View Full Version : Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes

9th May 2014, 17:50
Sebastian Vettel on his Friday setback and its compromising effect on qualifying; Lewis Hamilton on his fantastic start to the weekend; Daniel Ricciardo on Red Bull's improvement, and the likelihood of catching Mercedes. The drivers and senior team personnel give their feedback after a significant first day in Barcelona...
Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo, P1 - 1:27.973, 3rd; P2 - 1:26.509, 3rd
"It's nice not to have gone backwards during the short break and I think we have shown improvement; we want to close the gap to Mercedes but they don't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down! It's not great that Seb wasn't running, two cars means twice the amount of feedback for the team and you don't learn so much from one when you are trying new parts - but at least we got some good data. The short runs and long runs were both okay today."
Sebastian Vettel, P1 - 1:30.942, 20th; P2 - no time
"We had a simple failure in one of the looms this morning, which caused a short and meant the car stopped. We had to change the chassis loom, which is a big job so I wasn't able to go out this afternoon. It's a small failure, but a big consequence; there was nothing new on that part of the car, it was something new that happened in that area. Luckily it happened today (rather than tomorrow), but unfortunately we lost the chance to prepare for Sunday with two cars, so I have to rely on what Daniel did today and get into the rhythm straight away tomorrow."
Lewis Hamilton, P1 - 1:27.023, 1st; P2 - 1:25.524, 1st
"It's been a great day today and I'm happy to be back in the car after what feels like quite a long break. I can feel the positive step forward that we've made with the car so a big thank you to everyone back at our factories for all of their hard work since China. Our two practice sessions today went very smoothly, in fact I've not had such a good Friday for a very long time! Barcelona is a difficult circuit in terms of the tyres so our running was all about trying to see how long the tyres would last and we were able to make some positive changes with that during P2 this afternoon. It's very difficult to overtake here so we will do everything we can to qualify as high as possible tomorrow, but really it is all about the race and looking after those tyres is the most important thing. Just finally, it's great to see so many fans here today enjoying the action in this beautiful weather."
Nico Rosberg, P1 1:28.168, 5th; P2 - 1:25.973, 2nd
"The team have done a great job during the short break that we have had since China. We have brought some new upgrade parts here to Barcelona this weekend and they are working quite well on the car. It looks like we are very quick again, however personally I didn't feel very comfortable in the car today, especially as I had limited running in P1. We still have a lot of work to do tonight and I will be working closely with my engineers to find my perfect set-up for the weekend."
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
"Barcelona is a milestone in this year's calendar in terms of understanding the relative performance of different teams and we are pretty happy with how this first day went. It was unfortunate that we suffered a problem with the ERS cooling system this morning which cost Nico track time but he recovered well in the afternoon. Lewis had a smoother day and put in a strong performance throughout with a good long run on the option tyre this afternoon - unfortunately, Nico encountered traffic when he was doing the same programme, which made it harder to analyse his pace. Overall, we seem to have a good set-up basis which is important because we know how demanding this race can be for the tyres. Our updates seem to be working well so far and we will keep pushing hard tonight to see where there is more performance to be found for qualifying and the race."
Paddy Lowe, Mercedes team executive director (technical)
"During Nico's first run this morning, we uncovered a problem with his Hybrid system which unfortunately cost him the rest of the session as we resolved it. However Lewis had a good, fault-free session and was able to complete his programme, which gave us a baseline indication of both the car balance and the pace. Both cars ran through the afternoon session without issues. Our lower fuel runs at the start of the session allowed us to focus on the preparation of the tyres for qualifying runs, and we were then able to evaluate the endurance of the option tyre in the longer runs. That work has given us some very good information for Sunday afternoon. Tonight's task is now to analyse the data we have collected today to optimise the car's performance for both qualifying and the race. Overall, it has been an encouraging start to the weekend."
Felipe Massa, P1 - 1:28.791, 10th; P2 - 1:27.824, 8th
"It has been a good day today with all upgrades working and improving performance as we had expected. It's hard to see who we will be fighting with come the race as all the teams have made a step forward. There are still some rear grip issues, it has improved since the start of the season, but we are not there yet. The medium is the best tyre for the weekend as we were struggling for grip on the hard tyre, as is everyone else. It's always good to see upgrades working as they have all done which is once again impressive."
Valtteri Bottas, P2 - 1:28.698, 14th
"We have had a positive day as the upgrades we brought here have worked as expected, but it's hard to say where we are in comparison to other teams. We will see tomorrow. The rear of the car was a bit snappy at the end of Turn 3 and this was made worse by the tailwind, the grip was also hard to handle in this corner. I didn't have all the updates as Felipe was testing them for comparison, so I'm feeling positive knowing my car will be faster tomorrow."
Felipe Nasr, P1 - 1:29.272, 14th
"In the first session we limited our running as the track started off quite green. We have some new parts in the car and so my focus was to analyse how they performed. The car felt good and we found a lot of positives but there is some work still to do on the rear as Barcelona demands a lot of rear downforce. We made some small changes mid-way through the session which resulted in the car becoming harder to drive, which is interesting for me to know how these changes effect the car. Overall it is a positive day for both myself and the team as we obtained a lot of data from the new upgrades."
Rob Smedley, head of vehicle performance
"It was a constructive day as we had a lot of work to do in terms of car set-up and tyre management as well as testing all the new pieces. We completed the tests we had planned and as a result all the parts we brought are working as expected or even better, which is key at a track like Barcelona where everyone is trying to find more downforce. We still have a lot of work to do in order to optimise our car set-up and the long run pace, and so that is the focus for this evening."
Romain Grosjean, P1 - 1:29.944, 17th; P2 - 1:29.493, 17th
"Today was frustrating as we had quite a few small problems which made it difficult for me to get clean runs and set a good time. This also made it difficult to get the set-up of the car where we want it to be. The positive is that we can see there's pace in the car from Pastor's laps. If we can get everything sorted and my car running like it should we could have a good result in qualifying tomorrow."
Pastor Maldonado, P1 - 1:28.744, 8th; P2 - 1:27.866, 9th
"The car felt good today and it feels like we're really making progress. We completed more set-up work and it was great to have a day without any issues. With the programme we were running I didn't set my fastest laps when the track was quickest, so there's more to come from the car as it is, as well as from further set-up improvements. It's great to be running in superb weather conditions and with many Venezuelan fans in the crowd. I have a good feeling about this weekend."
Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
"We had a good start to the day and were able to assess a lot of our new aerodynamic parts, including the floor and front wing, as well as engine mapping upgrades. Pastor was pretty happy with his car straight away, whilst we had a few niggles with Romain's car which we're working on rectifying for tomorrow. We've accumulated plenty of data which means a good chunk of work to be done overnight and hopefully more performance on track for qualifying tomorrow."
More to follow.

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