2010 Chinese GP, practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on April 16th, 2010 at 1:50 pmLast Update: April 16th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Giorgio Ascanelli: “Sebastien’s accident this morning was down to a technical problem on the right hand upright, which proved simple to identify once we got the car back. We have resolved the problem, which the many laps completed by Jaime this afternoon confirms. Sebastien’s FP1 session was interrupted shortly after the start because of a fluid leak around the pedal area, which we discovered after his installation lap. Apart from the upright, the afternoon accident caused some damage to the gearbox and a combination of fixing this problem and changing the front end meant that, despite the best efforts of the mechanics, we could not get Seb out before the end of the day. Fortunately, Jaime did a lot of laps in a trouble free session, after we had stopped him as a precaution towards the end of FP1, until we had identified the problem on his team-mate’s car. For his debut on this circuit, Jaime did quite a good job today.”

Mike Gascoyne: “It was a satisfying day today and we achieved everything we wanted to on both cars, despite the fact grip levels were very low in the first session and both Jarno and Heikki were struggling slightly with rear grip. Jarno lost a front strake on his first run of the day and we replaced that quickly for his second run. Over lunch we changed the gear ratios on both cars and sent them out for the beginning of the afternoon session on hard tyres. Heikki pulled over after 30 laps as he had a low oil pressure warning and he stopped the car, but it’s not a problem and we’re looking forward to getting out again tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn: “Generally a positive day and initial evaluations are that we have made some progress with the car. As we know the two tyres well now, we focused more on the mechanical and aerodynamic set-up of the car today. We are not quite there with the balance over the entire lap but Nico and Michael achieved some respectable lap times. We are improving step-by-step but there is a long way to go and we won’t be happy until we can consistently compete with the cars ahead.”

James Key: “It was good to see the team operating for the first time with the cars and drivers on the track. I think fundamentally we made some progress today. We tried a couple of small new directions on the car, some of which gave us data for the future, some of which we are using now. So I think we found some time today with the changes we made. We’ve got a little bit of work left with the rear wing for the remainder of the weekend. And also some work to do with the tyres in order to fully understand how to get the most out of them, because clearly the warm up was difficult today for both tyres. We will work through the data tonight and see what we need to do for tomorrow.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “A successful day for Jenson and Lewis – they were both happy with the balance and performance of their cars. We’re aware that some of the other teams have yet to show their true pace, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to maintain the positive progress we’ve been making over the past few races. Our aim for this weekend is further to improve our performance in qualifying and also to enjoy a trouble-free race in order to pick up the maximum possible points – in that respect, we feel we’ve got off to a perfect start.”

Dominic Harlow: “Sunny but still quite cold today. The early track grip has been low, and the tyres a little difficult to warm-up, that’s all as expected really. We have a reasonable balance, but need to work hard to get the grip. With Paul driving Tonio’s car in FP1, we ran our usual combination of tyre evaluation and set-up programmes between the three drivers, and apart from a couple of small issues in FP2 and the bigger bumps this year, it was a reasonably smooth day.”

Nick Wirth: “We’ve had a positive but eventful day today. Shanghai is the first circuit we’ve come to where we’ve had less than perfect track data for our simulators and along with some of the other teams we were caught out by the huge bump going into turn 1. We had been a bit brave on our initial front ride height, which resulted in Timo’s front wing hitting the ground hard, necessitating a wing change. However, once we’d allowed for this bump in the set-up, the rest of the day was trouble-free, and our improving reliability allowed us to try a range of tests that we haven’t previously been able to do. The circuit is extremely bumpy and we’ve explored different ways to cope with this using the tools on the car that we have available right now. Tonight we have a lot of data that we can analyse, and I’m sure we’ll make more progress tomorrow.”

Stefano Domenicali: “Today, we had various new components on the car, including a new type of rear wing and other aerodynamic parts, which required a specific work schedule. Clearly we could have done without the problem we had with Fernando’s engine but, overall, this did not lead to any specific consequences, apart from time lost in this morning’s first session, as our management programme relating to available engine use remains substantially unchanged. We are reasonably happy with the work we did and now we will concentrate on analysing the date and on preparing the cars for qualifying and the race. While it is always difficult to evaluate the pecking order based on what happens in free practice, we are not expecting a very different picture to the one we have seen in the first three races of the season: in other words, everyone is very closely matched, meaning the grid positions could be decided by the smallest detail.”

Chris Dyer: “We had a very busy programme for today and we can say we got through it in a positive way. We have a new aero package for this race, which needed validating on track and then we had some parts relating to a new concept for the rear wing, which we wanted to check out before moving on to develop it for forthcoming races. We are pleased with the data we gathered and with the way the new aerodynamic package is working. In the afternoon, we looked mainly at the comparison between the two types of tyre Bridgestone has brought for this Grand Prix. In the morning, we had a problem with Fernando’s engine, which had little consequence, apart from bringing forward by one session the previously planned engine change.”

Colin Kolles: “Both Karun and Bruno have put as many miles as we could on the car. With their engineers, they covered the testing program and drove good laps. We used the second session to test a number of final details in order to improve the car’s performance. The practice sessions were positive for the team in view of the qualifying session. We need to continue to improve the car. But I am pleased to see the team pushing so hard even if it is a steep learning curve.”

Alan Permane: “The track was very low grip today and a bit dusty, but conditions slowly got better during the day. Having said that, even at the end of the day we felt the circuit was still lacking grip, but the situation should continue to improve up to and through qualifying. We have the same specification of tyres here as at the last two races (the hard and soft compounds). Both compounds are performing reasonably well, although the hard tyre takes a little bit longer to warm up. The soft tyre seems a little bit quicker and will probably be the preference for qualifying. We had some issues in the first session with Robert when he had some oversteer and the car was lacking grip, but we made a change between the two sessions and he was happier with the car in the afternoon. He was particularly pleased with the balance during his longer, high-fuel run in the afternoon. Vitaly suffered from some understeer but the car was generally quite well balanced. He had an encouraging and trouble-free day, completing lots of laps and posting competitive times.”

Adam Parr: “We had a very full programme today, working through the normal set-up routine and testing some development parts. We’ve made good progress.”

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