2010 Spanish GP, practice: Driver quotes 

Written by David on May 07th, 2010 at 6:37 pmLast Update: May 07th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Jarno Trulli: “First day back in the car in Europe and I’m really happy with how we have progressed with the car. Obviously it’s still too early to assess it properly, but as soon as I got out on track I could feel that we had taken a major step forward. We have solved a number of the issues we had and we’re definitely in the right direction, so I’m really pleased for everyone in the team as they’ve put in a great effort to get us here. This afternoon we continued with the program and everything went really smoothly, on both the hard and the soft tyres. I must admit that I’ve been really pleased with the speed gain we’ve seen in the car and, again, that’s down to the work the team have put in with the car – all I need now is a little bit of luck, and a trouble free weekend!”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I’ve been really looking forward to being back in Europe and particularly here in Barcelona. It’s been great to see the grandstands already busy, and I’ve seen a load of Finnish flags out there. On track, this morning was a really good session and I’m very encouraged by the updates – they’re immediately working like we’d hoped. The car feels better to drive, the high-speed stability especially is better, and that’s what you get when the aerodynamics of the car improve. In the afternoon session it again went pretty well. There’s a couple of things we need to have a look at, but it felt good on both tyres and I think the upgrades have worked so we can be very happy about where we are.”

Sebastian Vettel: “We’ve got a few changes on our car, but I don’t think anything as significant perhaps some of the other teams have. There’s a little bit everywhere on ours and I think we’ve proved today that our changes work. I think the lap times are irrelevant from a Friday. It’s good to be fast, but I think the McLarens are quick here – I don’t think they were pushing hard this afternoon and I think it will be much closer tomorrow.”

Mark Webber: “That was a good day for us – we had a smooth run, a nice P1 and P2 with no interruption from the weather or things like that. The guys worked faultlessly in the garage, the driver did a little bit as well and it was a good day. Don’t read too much into the times; McLaren probably weren’t showing everything today. It was a very late night for the team last night, but a positive day today and hopefully we’re well prepared for tomorrow.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “I had a good second session today. The mechanics did a great job and we recovered from the gear box problem we had this morning. In the afternoon we went through our programme. It was only one session but still enough to confirm the wind tunnel results. We took a step forward with the new aero package and the F-Duct. It is all going in the right direction now.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “Overall I’m quite happy. We had no troubles with my car today and I could see it improving over the course of the day. We have definitely found a new way to work over the last three weeks. Obviously we have to work on the set-up, but there is no big issue, nothing we can’t solve.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It was quite windy today, so, despite running right through our programme, we struggled a little bit, particularly at the end when we changed to the Option tyre and encountered a bit of traffic. The new parts have definitely given us a step forward, but we don’t yet know how big that step is compared to our rivals. Generally, however, the car doesn’t feel too bad. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make some further set-up changes overnight, too. Tomorrow we’ll just be focusing on our programme, pushing the envelope, and analysing everything we can to make sure we’re as competitive as we can possibly be.”

Jenson Button: “I think we’ve still got a little bit of work to do, to be honest. I didn’t get as much running done this morning as I would have liked because I hit something coming out of the pits – probably a small part of a car, which damaged one of my car’s bargeboards. This afternoon we embarked on some set-up changes that we thought were headed in the right direction, but I’m not sure if they were. So there’s a lot of work still to be done on both tyres – some of it is possibly set-up, and some of it is getting the tyres in their correct working range. This afternoon was a very tricky session. A few teams were already getting their cars to work well, so we should be able to get there too. But there’s a lot to be done this evening to figure out exactly why our car didn’t feel as we expected it to. I don’t think it’s an issue of the new components working or not, I think it’s more about not turning the tyres on properly, or not working them in the correct way. We’ve got a lot of data to go through, but I’m certain we can make some improvements and come back with a stronger car for tomorrow.”

Sebastien Buemi: “We ran trouble-free all day, with no issues on the car, which meant I was able to complete a lot of laps which is a positive start to the weekend. However, I am not completely happy in terms of performance, as we seem to be a bit further back than where we were at the last race in China. We need to understand why, but on the plus side, we now have plenty of data to study from today’s runs in both high and lower fuel configuration. The tyre comparison seemed straightforward with the Option being faster of course, although the situation was not quite so clear over the long run.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “The day went quite well, but there is more potential to come from the car, which we will be trying to get out of it tomorrow. I am happy with the work done so far, as we tested a lot of things, including a good race simulation and we know where we can improve. Both tyres worked well with not much sign of degradation, but we will have to see how they go tomorrow as, at this track, things can change from one day to the next. In lower fuel configuration we were lacking a bit of speed, but I think we can make a step forward tomorrow. It was enjoyable to finally be at a track that I know well, which meant I was able to push hard right from the start of practice. At the moment, we have not identified the cause of the problem that stopped me on track a couple of minutes before the end of the session.”

Fernando Alonso: “It’s always nice to race in Barcelona, in front of so many fans, even on a Friday morning: it is definitely a source of extra motivation for me to do well. We worked with different fuel loads, both for qualifying and the race. We are reasonably happy with how things went and with the performance of the updates we tried on track, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to really understand where we stand compared to the other leading teams. As for the new rear wing, we will decide this evening whether or not to also use it in qualifying and the race: the system worked well but obviously, despite the fact we have tested it on various occasions, we still lack a bit of experience before we can get the best out of it.”

Felipe Massa: “The updates we brought here have definitely allowed us to make a step forward in terms of performance, but other teams haven’t been sitting around twiddling their thumbs. We still have work to do to find the ideal balance on the car, because today it was not as good as on the last two days of the test we did here last February. Probably the track conditions are very different to what they were then, as is always the case on the first day’s running, but clearly we have to study the data carefully to understand which direction to go in, in terms of setting up the car.”

Robert Kubica: “We had a couple of small issues on the car this morning, so we weren’t able to collect much data. That meant we ran much more during the afternoon in order to evaluate the tyres and also try some set-up changes. At the moment, the balance is still a bit towards oversteer, so we will do some work overnight and try to improve things in the morning. But we have to see how the track evolves, too. Overall, from the times, it looked like a pretty normal Friday.”

Vitaly Petrov: “It was a normal day of practice for me and we worked through our usual programme of tyre evaluation and set-up work. In the afternoon, the weather changed and it was very windy, which had a big impact on the balance of the car and made it difficult to evaluate the set-up changes. I also suffered with quite a bit of oversteer in the second session. So there are still some things we need to work on tomorrow morning during the final practice session when I will concentrate on getting ready for qualifying.”

Timo Glock: “Not a perfect start to the weekend as we had a few problems in both free practice sessions. In general I think we just have to understand a bit more about the new car with the longer wheelbase, so there are still things we need to resolve for tomorrow. Hopefully we will get it right in time for Qualifying.”

Lucas di Grassi: “Basically it was a good Friday. We had no mechanical problems and no hydraulic issues with my car. It was a good first session and a good second session and we were able to evaluate a lot of the upgrades we have on the car. I’m very happy with the work that has been done and I’m looking forward to carrying on the progress tomorrow.

Michael Schumacher: “Today I felt much more comfortable in the car and feel that it is behaving more consistently. In my view, our upgrade is a step forward but we have to wait and see how big the step is as the other teams have obviously improved as well. Now we have to deeply analyse the data to get a better overview on the actual situation and as usual after the Friday practice sessions, it is difficult to estimate where you actually are in comparison to our competitors. We will only have the real picture after qualifying tomorrow.”

Nico Rosberg: “It was a challenging day for me today and not where I usually end up after the Friday practice sessions. There are no obvious issues on the aero package but we went wrong on the set-up whilst trying something new. I am confident that we will make progress overnight and tomorrow we will be able to extract the full potential from the car.”

Adrian Sutil: “Today was a pretty good day. I sat out the earlier practice session but we got all the data we needed from the afternoon to be able to understand the tyre performance and how the new aero parts we have brought to the track affect our performance. Overall everything seems to be working well. We could do extended runs on both the hard and soft tyre compounds and I was quite happy with the balance on both. The soft tyres take a couple of laps to come in but when they do they seem to work quite well. I think we’re in good shape for tomorrow’s qualifying – I think we should be where we were in China or even higher.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “Overall today was good. In the morning we had a bit of a problem as I got a flat spot on my front right tyre on my first run. As we only use one set of tyres in this session, it affected the second run as it changed the balance of the car and we couldn’t really set a representative time or test too many things. In the afternoon though we did some good work on each of the runs with a few different settings with different fuel levels, so the way we need to go is quite clear. We are suffering a little with understeer so we have some changes to make for tomorrow but in general it’s not too bad. I think we will perform well in qualifying tomorrow.”

Paul di Resta: “Having had the experience of the first three races and having got more familiar with Adrian’s car, I think I started where I left off in China. I feel this time it didn’t take too long to get up to speed and we got some productive running, particularly in the early part of the session, which is when the track was slightly quicker. I got a better impression of the circuit and we ran through the schedule as planned, which included some baseline work and tyre comparisons: it was a good morning session.”

Karun Chandhok: “I am quite pleased with the job I did this afternoon after not taking part in the first practice session. I managed to get up to speed quite quickly and ended up with a very competitive lap time. We had some issues with the brakes but I am sure we will be able to fix it in time for tomorrow morning’s session. It was really good to hear Christian’s comments and interesting to hear that they were similar to mine. All in all a good day as we managed to complete our planned program for the day and will now concentrate on getting the car prepared for qualifying tomorrow.”

Bruno Senna: “The practice was okay and we fulfilled the testing program. There were no major problems and I am looking forward to improve car balance. We’ll see what we can achieve at the end of the weekend. The air temperature here was not very warm today. A pity because it was difficult to get tire temperatures right. The second session was a good practice again. We fulfilled our program without any problems. We are looking forward to the qualifying tomorrow.”

Christian Klien: “It was a bit exciting today as I got my super license only ten minutes before the start of the first practice session. Fortunately, everything had been prepared perfectly and then I was allowed to jump into the car. I had 90 great minutes in the car. It was my first time in the car since January last year and felt right away perfect and a good experience to drive again in a race week-end. I was right away able to feel the limits of the car and posted constant times which will help the engineers of the team. Everything worked well and we had no technical problems and that’s also why I’m happy with the first session and to be here with HRT F1 Team. I was able to give them important feedback to improve in terms of set up and my work with top team will help them. It is never easy with a young team and a brand new car. My work is not over though and I will still debrief with the engineers.”

Rubens Barrichello: We completed our Friday programme successfully spending the two sessions evaluating the items the team have brought here. Because of the way we run on Fridays, we don’t look competitive, but I feel that we might be a little bit stronger here. I will keep my feet on the ground though. The goal is to get through to Q3 tomorrow.

Nico Hulkenberg: This morning’s session was fine and the car felt pretty good. We made some modifications for the second session but my accident halfway through meant we didn’t get much running in. I ran wide in the corner and made too much contact with the kerb causing the car to bottom out. It’s a shame because it obviously cost us a lot of important practice time. I’m still positive about the weekend though and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

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