Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes 23 Jul 2010
The weather played a dominant role during the opening day of the German Grand Prix weekend. In the morning Force Indias Adrian Sutil led the way, whilst McLarens Lewis Hamilton ended up in the gravel with a damaged MP4-25. In the afternoon Ferraris Fernando Alonso was the quickest runner, ahead of Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel. The leading teams and their rivals reflect on their early progress...
Fernando Alonso, P1 - 1:29.684, 19th; P2 - 1:16.265, 1st
We have seen before on Fridays that we are very competitive and then on Saturday, the Red Bulls are clearly quicker, so we have to take this result with a pinch of salt: in order to be in front tomorrow, we will have to do something out of the ordinary. Todays changeable weather made for a different day to usual, making it even harder to get a true picture of the hierarchy among the teams: you only had to use the softs five minutes later to gain half a second. We concentrated on our work and now we have to analyse the data to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race. In terms of set-up we are on the right road, although we need to improve the balance of the car. With these track conditions, combined with quite low temperatures, it is important to be very careful with the tyres, so as not to ruin them immediately, especially the softs, so as to be able to evaluate their degradation for the race. From what we could see, there are no particular surprises in store.
Felipe Massa, P1 - 1:26.850, 2nd; P2 - 1:16.438, 3rd
A good start to the weekend here in Hockenheim, but it is still much too soon to say where we are compared to our main opponents. The changing weather conditions will play an important role and we must be as well prepared as possible to tackle the various possible scenarios: for example if qualifying takes place in the wet and the race in the dry. It will be important to understand the behaviour of the tyres and from what we can gather in similar conditions, the softs are pretty good, while the hards are definitely too hard for this track. The latest updates introduced on the F10 also seem to be working well, confirming the progress made on the car. I would like to take this occasion to congratulate Sauber on its forty years in racing: I started my Formula 1 career with them and I really hope they stay in this sport for a long time.
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
It is always best to start a race weekend in this fashion, but we are perfectly aware that todays results are even less meaningful than usual. Furthermore, at the last two races, we have seen our drivers in the top places on Friday afternoon and everyone knows how it ended up But superstition apart, we wanted to get through our planned programme and we did so, despite the weather which was very changeable. Now we have to work towards qualifying, which I expect to be very closely contested and then the race. From what we have seen so far, the Red Bull is stll the quickest car, but we are competitive."
Chris Dyer, Ferrari chief engineer
It was quite a productive day. Despite the changing weather, which definitely didnt help, we nevertheless managed to work through practically all the planned programme. We have a few new technical updates on the F10, which seem to have given us something extra in terms of car performance. We managed to evaluate both types of dry tyre and our drivers felt relatively comfortable with both the hard and the soft, and equally pleased with the car. On a track like this, the gaps are shortened, so we can expect a very close fight tomorrow in qualifying. Furthermore, todays times have to be seen as less representative than usual given the rapid change in track conditions. Tomorrows forecast is for rain in the morning, while for qualifying, at least according to the latest bulletin from the middle of this afternoon, should take place in the dry, as should Sundays race.
Sebastian Vettel, P1 - 1:28.735, 11th; P2 - 1:16.294, 2nd
The conditions were not easy today, they were quite changeable, which made judging lap times difficult, but we got some dry running in the afternoon which was important. I think its looking quite good and the car feels good, especially in the last section. Ferrari looked extremely competitive; McLaren had a difficult day with only one car for the majority of running, but they will come back and be up there. I did a bit of rallying in P2 when I lost the rear going into the Stadium section and had to find my way through the gravel, but fortunately I could save the car and there was no problem.
Mark Webber, P1 - 1:29.048, 14th; P2 - 1:16.585, 4th
It wasnt the easiest day for everyone - the track conditions were pretty tricky, so selecting the right tyres at the right time wasnt straightforward, but we got some good information out of P2 when the track was pretty dry. We were also able to learn how both types of wet tyre worked here, so we evaluated the car in almost all conditions today. The car felt good, but weve got some work to do tonight. Ferrari look strong and Im looking forward to the race.
Nico Rosberg, P1 - 1:27.448, 6th; P2 - 1:16.827, 5th
"In the wet conditions this morning, the car was very good and our pace looked quick. It was more difficult to get the intermediate tyres working, however we didn't do many laps so I'm sure we would have been fine there too. In the dry this afternoon, I was less happy with the balance of the car in general. It was difficult as there was so little time to try and do our usual programme so we had to focus on the long runs without making too many set-up changes. We need to have a good look at the data and see what we can change without taking too many risks as I'm not completely happy with the balance yet."
Michael Schumacher, P1 - 1:32.450, 23rd; P2 - 1:16.971, 6th
"Today's sessions were a bit mixed due to the weather conditions but we were able to get the car working by the end so it was a reasonable day. One of my excursions caused some damage to the floor which led to a second excursion afterwards and we decided to stop slightly early this afternoon. We are looking reasonable over one lap and on longer runs, confirming what we already hinted at during the last weekend in Silverstone. If everything goes as it should tomorrow, we should reach fifth or sixth position, which is a step forward, and maybe even more in the race. But for sure, we will do everything possible to achieve a good result for our fans at our home race."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"It's been an unusual and challenging day with the changing track conditions and a few small issues to overcome during our running. The car looked reasonable in the wet this morning and the experience will be helpful if the weather continues to be variable. This afternoon gave us the first opportunity to analyse our upgrades on a dry track. The initial feedback looks positive but we need to take full advantage of the final practice hour tomorrow to maximise their potential."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"We learned quite a lot today about the new upgrades that we are introducing here at our home race in Hockenheim. We had reasonable results but it is clear that there still is a gap to the quickest. Our race pace didn't look too bad so tomorrow we need to get a decent qualifying position for both our cars in order to get respectable results in front of our home crowd."
Lewis Hamilton, P1 - 1:29.429, 17th; P2 - 1:17.004, 7th
Obviously, I damaged the car quite heavily this morning. It was very slippery and I hit the limiter coming out of Turn Three, shifted gear, which spun the wheels, and had an oversteer moment. I tried to correct it and that put me onto the grass, where I was just a passenger. The accident took all four corners off the car, so I was a little bit upset with myself. The guys work so hard during the week to get the car ready, and then you get to the track, do a few laps, and total the car, which isnt great. It was a huge amount of work for the guys, too, but theyve just been phenomenal. It was positive to get back out there and overcome the difficulties I had in the morning. We missed the afternoons rain too, which was good. Now I have a decent idea of where the car is, so hopefully we can make some positive set-up changes overnight. The new blown diffuser still isnt perfect - its not something you can just put on the car and drive with the same balance that you had before; youve got to alter the balance, and modify your driving style. Were still working on it, but theres potential there.
Jenson Button, P1 - 1:26.936, 3rd; P2 - 1:17.739, 15th
This morning was useful, because theres a possibility of more rain tomorrow. But we didnt have a very good set-up for P1 in the wet - we changed the car over lunch, and I was much happier with the balance this afternoon. As always, we have to do things to make the car better. The long-run pace is pretty reasonable - I think we were expecting more issues with graining on the option, but it didnt seem to be a big issue. Hopefully, tomorrows morning session will be dry so we can focus on some useful set-up work. Obviously, Lewis had a problem this morning, so I had a busy afternoon running through our long-run programme in P2. The new floor appears to be working well. We still need to look at the data to see how much of an improvement its giving us, but theres no negative to it, which is great.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
Todays two sessions presented difficult and changeable conditions in which to conduct the necessary tests, but we nonetheless gathered a lot of useful data that will hopefully give us good direction throughout the rest of the weekend. Clearly, Lewiss small error this morning caused damage to his car that took a while to repair, thereby limiting his running this afternoon. In the end he went out with just 13 minutes left, and did just one run on the prime tyre. Nonetheless, he posted the seventh-fastest lap of the session and remains well placed to do a solid job tomorrow. This afternoon Jenson knuckled down to a disciplined programme of long running on heavy fuel loads, concentrating on race durability. We feel we have decent pace here - and, as I say, having concentrated largely on long running on heavy fuel loads today, will focus on qualifying practice tomorrow morning.
Robert Kubica, P1 - 1:28.903, 13th; P2 - 1:17.009, 8th
It was a difficult Friday because of the weather conditions which meant we ran all four tyre specifications at different points during the two sessions. These conditions make it difficult to test anything properly, so we concentrated on getting a feeling for the tyres. The super-soft compound actually performed quite well, possibly helped by the low temperatures, but it was more difficult to judge the hard compound because the track was still a bit damp when I ran with it. In terms of the balance, the car felt a little bit strange today, so we will investigate to find out what the cause might have been, and we will be hoping for more stable conditions tomorrow.
Vitaly Petrov, P1 - 1:26.948, 5th; P2 - 1:17.547, 12th
When the weather conditions are changing all the time, its difficult to find the right set-up, so we just tried to run and run today, to see how the track was changing and get a feel for the car. Even so, we managed to make some good changes and I think we have a good set-up for tomorrow. There were no problems during the day, and I know that my fastest lap could have been even quicker, so now we must keep working well tonight and see what Saturday brings.
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
There were no particular dramas. We ran both types of wet tyre as the circuit required, using the full wet first then intermediates as it dried out. Both cars tended a little bit towards understeer, but there were no major problems, and in fact Vitaly was a bit happier with the car than Robert in the conditions. The conditions made life a bit difficult and meant we have not done as much of an assessment as we would have liked. A lot of the resurfacing has been done at turn six and the circuit took a long time to dry there because the tarmac is very closed. We had a lot of problems with the super-soft compound in Montreal but it looks to be behaving very normally here. However, we were not able to do a great comparison of the two tyre types, because the circuit was still wet in some corners when we ran the hard compound at the start of the second session. Neither tyre looked too difficult to manage, but the hard took a few laps to warm up then just got faster and faster, while the performance was there straight away on the super-soft, but with a touch more understeer. At the moment, were expecting more rain today, and tomorrow morning may be wet too, but we believe qualifying and the race should be dry. Although the circuit was very green today, we did a long run on the super-soft with no problem at all during the second session, so weve got no concerns over the tyres. And we had a predominantly dry session this afternoon to get a handle on the car set-up and understand where we are in terms of performance.
Rubens Barrichello, P1 - 1:26.947, 4th; P2 - 1:17.056, 9th
It was a good, mixed up day in terms of the weather and we tried everything tyre-wise from full wets through to slicks. I am happy that we have moved on to another circuit and the car has maintained its competitiveness in all the different conditions we encountered. Equally, we need to find whatever improvement we can tomorrow in order to be sure of a top ten qualifying result.
Nico Hulkenberg, P1 - 1:28.193, 8th; P2 - 1:17.204, 10th
It was a positive Friday, not only did I feel good in the car, but there is of course a positive feeling being on the track at your home race. I think we can have a strong weekend if we put it all together. Its a relatively short circuit and traffic was a bit problematic at times today, but its only Friday and hopefully we wont have any issues in qualifying.
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
We had a good days practice and got through some of our planned schedule which included assessing some new parts. We also covered the usual Friday items such as set-up, cooling and tyres. The car looks reasonable and we need to continue the trend from the last few races. We ran some new parts on both cars today and they are all working as expected and will be carried forward. Additionally, Rubens is running a further step on the diffuser.
Kamui Kobayashi, P1 - 1:29.690, 20th; P2 - 1:17.336, 11th
"It was a bit tricky for us that it was wet in the morning because we had a huge programme with the new components on the car, but still we got a lot of work done today. Braking for turn six, the hairpin, is the most difficult part on the wet track. The balance isn't too bad, really, and we can improve it with some set-up changes. We definitely have to find something that enables us to make better use of the softer tyre compound. I don't regard the difference between hard and super soft as a problem on this track."
Pedro de la Rosa, P1 - 1:28.486, 10th; P2 - 1:17.573, 13th
"We had good runs in the wet this morning and now also good runs in dry conditions, which actually was a bonus because it was not expected to stay dry in free practice two. We know more or less what we need now. For me we have to improve the front end, and I think we can do this with some set up changes."
James Key, BMW Sauber technical director
"We haven't been in the wet for a while, so we had to see where we were this morning on the full wet tyres which we started on, and then the intermediate tyres later in the session. It looked okay, and the drivers were happy with the car towards the end of the session, as the grip came back. In the second session we decided to go out early just in case it rained again. We did as much of the programme that was planned for the first session, but also combined this with the tyre tests. The session was fairly productive, and in general the drivers were happy with the car. There were some balance issues because of the general track conditions, but we have been able to cope with our set- up. The updates we've got seem to work as we expected, which is good."
Adrian Sutil, P1 - 1:25.701, 1st; P2 - 1:17.701, 14th
The first session was obviously very good. We went out on the extremes first of all and I could set some quick times and felt very confident in the conditions. When a drier line came out later on we then switched to the intermediate tyres and, again, the car behaved very well and I came out P1, which was a nice feeling in front of my home crowd. In the afternoon I think we had a good balance on the car, but we put new sets on just when the rain came so I couldn't do a good lap time. The position is not really representative of where we are here and we know we can be much stronger. The long run pace was good and I have a positive feeling for tomorrow.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, P1 - 1:28.300, 9th; P2 - 1:17.871, 16th
It was not an easy day because of the weather: in the morning it was raining and then in the afternoon the track started wet but got drier all the time. I think the pace we've shown here is quite positive and overall we are in good shape at this point in the weekend. In the morning we still had some problems going into the corners and then on the straights so I couldn't quite get a clear run. In the afternoon though we had a good session and we understood a few areas for tomorrow, working very closely with Bridgestone to get the most out of the tyres.
Dominic Harlow, Force India chief race engineer
One wet and one almost completely dry session today. During the morning we ran both the wet and the intermediate tyres, establishing the crossovers and trying to get a feel for the way the track was drying. The car was quite well balanced in the tricky conditions and Adrian set a good pace. In FP2 we ran our option tyres just at the moment it started to spit with rain, so probably lost the best of the performance from them. All the same quite an interesting scenario this weekend and we now have the information to build on for qualifying and the race.
Sebastien Buemi, P1 - 1:28.114, 7th; P2 - 1:18.147, 17th
The morning session went well, as the driver can make more of a difference in the wet conditions and I was P7, looking competitive, but in the dry, we need to find a better set-up. Therefore, we need to work hard now, analysing the data to try and improve the car for tomorrow. We had some new elements on the car here, so we have to assess how to get the best from them. The dry tyre comparison went well and we have a pretty clear picture of how to use them.
Jaime Alguersuari, P1 - 1:29.366, 16th; P2 - 1:19.327, 18th
It was an interesting day, dealing with both wet and dry conditions. We can be reasonably satisfied, because we completed a lot of laps and I am pleased not to have made any mistakes in the wet. However, my lack of experience at this track meant I was unable to make the most of the super-soft Option tyre, setting my fastest lap on old tyres, so a good run on new tyres could have made a significant difference to my lap time. At least I now know the track, although my confidence was not so high in these mixed conditions.
Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso chief engineer
We had a trouble free day with both drivers completing a lot of laps. In the morning, we were able to evaluate the extreme wet and the intermediate tyres, working in race conditions, to see in what situations both compounds were at their best. Jaime even tried the dry tyres in damp conditions this morning, which is good in terms of him building experience. Overall, in these difficult conditions, the drivers made no mistakes which is another positive element. This afternoon, in the dry, we returned to our routine Friday work, evaluating different aero components, as well as working on car set-up on the two dry tyre compounds. Both behaved quite well and the results of running on the two rain tyres in the morning also proved that they last well on this track.
Timo Glock, P1 - 1:28.735, 12th; P2 - 1:19.553, 19th
It has been a good start to the weekend. The first session obviously got off to a slow start because of the weather but as the track dried out I was very comfortable with the direction we were starting to head in with the set-up and pleased to end the session in 12th - our highest placed position of the season so far. This afternoon, we improved the car some more to end the day ahead of Lotus as the best of the new teams and within 0.2 sec of Toro Rosso. History has shown that we are strong at improving the car from Friday to Saturday and so I think we have a lot more to look forward to yet this weekend. It feels like the latest updates have given us another positive step forward for sure, so Im optimistic about a good performance in front of my home crowd.
Lucas di Grassi, P1 - 1:29.500, 18th; P2 - 1:20.106, 21st
This has been a very productive Friday and we are looking very strong for this weekend thanks to the new updates we have here this weekend. I hope that the weather stays stable so we can continue to keep improving the car and bring home the best result possible on Sunday.
Nick Wirth, Virgin technical director
A positive start to the weekend, despite tricky weather conditions. Both drivers and their engineers adapted their respective programmes well to the changing conditions, and we have made more progress on car performance with the new developments that we ran today. As this package came so late from our digital development process, we were only able to get some of the elements of our Hockenheim upgrade on the cars today. The rest of the package will be fitted this evening, plus well analyse the tests done today and look forward to some more progress tomorrow and Sunday.
Jarno Trulli, P1 - 1:29.280, 15th; P2 - 1:20.008, 20th
It was a positive day today. We put in a lot of laps in both sessions and I think the car is behaving pretty well here. The tracks improved throughout the day and after getting a decent amount of running in Im confident we can deliver a good result tomorrow.
Heikki Kovalainen, P1 - n/a; P2 - 1:20.377, 22nd
The main thing today is that we have had good reliability all day, but it was a bit disappointing as I couldnt find a good balance, so weve got work to do on that tomorrow.
Fairuz Fauzy, P1 - 1:30.938, 21st; P2 - n/a
First of all I was very happy to be back in the car. The conditions werent great, but that was the same for everyone, so we all had to deal with the fact it was pouring with rain, and then started drying out, then raining again. But I found myself getting more comfortable with every lap. Once Id got the tyre temperatures up I could push, and the car was reliable throughout, so we got through the programme, which is obviously what we set out to do. I think I could have gone quicker still, but Im pleased with my input today and cant wait to get back in the car again!
Riad Asmat, Lotus Racing CEO
Firstly it was good to see Fairuz put in a very good mornings work in what were pretty tricky conditions. He did exactly what we asked of him and its great to see he got a decent run compared to the limited track time he had at Silverstone. Weve got a fair amount to come tomorrow in terms of pace, and the team will work hard to build on the progress weve been making throughout the season, so lets see what happens tomorrow.
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
A useful day for us with no real problems with either car. Jarnos final run was brought to an early end with a small problem with his fuel pump, but apart from that it was a trouble free session. Fairuz did an excellent job this morning in the wet session, running well on both the full wets and the inters. Considering the limited running hes had in the car he should be very pleased with his days work. In the afternoon we were able to work on the dry setup and I think we found a clear direction towards the end of the session and theres definitely more performance to come tomorrow.
Bruno Senna, P1 - 1:31.720, 22nd; P2 - 1:21.988, 23rd
It was a good and productive day for us. We managed to do some testing and we got an idea of what we are going to do to the car. I enjoyed driving under wet conditions this morning. At the end of the first session, I pushed a bit too hard and went onto gravel. Now we have to focus on the qualifying and the race and hopefully we can do a good result.
Sakon Yamamoto, P1 - 1:32.791, 24th; P2 - 1:23.066, 24th
Today, there were mixed conditions in the two practices. In the first practice we started on wet tyres and changed to intermediates afterwards. It was a good opportunity for me to try the wet tyres. In the afternoon, the track dried up and some parts were still damped. We could try both tyre compounds, the options and the primes, for the qualifying and the race and I got a lot of experiences and data with these tyres as I could do many laps today preparing for tomorrow.
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
It was a positive first day for our team here in Hockenheim and we could do a lot of laps in both sessions. When it stopped raining in the first practice, the track got quicker and we changed to intermediate tyres. Bruno Senna showed a good performance in wet conditions. It was encouraging to see that under these circumstances, we are able to compete with the other drivers. But there is a fine line in finding the right measure when the track is getting dry again. For Sakon Yamamoto it was the first time in the rain for a long time and he was concentrating on driving under these conditions and getting as much data as possible. Now, we are hoping for a good and successful Saturday and Sunday.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"Today was very challenging and interesting from a tyre perspective. We had a very wet circuit in the morning, but one which was drying through the session. Teams were able to evaluate the performance of the wet and intermediate tyres in these conditions which gives us and them very useful data on the crossover point between the wet and intermediates. The afternoon started with a track which was completely dry in some areas, but still with puddles in others. Again a challenge, but we saw good running with both compounds of the dry Bridgestones in this session. We have never used such a wide gap between compounds for our allocation for a race before so this is a learning process for everyone. This afternoon we saw graining of all types on the super soft tyres, on the front and the rear. Interestingly, the front graining did not affect lap time so much today for some drivers. The hard tyre proved very durable, and warm-up was not as challenging as it could have been. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to gain more data ahead of the race. However, we could have a wet circuit once more, and a wet qualifying session, so being on the right tyre at the right time through qualifying will be very important."