2008 Japanese Grand Prix practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on October 10th, 2008 at 3:36 pmLast Update: October 10th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Marina BayMike Gascoyne: “A useful first  day of running for us as we worked through our normal  programme. We had no real problems on either cars as we  evaluated the tyres options available here, and all in all  we look to be a lot more competitive than we were in  Singapore. We seem to be back on the pace that we showed  in previous races, which bodes well for the rest of the  weekend.”

Sam Michael: “We had a productive day  of practice today during which we went through the typical  set-up changes for a Friday and worked through the usual  programme of tyre compares between the prime and options  under race conditions. We’ll now work on qualifying set-up  overnight ahead of qualifying tomorrow. No reliability  problems at all.”

Willy Rampf: “That was a full Friday.  The track was in a good condition right from the beginning  so we were able to start our set-up work early on. As  usual, we concentrated on set-up and tyre comparison. The  long-runs were satisfying. At the end of the second  session Nick had a hydraulic alarm, so we are now  investigating the reason for this.”

Dieter Gass: “It’s always  nice to have everybody behind us on the timesheets -  especially considering the fact that we did our best time  early in the afternoon session when the circuit was still  not at its best. Apart from that we had a very productive  day. We had a lot of new parts on the car which we tried  successfully in both practice sessions and we collected  some interesting results from that. So where we are today  is a very good baseline to look forward to the rest of the  weekend. Needless to say we will be working as hard as  ever to come away with a good result in front of our home  crowd.”

Steve Clark: “Our focus  for today was an evaluation of downforce levels and set-up  with the RA108 in addition to gathering information on the  tyres. We have had two productive sessions to prepare for  the race, although our position on the timesheets does not  necessarily reflect the level of good work that we have  achieved. The weather forecast is for rain overnight so we expect  to tomorrow morning’s final practice session will take  place on a damp or wet track. It should then remain dry  for the rest of the weekend. Whilst tomorrow will provide  a clearer indication of our performance level, we are  fully aware that our car is not well suited to this  circuit and our focus will be on achieving the maximum  from the package that we have.”

Pat Symonds: “With  limited running last year in dry conditions, we really  approached today as if Fuji was a brand new circuit. Our  main focus as always was to sort out the tyres and we feel  happy with the result, our balance is reasonable, and all  in all it was a good day for us.”

Denis Chevrier: “Today we  worked on the usual things that we look at on the Friday  of a Grand Prix weekend: tyres, the behaviour of the car  with different fuel loads, gear ratios, and cooling. The  day went smoothly without any major issues and we made the  most of the good track conditions. It’s still difficult to  judge the hierarchy after the first couple of sessions,  but today’s results suggest we can have reasonable hopes  for the rest of the weekend.”

Ron Dennis: “Today we conducted two trouble-free sessions,  encountering no problems with either of our cars: a normal  day at the office, you could say. Having said that,  whomever I talk to in our team, I notice the same thing:  we’re more together, more focused, more committed and more  motivated than ever before. There’s a tremendous feeling  of comradeship – in our garage and in our hospitality  units here at Fuji, and of course back in Woking, in  Brixworth and in Stuttgart. And that comradeship, that  will to win, will persist throughout this race weekend and  throughout the final two weekends of the season, too.”

Norbert Haug: “That didn’t look bad, and we are quite  satisfied with the outcome of today’s practice. Our long  runs in race trim were fast and consistent, with both the  option and the prime tyres. It’s all looking positive;  however, we don’t yet know what the opposition has in  store for us. Only one fact seems to be sure: the weather  will be better than it was last year.”

Luca Baldisserri: “After the unusual setting of Singapore,  we return to the usual Friday menu, looking for the best  set up on the car and comparing the tyres. We were out on  track a lot getting through so many laps that we now have  a lot of data to analyse to get the cars as well prepared  as possible for qualifying and the race. We must pay particular attention to the performance of  the two types of Bridgestone tyre, which today split the  opinion between our two drivers. From the time sheets, we  can see that the performance is very close between them,  even if, when looking at the results, we have to always  take into account the unknown relating to the amount of  fuel on board. Overall, a reasonably positive day.”

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