2010 Italian GP, practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on September 10th, 2010 at 5:52 pmLast Update: September 12th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Sam Michael: “Today was a good day’s work from the team to get through all of our programme, which included checking new aero parts, set-up and evaluating drag level. We had one issue in the morning with a gearbox input shaft failure on Rubens’ car that cost him P1, but he recovered well in P2 to get through the items he wanted to test. On Nico’s car, we ran a solid program all day. Now we’re looking at set-up for tomorrow afternoon and we expect it will be a tight session.”

Dominic Harlow: “We had great conditions in Monza today. It was a very productive day, with Paul and Tonio running in the first session, and Adrian taking over to run alongside Tonio in the afternoon. Obviously we are looking at downforce levels and rear wing set-up for the high-speed nature of the track. Weve been evaluating our Monza aero package, and generally were very pleased with how its gone. Its very close amongst the teams from P4 onwards, and overall we think our race performance looks fairly strong.”

Ross Brawn: “We’ve had a reasonable start today with the car and our specific aero package working pretty much as we had expected. Nico and Michael achieved consistent running throughout the day which enabled us to get through our test programme including work on the F-duct. We have a few issues to resolve overnight but it has been a decent start to the weekend.”

Norbert Haug: “Our lap times in race trim looked not too bad today. Our target is to achieve reasonable grid positions tomorrow with both cars and then have a good and consistent race on Sunday which will hopefully see Nico and Michael in the points again.”

Colin Kolles: “In the morning session, Sakon Yamamoto did some aero testings in order to find the optimal adjustment for the race here in Monza. Later in practice two, he had to stop due to a gearbox failure. Bruno Senna had a problem with the fuel system and we changed some relevant parts between both sessions. Unfortunately, the same problem appeared again in the afternoon and now we have to define it exactly as it was not possible to do because of the short time between the sessions. We are analyzing the data to be prepared for tomorrow.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Coming to a high-speed circuit like Monza without the benefit of pre-race testing really sharpens your game. Today, we spent the day running two significantly different bodywork iterations, trying both high- and low-downforce configurations in an effort to understand their effects – not only on a flying lap but across the course of an entire race. It’s pleasing to report that both packages appear competitive. Our aim now is to comprehensively analyse the data we generated today in order to find the optimum path for each driver over the course of the rest of the weekend. Given the amount of data, and the parity of each package, that’s no easy task – but, as always, I’m entirely confident that our engineering team will make the right decisions, and that we’ll be in the hunt for the remainder of the weekend.”

James Key: “It was a little bit of a tough day with trying to get the most out of the car. The main reason is a lack of consistency. We seem to lack grip, which makes it difficult for the drivers to get the most out of the tyres and the car. We saw this particularly at the end of the second session, where it was difficult to get a decent advantage. So we need to work hard over night and see what we can do. We will definitely make some mechanical changes, and we have to evaluate the downforce level for tomorrow. We always felt this could be a slightly weaker circuit for us than the others. We have to work hard and see that we can improve for tomorrow.”

Mark Herd: “We have experienced a very productive day with good mileage on both cars and no major problems. The unique characteristics of the Monza circuit meant that we had a little more work to do than on a normal Friday, however we completed our full planned programme, together with testing a number of new development parts. Both drivers are fairly happy with the progress we have made on the first day of running and our Cosworth engines ran strongly on a circuit that places a great deal of emphasis on power. We look forward to another positive day tomorrow.”

Jody Egginton: “Excellent job by the guys all day, particularly this morning. We did the installation laps and then decided to make a couple of precautionary changes which meant both crews had to work hard to make sure we could get some track time. They did a great job and turned both cars around, which meant we pretty much completed both Jarno and Heikki’s programmes in the morning. In FP2 we completed a lot of laps, put a lot of kilometres on the tyres and tried a couple of setup changes. We’ve got a lot of data to go through tonight, but we’re pretty satisfied with where we are. There’s obviously a bit of cat and mouse going on between us and our nearest rivals with wing levels and fuel loads, but we think we’re where we should be, and that means it’s been a pretty good day.”

Tony Fernandes: “It’s really good to be back with the team after a few races where I’ve been watching away from the track. We started out with a bit of pressure, having to make some changes early on in the session, but that’s what we’re about – trying something and not being afraid to do so. This afternoon we ran a good number of laps and generated a lot of useful data, and as both drivers were happy with the car it’s been a good day. It’s a good day to come back – sitting on the pitwall it suddenly clicked for me that we’re one year on since we received the letter from Max confirming our entry. We’ve talked about it a lot, but it’s real – we’re now 14 races into the Lotus Racing story, and we’re here to stay.”

Stefano Domenicali: “My heart missed a beat when Felipe ended up in the gravel. It was lucky he did not end up in the barrier, as his car was going pretty quickly at the time. It was a shame, as he was improving his lap time, even if we know that Friday times count for little or nothing. The important thing is that we acquired a substantial amount of data which we will now use to prepare our cars as well as possible. This is an important event for us, both because it is our home race and because we are all aware of the situation in both championships. We will try and do the maximum, for ourselves and for our fans, although we know we are up against stiff opposition.”

Chris Dyer: “We are reasonably pleased with how things went for this first day of the Italian Grand Prix. We had established a very intensive work schedule and we completed the bulk of it, but for Felipe’s last run, when he went off the track. Fortunately, Fernando managed to complete that part of the work with no trouble, so we will be able to use the data he acquired when we tackle the analysis which awaits us this afternoon and evening. We tested various aerodynamic configurations, albeit always using the blown rear wing. Studying the times, we don’t look that bad, but we have to evaluate these results, taking into account the usual unknown factors and keeping in mind that some teams might not have shown all their cards: we will not know the truth until tomorrow afternoon at three o’clock, when qualifying is over.”

Laurent Mekies: “Today, we used the first half hour in the morning on Sebastien’s car as an aero test of our F-duct, doing constant speed runs. It was never our intention to run it for this weekend, but it was useful in terms of gathering data. After that, we came back to the usual programme, with both drivers getting used to the downforce levels at this track, which are the lowest of the year. Sebastien had a useful day, completing his programme, while unfortunately with Jaime, we had to stop him before the end of the second session, because of a mechanical issue on the car. Fortunately, in the morning he did some very useful work on set-up, which will give us enough data tonight to make the best choices for tomorrow and the race. We ran the low exhaust on both cars throughout the day for the first time and we had no issues with this. However, there will be a lot of work to do tonight to ensure the new system can be used on Sunday, because racing is another step. There were no issues with the tyre comparison, because by this point of the season, we have a good understanding of what to expect from the different compounds.”

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