuari, P1 - 1:31.735, 18th; P2 - 1:30.933, 18th
To be honest, I find it difficult to assess how we got on today. We tried lots of different things on the car and my team-mate was on a different programme, so it will be up to the engineers to analyse what we have done. From inside the car, I never felt I had a good grip level. Overall, I am not so happy with todays performance but hopefully we can put everything together and have a much better day tomorrow. Its my first time here and I enjoyed the circuit which is interesting and challenging with a good mix of high and medium speed corners.
Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso chief engineer
Todays programme involved evaluating new components on both cars, which meant that unlike a usual Friday, we did not focus so much on pure race preparation, regarding it more like a test session. Now we have to look at our data and take the best of the elements we tried on the two cars and then make the right decision in terms of how to progress tomorrow. Of course, we also went through the normal procedures of doing a tyre comparison, different fuel scans and other basic race weekend work.
Heikki Kovalainen, P1 - 1:32.161, 19th; P2 - 1:31.610, 19th
It was a very good Friday again for me. I had a really good first session this morning, with no problems with the car and we were again able to improve the setup. The track felt good all day, a little dusty to begin with, but it cleared quickly and overall it felt great all day. This afternoon we were able to try both tyre compounds and successfully got through all our plans, so I couldnt really ask for more.
Jarno Trulli, P1 - 1:32.990, 20th; P2 - 1:33.081, 21st
A bit more bad luck for me today as this afternoons session was cut short by losing third gear. Wed planned to do some setup work in the second session, and didnt get the chance to do so, but against that you can look at the times and see that we have continued to move forward overall with the car. We are moving away from the other new teams, and closer to those in front - obviously we still have a lot of work to do, but its pleasing to see we are going in the right direction.
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
A fairly positive day, although it was a shame Jarnos day was curtailed by a gearbox problem in P2. That meant he couldnt run the soft tyres, or try a low fuel run, but Im sure that if hed done so he would have been up with Heikki. Heikki had another trouble free day, and overall weve taken another step forward to the midfield, so now its up to us to confirm that progress tomorrow.
Jody Egginton, Lotus chief race engineer (deputising as Kovalainens race engineer for Juan Pablo Ramirez)
We had a good balance from the start of the day on Heikkis car, which meant we could complete the entire program. We gathered a lot of data, particularly on the long run, and managed to get good performance from the new tyres, so Im very happy. On a personal level I enjoyed my day today - it was all quite short notice, but it was good to dust off the old clipboard and get on with it, so overall its been a good day!
Lucas di Grassi, P1 - 1:35.137, 22nd; P2 - 1:33.013, 20th
Weve had a trouble-free and productive day in terms of completing our programme. Having said that, the set-up is far from perfect so we have a lot of work to do to find some solutions and improve the car for tomorrow. Despite this, it is good to have the revised car for the first time and to know that I will be able to push it on Sunday.
Timo Glock, P1 - 1:35.583, 23rd; P2 - 1:33.312, 22nd
Today hasnt been the best start to the weekend. We experienced a lot of balance problems with the car and this morning I was worried because it looked like we were going backwards rather than moving forward in the way we had hoped. Things were a bit better this afternoon but we have to home in on what is causing us the problem and find a solution overnight so that we can improve for tomorrow. Generally, at this stage, we have a big gap to close at the moment.
Nick Wirth, Virgin technical director
Our programme was a bit unusual today in terms of running higher fuel loads compared to how we normally approach a race weekend for a few specific reasons. When combined with a dirty and changing track, this made interpreting driver feedback and data a bit tricky, but we seemed to make progress this afternoon and I think well make some more tonight. I think things will get a bit more representative tomorrow when we make the adjustments and get dialed in on low fuel.
Bruno Senna, P2 - 1:33.420, 23rd
Today was okay but it was a bit different to be a spectator like I was in the morning session as Sakon (Yamamoto) was driving my car. In the afternoon session, I came back to my duties. We are working hard and tried to improve car balance on the track to get the car a little bit better for tomorrow. I completed 35 laps with no major issues. I was running high fuel during the session.
Karun Chandhok, P1 - 1:34.876, 21st; P2 -1:33.740, 24th
It was a bit of a tough day for me. We had some mechanical issues in FP1 which cost track time and this afternoon we evaluated some modifications on the brake system on my car. I had some issues on the option tyre runs at the end which we have to look into overnight but thus far we seem to be at a similar level as Barcelona relative to Lotus. It was a bit abnormal to do my best time on the prime tyre but I just struggled for rear end grip on the options.
Sakon Yamamoto, P1 - 1:36.137, 24th
Today was a fantastic day! I am very happy to be back behind the wheel of a Formula One car and its great to be part of a team such as Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team. Everything went quite well and I managed to complete a full 26 laps of the Istanbul Park circuit. We made some good progress and are already working to improve the performance so we can achieve even better lap times.
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
Today we focused on our usual race preparation. Sakon had to get used to handling a Formula One car after three years of absence from the Formula One world championship, but he put in an impressive performance and did a very good job, especially around the corners of the circuit. Unfortunately, Karun Chandhok had a problem with a car sensor which required a bit of work, so it was not possible for him to complete his full program during the mornings free practice session. However, we found the source of the issues and are currently working to fix this problem. I am sure the team will pull through as usual and correct the problems with the set-up.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"Today we met a very dirty and dusty track, which is usual for the first day's running at Istanbul Park as this circuit is not used as frequently as others we visit. This meant that finding sufficient grip was difficult and we saw quite a lot of graining on the right front and right rear tyres because of this. In the morning the track surface did not improve very much, however in the afternoon there was a lot of surface evolution by the end of the session. This was the first time we have experienced Turn Eight with the latest specification cars and on heavy fuel loads, so it was a very interesting day for us. Now we will analyse the tyres very closely, including cutting them up and examining them under the microscope. The key here is the amount of track surface evolution which occurs before Sunday and then during the course of the race. As we saw today, the track temperature was very hot, so careful tyre management from car set-up and the drivers will be very important this weekend."