2010 Japanese GP, practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on October 08th, 2010 at 10:53 amLast Update: October 08th, 2010 at 10:53 am

Laurent Mekies: “It was a trouble-free day for us and we evaluated several different set-up options across both our cars. However, we still have a lot of work to do tonight to try and improve our performance and to get the car as well adapted as possible to the layout of this track. Suzuka presents a real challenge for engineers as well as drivers, which makes it very enjoyable. Life will be further complicated by the fact the forecast is for a wet Qualifying and a dry race, so it seems we are set for a fun weekend!”

Alan Permane: “The track was fine. It’s quite high grip here so there were not too many complaints from the drivers. The wind picked up in the second session, which gave us a little bit of trouble and made the car a bit more difficult to drive, but no real dramas. With the weather looking very wet for tomorrow, the main objective was to have a really good look at the tyres because we don’t expect we will get a chance to do any dry running tomorrow morning. So we spent a bit longer than normal evaluating the tyres in the second session. With Robert’s car we are struggling with a little bit of inconsistency, which I’m sure we can work on overnight. Vitaly was suffering with some understeer this morning, but his engineers made several changes between the two sessions and improved the car a lot. I think Vitaly did a good job. He finished up about half a second away from Robert and we can expect him to close that gap a bit more tomorrow.”

James Key: “It was a standard Friday for us. We had some aero test items in the morning, and rather than doing a lot of set-up work we mainly concentrated on running different parts to make sure we optimise our package from Singapore. In the afternoon we made some set-up changes and ran both tyre compounds. We found we have a small inconsistency in the balance in sector two, which is by far the weakest sector for the car. We have to work on that tonight. We have a lot of data to look at and we’ll analyse this in preparation for tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn: “It’s been an interesting Friday as we have worked to learn as much as possible from the dry track before the expected rain arrives this evening. Michael had a positive day with the car running well to allow him to get used to the track again and develop his set-up. Nico had a few challenges with a gearbox issue interrupting his programme this morning and a few concerns with the balance this afternoon. We have a lot of information to work with so we expect to make progress overnight. It could be an interesting qualifying if the rain comes so we’ll need to be on our toes.”

Norbert Haug: “There is certainly room for further improvements after today’s practice sessions but we have definitely experienced more challenging Fridays this year. Our race pace today looked quite reasonable but of course we are still not good enough to fight at the front of the field. The forecast for tomorrow is predicting rain so the order we saw today may change in different conditions. Michael and Nico did a good job today taking into account the current capabilities of our car and our target is to repeat this level of performance tomorrow and on Sunday.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Lewis’s accident this morning cost us some track time, but we still managed to amass a serious amount of data from both his car, and from Jenson’s more extensive running in both sessions. While the team did a fantastic job to get Lewis’s car turned around in time for the final 10 minutes of second practice, due to a shortage of new components, he was unable to run with an optimal bodywork package, which slightly compromised his final pace. But we are already pushing incredibly hard to rectify that, and I’m confident we’ll have new parts here in time for tomorrow. Nonetheless, we’ve got a solid basis for the rest of the weekend, and we’ll be focusing on extracting the maximum from the new parts for the remainder of the weekend – something we didn’t quite achieve today due to the breadth of analysis required and the shortfall in run-time that we experienced.”

Stefano Domenicali: “We were expecting Red Bull to be very strong and that has proved to be the case, while it is harder to evaluate the McLarens, epecially given what happened this morning with Hamilton. We worked through our programme and now we have to analyse the data and prepare ourselves as well as possible for qualifying and the race. Tomorrow there is a very high chance of rain, therefore anything could happen. We will have to pay great attention to managing all the various situations that could arise. We must remain focussed on our own tasks, without worrying about what the others are doing.”

Chris Dyer: “It was a reasonably positive day, during which we completed our programme, without encountering any particular problems. We tested a few new aerodynamic components and the first signs seem favourable. There is still work to do to get the car performance right, especially on new tyres. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that setting a time right from the very first lap might be less important given that tomorrow it is supposed to rain for qualifying: if that happens we can definitely expect an exciting day! With a heavy fuel load, the car’s handling seems quite competitive, which is definitely a positive factor in terms of Sunday’s race.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Today was the first day of running for us since the very sad news of Peter Warr’s passing. This weekend we want to pay tribute to Peter who contributed so much to the Team Lotus legend. He paid us the privilege of being our guest at the first race this season in Bahrain and our thoughts will be with his family for the whole weekend. On the track it was a good day for us. We had a solid session with both cars, running a normal Friday programme and we had decent pace and no reliability issues at all. We managed to complete as many laps as possible as obviously the forecast tomorrow is for a lot of rain, so this will be the only dry running we will have all weekend.”

Riad Asmat: “I’d like to add my thoughts, and those of the whole team, to Peter Warr’s family on the sad news we received as we arrived in Japan. He was an inspiration to all of us, and long may his memory remain. We’re all pleased with the day’s work – it was good to see both cars complete a lot of mileage and maintain our position ahead of both other new teams, and it was also good to turn our attention back to the track after a very busy couple of weeks for the whole team. We have a huge amount of support around the world, particularly in Malaysia, across Asia and in the UK, and we have had some amazing feedback to the news that we will be running Red Bull gearboxes and hydraulics next year – we’ll continue to do our best in 2010 to make all our fans and partners proud, and I think today we did just that.”

Colin Kolles: “It was an effective day for us, as we could do 121 laps in total and we could fulfill our program completely. So we were able get a lot of information in preparation for Sunday. In the morning, the track was green but it improved in the afternoon when it got quicker. Both drivers, Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna, got more experience on this technical track and now we have to see what happens tomorrow, when the track is expected to be wet.”

Dominic Harlow: “A good day’s work from the team today. We evaluated some of the aerodynamic upgrades that we have brought to this event and carried out our normal Friday preparation. The Bridgestone tyres are working very well, and we are going in the right direction for the balance of the car. The wind picked up a bit this afternoon, affecting the first sector, and Tonio suffered a systems problem on his new tyre outing so we know there a little more to come. Tomorrow is a different day, but it’s been a solid start to the weekend.”

John Booth: “Once again Jerome did a very solid, professional job in the first session and was able to give us some useful information on set-up. We have had to work hard on car set-up today but we seem to be going in the right direction. Unfortunately, neither driver was able to get the ultimate performance from the Option tyre. We’re expecting heavy rain tomorrow, which hopefully will provide a good opportunity for us to qualify further up the grid.”

Sam Michael: “We experienced some technical problems today which threw us off plan slightly. We had electrical issues on Nico’s car, while Rubens’ practice engine developed a pneumatic leak towards the end of P2. All of the upgrade parts are working well though so they will remain on the cars for qualifying. The car also looks like it has reasonable pace. The forecast predicts rain tomorrow afternoon, which could make for an interesting qualifying.”

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