2010 Belgian GP, practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on August 27th, 2010 at 6:23 pmLast Update: August 27th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Martin Whitmarsh: “The weather made things interesting, if challenging, today. Both our drivers were forced to conserve wet tyres in the expectation of needing them later in the weekend, which limited our running. However, they were satisfied with the balance of their cars – although in these conditions it’s almost impossible to establish competitiveness relative to rivals. So, overall, I guess I’ll just say that we’re pleased to end the day with two undamaged cars.”

Alan Permane: “This is the first time that we have brought our F-duct to the track, so we spent the morning learning about it in the wet conditions, completing lots of single-lap runs to gather data. It appears to be working very well, but we will need to go through the data thoroughly tonight, and check the installation on the car to be sure everything is functioning as expected. It’s always difficult to judge performance on Friday because you don’t know the fuel loads that other teams are running. Robert seems happy with the car, although he is still suffering from a little understeer. Vitaly is running exactly the same system as Robert, but he was less happy with the balance and complained of more understeer. We still have some work to do get the car balance to his liking. In terms of the weather, it’s been a pretty normal day at Spa. The conditions for the rest of the weekend look unsettled: on Saturday, there’s a chance of rain in the morning, and a higher probability in the afternoon; and it’s the same for Sunday. As usual, we’re expecting a mixture of everything for the rest of the weekend. We ran both types of tyre this afternoon and didn’t encounter any difficulties with either compound. Although we didn’t do a great deal of running, I don’t think cool conditions would pose a problem.”

Sam Michael: “With wet running in both of today’s practice sessions, we had to re-prioritise the test items we had on our list, but the rain would have affected all of the teams today. This is Spa as well, so we’re used to it here. There’s a reasonable chance that the remainder of the weekend will be wet, so we were also saving tyres throughout the day. We are now working on strategy and our ideal qualifying and race set-up.”

Laurent Mekies: “A typical day at Spa in terms of the weather. In the morning we had a gearbox issue with Sebastien’s car, but luckily, as conditions were very bad, we did not lose so much track time. In the morning, we only used the extreme rain tyres and then in the afternoon, we got the chance to run the intermediates and both types of dry tyre. So altogether it was quite a good day in terms of collecting a useful amount of data. The forecast for the rest of the weekend is predicting more mixed conditions and wet weather would definitely suit us best for the race, so that is what we are hoping for.”

James Key: “It was obviously a very eventful day with extremely changeable weather conditions. However, it was useful with the two different sessions we had because it allowed both drivers and the team to evaluate the tyres in all conditions. We could also test different set-ups and wing settings. I think both drivers did a good job in the circumstances, as did the team. We had to change the car quite a bit to match the changing situations. It looks okay, but it’s extremely difficult to judge where everyone is, because the conditions were never consistent. Therefore we need to be cautious not to make too many judgements from today’s classification. However, we can be happy with what we have done so far. We made quite good progress. It’s now a case of sitting down and analysing the data to make the right decisions for tomorrow.”

Dominic Harlow: “Two wet sessions today, and a busy test programme for the team. The morning conditions permitted only running on the wet tyre, as we compared different car configurations with Adrian and Tonio. The car was quite well balanced in the wet, but we occasionally did suffer from a bit of understeer. During the afternoon the circuit became dry enough for us to use prime and option tyres, but it wasn’t really an evaluation because of the evolving circuit, yet all the same it allowed us to collect more data on the blown diffuser that seems to be working as we expected. However we will be investigating the F-duct performance on Tonio’s car this evening as there is a top speed differential between the two cars. Overall our performance seems reasonable and if we follow the conditions sensibly should be able to achieve our twin objectives of Q3 and scoring more points this weekend.”

Colin Kolles: “It was a useful day for our team with the typical weather here in Spa under difficult conditions. We could run many laps and both drivers got a lot of track time. This was very important, as it prepared us for racing on the wet track, but also when it is drying up. Sakon Yamamoto stopped his car at the end of the second practice because of an alarm message displayed on his dash board and to avoid further damage. We got a lot of experience today and we will see, what awaits for us tomorrow.”

Dieter Gass: “It was a difficult day today with the mixed and changing conditions. This morning’s run was pretty much meaningless, because of the weather, but at least it was better in the afternoon. We got a bit of dry running in in FP2 which gave us a chance to look at the tyres, but with the continuously changing conditions it was difficult to work on the set up. We’ll look at the data now and make a call on the set ups, downforce levels and ratios that we are going to run tomorrow, so I think we’ve got quite a bit of work to do this evening. Whatever happens, I’m confident we can maintain our position ahead of the new teams if the conditions stay stable. In the mixed conditions anything can happen, and you need a bit of luck to keep up the momentum, so let’s see what happens.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Obviously the weather today made it an interesting first day for everyone. The first session was very wet and we just ran on the full wets. In the second session we switched to the inters and then managed to run both sets of dry tyres, but the changing conditions make any meaningful work or comparisons very difficult. But I’m reasonably happy with where we are and look forward to some dry weather over the weekend.”

Ross Brawn: “It was a very challenging day but then these types of changeable conditions may provide the opportunities that we can take advantage of this weekend. Nico’s day was hindered by a few car issues which will be resolved by tomorrow whilst Michael was slightly happier with his progress.”

Norbert Haug: “A difficult first day for everybody with changing weather conditions which we all are familiar with at Spa and which seem to belong to this circuit like Eau Rouge and La Source. It seems that our upgrades can improve the car but we need tomorrow’s practice session to get more running with the parts. The weather forecast is predicting rain which doesn’t help when our target is to put new parts on the cars. However even in these tricky conditions we can continue to learn and make progress.”

Chris Dyer: “It was quite a complicated day because the weather evolved continuously. On top of that came the red flag in the final part, which considerably reduced the amount of time we could run in the dry. Both drivers were reasonably pleased with the handling of the F10 in the differing conditions encountered today, which is definitely positive. We had various new components to test, but clearly with track conditions changing all the time it is harder to make a correct assessment: we will have to study the available data carefully in order to draw the right conclusions. The forecast is predicting the chance of rain for both qualifying and the race: we will have to think calmly about whether to go for a set-up that veers more towards a wet track or if it is better to opt for a more dry oriented configuration.”

Stefano Domenicali: “Given the way things went in both sessions it is really difficult to give a correct evaluation of the situation. That is the main reason that one must be very cautious in terms of drawing any conclusions from the two sessions. From the little that was possible to understand, there are some teams that seem more competitive than previously, which could create some surprises in the first five rows of the grid. We tried to work through all our planned programme, which included evaluating some new aerodynamic components. Looking to the rest of the weekend, we can say that, as ever at this track, uncertainty over the weather could play a significant role. Finally, I take this opportunity to add, on behalf of the entire Scuderia, our congratulations to those of President Montezemolo, to our former driver, Rubens Barrichello on the occasion of his 300th Grand Prix participation, which is a truly significant and important milestone.”

Nick Wirth: “An interesting day in some interesting conditions! The morning was quite productive with both drivers trying some different setup solutions for the wet conditions. Timo’s afternoon started in a promising way but his crash early in the session will require a change of monocoque tonight as there is some damage that can’t be repaired at the circuit. Lucas had a more productive afternoon, and chose to run his option tyres earlier in mixed conditions and the primes at the end, in contrast to most of the others. The drivers are feeling quite confident so we should be ready for round two with the Spa weather tomorrow!”

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