2008 Brazilian Grand Prix practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on November 01st, 2008 at 7:38 amLast Update: November 01st, 2008 at 7:38 am

2008 Brazilian Grand PrixDieter Gass: “We can be pleased with today’s two sessions, which were trouble-free from a technical perspective. We smoothly ran through our programme and gained a clear picture over what we will do for the rest of the weekend with the tyres. We still have some work to do on the car balance, especially for Timo, who is struggling mainly with the braking. So that’s something we have to look into overnight to give him a better balance for tomorrow. But overall this is a good start to the weekend and we are looking forward to a strong performance in the final race of the season.”

Mike Gascoyne: “A normal first day with no real mechanical issues on either car. Both drivers were able to run through their programmes of set up and evaluating the tyres. On the longer runs we had a lot of graining on the tyres and understeer, but overall a productive day to set us up for the weekend.”

Steve Clark: “It has been quite cold today, along with intermittent bouts of light rain, so the weather has certainly impacted upon the programme. The level of grip has been variable and the track did not evolve through the day as we would usually expect. The tyres were also graining and this combination of factors means we have to be very careful analysing the changes we have made to the car during the two sessions. The forecast is for hotter conditions on Sunday and that is likely to improve the performance of the tyres.”

Sam Michael: “A fairly standard day for us during which we worked through our scheduled tyre tests and set-up work for the race. There was a bit of light rain in the afternoon session which affected the long runs but only for ten minutes or so. We’ll now spend the evening preparing for tomorrow’s qualifying.”

Ron Dennis: “Today was a slightly tricky day for many of the teams – with graining, particularly of the option tyre, a particular problem with the less-than-optimal track temperatures caused by the inclement weather conditions. In fact, we suspect that some teams may have dropped their fuel loads in an effort to nullify that problem, but we didn’t. Instead we adhered to a disciplined programme, all the while assessing our raceable options. We made steady progress with our understanding of the available downforce levels, tyre choices and brake materials, and we feel confident that the lessons we learned today will pay dividends on Sunday.”

Norbert Haug: “This were certainly not one of the better 2008 Friday’s rankings for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. But I doubt whether today’s order represents Sunday’s competitive situation. We had a conservative approach to the afternoon session to simulate extremes that can take place during the race on Sunday. But of course we still have to optimise both cars. I am confident we can qualify tomorrow in positions that enable us to score the necessary points on Sunday.”

Willy Rampf: “It was a normal first practice day. Although the light rain started at exactly the moment we did the tyre comparison, despite this we collected enough data for us now to be able to analyse. We presume the weather could give us some surprises throughout the whole weekend.”

Pat Symonds: “It was a typical Friday for us. We covered lots of laps and have been able to complete our usual programme, which included set-up work and tyre evaluation. The data looks encouraging, although the general balance of the car is not yet where we would like it to be.”

Denis Chevrier: “We achieved our objective for today, which was to run as much as possible and to complete our technical programme. It’s difficult to understand the pecking order from today’s sessions, but we are satisfied with the work we’ve done and we’re in a good position heading into the qualifying session tomorrow, which will determine the rest of our weekend.”

Stefano Domenicali: “I would say we can be satisfied with the work carried out today. It was important to get off on the right foot on the weekend that will decide the outcome of both world titles. First impressions seem positive, even allowing for the fact that an accurate assessment of the results of Friday practice involves several unknown factors. Furthermore, the weather, with some occasional drizzle, added a additional variable. Now we will concentrate on being as well prepared as possible for the rest of the weekend.”

Luca Baldisserri: “We have started this final round of the season in positive fashion. We got through our programme with both drivers, with no particular problems, which is always important. The F2008 seems to be competitive, both on the first timed lap and over a distance, on both types of tyre that Bridgestone has brought here. The only complication was the rain which, falling intermittently, sometimes complicated our work on track. Now we must prepare scrupulously and with great attention for qualifying and the race. The weather forecast is very uncertain, so we need to be ready to tackle changeable conditions, with all the unknowns that involves.”

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