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In quotes - Friday at Silverstone

03 Jul 2015

Ten teams, 23 drivers, and one official tyre supplier report back on the opening day's action of the 2015 Formula 1 British Grand Prix...

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat
FP1 - 8th, FP2 - 5th

"The car felt comfortable today and we got through our programme.  It's looking good for us so far, but it's only Friday so we have the weekend ahead and it is too early to make any predictions. We have some upgrades and they are giving us what we need, more or less. I think tomorrow we will know more about where we are with our pace. We'll be working hard tonight to make the car go as fast as possible for tomorrow, as will all the teams."

Daniel Ricciardo
FP1 - 7th, FP2 - 6th

"We had a pretty good day today and I think we look alright for now. The positions are relatively good and I think we can gain some more lap time. We want to get a little bit more out of the car and if we can make the steps we think we can for tomorrow, we should be looking better."

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen
FP1 - 3rd, FP2 - 7th

“We can be happy with today, especially if we consider that this was my first time driving an F1 car at such a difficult track as Silverstone. I’m satisfied with our pace and how the day went. Of course, we still have some work to do tonight on the set-up, but in general it was a good start to the weekend.”

Carlos Sainz
FP1 - 5th, FP2 - 9th

“I think it’s been a decent first day for us here at Silverstone. We were able to complete today’s programme, so we can be happy and satisfied with that. Our pace isn’t too bad either, even though it’s only Friday so we need to be careful, but once again Q3 and the top 10 in the race should be our targets for the weekend. I love this track, so far I’d say it’s the nicest on the Formula 1 calendar and I’ve really enjoyed it a lot out there!”

Phil Charles, Chief Race Engineer

“Overall, a pretty good day for us at a track that definitely suits our car better. Both drivers were happy with the car straight away and settled in nicely. We knew Carlos would be strong, as he had already tested here with us before, and Max was also very good today. They are both pleased with today, even though we still have some homework to do overnight regarding the tyres. We suffered from a little bit of front graining, but we have plenty of useful data from today’s long runs in order to understand this and deal with it before race day.”


Kimi Raikkonen
FP1 - 4th, FP2 - 2nd

“Today we tried to do the maximum in the practice and it looks good, but it’s only Friday. It was not an easy day, anyway we learned something. We still have to improve and try to make it a bit more straightforward. We have no idea what the others were doing in the long run, we were focused on our session. The medium compound seems to be pretty ok, while the hard one is more difficult. For some reason I struggled a bit with that, but I don’t know if it was down to that set in particular or if the compound itself is more tricky here.”

Sebastian Vettel
FP1 - 6th, FP2 - 3rd

“We didn’t have any issues with the car and, more or less, we got through everything we wanted to do. Still I’m not entirely happy with the car yet. Some of the things we tried were good and others were not so good. Now we have to make sure to have only the best things in the car tomorrow. Then I hope we can do a step forward. This track is a lot about finding the rhythm. About the tyres, I can say that it is only Friday, and not everybody was able to get everything out of both compounds. Anything can happen tomorrow and our main opponents will certainly be very strong, but if we can confirm today’s result, that would be good.”


Nico Rosberg
FP1 - 1st, FP2 - 1st

"It was a difficult start to the weekend with the issue in P1 - but incredible to see the crew get my car back on track before the end of the session. It really was a top job, so a big thanks to them for that. I was then able to attack for a few laps right at the end which was great. In the afternoon it went a bit better - but there were also some little problems here and there and the car felt not quite perfect. It's a very demanding track with lots of different types of corners and there's still a lot work to do for us to find the right set up. In general, though, it's great to see so many people out there already today in the stands. A special 'cheers' to all our factory team-mates who came out today too. We'll push for a strong result for them this weekend, so here's keeping those fingers crossed!"

Lewis Hamilton
FP1 - 2nd, FP2 - 4th

"It's generally been a good day. Not perfect - and we've got some work to do overnight - but the pace is decent. I didn't have the ideal balance on the long runs and I've got a bit of work to do on setup. But otherwise it's all been good. The tyres feel strong - it doesn't take too long to warm them up which is a positive. I've also gone back on clutch setup which feels really good so far - just like it did in the first few races. So, overall, it's looking like a positive start. Saying that, Ferrari look strong again here and they were right there with us today, so it should be a good battle. Hopefully we'll find a bit more tomorrow otherwise we could find ourselves in trouble. I have to say, the fans have been fantastic this weekend already. The level of support is just incredible - and it's only Friday! Fortunately the weather has been good so far and I hope it continues that way for everyone out there cheering us on."

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport 

"That was a pretty tricky couple of sessions today: although the basic performance looked good on the short runs and the long runs, the car was a bit of a handful for Nico and Lewis. There were some crosswinds to cope with, like you get at Silverstone, and the track temperatures were much higher than what has been forecast for the race on Sunday. In terms of the headline times, Nico put in a decent lap in FP2 while it didn't come together for Lewis, so we need to analyse the car carefully to identify the reason for that. Overall, we have a good platform for the weekend, so now we need to make the right decisions and turn that into a strong qualifying performance tomorrow. It was also fantastic to know that so many of our team-mates from Brackley and Brixworth were in the grandstands today, and that made it all the more satisfying to grab the fastest times in both sessions."

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) 

"It wasn't the easiest start to the weekend with a hydraulic problem in Nico's gearbox during the early phases of P1. The crew did an incredible job - changing the gearbox and getting the car back out for a run on fresh tyres within 42 minutes of it returning to the garage, which was a fantastic team effort. Lewis had a more normal programme. P2 took place in much warmer conditions - unusually hot, in fact, for Silverstone. Both cars were struggling a little with balance, so we tried a number of different setup changes looking to find the best direction. We've got plenty of work ahead this evening to get things spot on for the drivers ahead of what looks like being a close battle this weekend."


Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

"These are the hottest track temperatures we have seen at a Silverstone GP weekend during the last five years, and it was that possibility which prompted our decision to bring the hardest tyres in the range to the track. Silverstone is among the top three most demanding circuits we visit all year in terms of lateral energy, so this obviously adds to the workload too.

"The tyres have performed just as we expected them to so far, but it's still not entirely clear whether or not we will be looking at one or two stops for most competitors on Sunday and the weather seems typically changeable, which will have a big effect on track evolution. Wear should not be an issue, but we are expecting some degree of degradation, which should encourage different strategies and also provide more overtaking opportunities."


Felipe Nasr
FP1 - 11th, FP2 - 16th

"As expected, Silverstone is a challenging circuit for us due to its high-speed corners. From the programme side everything went well. In the morning we tested different car set-ups to find a suitable one for this high speed track, while in FP2 we also did high-fuel runs. We seem to struggle a bit on the medium tyres. Now we have to analyse the collected data to understand in which areas we can improve."

Marcus Ericsson
FP2 - 18th

"It's been a productive day. As I did not do FP1, it took me some time to find a good rhythm on this technical track, but towards the end of the session I felt quite comfortable in the car. We still have to work on the set-up side in order to find a more satisfying balance for the car."

Raffaele Marciello
FP1 - 15th

"It was my first time driving a Formula One car here in Silverstone. It was a bit difficult as I had a lot of oversteer, mainly at the entry to the corners. This was limiting me a bit in carrying over the speed. Overall, it was important that we completed our programme. We tested different set-ups on the car and ran aero measurements."


Felipe Massa
FP1 - 10th, FP2 - 10th

"It was not an easy day today as we found it difficult to find the right balance, especially on new tyres and with low fuel. With the high fuel though the car was good, consistent and where we expected it to be. The most important job we need to do now is concentrate on the new tyres for qualifying as our race pace isn't far off where we want it."

Valtteri Bottas
FP2 - 12th

"Missing this first practice means I spent a bit of time at the start of FP2 getting used to the conditions and the track's grip. Looking at the lap times there is a bit of time to find, but we are improving the balance and have some further changes to make which will help. I struggled with the tyre temperatures over one lap so that will be tonight's focus for me."

Susie Wolff
FP1 - 13th

"It was great to be back in the car especially at Silverstone. It's not easy to jump into the car after such a long time, so to be within eight tenths off Felipe isn't, I left a bit on the table but completed my programme. The team did a great job to get me ready and fully prepared so I am grateful to them for that."

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering

"It was a typical Friday at Silverstone. There was a lot of wind today, which made things a little inconsistent, but we completed our job list. We had a lot to do in terms of development and we also has some new parts to test which we will evaluate tonight to ensure they have worked as expected. Susie did a great job this morning and we then had a busy afternoon with Valtteri and have set ourselves up well for the weekend ahead."

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg
FP1 - 9th, FP2 - 8th

“It was a smooth Friday, with no dramas, and overall a pretty positive day. When you get a new package, that’s just what you need and we were able to complete good mileage. We found performance straight away: from the very first run I had a positive feeling and that's an encouraging sign. With new parts on the car, there is always a steep learning curve, so we will need to pore over the data tonight to find some more margins to optimise, but I am really optimistic. The red flag compromised our long runs so we didn't get as much data as we wanted there, but we still got enough to put ourselves in a good position.”

Sergio Perez
FP1 - 12th, FP2 - 13th

“I think we can be happy with what has been a very positive start with the b-spec car. We got good mileage today so there is plenty to analyse and learn, but I feel we have definitely taken a step forward, which is what this team was expecting. It is always a complex task to learn about all the new parts in just a couple of sessions, but by the last run of the session, I was feeling comfortable, and that’s promising for the race. Qualifying will be interesting because there are many directions in which we can go and we'll need to choose the right one.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director

“Today was a crucial day with the arrival of our b-spec car and a lot of new parts to test. We had both mechanical and aerodynamic upgrades, and this was the first chance to evaluate them altogether. We had to contend with a lot of wind out on track, which obviously affects both the running and the data acquisition, but we still managed to gather all the information that our very comprehensive test plan required. We have a big task ahead of us, going through the data and analysing it to maximise what we get out of this new package. Both drivers were positive about the car, which is a good sign, although we also know it will take time to fully optimise things and make the drivers totally comfortable. Overall, the first impression is that the package is a step forward.”


Jolyon Palmer
FP1 - 14th

“I was very happy to drive in front of my home crowd. It was really special to be driving a Formula One car on a nice, sunny day at Silverstone. The session started off well for me, the first run was clean and then we tried something different on the set-up but it didn’t work, so the car was a real handful to drive after that. It was a bit of a mixed day for me and the team but we’ve clearly got potential for better things tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean
FP2 - 14th

“I can’t say I expected to be cleaning my car during the course of the practice session, but when the car came back into the garage I wanted to help my crew to get it ready to return to the track. It wasn’t an easy afternoon on track as we struggled to get the tyres to work the way we would like them to with the different particularities that the circuit presents. We haven’t had time to go over the data yet, but certainly will be working on rectifying what’s been niggling us to get ready for tomorrow’s qualifying session.”

Pastor Maldonado
FP1 - 16th, FP2 - 11th

“It felt very slippery out there today. The car showed good potential; it’s definitely there, but we still need to work on the balance for high speed corners against slower ones, so we can improve on getting the best out of the tyres. The harder compound is challenging for us, as we have seen all season, although the track is improving a lot lap by lap and there is definitely still grip to come.”

Nick Chester, Trackside Operations Director

“Today showed that we need to find a bit more grip from the car. It was a mixed day for us. Pastor had a decent session this afternoon after his car suffered from a clutch issue in the morning; P11, however, is not quite as quick as we would like. Jolyon had a productive morning, so between his morning and Pastor’s afternoon - combined with the good weather conditions - we were able to complete the day’s programme. Romain lost track time with his off in FP2 but was able to get back in the car later in the session and completed some useful running on the medium tyre.”


Will Stevens
FP1 - 19th, FP2 - 19th

"A pretty good start to our home Grand Prix weekend, I think. Our new car developments seem to be working well and there is certainly more to come. The balance feels good, so we’re in a good place to start the weekend and I think we’re in interesting company in terms of the cars around us. The support we have received so far from the home crowd has been incredible, so hopefully we can have a good qualifying tomorrow."

Roberto Merhi
FP1 - 20th, FP2 - 20th

"It has been really good to test the new aero developments that we have for this weekend. I am not quite happy with the car yet and for sure we can continue to improve before qualifying, so we just need to take a good look at the data from today and see how we can achieve this."

John Booth, Team Principal

"I’m pretty happy with our first day of running, with what is a fairly substantial upgrade. Our development parts seem to be working well and have translated to the racetrack with the performance uplift we had hoped for. In particular, Will seems happy with the balance we have arrived at, whereas Roberto is not quite as comfortable yet. I’m confident that with a little more progress in tomorrow’s FP3 session we can get both cars into a good place ready for qualifying."


Fernando Alonso
FP1 - 17th, FP2 - 15th

"Today was more or less as we expected - we did limited running, and just tried to get some quality laps under our belts today. It wasn't very easy for anyone today – we saw a lot of people going off - but that's how it is. Hopefully we can find something extra for tomorrow.

"We'll take things a step at a time: getting into Q2 will be tough - we need to beat the Saubers if we want to get out of Q1 - so we'll do our very best tomorrow and then focus on finishing the race. We're in a difficult situation but we'll try to get the maximum out of the car. We tested a lot of parts today and I'm sure we'll make progress tomorrow."

Jenson Button
FP1 - 18th, FP2 - 17th

"We had very limited running today, not all of which was planned - we had to take a little longer than anticipated to change a few parts - but we made a little step with the set-up at the end of the afternoon. There's still more pace to be found.

"For us, this weekend will be about understanding the package - every time we get out of the car, we make a step with the balance and the set-up. We're not going to be looking for points on Sunday, but this can still be a useful weekend for us. Tonight, I think we'll make some reasonably big set-up changes, and we should be better tomorrow. I'd love to have a good result in front of my home crowd, but that's going to be difficult this year."

Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda racing director

"We knew that Silverstone might be a circuit on which our car could struggle, and today has indicated that we were not wrong in positing that prognostication. Additionally, we encountered a couple of niggling technical issues during today's running, which inhibited our ability to consolidate our set-up direction.

"That being the case, we have a lot of work to do this evening, in an effort to optimise our preparations for FP3 and qualifying tomorrow, and there are clearly areas in which progress can be made. So let's see what tomorrow brings."

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda R&D senior managing officer - chief officer of motorsport

"After today's practice sessions there isn't much to say from Honda's point of view. I'm looking forward to seeing what the aerodynamic updates can bring over the course of the race weekend - today, unfortunately, we didn't get enough track time to fully understand their potential when combined with the power unit. 

"We know that more aero testing will be carried out tomorrow, but this track is flat, slippery and heavily affected by the prevailing wind direction, so we believe it'll be necessary to closely monitor the movements of the MGU-K."