2011 Chinese GP, practice: Team quotes 

Written by David on April 15th, 2011 at 1:25 pmLast Update: April 15th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Sam Michael: “After a productive morning with both cars, we had some issues with the new exhaust system we’re running on Rubens’ FW33 in the second session. We’ll now review the data to decide whether or not to race it. That aside, we covered good mileage on the Option tyre which has given us some solid data for the race. We will fit new engines in both cars for tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn: “We’ve had a reasonable day and achieved all of the work that we had planned for both cars. The engineers and drivers did a good job between the two sessions to improve the balance and everything ran smoothly. It’s good to start the weekend with a positive day so we will see how we can continue to progress from here.”

Norbert Haug: “Certainly a more constructive Friday than we have experienced during the last two races, and a good amount of running for both Michael and Nico. For part of the session, Michael’s KERS was not operational which cost him lap time. We will rectify this problem for tomorrow. On Saturday and Sunday, we will learn whether and how much we have improved.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “It was a productive day – we spent the morning conducting aerodynamic tests and we limited each driver to just one set of prime tyres. That helped us draw some productive conclusions as we evaluate this weekend’s suite of upgrades and decide what to progress and what will need more development. This afternoon was a bit more frustrating: neither Lewis nor Jenson really found a satisfactory balance. They didn’t feel as comfortable as we hoped they would be. But we’ve got some very good information and, as always, I think our engineers will take every opportunity to look over that and turn it into something productive for tomorrow.”

James Key: “Free practice one kicked off with different test items for each driver. We ran through some aerodynamic tests and gathered some useful data. In performance terms this session wasn’t very useful, because the track had low grip and we only ran one set of tyres on each car. In the afternoon we used four new sets of tyres and went through some set up changes to the cars in race spec. I think there is a bit of work to do on the balance of the car in sector one and, although we improved that sector a bit, it is a weak point from what we can see. I think Kamui’s time would have been better, but he made a small mistake at the end of the lap, and Sergio’s lap just didn’t quite come together, so we shall have to look at that for the soft tyre. Otherwise the cars ran reliably, but the balance here is different compared to the other two races, so it is a moving target.”

Thierry Salvi: “That was a good Friday engine-wise. We were able to set up the engines according to the driver requests and we worked through a program that tested a number of maps and the feedback we have had is good. We have definitely taken another step on from Sepang and as the ambient conditions here are less severe than in Malaysia the engine is consequently under less stress so I think we should be able to continue the progress through qualifying and into the race and maximise our performance across the weekend.”

Mike Gascoyne: “That was a far more productive Friday than we have had in the two previous races this season and I think it is a measure of our increased competitiveness that we are actually a little disappointed with the overall pace. We ran Luiz Razia this morning and he did a good job for the team, despite having a suspension problem that brought his run to a premature end. With the race drivers we completed the full programme on each car but traffic interrupted both their runs on the soft tyres so we are a little disappointed that we were not able to show more pace that we know is in the cars. The tyres are working pretty well here – we have found our way around the warm up issues, so while today is satisfying in terms of reliability, there is definitely more to come tomorrow and we want to be pushing towards Q2.”

Riad Asmat: “I think that was a pretty good day for the team. We put in the laps and have accumulated some good data on the tyres so I think we’re in good shape for tomorrow and Sunday.”

Colin Kolles: “Today was not a bad day, unfortunately we had some issues and couldn’t run as we wanted but the times look promising. I think we made another step forward in terms of performance so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying. Tonio had a hydraulic leak which had to be fixed so we had to take off the gearbox, the clutch and other things which took up some time, this was the main reason for the delay. Taking in mind that he was only able to complete one timed lap in the second session, he did a fantastic time. Narain did a really good job today, he had no issues with his car so was able to the run the programme according to plan and post a good time. I think performance-wise there is still room for improvement so that is promising. We are confident ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying where hopefully we can achieve our target of getting closer to our rivals.”

John Booth: “Our race weekend here in China did not get off to the most auspicious of starts today and to say our day has been less than straightforward would be something of an understatement. This morning, having waited for the track condition to improve, when we did finally get our timed runs underway Timo experienced a mechanical problem. This afternoon, after just 12 laps, Timo suffered an engine problem which confined him to the garage for the second half of the session, so he was unable to complete a soft tyre run and improve his lap time, which is reflected in his position today. Jérôme had a better afternoon session and was making good progress but immediately prior to his option tyre run we noted heavy floor damage. This wasn’t sufficient to prevent him from running, but it was by no means a representative run. Hopefully we have got all our bad luck out of the way today and tomorrow will provide a better reflection of where we stand here.”

Mark Gallagher: “The engine in Timo Glock’s car, Cosworth CA312, suffered a broken valve in FP2 and is therefore withdrawn from service. This valve suffered very minor damage as a result of the engine ingesting a metal fastener from the engine assembly during the Australian Grand Prix weekend, but the unit was subsequently inspected and returned to the team prior to Malaysia as a practice-only engine. The failure is not completely unexpected, therefore, and indeed the engine has completed 352kms since its inspection. FIA-approved modifications have been implemented to all team engines prior to Malaysia, to avoid a repeat of this issue.”

Pat Fry: “I think we had more problems today in three hours than we had in the whole fifteen days of winter testing. A shame, because we needed to cover some distance, especially with Fernando, who was experimenting with the latest aerodynamic solutions that they have come up with in Maranello. We will try and make a virtue of necessity and carry out the job of analysing the data with the data we managed to gather. The hydraulic problems on car number 5 stem from the same fault, a defective component and we will take action to fix it for the rest of the weekend. Luckily, Felipe had no problems and was able to run continuously, doing long runs on both types of tyre. We will aim to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race, but I don’t think we can expect anything very much different to what we have seen in the first two Grands Prix of the season.”

Dominic Harlow: “During the morning’s session Paul was evaluating the aero update brought for this event, which appears to be behaving as expected. Nico was driving the VJM4-04 today and during a busy morning he completed a very useful programme. Paul had some KERS problems and the circuit was dusty to start, but otherwise it was a normal start to the weekend. Just before the start of FP2 however, we found a fuel pressure problem with Paul’s car, and despite the team’s best efforts to resolve it we were unable to get the car back on track in the time available. The cars are increasingly complex now with the extra systems on board, and the work involved to complete the job was too much. It was frustrating, but the issue is now eliminated and we will make up for the lost track time as best possible in the remaining practice sessions. Adrian was in the car for FP2 and completed a good programme where the engineers worked hard and improved the balance of the car as well as collecting useful data. We hope we can turn these steps into a competitive qualifying performance tomorrow.”

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a Reply