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Friday in Great Britain - team by team

08 Jul 2016

A round-up of the opening day's action from the 2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Renault

Renault had a reasonable day, but there's still work to do overnight to hone the balance of the RS16s, as evidenced by the fact Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen propped up the bottom of the timesheet in FP2. Palmer did at least out-pace the second car in both sessions - a nice way to build up to his maiden home Grand Prix.

Jolyon Palmer - FP1: 1:34.787, P16; FP2: 1:34.610, P18

"Silverstone is a great track, with loads of great fans and I enjoyed driving out there today. It was a typical Friday for us on track. We tried out two different tyre compounds and low fuel levels, plus a run on high fuel. We were on the medium for most of the day: it has a low working range so it is difficult to build up temperatures and the car can feel inconsistent to drive at the start. It got very windy out there at times too, which didn't help. The soft gives very good grip over one lap but then degrades quickly. I think it was an OK result; it looks like we are in a similar position to normal. I am sure we can find something tomorrow, and we have to maximise what we can do. It looks as though we'll have British weather all weekend but a bit of rain mixing it up would be good for us!"

Kevin Magnussen - FP2: 1:34.959, P20

"Overall we had a good session working through our programme. The rear of the car felt a little more unpredictable and made it a bit tricky to drive this afternoon. It was very windy during the session this afternoon and that of course had a bit of an impact on the running today. Hopefully it'll come down a little bit for the rest of the weekend. We did work on the tyres and the softer compound didn't last very long for me – only just about five laps. I had a better run on the medium tyres and they felt easier to manage. There's more work to be done in preparation for Saturday so that's what I'll concentrate on with my engineers to be ready for tomorrow."

Esteban Ocon - FP1: 1:35.980, P19

"Overall it was a productive day for myself and for the team, who were happy with how the day went. We had a clean day and were able to run through all the procedures and the run plan as expected. I learnt a lot today – it was the first time I have driven the car on a very fast track and I felt like I was getting close to the limits in the high speed sections. It's difficult to get right, but I have to keep pushing and keep learning. I'm looking forward to driving some more FP1 sessions and getting more experience."

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director

"Esteban did a brilliant job for us this morning. He was quick enough and didn't put a foot wrong despite not having been in the car for some time. He will continue to grow in confidence as he takes part in more sessions. Both Jolyon and Kevin similarly did a very solid job in at times difficult weather conditions and completed their programmes according to plan; we have some further work planned to improve our performance, particularly in low-speed corners, which should see us better our lap times tomorrow."

Red Bull

Ricciardo was happy to put Mercedes under a little pressure and believes that Red Bull can fight for the podium with Ferrari. He was also pleased that his long runs were reasonable, after the worries in Baku and Spielberg. His only problem came at the end of FP2 when the team told him not to change gear; he is hopeful that is a minor software problem that can be sorted, rather than the harbinger of gearbox trouble.

Verstappen loved driving the track and said he had a problem free day, the wind apart. He believes that Red Bull are closest to Mercedes right now - an assertion backed up by the fact the team had the best long run pace in FP2.

Daniel Ricciardo - FP1: 1:32.773, P5; FP2: 1:32.051, P2

“Generally today was really good. It’s always hard to know where the others are but I think we’re pretty happy and the longer runs seemed to be a bit more competitive so we’re getting there. Not a bad Friday. We look fairly good compared to Lewis at the moment but I feel they’ll have a bit more at their disposal tomorrow. I especially wanted to get on top of the race runs today and understand it a bit better, as that was a weakness last week in Austria. I think we’re doing alright. Sunday could be a really good fight with Ferrari for a podium. Hopefully we can make those tyres last a bit longer and get up there.”

Max Verstappen - FP1: 1:33.202, P7; FP2: 1:32.286, P3

“A very good day. I enjoy driving here and we are competitive, although it was a bit tricky in the second session with the wind but that’s the same for everyone. Long run and short run pace was good so we are hoping to be close to the front. You never know what Ferrari or other teams will do but for the moment we are very happy with where we are, it’s a bit of a power track but there are still some corners which suit us. We are not too far off the Mercedes which is always good. There were one or two balance issues so we will make some changes overnight because you always want to be going forward and remain up front. I’m pretty happy but I want to go even faster tomorrow. I think if we can be the second team on the grid that would be very good. Definitely a positive start to the weekend.”

Toro Rosso

Sainz and Kvyat both agreed that this had been Toro Rosso's toughest day of the season and that there is plenty of work to be done on short-run set-up. Kvyat hampered his progress when he spun and damaged his front wing early in FP2.

Carlos Sainz - FP1: 1:33.446, P9; FP2: 1:33.840, P11

“I’d say this has been our toughest Friday so far this season… We all expected a bit more performance wise. It’s been a very tricky day because of the wind and track conditions, so we definitely have a bit of work to do overnight in order to overcome these difficulties. We aren’t where we wanted to be, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t turn things around and be on top of it tomorrow - I’m confident we can make this happen!”

Daniil Kvyat - FP1: 1:33.738, P11; FP2: 1:34.139, P13

“Looking at the time sheets from the two sessions, our performance was not good enough today. The conditions were quite tricky out there because of the wind and I think that had something to do with my spin in FP2. It also made it difficult to understand exactly which areas of the car we need to work on the most, but the weather is the same for everyone. Therefore, we have to come up with something different in terms of our set-up before FP3, especially when it comes to the short runs. We have been in a similar situation before on Friday and managed to turn things around for the rest of the weekend, so I am hopeful of improving tomorrow.”

Phil Charles, Chief Race Engineer

“It has been a bit of a difficult day. Our short runs have been very scrappy and neither driver is particularly happy. We have not hit a sweet spot yet with the car and tyres. Our low speed cornering performance in particular is not where we really want or expect it to be. We have made quite a few changes through FP1 and FP2 to try to tackle this. We will need to look carefully through the data tonight, especially as the often-strong Silverstone winds came up quite a lot in FP2. This made the cars very tricky to drive and so it was not easy to get clear answers on the changes we made. The wind gusts also probably contributed to Daniil’s off at the start of FP2. We changed the front wing and he settled in pretty quickly after this. On the positive side, our long runs at the end of FP2 look relatively better so we simply have to do our homework tonight, try to solve that engineering puzzle and find some short run performance.”

Sauber

Both drivers said the latest 2016 version of Ferrari's powertrain was a worthwhile improvement. Ericsson lost some track time in FP1, but trialled a new rear wing in readiness for the Hungaroring.

Marcus Ericsson - FP1: 1:36.003, P20; FP2: 1:34.722, P19

“It is good news that we tested our new rear wing here in Silverstone in FP1. We were able to collect a lot of data, which we now have to analyse and understand properly. On the other hand, I was only able to do one stint in the morning. In FP2 we then had a busy programme with short and long-runs on medium as well as on soft tyres.”

Felipe Nasr - FP1: 1:34.805, P17; FP2: 1:34.154, P14

“It was a good day. We were able to run through our planned programme. It is positive to see that the engine upgrade is a decent step. Especially at this track, a good straight-line speed helps to gain some lap time. In general it was all about setting up the car on soft and medium tyres today. It was a bit tricky to get the soft tyres to work with the colder conditions in the morning, but in the afternoon we got a much better feeling for the car as well as with the tyres.”

Williams

Williams struggled for pace and both cars suffered from occasional oversteer. Both drivers tried the new front wing as part of the planned aero testing, and reported some graining on the softs but not on either of the harder compounds. Although a deliberately low-key first day, the team have more ground to make up than they expected.

Valtteri Bottas - FP1: 1:34.263, P13; FP2: 1:33.493, P7

“First of all, it’s good fun to drive at Silverstone. We’ve made some good steps with the car today from FP1 to FP2, but there’s still plenty of work to do. It’s been a while since we’ve run the medium and the soft tyres, so there’s still some things to look into regarding getting 100% out of them. Hopefully tomorrow we can be closer to the front because there’s a bigger gap than we expected today. Graining is still a bit of an issue with the soft tyres, but there’s no problems with the medium. Tonight we’ll be looking at the tyres and the new front wing.”

Felipe Massa - FP1: 1:34.456, P14; FP2: 1:33.801, P10

“It wasn’t really a fantastic Friday. We are struggling a little bit in terms of pace on the car and I definitely expected to be a little bit better for a Friday, but we are working hard to improve our performance. Let’s wait and see how we are tomorrow compared to the others.”

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering

“We’ve been focusing on three areas today. Testing the new aerodynamic parts on the car has been the priority. We’ve got the new front wing here, so we’re ensuring we’ve done our due diligence to evaluate it. We’ve also been testing various different set-up options across the cars, in terms of mechanical and aerodynamic set-up. We’ve been tyre testing, running the soft and the medium compounds. It's not that clear cut yet as we saw different teams doing a variety of programmes. At this stage, the medium compound looks a little bit difficult to manage for us and some of the other front-runners. We need to try and understand that. The pace is definitely in the car, we just have a lot of work to do tonight to ensure we can unlock it tomorrow.”

Mercedes

Hamilton was happy with the way things went, especially on the long runs when the W07 Hybrid's pace was very strong, but thought the outright pace could have been a little better. 

Rosberg was just 0.033s off him in FP1 and expressed similar sentiments, but lost all of FP2 because of a small water leak which then required greater rectification than there was time available, so he didn't turn a wheel.

Nico Rosberg - FP1: 1:31.687, P2; FP2: No time

“I had a good morning session. It looks like we are quickest out there and that it will be a good battle between me and Lewis. It's a shame that I wasn´t able to have a run in the afternoon - but I'm sure we can fix the problems by tomorrow morning. I will see what Lewis learned today and try to adapt this for tomorrow and Sunday. It's great to see that there are so many passionate fans out there and I know a lot of team members from the factories are here too, so I hope they have a fantastic weekend and we can put on a good show for them.”

Lewis Hamilton - FP1: 1:31.654, P1; FP2: 1:31.660, P1

“It's been a great first day. Lots of positive steps forward with the balance of the car. It's incredibly gusty out there, which is one of the awesome challenges of this circuit. Coming through Maggots and Becketts then down through Stowe, I was actually yelling in my helmet, it's that exciting! What a great combination of corners - particularly when the wind is blowing in the right direction. Today we had a bit of a head wind and it just felt epic through there - one of the most fun rollercoaster rides you can imagine. We've still got work to do as our ultimate pace could be better. But the long run was good, so if we can keep the car in that window we'll be in a strong position.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

“It's great to be back at Silverstone in front of so many enthusiastic fans - including many from Brackley and Brixworth who get to see their hard work in action out on track today. We ran through a very good programme in FP1 on the medium tyre without any issues. Unfortunately, however, it became clear shortly before FP2 began that there was a water leak on Nico's car. We were optimistic of a quick fix initially but, after further checks, we opted against running the risk of losing an engine from the pool. We will be looking into that overnight to understand what happened and our apologies to Nico for losing him some important running time this afternoon. On Lewis' side we managed a very strong programme on the medium and soft tyre, on both high and low fuel, gathering all the information we needed for the race on Sunday. We have plenty of work to do this evening but we're looking forward to what should be a closely contested battle over the weekend.”

Haas

Grosjean was pleased that the VF-16 felt good at high speed, but said that attention was needed getting the tyres working properly. Leclerc was really happy with his first day in an F1 car, and did a sound job with just one spin early on.

Romain Grosjean - FP1: 1:34.547, P15; FP2: 1:33.614, P8

“It was a pretty good day evaluating the three different tyre compounds. The car doesn’t feel too bad at high speed, which is great news for lapping at this track. We still need to find some performance in getting the tyres to work. That will be the main job this evening when we go over everything from today’s two sessions.”

Esteban Gutierrez - FP2: 1:34.000, P12

“It was an easy morning for me not competing in FP1. I then started my programs for FP2, which was pretty positive from the laps we did and everything that we tried. Today gave us an opportunity to change the set-up and send us in the right direction. So far, the car feels good. However, the conditions were tricky out there with the wind. We’ve got a bit of work to do, but we’ll be using all the data we’ve gathered from today to get the most out of car for tomorrow, especially for qualifying.”

Charles Leclerc - FP1: 1:35.869, P18

“It’s been an amazing experience for my first time in a Formula One car. I was struggling quite a lot at the beginning, as Silverstone is quite a hard track with lots of high-speed corners, and I found the steering wheel quite stiff in comparison to anything I’ve driven before. However, it was a great session and lap after lap I gained confidence. The last run was on old tyres, so we couldn’t show our real pace, but I think we were quite fast. We completed the program and that was the main aim, so I’m happy with that. It was probably one of the best days of my life, and to do it with Haas has been even more amazing.”

Guenther Steiner, team principal

“Good sessions for us today. FP1 and FP2 went to plan and we completed our full program without any problems. Charles did a good job this morning in FP1. We must remember that this was his first time in an F1 car - under difficult conditions too, as the track was still a little damp. He did a good job and we got all the data we needed from his runs. Romain and Esteban also ran their programs, so we achieved everything we needed from their sessions to prepare for tomorrow. Esteban took the information that was gathered this morning and continued the tasks set. So overall, we’re looking positive for tomorrow. I hope FP3 goes as well as today has for us, and we’ll try to do the best we can for qualifying.”

Ferrari

Neither driver had a great day, and there are handling issues to rectify for tomorrow. Vettel also had a gearbox problem at the end of FP1, but that was fixed easily and also no cause for concern given he has a new gearbox to fit ahead of qualifying. The German tried the latest version of the halo, and reported significant visibility problems.

Sebastian Vettel - FP1: 1:32.501, P4; FP2: 1:32.570, P4

“I think it was a bit of mixed conditions this afternoon: it was quite windy, and at the beginning it was not so good. I believe the long run was sort of OK, but we need to have a look and do some comparisons to know where we are. We know that we have lot of work ahead of us for tomorrow to improve the car but, as a baseline for today, we understood and learned quite a lot of things. As for the Halo device I tested this morning, it has quite a lot of impact in terms of visibility.”

Kimi Raikkonen - FP1: 1:33.039, P6; FP2: 1:32.736, P5

“I'm really happy for the renewal of my contract, I'm happy to be here now and to stay for next year. It's nice to know that the team believes in me and I believe in them. Now we can put all the effort in the racing and try to achieve better results. On the track it has been a tricky day, conditions were not very easy, there was quite a lot of wind in some places and this was not helping. We are not very happy of where we finished today, but since this morning we have been improving things. We have been working in the right direction all day and I'm sure we can do even better for tomorrow.”

Force India

Force India had a better day than it seemed from their times in FP2, as they didn't run the soft tyres in that session. There is still the inevitable extra set-up work to do overnight, but the mood in camp is good.

Sergio Perez - FP1: 1:33.235, P8; FP2: 1:34.356, P16

“It was a very intense day and we now have plenty of information for the team to go through. We have some important decisions to make, in particular for Sunday’s race, but I think we have learned enough to make the right calls. We were able to run on all tyre compounds and I feel we are in a good position for the weekend. We need to focus on our long run pace – that’s where we have a margin to improve and that’s the main area we will work on tonight.”

Nico Hulkenberg - FP1: 1:32.492, P3; FP2: 1:34.321, P15

“It was a pretty standard Friday, even though we had gale-strength winds in the afternoon that really made the conditions difficult out there. The times don’t tell the whole story, as we didn’t run the soft tyres in the afternoon and so our final positions don’t look that good. Across the two sessions, we ran all three compounds, although there is not a huge difference in feeling between them. We have a few areas to improve, but in general I am quite happy with the balance of the car. It will be important to find a way to reduce the effects of the wind on the car and hopefully we’ll find a bit more performance for tomorrow.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal

“The conditions out there were not the easiest, with very strong winds that could unsettle the car, especially through the high-speed corners. This morning we were able to evaluate the new parts we brought for the car, while the rest of the day’s work was focussed on preparing for the race. In any case, we only used the two harder compounds in the afternoon session. The drivers are reasonably happy with the baseline set-up and with the balance of the car. Of course, we had a wide range of parts to test on the car and slightly different programmes for the two drivers, so we will analyse all the data tonight to find the best way to move forward. Overall, we’re happy with how the day went, especially in these conditions, and we can be optimistic for tomorrow and Sunday.”

Manor

Wehrlein was disappointed not to be able to manage the tyres as well as he had been able to in Spielberg, which meant problems as graining returned. Haryanto was happy with his MRT05 in FP1, but felt that set-up changes for FP2 took him in the wrong direction.

Pascal Wehrlein - FP1: 1:36.136, P21; FP2: 1:34.549, P17

“We came here with the expectation that we would perhaps struggle slightly more than in Austria. Our tyre management was better there, whereas today we are seeing the same issues we experienced in the races before that. Having said that, we seem to have made some progress in FP2.

“At this stage I prefer to wait until after FP3 to see if we can continue to make some progress, but I would like to think we can have a good fight with Sauber and Renault. A lot will depend on the weather, I think.”

Rio Haryanto - FP1: 1:36.647, P22; FP2: 1:35.841, P21

“[Silverstone is] one of my favourites. It’s very fast and flowing, very high speed, but with a tricky final sector where you have some slow corners. I think we found a good rhythm this morning, but this afternoon we tried an alternative direction and it didn’t work out so well. It’s good to have that confirmation of our FP1 direction.

“It’s always too early to say how we’ll fare in the race – until the race – but we did some long runs and that will enable us to measure ourselves against Renault and Sauber and see what we need to do for the rest of the weekend.”

Dave Ryan, Racing Director

“It’s been a good day of testing and evaluation to confirm our direction for the rest of the weekend. It’s not simply a case of picking up where we left off in Austria unfortunately; this is a very different track with its own challenges. There’s some room for improvement into tomorrow and only then will we get a true picture of how we’re looking versus the cars around us.”

McLaren

The strong form McLaren showed in Austria continued in both FP1 and FP2, with Honda's power unit upgrades appearing to have a positive impact. Alonso spent much of FP1 in third, and also broke the top 10 in the second session. Button suffered throttle issues early on in that second session, but fought back to join Alonso in the top 10 on an encouraging opening day for the team.

Fernando Alonso - FP1: 1:33.527, P10; FP2: 1:33.040, P6

“Everything feels okay with this weekend’s PU upgrade - hopefully, the engineers can look at the numbers to validate the improvements and check reliability for the rest of the weekend. I know Jenson had some trouble in FP2, so we need to avoid any reliability issues in order to score some points on Sunday

“We’ve regularly been performing well on Fridays, but we still to extract more performance from the car on Saturdays. Still, we’ve managed to get into Q3 for the past couple of races, so we’ll try and repeat that again tomorrow.

"It’s very windy out there, and there’s more wind and rain forecast for tomorrow, so it could be difficult for everyone.”

Jenson Button - FP1: 1:34.132, P12; FP2: 1:33.763, P9

“I had a tricky afternoon session: I did one lap on the Prime tyre at the start of the session, then had a problem and had to sit in the garage for half an hour, then went out and completed one lap, had another problem, and was only able to get out on the Option tyre at the very end.

“Hopefully the problems we encountered today will be resolved by tomorrow and we can get some running in - fortunately, it appears to be more about number-crunching on the laptops than anything else, so we should be able to get back on track.

“Nonetheless, it still looks like it’ll be difficult to get into Q3 tomorrow, but if we get a clear morning session, I think that would help improve our fortunes for qualifying.

“Fernando found some good pace today - so tomorrow my car will hopefully be fitted with new components, we’ll get some positive running under our belts, and we’ll look a bit more competitive, too.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director

“It was a fairly routine Friday for both drivers, albeit one made trickier by the extremely blustery conditions that affected the track throughout the day.

“Fernando made smooth progress through both sessions, but Jenson was delayed at the start of the FP2 while his mechanics investigated the source of some irregular engine data.

“Finally, it’s great to see so many enthusiastic fans packing out the grandstands on the first day of the race weekend. It’s always inspiring and motivating to see how popular the sport is here in the UK, and it really gives the whole team a boost to see that level of support.”

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

"Silverstone is a track that tests all aspects of the car, therefore it is still too early to confirm if our engine update has taken full effect. Both Fernando and Jenson struggled with the gusty winds and the low grip track, which destabilised the cars and made them difficult to drive. However, even though Jenson was limited in FP2 running due to engine data issues, our day’s results were surprisingly encouraging, and we think we are heading in the right direction overall.

"Not surprisingly, we are expecting a rainy Saturday and Sunday, but we are hoping that we can reach Q3 without relying on changing conditions as we did at the Austrian GP."

Pirelli

Paul Hembery, motorsport director

“Silverstone has been at its spectacular high-speed best today, with last year’s pole position time already beaten in FP1, despite the fact that the circuit was comparatively ‘green’. With rain forecast for FP3 tomorrow, and possibly even for qualifying too, today’s sessions are likely to be very relevant for the race on Sunday – although there’s a chance of mixed conditions at the grand prix itself as well. Obviously all the drivers were running different fuel loads today, which makes direct comparisons quite tricky, but in isolation we’re seeing half a second separating the hard and medium compounds for now in terms of performance, plus 1.7 seconds between medium and soft: so just over two seconds covering the whole range here from hard to soft.”