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Friday in Montreal - team by team

10 Jun 2016

A round-up of the opening day's action at the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2016 at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve...
Sauber

Both drivers had undisclosed technical problems in FP1, and said there was work still to be done on the set-up after FP2. Nasr has his third Ferrari engine of the year this weekend, while Ericsson will get his second from tonight.

Marcus Ericsson - FP1: 1:18.129, P19; FP2: 1:16.902, P19

“It was not the perfect day. We had some technical issues in FP1, which meant I was not able to run many laps. In that sense, FP2 was much better, as I completed 51 laps. I am not fully satisfied with the way the car behaves at the moment. We need to look into the data and understand in which areas we can improve. As of tomorrow, I will get a new power unit, so that should also help to make up some lap time.”

Felipe Nasr - FP1: 1:17.855, P17; FP2: 1:16.582, P17

“In the morning we missed a lot of track time due to the issues we had. But then in the afternoon we were able to recover and put in some good mileage. That helped us to get a better understanding of the car. It was good to get an idea about the superersoft and ultasoft tyres on short as well as long-runs. From my perspective, the ultrasoft tyre does not last that long. A key fact for the race will, for sure, be good tyre management.”

Toro Rosso

Sainz was very happy with his day, but Kvyat said his STR11 needs more work on the set-up to extract its maximum.

Daniil Kvyat - FP1: 1:17.310, P15; FP2: 1:15.559, P14

“It was a decent and useful first day here in Montreal. We were able to complete plenty of laps and this will certainly help us to continue preparing for Sunday’s race. We still need to sort out a few things regarding the set-up of the car, but that’s what Friday evenings are for. We can be happy with our start and I’m looking forward to tomorrow: the gaps with our main competitors are really small, but I’m confident we can fight for a good result!”

Carlos Sainz - FP1: 1:16.543, P8; FP2: 1:15.410, P10

“I’d describe today as a good Friday. Even if our FP1 was cut short this morning because of a red flag, during this afternoon’s FP2 we managed to cover the whole programme. It was a day with no issues or major problems, which is always welcome. This means we had a good baseline to start the weekend with and now we just need to continue like this and hold on to this positive feeling. It’s looking like a very tight midfield again here, so I’m sure we will witness a good fight to get into Q3, but we just need to focus on ourselves and extract the maximum from the car: the top ten is our target!”

Phil Charles, Chief Race Engineer

“First point of note is that the weather is really playing some games with us this weekend and the various forecasts seem to be showing all eventualities apart from snow! We will therefore need to keep the weather factor in mind when it comes to making set-up decisions looking forward to Sunday. In terms of today, with plentiful dry running completed, it was a very interesting day particularly from the tyre perspective. On the set-up side I think we have some more homework to do on the softer end of the compound range. The Ultra and the Supersoft seem to be a bit more on the edge. On the flip side, our drivers seem to be a bit more comfortable on the long runs on the Soft tyre.

"What’s definitely clear is that the midfield is super tight here, so we will really need to be on top form with the set-up and the decisions we make for the rest of the weekend.”

Williams

Williams’ day got off to a tough start when Massa crashed heavily into the tyre wall in Turn 1 after his FW38’s DRS refused to close fully. The mechanics did a terrific job to have the car repaired for FP2, when the Brazilian was able to help Bottas with the day’s programme. The team looked more competitive here than they have in quite a few races, and believe they still have some pace to demonstrate in FP3 and qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas - FP1: 1:16.301, P6; FP2: 1:15.213, P6

“It’s always really good fun to drive on this track - so I really enjoyed today. We managed to get the car balanced pretty quickly and to get good drivability, so I’m quite happy with the car already, but I’m sure we can make it better. Overall it’s been a positive Friday and I think tomorrow is going to be very close so anything we can find overnight is going to be very useful.”

Felipe Massa - FP1: 1:17.065, P14; FP2: 1:15.513, P13

“It wasn’t really a positive day after what happened in the first session. We lost a lot of time and a lot of pieces of the car. It’s never nice to crash, especially not straight away in the first session. On a positive note, the car was very good this afternoon. There’s still room for improvement to make the car perfect for tomorrow after what happened in the first session. But, we’ll make the most of FP3 and make sure we have everything right for qualifying. For sure, the car seems to be much more competitive straight away compared to Monaco. I hope that carries into tomorrow and Sunday.”

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering

“FP1 was a little bit fraught with what happened on Felipe’s car. The DRS didn’t close under braking, we’re still investigating as to why, but that then left Felipe with a lack of rear downforce under braking and he spun causing quite a lot of damage. We did a very good job to get the car built for FP2, where we tried to recover some of the test programme that we missed out on in FP1 on Felipe’s car. I think he’s recovered admirably and done a good job, as has Valtteri, who has got through most of his Friday programme. There’s a lot for us to take away from these two sessions between the two cars. I think overall we can be quite happy as we’re much more competitive here than we have been in the last two races, both on low and high fuel runs. I don’t think we’ve exercised anywhere near the limit of the car, which is a good thing. We’ve got bits and pieces to do tonight but overall it’s a competitive package we just have to make sure that we have a good Saturday and more importantly come away with a good haul of points.”

Manor

Neither of the drivers were happy with some new-for-Montreal parts as they learned the track in FP1, but Wehrlein in particular was happier after changes were made for FP2.

Pascal Wehrlein - FP1: 1:18.453, P21; FP2: 1:17.023, P21

“Overall today was positive. This morning we tried some things on the car which didn’t have the desired improvement, so we went back for FP2 and I felt much more comfortable again. Now we have to sit together and analyse in order to improve for qualifying, but we are not too far away. I think we can do a good job tomorrow.”

Rio Haryanto - FP1: 1:18.103, P18; FP2: 1:17.423, P22

“Today was a good day for us and it seemed we are more competitive than at previous events. We tried a number of things on the car and learned a lot from these in FP1. This is my first time here, so I am getting more familiar with the track and enjoying it. From the afternoon session, I think we can work more on the balance, the pace seemed quite good, we did some short and long runs, so we managed to learn a lot from today.”

Dave Ryan, Racing Director

“It’s been quite a good day for us. We had some new Montreal-specific items to put through their paces, so we took a close look at those this morning. This afternoon I think we showed that we are steadily making good progress and closing the gap to our nearest competitor step by step. Both drivers did a great job on their debut at this track and hopefully we can squeeze a little more out of the car for tomorrow. Overall, a good start.”

Mercedes

Hamilton emphatically carried his Monaco form over and dominated the day. He described his progress as "awesome" and seemed his old self in a car which was well set up. Rosberg admitted that he didn’t switch on the tyres as effectively.

Besides having great single-lap pace, the long-run speed of the F1 W07 Hybrid also has rivals worried.

Lewis Hamilton - FP1: 1:14.755, P1; FP2: 1:14.212, P1

“It's been an awesome day. This has always been a strong circuit for me and I'm really enjoying being back here again. I've generally been really happy with the car so far. The focus today has been on working hard to make sure we have a good understanding of the tyres. I'm enjoying myself and hoping the weather stays like this over the weekend for all the fans out there in the grandstands.”

Nico Rosberg - FP1: 1:15.086, P2; FP2: 1:14.738, P3

“Generally I feel good in the car. But getting the tyres working is not so straightforward here, so that needs some further analysis tonight. I lost most of my time in the first sector - possibly because of tyre temperatures. So, that part of the lap is the main area to work on and find some improvement for qualifying. The long runs have looked good so far, though. It's been great to see so many spectators out there already today and I'm sure there will be an awesome atmosphere over the weekend.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

“It's great to have some decent weather after freezing conditions yesterday - particularly for the fans, who have come out in their thousands. The main interest of the day was to see how the three different tyre compounds functioned on low and high fuel. We managed to complete our programme without any major issues and both drivers are fairly happy with the balance of the car. It's difficult to compare lap times precisely with everybody running slightly different programmes - but our performance looks reasonably strong. We've still got a lot to do to be fully prepared for qualifying - and in a shorter timescale than normal too. We've had normal running hours today - but curfew begins an hour earlier tonight, as we lose an hour tomorrow with the early start to FP3 and Qualifying. The team in the garage have a tough evening ahead to get the cars prepared.”

Ferrari

Vettel said he was happy with the new turbo but that his car felt nervous over the track’s numerous bumps. Raikkonen struggled to get the set-up right, and was less happy.

Kimi Raikkonen - FP1: 1:15.618, P5; FP2: 1:15.234, P8

“It was not an easy day, one of those days when you keep making changes and nothing seems to work exactly as you hoped. We struggled to make the car handling better but we did not manage to do it. It's difficult to talk about the updates in the car, we are in a different place and in different conditions, but as I said before we wouldn't use new parts if they didn't improve the car. Today we tried many different things, now we have to go through them, analyse all data and pick the right things for tomorrow.”

Sebastian Vettel - FP1: 1:15.243, P3; FP2: 1:14.469, P2

“The car felt ok today, but it was quite nervous, which is normal around this track with all the curbs and the bumps. But overall it was a good day, all the things we brought seem to work, even if I am not yet entirely happy. But then show me one driver that is entirely happy with the car on Friday...you always have the feeling you can improve.”

Force India

Both drivers were happy with the way the VJM09 felt from the start, and how the team kept pace as the track changed dramatically between the two sessions. Work tonight focuses on braking stability and traction refinements.

Nico Hulkenberg - FP1: 1:16.464, P7; FP2: 1:15.321, P9

“We did a large number of laps today, especially this afternoon, and that’s what you want from a Friday. The car felt good from the start, which is always an encouraging sign, and we kept on top of the track evolution, which changed a lot as the day went on. The two sessions have been fairly straightforward: a lot of tweaks and small changes to try to find the ideal balance and a bit more speed for qualifying. In general it has been a good day that gave us a lot of information.”

Sergio Perez - FP1: 1:16.577, P9; FP2: 1:15.493, P12

“The changing weather between the morning and the afternoon meant we had two very different sessions. The track was very green at first, but we still managed to learn a lot about the car and the tyres. The red flag cost us a bit of time, especially as we had just gone out for our first run when that happened. The potential for a good result in qualifying is there, but of course we need to do some work tonight to make sure we’re in the right position tomorrow. Finding the right balance under braking and good traction is crucial here so those are the areas where we are focussing our attention.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal

“Today’s programme featured a few test items aimed specifically at the requirements of this unique circuit, plus the usual Friday runs to understand the behaviour of the tyre compounds over shorter and longer stints. As always, being able to cover a good number of laps was key to the success of our day, so we can be satisfied with the outcome. Both drivers have been happy with the car from the start and feel optimistic heading into Saturday. At this circuit the margins are very small with just half a second covering fourth to fourteenth places today, so getting together the perfect lap in qualifying will be especially important.”

Renault

Magnussen, in the new chassis 04, encountered a gearbox problem in FP1 which restricted his running, but was otherwise happy. Palmer had a troublefree day doing lots of laps as the team evaluated several different set-up factors in readiness for tomorrow.

Kevin Magnussen - FP1: 1:18.409, P20; FP2: 1:16.255, P16

“We made good progress today and the car is certainly faster on the ultrasoft compared with the soft tyre as you’d expect. I was pushing quite hard so there was a bit of flat-spotting going on out there. The gearbox issue in the morning was no big drama and we did have to check the car again in the afternoon. I think we should find a little more pace for qualifying.”

Jolyon Palmer - FP1: 1:18.583, P22; FP2: 1:17.001, P20

“That was a lot of laps in FP2 and we’ve completed a lot of assessments over the two sessions today meaning we should have all the pieces to put together to go as fast as possible for qualifying. We didn’t show all the pace that’s in the car over my side of the garage today; that’s tomorrow’s job.”

Remi Taffin, Technical Director

“Today was the first day we ran with both cars using our latest B specification power unit as debuted in Monaco and both units performed well. The crew in the garage did a great job to rectify the issue with Kevin’s gearbox in the morning. There was a large variation in track temperature between the cold morning and the hot afternoon which provides an additional challenge when determining the best set-up for the car. We also have the expectation of very different weather again for the race on Sunday, so there is still a lot of work to be done for the track engineers.”

Red Bull

Both drivers were happy and Ricciardo said he thought the gap to Mercedes will be less than a second tomorrow. Verstappen liked his first taste of Renault’s upgraded engine (used by Ricciardo so effectively in Monaco). There’s an underlying feeling, however, that Ferrari have moved forward again.

Daniel Ricciardo - FP1: 1:16.734, P11; FP2: 1:15.168, P5

“Obviously nice to be driving again for sure, and it’s a nice circuit – I enjoy it here. I think the day was ok; we can still find some more speed so we’ll work hard tonight to hopefully find some good solutions which can put us towards the top four tomorrow and close to Ferrari. Mercedes looked strong today, their long run pace was probably more impressive than their short run pace so that’s where I think we need to improve. Our long runs can be better for both me and Max, so that’s what we’ll look at tonight. On Sunday the weather looks like it could change, so we will wait and see as it will affect things. I expect the gap to Lewis to be less than a second tomorrow, how much less I’m not sure but I think we can close the gap quite a lot from today.”

Max Verstappen - FP1: 1:15.553, P4; FP2: 1:15.156, P4

“Not a bad first day at the track, good day, good weather. I’m more or less happy with the balance we have, now it’s down to fine tuning little bits and getting some lap time out of that. It’s always very challenging here, you ride the curbs and get a bit of a go kart feel so I always enjoy it. The first feeling with the new engine was very positive, you’re always happy when you get more power. We understood the car setup and the engine felt good which is important. We did some good lap times and a long run which was promising. Ferrari look to have a bit better pace here so we still need to do some work and improve but overall it’s been a positive day. Looking at tomorrow, in qualifying you always want the softest tyres so we’ll put them on but on Sunday there is a chance of rain so we will have to wait and see what to do.”

McLaren

McLaren had a busy day. Button had a few technical problems in FP1, the most significant of which required a powertrain changed which was completed when FP2 was a third of the way through. Despite that he was seventh fastest. In that session Alonso had a false alarm with a hydraulic leak warning, and lost some track time. Both said the new turbocharger was working well, but that more set-up work is needed for FP3 and qualifying.

After tomorrow the team will decide whether to retain the engine fitted into Button’s car during the lunch break.

Fernando Alonso - FP1: 1:16.663, P10; FP2: 1:15.450, P11

“It’s been a good Friday. We were able to try a few interesting things, including all three tyre compounds, which will for sure be the most interesting element this weekend. 

“Tomorrow, I think that perhaps qualifying 11th will be the best starting position for the race, as you’ll be the fastest runner free to choose your starting compound. I reckon starting the race on the Ultrasoft might not be ideal. 

“Everything worked well today, including the new turbo from Honda. However, we didn’t have too much grip, and need to look at improving our traction out of corners. 

“Now we have collected all the data from both cars, we need to find the direction for tomorrow.”

Jenson Button - FP1: 1:16.788, P12; FP2: 1:15.213, P7

“We had several different issues in FP1 – it was a very unlucky morning. We changed the power unit between FP1 and FP2 – we were a little late out this afternoon, but the guys did a pretty amazing job to build the car up. After that, we had no issues with how the engine was running – but we’ll look at the data tonight to understand if we should continue with the engine we took out this morning, or stay with the one we fitted for this afternoon. 

“In FP2, I was able to do a reasonable amount of running. The car feels good and is enjoyable to drive, but there are some set-up issues to resolve, which we’ll do tonight. 

“It’s been a positive day, but there’s still improvement needed – if I was another half-tenth quicker, I’d be fourth overall, and if I was two tenths slower, I’d be 11th – so we really need to maximise everything we have for the rest of the weekend.”

Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda racing director

“While it’s extremely positive to finish the day showing encouraging pace – particularly after suffering a succession of issues throughout the morning’s session – we’re fully aware that, on a Friday, all teams are running different programmes, so we should keep our expectations in check. 

“In the morning, we chose to briefly suspend Fernando’s running after identifying what we initially thought was a hydraulics leak. Happily, closer inspection seemed to confirm that it was a simple overflow. On the other side of the garage, Jenson reported a couple of issues during his early runs, then was stopped at the end of the session by an oil leak, which smoked heavily when the car was fired-up. 

“With the power unit changed during the lunchbreak, he ran without problem this afternoon – immediately setting good times despite missing out on much useful running earlier in the day. 

“We’ll comprehensively analyse all today’s data ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session.”

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd head of F1 project & executive chief engineer

“Today”s FP1 and FP2 were focused on confirming the functionality and the effectiveness of the new turbo that has been introduced to both cars for this weekend’s Canadian GP. So far, the results have been positive for us. 

“As for the total package, the team had a few niggly issues during FP1 which included an oil leak on Jenson’s car, but overall the car has been well-balanced and it has been a good first day of running. 

“As for Jenson’s power unit situation, we will continue to investigate the cause and see whether the oil leak has affected any of the other components.”

Haas

Grosjean was relatively happy with his VF16’s performance, but Gutierrez said his handled better with more fuel aboard and work is going on overnight to improve its pace on the ultrasofts – the latter is crucial as the team’s aggressive strategy here called for three sets of softs and 10 of the purple-marked rubber.

Romain Grosjean - FP1: 1:17.008, P13; FP2: 1:16.093, P15

“It was a good day. We had plenty of mileage and the car felt OK. Generally, I’m very happy with the balance of the car. We had a long run to end the day and it did everything we wanted it to do, so that’s good. Hopefully, we can find a bit of performance in the tires for tomorrow.”

Esteban Gutierrez - FP1: 1:17.319, P16; FP2: 1:16.591, P18

“We completed today’s program, which was the most important thing for us as it gave us some good data. Now the guys are working hard to fine tune everything for tomorrow. With low fuel the car wasn’t really that great on the ultrasoft. However, the car felt better with a high fuel load. We’ll work a bit more on our qualifying pace and try to make a clean day tomorrow. The weather will be a bit variable, so we’ll have to adapt and react quickly, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Guenther Steiner, team principal

“A good FP1 and FP2 for us. We completed our program and everything we had set out for today. We’ve stabilized a lot as a team over the last few races. The drivers are pretty happy and we know where we are at the moment, so we just need to keep our focus. Tomorrow we’ll see how we can do in qualifying. The weather is still open as to what might happen, so it could all change, but we’ll be ready and hopefully we’ll have a strong outcome.”

Pirelli

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“The teams were able to get a good read on all three of our slick compounds today, despite the low track temperatures that made driving conditions quite difficult and exacerbated the lack of grip. Canada always produces an entertaining race and from what we’ve seen so far wear and degradation seems to be quite low, even with the ultrasoft.”