Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes 09 Jul 2010
Red Bull appeared to have enough pace to keep the upgraded McLarens at bay on Friday, with Sebastian Vettel taking the mornings top spot and team mate Mark Webber the afternoons. The leading teams and their rivals reflect on their early progress at Silverstone
Mark Webber, P1 - 1:32.747, 4th; P2 - 1:31.234, 1st
A pretty good day apart from the electrical problem at the end, which was a shame - we lost a few laps. The car seems to be going pretty well here otherwise - I think a few of the other teams were sandbagging a bit, but were happy with our programme and looking forward to qualifying. The new section of the track is pretty difficult, but they got it right I think - its a good challenge for the drivers.
Sebastian Vettel, P1 - 1:32.280, 1st; P2 - 1:31.875, 3rd
The sessions were okay today - in the afternoon I had a bit of a spin and flat-spotted a set of hard tyres. We also had a problem with the brake pedal, but nothing big. The pace of the car was good. The new section of the track is quite low speed, but its not as slow as we expected and doesnt kill the rhythm. It adds something new and makes if more of a challenge. The track here is magnificent; its good fun, so Im looking forward to tomorrow.
Fernando Alonso, P1 - 1:34.490, 13th; P2 - 1:31.626, 2nd
I think the only way to describe today is that it was a Friday like so many others. I expected to be competitive because our car is much better than it was at the Turkish Grand Prix, which was the last time we raced at a track with similar characteristics to this one. As expected, Red Bull is very strong and therefore the big favourite for tomorrows qualifying and behind them, we will fight it out with McLaren, Renault and maybe also Mercedes: nothing different there to Valencia. At this track, you need a car with a lot of aerodynamic downforce and slightly different suspension settings to usual. The new components introduced in Valencia and those brought here have improved the handling of the F10: we must continue to push on the car development front at each and every race. I like the new part of the track: it is fun and safe and I think it improves the show. Regrets over the outcome of the last two races? The final adding up comes in Abu Dhabi. We lost points that were within our grasp but, in Barcelona for example, we were lucky to pick up others. Now there are 75 points up for grabs in the space of four weeks: we must try and do better than our rivals, trying to always finish on the podium, starting from here.
Felipe Massa, P1 - 1:35.037, 7th; P2 - 1:32.099, 4th
I would say its been a good day for us. We tried out various new aerodynamic components and compared different configurations: by the end, the car was pretty good, with a variety of fuel loads and on both new and used tyres. We are doing so much work on the development of the car and one can see the benefits: the new elements we brought to the track for this Grand Prix did the job and can now be signed off after their track debut. After this good start, lets hope the weekend continues down this route. The new part of the track? Honestly, I was expecting more in terms of overtaking opportunities: I do not think it will change the situation much compared to the past.
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
We had a good day, especially as we were able to complete a very intensive work programme. With in-season testing banned, Fridays take on a dual function - preparing the cars for qualifying and the race and the development of new solutions for the short and medium term - and today we completed both phases. From what we have seen today, we have a very strong Red Bull, which is definitely no surprise, while the rest are closely matched behind, with some who might have masked their potential. We have to remain concentrated on our own work, trying to get as well prepared as possible for qualifying and especially for the race. Today, we saw several cars go off track, a sign that the slightest error can be costly at this circuit: everything will have to be perfect if we want to bring home a good result.
Chris Dyer, Ferrari chief engineer
We are pleased with how things went on this first day of the British Grand Prix. We had a very packed work schedule and we managed to get through it all successfully. The indications we are getting from the new components we introduced here and at the last race seem to be positive. The overall performance of the package we have here is reasonably good: we still have a bit of work to do to fine tune the car, especially for qualifying, but overall, we have a good starting point from which to continue working this afternoon and tomorrow morning. Over a long run we seem to be competitive, which is a good sign for the race. Both drivers tried the car with and without the blown rear wing, because we wanted to be sure that overall, its use would pay off at a track like this: and the response to this configuration was a positive one.
Nico Rosberg, P1 - 1:33.318, 6th; P2 - 1:32.166, 5th
"It's been a decent start today and we have been able to get on top of many of our problems from Valencia. We achieved some good set-up work to optimise the aero package. It's not easy to understand and find the optimum so it was good to make progress there and I think that we've found a good direction. Our pace this afternoon was reasonable and we seem to be getting the most out of the car. I like the changes that they have made to the circuit here and it's a great track to drive."
Michael Schumacher, P1 - 1:33.955, 9th; P2 - 1:32.660, 6th
"It was quite a reasonable Friday which went according to our expectations and it looks as if our updates have helped. Saying that, it looked similar in Valencia on Friday so I prefer to see what more we will find out tomorrow. The new part of the circuit is certainly interesting. It's very fluid and fast but there is no overtaking possibility which is a bit of pity for me. The bump at Abbey is tricky, a lot of the drivers had to really work their steering wheel, so it is likely that this will be discussed more deeply in the drivers briefing today."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"We've had a positive day but then we have had good Fridays before. The car is not too bad and the refinements that we have made to our updates seemed to have solved the temperature issues that we faced in Valencia. This is really a consolidation weekend for us where our focus is on the basics of tyres, fuel and set-up. Nico and Michael were reasonably happy today and our pace on high fuel looked good. It was tricky this afternoon with the gusty wind making it a bit edgy for the drivers and giving variable data but we have a lot of information to look at this evening. Silverstone is a great venue and it's nice to be at a race which our staff can attend and enjoy."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"We did a lot of laps today and learned a lot about the new layout of the Silverstone circuit. Our lap times with heavy fuel loads did not look too bad and we certainly can improve further. It will be important to get a reasonable position on the grid tomorrow to provide a good base for the race on Sunday."
Vitaly Petrov, P1 - 1:34.365, 12th; P2 - 1:32.745, 7th
One of the most important things today was to learn the new part of the track, which is quite interesting. However, there is a big bump at turn 11, which is a very quick part of the track and this was causing problems for a lot of cars. Once I had learned the new section, I started to work on the set-up and we changed quite a bit between FP1 and FP2 and found an improvement with the balance. We will continue working this evening and looking at the data to be ready for tomorrow.
Robert Kubica, P1 - 1:32.725, 3rd; P2 - 1:33.019, 11th
It has been a fairly normal Friday for us. Of course there is a new layout this year, so I had to get a feeling for the braking points and the lines, but to be honest it only took a couple of laps. We then evaluated a new front wing, but we will probably use the older spec for the rest of the weekend. In the afternoon we worked on the set-up just to get a feeling for the car, but I think we will stick with the settings we had this morning. The new part of the track was dirty and slippery because it was quite windy and there was a lot of dust. There is also a huge bump in turn 11 on the new tarmac, which is quite surprising for a new section of track.
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
"Today was quite a challenging day, but I think we can be fairly happy with the work we have completed with both cars. We had a productive morning and changed a few things on the cars over lunch, but it was much hotter and windier in the afternoon and we didn't find the improvements we expected. The new part of the lap is particularly slippery and the windy conditions were blowing the dust about, which is why the track wasn't really cleaning up as we would normally expect. The new tarmac also seems pretty bumpy, so we've been playing a lot more with the ride heights, especially raising the front to improve the car's handling. We brought another front wing development, but it does not seem as suited to the high-speed corners here as we would have hoped. It was an improvement in the low-speed sections, but not overall lap time.
Lewis Hamilton, P1 - 1:32.614, 2nd; P2 - 1:32.757, 8th
Its a fantastic feeling to be racing at home again. You feel that the most when you launch from the pitlane exit and see so many fans on the banking - and theyre all waving at you! And when youre driving, you really can pick out all those rocket-red caps all around the track, even on a Friday. And that support is definitely a bonus. The fans always make my weekend - the Silverstone fans are the best in the world.
We spent both sessions running with the new components. I definitely feel weve made a step forward from the last race. This circuit is a bit like Barcelona, where we were one second behind Red Bull - I dont think well be seeing that sort of gap tomorrow though, hopefully.
It was fun to try the new track configuration for the first time. The new section is very fast and flowing, and I dont think it interrupts your rhythm too much. It still feels a little weird turning right at Abbey rather than left, and theres a big bump there too, but that just makes it more exciting. We havent got the optimum out of the car yet, theres still more to come.
Jenson Button, P1 - 1:33.519, 8th; P2 - 1:33.200, 13th
Its great to be back at Silverstone. Hearing all the fans cheering you when you first walk into the garage makes it such a special atmosphere - it was a really great start to my day. And the number of rocket-red caps in the grandstands was unbelievable - when I first saw them, I thought it was for another team, then I realised they were for us, which was amazing.
And I think the new layout works, too. I put this circuit up there with the best in the world, like Spa and Suzuka, and getting a good balance around here is such a good feeling. There are a couple of new grandstands down at Turn 13, where theres a good opportunity for overtaking, particularly if somebody gets out of shape at Turn 11. If I was a spectator around here, I think Id want to be at that corner, because there could be a lot of action there.
Our day was a little trickier than wed expected. I couldnt get a set-up with the new package. We improved through the day, but theres still a lot of work to do, and were not where we want to be with the balance yet. As always, the Red Bulls look very fast, and its going to be tough to challenge them. So weve just got to hope we make a good step forward tonight.
But Im still positive; I remember in Turkey last year, I really struggled on Friday, and yet I won the race. And Id really love to win my home Grand Prix in front of all the fans here. This is a special weekend for everyone in our team - we want to get the best out of car, and put on a show for all the thousands of people wholl be cheering us on.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
We have a new package for Silverstone, and as is often the case with new packages weve had to work hard to make it work today. As a result, the drivers havent got really comfortable with it yet. But, just as our engineers and mechanics worked really hard last night - they were still hard at it well after midnight and a batch of parts arrived at 1.30am - so also theyll work really hard tonight. To be honest, I find their commitment truly inspirational.
I also find Silverstone truly inspirational. Its camp-site atmosphere is incredibly refreshing - unique in fact - and as you drive in to the circuit every morning you can somehow sense the heritage in everything you see and hear, and you can definitely feel the enthusiasm of the crowd, numerous already before breakfast time. Its a truly special place.
Adrian Sutil, P1 - 1:32.968, 5th; P2 - 1:32.787, 9th
This morning was quite okay - out on the partly new circuit, which I have to say was quite nice to drive. The new section was reasonably difficult to learn with quite low grip and hard to find a good line through the esses in particular. The car behaved well in the morning and it was easy to set a good time, but we had a couple of problems in the afternoon to find a decent set-up or balance. I had a bit too much oversteer and at one stage it was very hard to drive but it improved on the new tyres and the long run was good. I think we now need to do a little bit of work to perfect the set-up changes from last year but there's still some time before qualifying to get all the little things sorted.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, P1 - n/a; P2 - 1:33.728, 15th
I think we are quite competitive on this new track. We need to understand a few issues on top speed compared to the other car but through the high speed corners it seems pretty stable and we are in a good position balance and set-up wise. It was a little difficult sitting out the first session, particularly at a circuit like this when things are new and not particularly easy. There are a couple of corners we need to figure out in the new section but overall I think we can quite happy about the performance today but I really hope we can find a bit more top speed with my car.
Paul di Resta, P1 - 1:34.580, 14th; P2 - n/a
This morning was quite productive, getting up to speed with another new track. There are a few bumps in there and the grip is quite low for now, but by the time we go racing it should have rubbered in and provide a new overtaking opportunity. I went through my usual programme, building up slowly through the session but unfortunately on my last run I had a problem with the radio not working and I got caught in some major traffic and could and should have improved the time. Overall I'm pleased with the session and it's a great thrill to be out here in front of my home crowd at a circuit I've watched so many races at in the past.
Dominic Harlow, Force India chief race engineer
A solid start to our home grand prix weekend with just one or two issues. During the morning session the circuit took a while to improve, but Paul and Adrian gained familiarity with the new layout and we were pleased that our simulations prior to this weekend correlated well with what we found at the circuit. In FP2 Tonio and Adrian continued to look at the tyres and evaluate some setup options. The circuit was quite hot today, and the afternoon was more breezy than the morning, it's close as usual, but I'm sure we can improve the car further overnight and for qualifying.
Rubens Barrichello, P1 - 1:34.016, 10th; P2 - 1:32.967, 10th
I was very surprised by Silverstone today. I really love this circuit, it is one of my favourites, but its really, really bumpy. Its quite odd and Im sorry to say this because Im usually such a fan. We werent anticipating such a bumpy track, so we had to make a lot of unexpected set-up changes in response. The team handled it well though and did a good job today.
Nico Hulkenberg, P1 - 1:33.377, 7th; P2 - 1:33.164, 12th
It went ok today. We worked through our run plan and covered everything we needed to, even though I was delayed starting the afternoon session. The car had a gearbox oil leak but the mechanics managed to fix it really quickly so I didnt lose a great deal of time. Im not quite happy with the car as it is at the moment, so well be working hard tonight, analysing the data so we improve for tomorrow.
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
Weve had a good day evaluating set-up and tyres, as well as testing the new parts that weve brought here. The upgrades all worked as expected, including the exhaust blown diffuser, so we will be keeping that on both cars for the rest of the weekend. Nicos car had a gearbox oil leak between sessions which cost him some time at the start of the second practice session.
Kamui Kobayashi, P1 - 1:34.710, 15th; P2 - 1:33.402, 14th
After we lost some track time we tried to catch up with the programme, and I think we managed that quite well, especially with the short runs. We obviously have to improve our pace everywhere, but I found the balance of the car not too bad. I had only a little understeer and I think we can fix it with some set up changes. The tyre situation with both compounds looks okay to me. The new track section is a bit bumpy and dusty, but it will get cleaner.
Pedro de la Rosa, P1 - 1:34.901, 16th; P2 - 1:34.051, 17th
I must admit it was not an easy day for me. The front end of the car doesnt react the way I want it to. I really have a lot of understeer. It is worse in the very high and very low speed corners. I find it difficult to make the car turn. We have to look into the data now and find a solution.
James Key, BMW Sauber technical director
It was a fairly busy day. In the beginning the track was quite slippery, and therefore we did not get much work done in the first session. The new lay out of the circuit looks quite good, but there is also a significant difference in grip level between the old and the new part. The problem on Kamuis car, which occurred at the very end of the first session, initially appeared to be engine related. Now it looks like it was an electronic issue, which we only found at the beginning of the second session. However, our main target is now to find the right balance for low and high speed consistency.
Sebastien Buemi, P1 - 1:34.132, 11th; P2 - 1.41.115, 16th
I think today was quite good for us, at least better than it seems from looking at our times. In general I was happy with the car and we saw some useful improvements from the changes we made to the set-up and another positive factor is that we managed a good long stint on the Option tyre. I am pretty confident for the rest of the weekend, but we must continue to work hard. I enjoyed the new circuit layout, as the new section is attractive, although there is a big bump entering Turn 11. As usual, after FP2, we must now make a good job of drawing the right conclusions from the data we have gathered.
Jaime Alguersuari, P1 - 1:35.318, 18th; P2 - 1.41.457, 18th
Another new circuit in an F1 car for me, even if part of it is new to everyone. So, much of today consisted of learning the track and finding out how to set up the car. On the tyre front, we did a useful comparison between the two compounds, so it was an information gathering day and I expect a lot more from tomorrow. Before then, I need to look at the data to see where I am losing out to my team-mate. This year, every time we have been at a circuit that I had not driven before in an F1 car, I improved a lot from Friday to Saturday so I expect this will again be the case this weekend. In general, I enjoyed the circuit, apart from the big bump at Turn 11.
Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso chief engineer
Our main objective today was to complete as many laps as possible to learn the new track layout, which is presenting everyone with an interesting and enjoyable challenge in terms of car set-up. We had a trouble free day and tried various set-ups on both cars, so now we have to look at the data from both cars and come up with the best solution in order to make the most of tomorrow. Looking at the lap times, it is clear that the field is more spaced out than in Valencia which highlights the fact this is a more demanding circuit that shows up the strengths and weaknesses of the various team packages.
Heikki Kovalainen, P1 - 1:36.747, 19th; P2 - 1:33.836, 16th
It felt fine out there today. I had just one problem at the end with the power steering, but that was the only issue with my car. Im not sure this circuit suits our car as well as it does with some of the top cars, but compared to the other new teams I think were in good shape. The new layout is nothing like the old circuit - now it feels like its pretty straightforward. Its quite bumpy, and the corners are pretty simple, not like the old circuit where you got on the throttle and could find a really good line through the corners. I have no problem with the circuit, I just preferred the old one.
Jarno Trulli, P1 - n/a; P2 - 1:42.901, 24th
I cant say much about today really - we had a problem with the gearbox that the guys spent most of the session trying to fix, but then it was clear it couldnt be done in time for today so well just focus on tomorrow, and hope the luck changes.
Fairuz Fauzy, P1 - 1:39.510, 23rd; P2 - n/a
First it was just great to be out on track at Silverstone - it was such an honour, and something that will stay with me for ever. We had a bit of a problem with the engine at the start of the session, which was a little unexpected, but the team did an amazing job to change the engine during the session in less than an hour. This meant I had a good 40 minutes with the car, and in that time I could see weve made some big steps forward."
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
Its great to be back at Silverstone, but it was a difficult first day at the office for us. We had Fairuz driving for the first session and unfortunately, just before the session started, we had an airbox fire which meant we had to change the engine. This obviously limited his running but when we were able to get him out for the second half of the session, he once again did a great job, taking the car through all the engine tests, so thanks to him.
With Jarno, wed had to change the gearbox between the sessions, but unfortunately a bearing failure that we were unable to fix brought his session to an early end, so apologies to him for that. Well work hard to put it right tomorrow. Heikki ran through his whole programme without any real problems, but he had to stop at the end of the session with a hydraulics problem. We could see from his times that, performance-wise, were looking good - weve just got to make sure we run reliably through the next couple of days.
Lucas di Grassi, P1 - 1:37.518, 21st; P2 - 1:36.237, 20th
Weve had a very productive day today. Weve done a lot of work with the new upgrades and the car was behaving as expected throughout the sessions. Im very happy that we are getting closer to Lotus and we are ready to go for tomorrow. I am confident we can make another step forward for qualifying.
Timo Glock, P1 - 1:37.330, 20th; P2 - 1:36.553, 21st
A difficult day for me. We had a few problems in the first session with a fuel leak, which cost us pretty much the whole session - I only got two runs at the end. In the second session we had to change the set-up quite a lot, which took up nearly half of the practice. I completed two productive tests but unfortunately the front wing broke over the kerb, so I had to go back to the old one and run the soft tyre towards the end of the session which cost us a lot of performance compared to our new spec. It hasnt been the smooth day we hoped for but Im confident that tomorrow will bring better things.
Nick Wirth, Virgin technical director
A fascinating and encouraging day. We did a series of aero tests today that have proved conclusively that weve made the expected step forwards in downforce which is consistent with our digital aero process. In fact the step is so significant that it caused a number of set-up issues that were trying to address. Lucas had a steady and productive day, with the set-up direction evolving as hed found on the simulators this week, which is great news. Timo had a tricky Friday, starting with a fuel leak caused by a pinched O-ring delaying his start, and a lengthy set-up change taking up some valuable track time later on. Unfortunately he had an off prior to trying the option tyres which broke his new front wing and our spare wing hadnt quite made it to the track in time for him to use. Nevertheless we have the spare now and well look to improve the set-up again overnight.
Sakon Yamamoto, P1 - 1:39.673, 24th; P2 - 1:38.303, 23rd
It was a brilliant day for me being back in Formula One since 2007, especially as it is my birthday today. It is the first time for me to run on a Friday afternoon after I was running for Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team in Istanbul in practice session one. Today, we could follow our program and everything was going quite well. I tried to understand the differences between the prime and the option tyres because it is the first time for me to drive on the option tyre. But we are well prepared for tomorrow.
Karun Chandhok, P1 - 1:38.735, 22nd; P2 - 1:37.019, 22nd
It was a very productive day for me today. We did a lot of work with the suspension to improve the car over the bumps. This afternoon especially we made some good progress with the rear end and were able to do a good comparison between the two tyre compounds. Our gap to the other teams is about where we expected coming into the weekend so lets see how tomorrow goes. I always enjoy driving around Silverstone and despite the bumps it was fun to drive here in a Formula One car for the first time.
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
We are quite happy with our performance today. Everything worked well and with the small technical changes we could improve our cars. Both of our drivers, Karun Chandhok and Sakon Yamamoto, could do many laps in the practice sessions. Sakon showed a good performance as well even tough not being in a Formula 1 car for many years. It was the first time for him to drive on the option tyres and it was not easy for him to improve his lap times on this tyre. But now he knows how the tyres are working and he is prepared for the next sessions.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"Today we experienced Silverstone's new layout for the first time in Formula One. The track layout is certainly interesting and it was good to see the drivers adapt to this new challenge. The track surface was slippery which was illustrated many times as drivers battled a lack of grip. The surface improved quite a lot through the sessions, and I think there is still room for further surface improvement tomorrow. Temperatures were higher than we've seen here for the past few seasons and this had an impact on tyre performance. Drivers will have to be careful not to overheat their tyres, and those who do not will be rewarded with better performance.
"The track layout and surface here puts a lot of heat into the tyres and the ambient and track temperatures add to this. When the tyres get very hot the rubber of the softer one moves around more. This means that the greater heat durability of the hard tyre becomes more desirable, even if it doesn't offer the same amount of initial grip as the soft. Because of these factors, the choice for qualifying and the race could be challenging and interesting this weekend."