2010 Singapore GP, practice: Driver quotes 

Written by David on September 24th, 2010 at 8:00 pmLast Update: September 24th, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Sebastian Vettel: “The most important thing is to have a clean Friday and we had no problem with the car today. It was tricky in the first practice, as the circuit was still a bit damp from earlier rain, then in P2 it didn’t really dry up and some corners were like a sponge where you couldn’t get rid of the water. I think it could be interesting tomorrow or on Sunday if we get some rain. It doesn’t mean so much to be P1 today, as it’s only practice and there are no points available, but it’s still good to be on top and we have good pace. The weather may bring a surprise though.”

Mark Webber: “A pretty good first day, the first session was wet, but we got some good running this afternoon. I haven’t seen the times that closely yet, but I’m pretty happy with how today went. I need to work on my short run performance a bit, but overall it’s good. We knew nothing would change with our car before we came here; we’ve passed all the new FIA tests and we weren’t coming here expecting to be slower than we were in Budapest. Other people had their ideas how to improve their car and we have continued to improve our car too. Ferrari still look quick and anyone can be on pole tomorrow, us, Ferrari or McLaren, we just keep trying to do our best.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “A positive start to the weekend, especially doing a lot of running on high fuel loads in the second session. We should not read too much into my P5 in the first session, which was complicated by the wet track. In the second session I did my quick lap early on, after which the conditions improved, so I am quite confident with the results of the long run. We know the track will improve tomorrow and now we just have to keep on working to follow that development. There was just one moment, when I touched the wall: I was on the soft tyres which I always find more difficult to drive on, because although they are obviously quicker, they are more complicated to adapt to as the rear end of the car moves a lot more and I just clipped the wall at Turn 19. It’s very hot inside the car and you feel there is not enough oxygen, but I am in much better shape than when I first came here last year.”

Sebastien Buemi: “We started the first session in the wet, which made it more complicated to work through our programme although we were able to gather the data we wanted by running with the F Duct for a few laps. We had no problems on the car today which is another good point. I think the long runs gave us a very good understanding of both types of tyre. I was unable to get the maximum out of the soft tyres on the first two laps, because I made some mistakes, so I am a bit disappointed with my performance in terms of pure lap time, but that’s not so important on a Friday. However, it helps if you get up to speed straight away as it is important to be able to follow the development of the track. All in all a good day, even if we are sweating a lot!”

Jenson Button: “We got some reasonable running during P2, and the car is working quite well. There are still some improvements we need to make, but I feel comfortable with it. We saw today that, after it rains, the track doesn’t dry very quickly, and a lot of water comes up through the circuit. It’s pretty tricky – it’s difficult to see which parts of the track are wet because of the glare. Hopefully, we won’t have any more rain this weekend, because wet conditions aren’t the nicest to drive in. Our long-run pace looks good, but it’s so tough around here on high fuel – we’ve never run this level of fuel around here before. Qualifying tomorrow will be all about finding track space – if you hit traffic, you’ve got to still keep pushing, especially in Q1, when the circuit will be at its busiest.”

Lewis Hamilton: “The track was very tricky today because there were wet patches in some areas, but it was quite a good session for us. We’re reasonably close; we’re competitive; there’s more time for us to find tomorrow; so I’m optimistic. In fact I think we’ll be able to compete with the guys who were at the front today. The Red Bulls definitely aren’t unbeatable here. Okay, they’re very quick in the second and third sectors, so we’ll have to work hard to try to make up time there, but I’m pretty confident we can do it. Finally, I think the changes made to the track have made it worse – and the chicane is now very tricky. You approach it at 170mph – and if something goes wrong, and you hit one of those kerbs, then you could have a nasty accident.”

Robert Kubica: “It was a more difficult Friday than usual because we had a problem with the hydraulics during the second session, when the track was at its best, so I only completed about five clean laps today. That makes it very difficult to say where we stand relative to the competition. The track conditions were changing a lot throughout the day, too, and it was clear to see that the new sections of tarmac took a long time to dry up.”

Vitaly Petrov: “Today was a learning day for me and it was made even more complicated by the fact that the circuit was wet this morning. I worked hard on adapting my style to suit this circuit and the car, and we started looking at the set-up during the second session. It is hard to find a comfortable balance here but if we can continue in the same direction overnight, I don’t think it will be too bad. I made a mistake on my quickest lap so I know there is more performance to come, and my target will be to get into the top ten tomorrow.”

Rubens Barrichello: “We’ve brought some new parts to the car this weekend, and they are working well, so the factory has done a good job. Today has been pretty good but there is work to be done tomorrow both in the car and out of it, but we should be up to the job here. In terms of the track, the surface is now much improved as it is far less bumpy, but the new surface can be quite slippery, especially in conditions like today when the rain was taking a long time to dry.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a positive Friday and the car feels pretty good. We’ve got some new elements to the package and although we didn’t do back-to-back tests today because of the weather, it is pretty clear that they do what they are meant to. And the circuit, well it’s just awesome, there’s no other word for it. After today I am a little far away from Rubens on the timesheets, but actually I am not if I put a good option run together. All told, I reckon we can have a good, strong weekend.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “It was a pretty good Friday practice and I’m pleased with where we ended up. Track conditions like today make it interesting for the drivers, especially on the dry tyres, as it’s slippery and wet in some places, then good grip in others. We’ve found a good direction with the set up today, particularly in the second session, and both of the tyre compounds worked well. The long runs seemed promising so I’ve got to say it’s one of the good Fridays! The track is improving too. The bumps are still there, but they feel less severe, and overall there’s a very positive feeling around the whole place. The heat doesn’t feel so bad this year either so I’m really looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

Jarno Trulli: “We did a good number of laps in the second session, but I had a few problems with the engine driveability and with braking – it’s really difficult to feel the car when you have these kinds of problems, but let’s wait and see what tomorrow brings.”

Fairuz Fauzy: “The wet-dry track conditions meant we limited our running in the first session today, to avoid using up tyres, but when I got out on track it felt good to be back and we managed to get some useful data from the run. I’ll be back in the car in FP1 in Abu Dhabi and hopefully it’ll be dry there so I can get maximum time in the cockpit.”

Adrian Sutil: “The morning session was very good and in both the wet and the dry conditions I felt able to push the car and set good times. In the afternoon it was also feeling very comfortable, but unfortunately I made a small mistake in the chicane and went over the kerb. The car took off and when it came back down it broke some of the front suspension and I had to stop. It’s disappointing as I couldn’t do my soft tyre run at the end. Based on the work we did do though the car feels much better here than last year and I think we can achieve a lot this weekend.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “Today went OK and we got a lot of work done in the afternoon in particular. We didn’t do much running in the first session as we waited until the track dried a bit, but in the later practice we completed our usual tyre preparation and set-up work, which is crucial here due to the special nature of the track. It’s going to be difficult to choose the tyres tomorrow as the soft work well but tail off and then the car balance is affected, but the hard seem to work fine. We have to work a little on the set-up but on the longer runs it felt OK and even on the heavier fuel loads we seem competitive.”

Nico Rosberg: “The second session was good today although we weren’t able to learn so much in the first session. The track improved significantly during the later session so we were able to learn a few things and made some good set-up changes. Our long runs were ok but the main issue was that we didn’t get the grip that I was expecting from the soft tyre so that’s something that we need to look at overnight. All in all, it was a reasonable start to the weekend. ”

Michael Schumacher: “It has been a lot of fun driving this track today, even in the dark. It is the first time driving here in Singapore for me and I was curious to experience how it would be and I have to say that I liked it. I had heard that the track is quite bumpy but I didn’t find that it was too much, just in one sector. The rest is pretty good and exciting. This morning, well actually early evening, when the conditions were mixed, we looked quite good whereas in the later second practice, we seemed to struggle more. Let’s see what we can do here tomorrow.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “Wow – it was really hot in the car here. But I like the track, and turn five especially is a nice and fast corner. The bumps are not too bad and didn’t come as a surprise to me. I found it difficult to reach the limit today because after the rain the correct line was very narrow. I made a few mistakes, but I didn’t hit anything. We managed to improve the set-up a bit between the sessions, but we still have to find a better balance to make the best use of the tyres.”

Nick Heidfeld: “Given it was my first day back in the team and also in the 2010 car I’m very happy. I enjoyed driving a lot. At the beginning it was a bit difficult because the track was wet. I just took it easy and tried to do as many laps as possible. For the second session we changed a few things, but it is clear two sessions are not enough to analyse everything. I see many areas where we can improve the set-up of the car and areas where I can improve in getting the best out of the car. The track itself with regard to the bumps has improved compared to 2009.”

Bruno Senna: “It was a good day for us here at the special event in Singapore. We managed to try a few things on the car and we learnt a lot about the track. In the second practice, we could improve and now we have to get ready for tomorrow.”

Christian Klien: “I am happy to be back racing, which wasn’t easy at the beginning of the first session as I only did 40 laps in this car before. But I felt more and more comfortable in the cockpit and could learn a lot and get more experience. I found a good pace on the prime tyres even if I lost some time on the options compared to my teammate. I am looking forward to tomorrow and I hope to improve again.”

Fernando Alonso: “I braked a bit late at turn 18 and ended up in the escape road: I selected reverse, but when I then selected first gear to get going again, the car stopped. It’s a shame, because I lost the final twenty minutes of the session, the part when I was due to run with a heavy fuel load. In the debrief, the engineers told me the problem was that an experimental part in the gearbox had broken. This can happen on a Friday, when you try a lot of things, some of them even aimed at next season. Our individual sector times don’t seem too bad, in fact you could say they were quite competitive, when compared to our main rivals. We tried the car with and without the blown rear wing and for me, the first option seems to be the best, but we must study the data carefully before taking a definite decision. The hard tyres proved to be consistent and the softs give more grip than expected. This morning, I did not do much running because the track was not dry enough for slick tyres, while the intermediates would have quickly been destroyed.”

Felipe Massa: “We did a lot of laps to try out different configurations on the car, especially comparing performance with and without the blown rear wing. I am not particularly pleased with the balance of the car and that is another reason why we spent a lot of time on track in the first session, even when track conditions were not ideal. Especially on the soft tyres, I had a bit too much oversteer. There is much work to do but I think we can be competitive all the same, even up against Red Bull who seem to be very strong. The track was very slippery when it was still damp, especially the kerbs and the part that was recently resurfaced. The hard tyres take a while to get up to temperature, which is not the case with the soft ones, although these probably suffer a bit more from degradation.”

Timo Glock: “I had quite a good session in Free Practice 1 and some fun in the wet conditions. It was good to see my name at the top of the timesheets for so much of the session. We were quite competitive in the mixed conditions. It was a bit of a shame that we couldn’t go out for the last 10 minutes when the track was getting quicker and quicker. FP2 looked okay too. We had a straightforward programme. The car is a bit nervous at the rear and therefore difficult to drive, but we will find a way to improve it for tomorrow.”

Lucas di Grassi: “It was always going to be a challenge to get up to speed in just the afternoon session, particularly as I haven’t raced here before, but I am pleased with the work we achieved here today. The track was very damp to start with, which made it even harder, and we had a few issues with the balance of the car, so we have some work to do to improve the car for tomorrow.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio: “It is difficult for any driver to adequately describe the feeling of driving an F1 car – the awesome power and enormous braking in particular – but combined with the whole night race experience as well, today has been a very special day for me. The conditions this morning were very tricky so there was a lot to get to grips with and it was always going to take time to get up to speed. When the track did dry out my times started to drop and I was really pleased with where I ended up. It has been a good start for me and I’m looking forward to continually improving during the Friday morning sessions of the next three races. I would like to thank the team for looking after me so well. They are a great bunch of people and I am enjoying being part of Virgin Racing.”

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