2008 Chinese Grand Prix practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on October 17th, 2008 at 12:15 pmLast Update: October 17th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

2008 Chinese Grand PrixWilly Rampf: “So far it is hard to make a judgement on the performance here in Shanghai. Up to now we haven’t found the perfect balance for both cars. With regard to the car’s set-up, it is difficult to find a good compromise between both tyre compounds. We did a complete race distance with both cars today and gained a lot of valuable data, which we shall now evaluate. We had no technical problems.”

Stefano Domenicali: “I realise this might sound boring, but today was a usual Friday. Generally, it was quite good: we got through a lot of work without any problems whatsoever, which is important. It’s difficult to say what the real pecking order is as the times are very close and we don’t know how much fuel the drivers had on their various runs. We expected to be competitive at this track and I think we will be, as indeed will be our closest competitors. We have a very simple objective for this weekend which is to put the two red cars in front of everyone else. It will be difficult, it will require us to do everything perfectly and we will do our utmost to achieve that.”

Dieter Gass: “Overall I’m really happy with the day. It was a very similar Friday to what we had last weekend in Fuji where we were performing well. Again, we did some basic work on both cars in P1 which set us up well for P2 and the rest of the weekend. The track evolved but not as much as usual here in Shanghai and we were able to gather a lot of information on the tyres. We had no major problems and we’re obviously in good shape on car performance. Timo was struggling a bit more than Jarno with an inconsistent balance but we are confident that we can improve his situation for tomorrow. Now we can look strongly to the weekend and try to improve on what we saw in the race in Fuji.”

Pat Symonds: “We ran our usual Friday program today. Nelson quickly got on top of learning the circuit and did some useful testing work. Our evaluation of the tyres shows them to be very similar, but the balance of the car is not yet where we want it to be.”

Norbert Haug: “A good start for Lewis this weekend. The comparison between prime and option tyres worked well and the team saw encouraging results. Lewis’s lap times were not only good but also consistent on both compounds. Heikki is still not totally happy with his car – something his lap times reflect – but I am sure he and his engineers will be much better off after going through the data this evening. These were two good Friday sessions with lots of laps for us, however things can quickly change and look different tomorrow; we certainly do not feel like having the job for the weekend already done.”

Denis Chevrier: “We completed more than 300 kilometres between our two cars, which is a good effort and we are happy with that. Like Fuji, Shanghai is a circuit that we know and where we already have lots of data, but we still had lots of parameters to examine and so we completed a busy programme with both drivers. Everything went well and we now have lots of information to analyse this evening, so it has been an encouraging first day of practice, not only because of our positions in the sessions.”

Steve Clark: “This morning we conducted our usual tyre and set-up evaluations and did some good work with downforce levels. This afternoon it has been difficult to find a balance with the car and we were graining the tyres early on, so we weren’t getting the first lap performance. We don’t believe our performance is quite as bad as the timesheet suggests, as we were doing sensible race preparation as opposed to qualifying runs. Nonetheless, we are still expecting this to be a tough weekend for us.”

Mike Gascoyne: “A normal first day of running, with no real mechanical problems on either car. We are struggling with a lack of grip and getting the temperature into the tyres, but all in all we got through our programme and things look good for the weekend.”

Luca Baldisserri: “A Friday just like any other: the only difference worthy of note was the wind which changed in direction and intensity, thus making our track work a bit tricky at times. As for the rest, we got through everything on our programme, which means finding the best set-up on the two F2008s and the comparison, both over a single lap and over a distance, of the two types of tyre we have at this Grand Prix. We definitely face a day of hard work to be as well prepared as possible for the rest of the weekend.”

Ron Dennis: “A promising start to our weekend in China. As usual, we spent both sessions focusing on our race set-up, sacrificing ultimate single-lap speed in the pursuit of good balance and tyre-wear over a long run. Both Lewis and Heikki reported that they were happy with their cars and, while it is still difficult to tell at this early stage, we feel happy with our pace relative to the opposition.”

Rod Nelson: “We ran through a normal Friday programme, with the morning focused on finding the balance on the car, while in the afternoon we did the tyre test, running the prime against the option, as well as some longer runs for race preparation. The circuit was fairly dusty off-line, which caught a few people out at turns 11 & 12, but we managed to avoid any problems. The cars ran reliably and as usual from here will look at the data in preparation for tomorrow.”

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