2008 Belgian Grand Prix, practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on September 05th, 2008 at 11:22 pmLast Update: September 05th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

2008 Belgian Grand Prix, SPAWilly Rampf: “Because of the changing track conditions, it’s very difficult to draw the right conclusions from the set-up changes we made during the two sessions today. We were not able to complete our programme as planned, and this was specially the case for the tyre comparisons. The set-up decisions for tomorrow will now be based on data analysis and simulation. According to the latest weather forecast it should be dry tomorrow morning, which would give us the chance to complete our work in the third free practice.”

Sam Michael: “It was a pretty difficult day with weather causing variable conditions for everyone today, especially in the afternoon. We had to alter our P2 programme quite a bit, but we still managed to generate some data and set-up information for the car and tonight we will use that work towards the best set-up for qualifying. We experienced no mechanical problems today.”

Ron Dennis: “The changeability of the weather, both this morning and this afternoon, influenced our decision to concentrate on race set-up and tyre selection procedures. The result was a smooth and uneventful pair of practice sessions for us today. We’re now looking forward to what we believe will be improving weather conditions throughout the remainder of the weekend.”

Luca Baldisserri: “Kimi’s off track excursion meant we were unable to complete the full programme we had planned for him. His car was too damaged to be repaired within the time available. Even with the hiccoughs caused by the coming and going of the rain, for his part, Felipe was able to complete what we planned for him, picking up some very useful information. Allowing for the fact that track conditions were difficult to understand during these three hours and that temperatures were decidedly on the low side, I think we can be competitive.”

Pat Symonds: “We always expect some of our sessions in Spa to be disrupted by the weather and today was no exception. We tried to change our plans in real time during the session to maximize what we could learn, but, as always, there are still questions to be answered. Overall, though, we’ve had a successful day.”

Norbert Haug: “Typical Spa – a partly wet and partly dry practice. Nevertheless we learned a lot and found a good basis. Today’s times don’t mean a lot, but I think we should be in good shape.”

Dieter Gass: “The red flag and the weather conditions had a big effect on our programme today. The day was completely disrupted and on top of that we had an electrical problem with Jarno’s car. Thankfully we were able to find it and fix it for the second session and we had no further issues. But with the rain drops coming and going the track was changing a lot from one run to another. That made it very difficult to learn much about the car, but it is the same for everyone. It seemed like we were back to winter testing conditions today because I don’t think we have seen track temperatures like that since the winter. With the hard compound Bridgestone Potenza tyre this means that warm-up is definitely an issue. Still, we are fairly happy and looking forward to a successful weekend.”

Mike Gascoyne: “A mixed day today, for both the conditions and the drivers. Unfortunately Giancarlo’s day was spoilt when he had a spin on the water that came out of the tyres following Raikkonen’s accident. Other than that he had had a reasonable day, evaluating the tyres and working towards a set up for the weekend. Adrian was however able to complete most of his programme, although with the slippery conditions it was difficult to get a good balance. Overall though I think we have continued the momentum from Valencia and the VJM01 looks to be performing well. We hope to have a good weekend.”

Denis Chevrier: “The conditions were very changeable and nobody was able to complete their technical programme as normal. However, we have been able to check some small things and will aim to find the rest of our answers tomorrow. So the day has been less busy than expected, but we remain positive for the rest of the weekend.”

Steve Clark: “The biggest issue with our car here is that we are struggling to get temperature into the tyres with both compounds. It is not unusual for our temperatures to be low compared to others and these cool and damp conditions mean that you lose a lot of grip. We appear to be more competitive in the high downforce sections of the track suggesting that we have a little too much wing. Tyre temperature is always a challenge at Spa, however we made a positive step with Rubens at the end of the second session so there was some improvement. If the track improves over the weekend, this will certainly help. If this is the case, we expect to find increased grip and a step forward in performance as a result. We will also be looking at our aero performance closely for the rest of the weekend.”

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