2011 Turkish GP, practice: Driver quotes 

Written by David on May 06th, 2011 at 6:08 pmLast Update: May 06th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Jenson Button: “I’m pretty happy with how today went. The car’s been working reasonably well – there are always things you want to improve, but we’ve made some good progress and have a lot of useful data to go through. Trying to get the car to ride the bumps well into Turn 12 has been difficult, but we improved it through the session. Turn 12 is really bumpy – it’s like they put a motocross jump in there! And Turn Eight’s quite tough too because, depending on your balance, it can damage the front and rear tyres. It’s about getting the balance right, which we concentrated on today. We haven’t put everything on the car that we wanted to this weekend, which is disappointing, but we still have some useful upgrades so it’s nice to keep moving forwards.”

Lewis Hamilton: “We saved tyres during this morning’s session. In the afternoon, despite the limited running in P1, we got quite a lot of our run-plan completed, which was very satisfying. I initially struggled a little bit with set-up, which we can look at and fix overnight, but I was really pleased with my long-run pace – I think it was probably one of the best practice long-runs I’ve ever had. Generally, our car has a pretty good baseline. We’re still in the fight: the most important factor this weekend is to continue with our consistency – getting on the podium is my target, and if we can win that’ll be even better!”

Daniel Ricciardo: “This was my very first time driving at the Istanbul track and the session went well giving me an understanding of why drivers are so keen on this circuit, with all its undulations and different types of corner. I enjoyed it, even if the conditions were not ideal. It was useful to drive in the wet, because this was only the second time I’ve had that experience after a few laps at Barcelona in winter testing. I felt confident and comfortable in the wet and I ran just with the extreme rain tyres. We considered intermediates, but there was too much standing water on the track. We made some set-up changes before my second run and even though the track was wetter then, it improved the lap time, so hopefully that information can be useful for this afternoon.”

Sebastien Buemi: “This morning’s session went well and we managed to complete quite a few laps on the extremes, although we did not use the intermediates, as the conditions never seemed good enough. At least we have a good read of how the extremes behave, so if it rains on Sunday we will know what to do. Apart, from that, it was a productive day for us in general, trying a few different set-up changes and I am quite happy with the work we completed today. But of course, this is only Friday, so we need to study the data carefully and hopefully we can maintain the good performance level we have seen in the first three races. From the tyre comparison I did, the difference between the two compounds seems smaller than usual, but it is still too early to draw any definite conclusion.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “I think we have a lot of work to do to prepare for tomorrow, because I did not have a good feel for the car today, so we need to concentrate on finding a better set-up for the rest of the weekend. We will look at the data to analyse what we need to do, although I have a good idea where the problem lies and I am sure the engineers will know what to do. I ran a different set-up to my team-mate today, which at least means we have more data to study. I did a tyre compare and the changes made to the hard tyre seem good, as it performed consistently and also I did not find such a big difference between the prime and option tyre as in previous races. It seems the balance between the two compounds has improved.”

Nico Rosberg: “We have made a decent start to the weekend and I am optimistic for tomorrow. We had a productive afternoon and tried a lot of things with the car. I didn’t have too many problems with the tyres on the long run and I was quite surprised by the grip levels, which were higher than I expected. The wet tyres had a lot of grip this morning too. I’m happy with what we learned and expecting a very interesting time tomorrow and on Sunday.”

Michael Schumacher: “We had quite a positive Friday, and it was especially good that we were able to test both wet and dry tyres. I hadn’t really driven the wets so I’m pleased that I finally had some opportunity to use them. Also, my sessions were quite eventful with three spins in Turn 11. All in all, our car confirmed the performance improvement from China, so we can look forward to the rest of the weekend. We still have some questions relating to the set-up but I am confident we will sort them out tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez: “I have completed the programme which had been planned for me. In the morning I didn’t put in a proper lap time due to some aero testing. After the second session I’m quite positive for tomorrow. We have to draw the right conclusions tonight, and I believe we can be good in qualifying. I absolutely enjoy every lap going through turn eight. For me it is the first time in an F1 car here and it is sensational.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “In the morning I did some testing with mechanical parts, but we have been quite unfortunate with the weather conditions for this. It is really difficult to judge from the wet testing. Nevertheless it was a good experience to use the wet tyres for an entire session. I think Pirelli has done a good job, I don’t see degradation problems,and the tyres should be ok for a race. In the second session we did our normal programme, despite an hydraulic problem which we had to solve. But again I find it difficult to judge how good the car really is here, so we need to look into the data tonight.”

Adrian Sutil: “We had the wing to try on my car this afternoon, which was quite interesting, but now we have to look at the data and try to really understand it. At the moment it’s too early to say that much. I tried both the hard and the soft tyres and did a long run on each, so I feel quite well prepared. I think the hard tyre was the best and most consistent today, but that could easily change as the track evolves. For the general balance of the car, we will work on trying to improve in the final sector and dial out some of the understeer. However, the car felt very well balanced in the high-speed corners.”

Paul Di Resta: “The wet weather session this morning made it difficult to learn much about the new front wing, but it was important for me to get a feel for the track and the wet weather tyres. For the afternoon, the priority was to try and understand the hard and soft tyres: we did two runs on the hard and two runs on the soft, which has given us lots of data to analyse this evening as we plan our approach for tomorrow. Overall I think we’ve made a good start and the car feels relatively straightforward. There are always things to improve, but I’m happy with my day.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was very wet out there this morning, and this was pretty much the first wet running for everybody on the Pirellis at a race weekend. I spent the whole session on the same set of wet weather tyres and there was quite a lot to learn. Towards the end of the session the rain got heavier and there was more standing water, which meant the car started aquaplaning. But at least we have done some set-up work in case it stays wet for the rest of the weekend.”

Karun Chandhok: “The wet weather meant we limited the morning runplan but despite that it was good to get back out on track. I didn’t get a chance to push but I’m enjoying working with the team and the more time I spend with everyone the more I can see how far this team can go. There’s a great spirit across the whole garage, and back in the factory, and with the constant progression towards the midfield this is a great place to be working in.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “That was a reasonable session for me – I had a DRS issue that definitely cost me some time but I think the balance was pretty good and we got through some decent setup work so I think we’ll be ok tomorrow.”

Jarno Trulli: “I’m pleased in general with today. It’s been a positive, trouble free day and we managed to run through a number of options that give us a good direction for tomorrow and the race. We have made an adjustment to the power steering and that’s definitely improved things in the cockpit for me but there’s more to come from that and the whole car so I think we can go into tomorrow in good shape.”

Pastor Maldonado: “It was an unlucky day. It was wet this morning so we decided not to do too many runs. This afternoon we lost a bit of time as the team were fixing the rear end of the car after I crashed at the end of FP1. When we did get out, the speed was there but on the long run I made a mistake and lost the car at the exit of T8 and crashed into the barrier damaging the front wing. However, I know this circuit and the car has improved so I’ll be up there tomorrow!”

Rubens Barrichello: “The new package is promising but we had a KERS water problem which meant our day had to be cut short. It was a pity but we are optimistic as the new front wing, rear wing and other parts were all working well and we were running competitively. Our main objective is to start in the top ten this weekend and that’s definitely realistic.”

Nick Heidfeld: “It was good to finally get an experience of the wet conditions by using the extreme wet tyres, because I haven’t used them before in testing properly. That went quite well I have to say. We didn’t want to destroy them – as we hadn’t tested them before, we didn’t know how long they would survive and the forecast was still not clear for Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately we didn’t get into a position to be able to drive the intermediates. Then, as the second session was completely dry we were able to completely focus on our programme, which was to get a long run in towards the end, whilst having a high fuel load.”

Vitaly Petrov: “It was a bit difficult today with the weather conditions. We didn’t use inter tyres in the first session which was a pity. We wanted to save tyres, which is why we only had 10 laps. In P2 we knew it would stay dry. We need to be happy with today. As expected, we achieved quicker lap times and there’s still some more in the car. Judging by our performance in P2, I think there are encouraging signs ahead for the rest of the weekend.”

Mark Webber: “We learned quite a lot today. It’s a pretty challenging venue here with the new regulations – so it was tricky for us all with the weather this morning. We had to fit a lot of our planned work in e to this afternoon, but it went smoothly. Sebastian had an issue this morning which could happen to any of us; it just shows you can lose a session very easily. The team will share the data that we gathered this afternoon. KERS worked pretty well this afternoon – each time we use it we get more experience so, so far so good.”

Sebastian Vettel: “There wasn’t much I could do to stop the car from hitting the wall this morning – but the most important thing is that I’m fine. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the car ready in time for this afternoon’s session, as there was too much damage, so I’m sorry to the guys. It makes things a bit more difficult, but I don’t think it will be a problem, we know the track well from other years and, in the end, it was only one afternoon that we have lost. I’m still confident – it looks pretty close. I was able to watch the times today, which was something different.”

Fernando Alonso: “These two sessions were very different one to the other, because of the change in the weather. It was useful to do some running in the wet because there is a chance that it might rain again at some point tomorrow. We tried various new solutions and now we have to evaluate them carefully to see what worked and what did not. I had a hydraulic problem which cost me some time in the pits at the start of the second session. That contributed to the fact it’s difficult for me to give a precise evaluation of tyre behaviour. Then, I also had a spin, when I was being too optimistic in my use of the moveable rear wing. For sure this track puts a heavy load on the tyres: it will be interesting to see what happens in the race. I think we have made progress, but there are various teams that are quicker than us. We have to try and do our best, putting together the best package made up of new components and those we have used before to try and get all the potential out of the car.”

Felipe Massa: “From what I could see, we have made a step forward in terms of performance, but we are not yet close enough to the best. It is always difficult to say how much progress one has made after just two free practice sessions: we will have to wait for qualifying to get a clearer picture. We are working very hard to catch up and I think we are on the right road, but the others are definitely not standing still. For example, Mercedes seems to have made a significant step forward here. Would I prefer a wet race? Sure, if it turns out we are not competitive then the rain would open up more possibilities, but it could also go well in the dry and it does seem as though the weather is improving. This is a very demanding circuit, but I really like driving here because there are so many different types of corner.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “We tried our updates out today, with the first session being wet we obviously couldn’t evaluate much but after the second session it’s clear that the updates are a positive improvement. The team is going in the right direction. Today we worked on the mechanical balance of the car and now we have to take a look at the data to see if we improved. Personally, I need to get some laps under my belt on this track because last time I came in 2005 it was an absolute disaster, I experienced a lot of mechanical problems. So bit by bit it’s getting better. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good run on the option tyres but the primes were fine. I think the options will be quicker in the race.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “Today we had a decent day of testing. The morning was good as it was my first chance to try out this specific car with the Pirelli tyres in wet conditions, so I got some good data and strung together some good laps. In the afternoon we did a good amount of laps, we needed to understand a few things about our new updates so we had to re-balance the car and work on the set-up meaning that in the end, with the option tyres, we couldn’t do much as there was a lot of traffic and yellow flags. But, all in all, we’ve come away with good data to work with tomorrow.”

Timo Glock: “The weather has made for a difficult start to the weekend. This morning it was very tricky for everyone as there was a lot of standing water everywhere. In the second session we got a better chance to start evaluating the new package, which was really the priority for today because we knew there would be a lot of work to do. There have been some issues we have had to deal with, especially with the exhausts, and once we work through those we will be better off. Overall we need to look at the data we have gathered now to see what we can learn about the new package because, as we predicted, it’s not easy getting something so new to work straight out of the box.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio: “It was a good day. This morning’s session was obviously disturbed by the rain, which even if it wasn’t great for this weekend’s programme, l can still see it positively as it was the first time I’ve driven the car in the wet; so it was great for me to get an idea of how it feels in those conditions. The afternoon went pretty smoothly. We had a small issue with the power steering and we lost a bit of time and so we couldn’t do everything we wanted, but in the end I think the car feels fine and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a Reply