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malaysia-09

Formula 1


malaysia-09

MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW DRIVER QUOTES–

Daniel Ricciardo: Despite the eventual outcome in Melbourne, I still feel really good about my performance in the race and throughout the weekend. Obviously it would be nice to get the 18 points, but I’m happy that I still stood on the podium and that was a great feeling. I know I did a good job and I can take that with me to the next race in Malaysia. One thing you have to take into account there is the heat. I first drove at Sepang when I was 16 in a four-day Formula BMW test and you couldn’t really say I was prepared for it! ! Until you’ve experienced the heat in the cockpit, it isn’t something you can fully appreciate, no matter what people tell you. I was drinking six litres of fluid a day and I still suffered. It’s something you prepare for better as you come back again and again, though it’s still one of the most physically-challenging races. If you’re not correctly prepared then the last 20 laps of a grand prix will be difficult and the physicality of the race can hit your concentration in those latter stages. And so you train, train and train! The race is back to back with Bahrain. I’m not certain what effect two weeks of pre-season testing there is going to have when we race there. Everyone’s had a bit of a chance to get their set-up dialled in, so that may bring the field closer together. The circuit isn’t one of my favourites, as you can’t get a brilliant flow there, but there are a couple of technical turns to put us drivers and the cars through our paces. The RB10 surprised us in Australia by being more competitive than we thought in the dry and the wet, so let’s see what the next two races brings

Sebastian Vettel: We still have a lot of work to do with the car but it was encouraging to see that our pace was better than expected in Australia – hopefully we can build on that and start collecting some strong points in the next two races. Next stop is Kuala Lumpur, which I like as a city. Downtown can sometimes seem sterile, but then you turn a corner and the streets burst into life with the night markets. Whenever I have time I try to go there and see what they have to offer. Looking to the track, the two overtaking possibilities are the first corner and before the last corner, which in both cases is after a long straight; my favourite corners are five and six. Beside the challenge of the circuit, you have to cope with the tropical heat. We can be driving in humidity of up to 90%, while big thunderstorms in the afternoon are not uncommon. From there we go to Bahrain, where we’ve recently been for winter testing, so it will feel quite familiar and after the high humidity in Malaysia it will be nice to go to dry heat. Because the circuit is in the middle of the desert, sand can be blown up in the wind on to the racing line. The circuit has a nice combination of fast, slow and medium corners and is pretty technical to drive. I also like the rosewater they have instead of champagne!

Romain Grosjean – Heat, humidity and the usual rain storms 

Although clearly not happy with the frustrations of getting his race car where he wants it to be in the shortest possible time, Romain Grosjean is quick to see the positives and potential as Lotus F1 Team heads to the second race of the 2014 season in Sepang, Malaysia, this weekend.

What will be the main challenges at Sepang?

The first challenge in Malaysia will be the heat, humidity and usual rain storms at 4pm! For us as a team, the target is to move forwards and improve. The race in Melbourne was basically a good, long test. It wasn’t easy for the guys but I’m happy we did a lot of laps in the race. We gathered some useful data and we will now improve using that data. The aim now is to have a straightforward weekend at Sepang, working through our proper schedule in free practice, then carrying the benefits from that over to qualifying and the race. Sepang is one of my favourite circuits and I’m looking forward to it.

There was a big step up on race day in Australia. Does that give you faith that more progress could follow?

Whenever we solve a problem we make a big step forward, whether it is with set-up, the engine or any other developments. We’ve seen this happen with other teams too. We are feeling greedy at the moment. We want to keep making big progress like in Australia, not just one or two tenths, but big chunks of time and of course better reliability. We’ll prioritise and work as hard as we can to achieve that. The mechanics definitely deserved a rest after Australia though. They worked long hours all weekend and still did some of the fastest pit stops in the race. The guys were excellent and with a work ethic like that there is no reason why we won’t get on top of this car soon and exploit the huge potential of the E22.

How different is the driving experience in a Grand Prix now after the technical changes?

It is not quite as pleasant as before to be honest. There is a lot of energy recovery to deal with and optimise. You cannot drive most of the Grand Prix at 90 per cent as before, sometimes now it is only 30 per cent. We just have to get used to it. When you win you love it and when you retire, you don’t. At the moment it feels a little frustrating as a driver but these are the rules, we will adapt and make the best of them.

We saw quite a bit of drama in Australia, how do you think the season will progress?

It will not be easy for anyone. We have seen some of the favourites going out or having problems and others that we were not expecting to be up there make an impression. It’s a bit unpredictable at the moment and not easy to know where everyone stands. I think Mercedes is looking good, as is McLaren. Our task is to get up there and amongst them.

What did you learn in Australia?

That we still have a lot of work to do! Other than the early finish, the Australian Grand Prix was positive. We learned more about the car in 44 racing laps than during the whole of winter testing! The team has done so much work and each of the changes have been in the right direction. It was looking good in the race and then we had the same problem as Pastor: the MGU-K shaft. But at least there is no mystery about what happened and we are working with Renault Sport F1 to solve the problem.

Overall we are happy with the chassis, the aero balance for the changing fuel load, the driveability of the engine and the fuel economy. Of course there is work to do with energy management and recovery and we know Renault Sport F1 is responding to this. On our side we know more about the set-up and the direction we must go in order to make the car better. Braking for example was not perfect, but that is also to do with the tyres. The new tyres are really hard and their handling characteristics have changed. We are not getting the best out of them yet, but we will. There are plenty of areas for us to play with, but we now have a clear base set-up for Malaysia.

Pastor Maldonado – Whatever it takes 

With his Lotus F1 Team Grand Prix debut completed, Pastor Maldonado looks forward to the challenge of one of the toughest races of the season.

What are your thoughts looking to Sepang?

Sepang is a good track and I really like the challenges it presents us with. It’s very interesting from the car point of view, especially the aerodynamics, but also the tyres because the asphalt is very aggressive. Hopefully this event will go more smoothly for us compared with Australia. We know we need to work very hard to achieve our aims and objectives for the E22. We know where our main focus lies and as a team we are determined to get there.

The weather can be quite interesting at Sepang…

We know the weather at Sepang can change a lot; in fact it is usually either extreme heat or extreme rain, so very tropical and we’ll need to be ready for everything. Also the extreme temperatures are hard on the cars in terms of reliability and from the driving point of view it is quite stressful as well. All round, I would say Sepang is one of the toughest races of the year. We’ll need to be strong in all areas.

How much were you able to learn from your laps in Australia?

A lot. It was the longest stint I’ve done so far and that’s very important for the engineers who can now work through the data and find improvements. Naturally, our immediate priority is to finish the races, but in Formula 1 you never stop searching for more pace as well.

There was a lot of progress made during the Australian Grand Prix. Does that give you faith more progress will follow?

Yes, the whole weekend was pretty incredible. To be honest I’ve never seen anything like it. We started nowhere and we kept on having problems. With these cars, even little problems can take a very long time to fix. Some of the problems are very difficult to diagnose as they are electronic or software related. These all require so much time and focus. The efforts put in by everyone at Lotus F1 Team were amazing. Especially from the mechanics at the track, who worked all day and night, more than 24 hours straight, then still did really fast pit stops in the race. It was inspiring and makes me very proud to be part of this team. The season has not started the way we want, but I know everyone is working tremendously hard to ensure we get the team back to the top end of the grid.

What were the positives after Albert Park?

We made clear improvements during the weekend. The team has shown it is ready to do whatever it takes. This is good because my philosophy to racing is the same and I will do whatever it takes as well. Now we can go through the data and improve step-by-step. It is a long season and we need to be positive because we saw one Renault-engined car finish on the podium after the race. So we know our engine can fight for the podium and now we need to work harder than the other teams. This gives us a lot of motivation going forward. Australia was obviously a very disappointing weekend, but if you look at the positives we did more laps than in the pre-season which is quite encouraging as we have more data which is very important for making progress. We had a very negative free practice but we did plenty of laps during the race which is very constructive for the team. It shows that we’ll keep pushing and the hard work will eventually pay off.

What about the car itself?

The E22 has a lot of potential and is feeling better to drive every time we go out. We’ve had a lot of initial issues with the car, but this has been the same up and down the pit lane. I’m impressed every time I look at the packaging of the car and I know that the work going on at Enstone and with Renault Sport F1 will make the E22 into a podium contender very soon indeed.

Nico Hulkenberg: Looking back on Melbourne, did the weekend unfold as you expected?

“I tried to be open-minded going into the race and in reality it was all quite straightforward. It almost felt like a normal race from last year with no major surprises. There were no concerns for us with the fuel management, which was helped by the extra parade lap and the early safety car, and we ran reliably during all the sessions, which is a big positive to take forward.”
 
Now that we’ve had a race weekend, how did you find the car to drive?
“Again it’s not too dissimilar to last year. It’s a bit slower because of the regulations and you feel the loss of downforce compared with 2013. Overtaking also seemed to be quite difficult, unless you are following a car that is really struggling. For example, you could see that Fernando [Alonso] couldn’t really make a move on me.”
 
Were the tyres a bigger factor than you expected in Australia?
“We had issues with front left graining in the race, which we didn’t have all weekend. I think it was due to the cooler temperatures and it cost quite a bit of performance in the first two stints on the soft tyre. On the medium it was pretty good.”
 
Based on what you learned in Melbourne, what kind of championship can we expect this year?
“This year we’ll see bigger jumps and changes in the pecking order during the season. There are still some teams that need to sort out their issues and they will probably become stronger. All teams, including us, will have room for improvement and development is going to be very fast.”
 
What can we expect in Malaysia this weekend?
“Malaysia is going to be a tough challenge with totally different track characteristics and higher temperatures, which always leads to higher tyre degradation. It should be a good test of the new cars because it’s much more open than Melbourne with a nice variation of high and low-speed corners, plus two long straights.” 
Sergio Perez: You were unlucky in Melbourne with a first lap puncture. How would you sum things up?
“It was really a shame. We had a good start and a great first few corners, and we were up to tenth place. Then Gutierrez locked his rears and came from nowhere. I actually saw him in my mirrors, but I was already turning into the corner. Once he hit me I was just a passenger; there was not much I could do, I got a puncture and had to pit.”
 
How did your race unfold after that?
“The safety car helped us and we managed to recover some positions. But the main issue of my race was the time spent behind Adrian [Sutil], which cost me a lot. I think the pace was definitely in the car to score more points, but when you have to fight from the back it puts you in a difficult position.”
 
How would you assess the overall competitiveness of the VJM07?
“I think as a team we are moving in the right direction and there were lots of positives to take away from Australia. It was the first race and we, as everyone else on the grid, are still learning a lot about the new car. We have seen some encouraging signs and collected a lot of data that can be put to use for the next few races, starting in Sepang.”
 
What are your expectations for this coming weekend?
“I believe Malaysia can be a very good race for us. Let’s see how we can perform there. I think Melbourne was a more difficult one for us and with a hotter track and more rear tyre degradation for everyone we can be stronger. I’m counting the days to Malaysia to recover what we couldn’t achieve in Australia. I have good memories of this track and I want to build on my previous results there.”
Rossi GP2 test 2014

GP2


Rossi GP2 test 2014

ALEXANDER ROSSI LEADS THE WAY IN SAKHIR.
American driver quickest in Day 1 at Bahrain International Circuit
The final GP2 Series pre-season test session opened today at Bahrain International Circuit on a dirty track. There was one change in the drivers’ entry list compared to last week as Vittorio Ghirelli joined Trident in car 22. Pirelli provided every driver with five sets of Hard compounds and two sets of Soft compounds for the three days of testing.
Stoffel Vandoorne was the first driver to feed onto the track as soon as the lights turned green, but it was Jolyon Palmer who set the early pace. The first half of the session was pretty quiet as drivers waited for the track to get cleaner. Kimiya Sato was the first man to set a laptime inside the 1m42s with Daniel De Jong first and then Julian Leal bettering the Japanese’s time to snatch the top spot. Facu Regalia broke the 1m42s barrier along with Mitch Evans, but the Kiwi remained two tenths slower than the Argentine driver. Rio Haryanto found some extra pace to set a laptime of 1:41.400, but Felipe Nasr went even quicker and with one hour left on the clock, the Brazilian sat pretty at the top of the standings. Regalia was on a mission and improved on Nasr’s laptime by five hundredths. Twenty minutes before the end of the session, a red flag briefly halted the proceedings as Takuya Izawa stopped on track. The action resumed but a second red flag happened soon after when Simon Trummer hit the kerb at Turn 10 and stopped on track. In the dying minutes, Arthur Pic moved up to P1, but at the chequered flag it was Daniel Abt who dipped under 1m41s and finished the session at the top, five tenths ahead of Pic. Abt’s teammate Regalia, Nasr, Haryanto, Alexander Rossi, Stéphane Richelmi, Evans, Johnny Cecotto and Jon Lancaster completed the top ten.
The afternoon session saw Palmer taking to the track first, but it was Vandoorne who set the early pace in a 1:41.916. As the clock ticked down, the top spot was claimed successively by Richelmi, Raffaele Marciello and Nasr. Evans became the first man to go under 1m41s and stayed on top of the standings until there were thirty minutes left in the session. Conor Daly went quickest in a 1:40.734, but countryman Rossi was able to go one tenth faster to snatch P1. Abt moved up to P2 just before the session was shortly red flagged. The session was restarted with only ten minutes left on the clock. Evans moved up to P3 on his final attempt and at the chequered flag, Rossi remained the quickest man of the day ahead of Abt and Evans. Behind the trio, Daly, Palmer, Cecotto, Marciello, Ghirelli, Nasr and Vandoorne completed the top ten.
Tomorrow’s session will start at 9am local time.
Morning results
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:40.676
17
2. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:41.192
17
3. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:41.327
15
4. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:41.352
12
5. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:41.400
13
6. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:41.460
13
7. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:41.631
14
8. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:41.663
16
9. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:41.671
12
10. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:41.711
12
11. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:41.739
27
12. André Negrao Arden International 1:41.849
15
13.
Julian Leal Carlin 1:41.986
15
14. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:41.995
15
15. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:42.122
17
16. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:42.189
13
17. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:42.231
17
18. Rene Binder Arden International 1:42.286
14
19. Daniiel de Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.348
15
20.
Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.375
18
21. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:42.405
6
22. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:42.600
12
23. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:42.614
19
24. Vittorio Ghirelli Trident
1:43.294
14
25. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix
2:05.004
34
26. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix
2:08.207
32
Afternoon results
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:40.604
30
2. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:40.616
26
3. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:40.680
25
4. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:40.734
20
5. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:40.769
23
6. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:40.829
13
7. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:40.932
25
8. Vittorio Ghirelli
Trident
1:40.976
21
9. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:41.022
23
10. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:41.041
28
11.
Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:41.045
22
12. Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:41.065
21
13. Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
1:41.131
28
14. Julian Leal
Carlin
1:41.195
17
15. Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:41.275
23
16. Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:41.359
23
17. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:41.368
21
18. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering
1:41.394
23
19. Rene Binder Arden International
1:41.426
21
20. André Negrao Arden International
1:41.438
18
21. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax
1:41.548
23
22. Simon Trummer Rapax
1:41.709
18
23. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:41.726
25
24. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:42.013
29
25. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:42.204
23
26. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport
1:42.282
19
Australian GP 2014

THE POINT… BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI


Australian GP 2014

In Melbourne it happened just the opposite of what we could expect. In fifteen days, Formula 1 has been capable to overturn any kind of forecast.

We saw a podium made of three pilots belonging to as many teams: Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren. The only confirmation came just from Mercedes – as a team and engine manufacturer – which affirmed itself to the top.

The W05 of Hamilton and Rosberg confirmed the supremacy both in the single qualifying lap and in the long run, and – much to the benefit of the others – with some reliability lacks. Otherwise they would have scored a double-declutch.

Great comeback for Red Bull, which reveals as the car with the best aerodynamic downforce, even if it suffers the handicap related to the Renault power-unit. Jenson Button’s words during the first tests in Bahrain have been validated by facts. Once the engine issues are overcome, it will be hard to hold them back. On the other hand, the World Champion Sebastian Vettel was let down by that control unit that was able to make the difference just last year.

A rebirth for Mclaren, which perhaps has found in Kevin Magnussen the new Hamilton, with a podium on the day of his debut and a fourth place for Button. A hint of bad luck kept Williams away from a good result: at the green lights Felipe Massa was hit from Kobayashi, at his return in F1, whereas Bottas made a mistake probably caused by an excessive strength in transmitting the power to the road.

Toro Rosso deserves to be praised, as they were able to have both cars scoring points. A great result, if we consider that it sprang not from others’ faults but, on the contrary, has been well achieved on the race track.  Good performance also for Force India with Hulkenberg, a little worse with Perez: Nico is a great pilot, no doubt.

Now it can be useful to analyse the lap times to have a better understanding of the real gap separating the teams’ performance.  Rosberg’s Mercedes has been steadily around 1’32’’-1’33’’ low, whereas all other pilots drove around 1’34’’. Just towards the end Fernando Alonso (fifth at finish) drove around 1’32’’ low, getting close to the fastest race lap set by Rosberg (1’32’’478). Surely an encouraging result, even though a correct interpretation is not straightforward: we should know the data about fuel consumption and strategies too. In the current season the learning curve of teams will be very high: therefore, after each race, we can expect substantial evolutions and important adjustments.

Even Lotus, after closing the first race of the season with two retirements, has been able to gain an experience thanks to the number of driven kilometres during the whole week-end, gathering important data to investigate and find a solution to the problems annoying the transalpine power-unit and the E22.

Mercedes plays the fox of the race, while Ferrari, both as car and engine, is the second force. When RB fully exploits the Renault power, it will be hard to keep the pace. The season kick-start has proved how hard is the dialogue of the 15 control units, but the progresses of the teams with a Renault engine show that these operations can be done indoor as well. The Gap can thus be reduced. Important note: this analysis has been done straight after the finish of the race

Nico Rosberg podium Oz 2014

Formula 1


Nico Rosberg podium Oz 2014

NICO ROSBERG WINS IN AUSTRALIA RICCIARDO IS DISQUALIFIED-

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team entered the new era of Formula One with a composed victory for Nico Rosberg from P3 on the grid at the Australian Grand Prix.

• Nico claimed first place off the line and led every lap of the race to win by 24 seconds at the chequered flag

• He made two pit stops on laps 12 and 38, running a tyre strategy of option/option/prime, and set the fastest lap on lap 19

• Nico’s win marks the 100th F1 victory for a Mercedes-Benz engine, with the first achieved by Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954

Nico Rosberg
That was an incredible day for us. To start the season with a win is unbelievable and I have to say a big thank you to everybody who was involved in building our car over the winter. I always dreamed of having such a strong Silver Arrow and now it seems we are there. In the race, everything went perfectly for me. My start was great and I was able to push from there until the end, with our fuel consumption well under control. However, despite our success today, we also know that there is still some work to do. We saw over the weekend that reliability is still a concern and it prevented us from having a strong two-car finish. We have two weeks to improve that. I am very much looking forward to Malaysia and I would love to race again tomorrow!

RED BULL

Following the decision of the FIA that Infiniti Red Bull Racing is in breach of Article 3.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations with Car 3, the Team has notified the FIA of its intention to appeal with immediate effect.
 
Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane. The Team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations.

 

 
Hamilton pole Oz 2014

Formula 1


Hamilton pole Oz 2014

2014 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING-

HAMILTON ON POLE RICCIARDO P2 AND ROSBERG P3-

• Lewis scored the 100th pole position for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, a record dating back to 1954 

• It was also the 32nd pole of Lewis´ career, putting him equal with Nigel Mansell and one behind Jim Clark 

• Nico qualified in third place, just five-hundredths behind the second placed car of Daniel Ricciardo 

Lewis Hamilton 
It´s been an interesting weekend so far here in Melbourne. Qualifying was a lot harder for everyone with the tricky conditions and it was a real challenge out there today. We were on the edge with the tyres and it was difficult to know which way to go at times. It´s the first time I´ve driven the car on the limit in the wet, but it felt great and I´m so happy with the job the team has done. To be on pole here today is a fantastic result for us. It was great fun and I´m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. It´s going to be tough, but we´ll do our best and see what happens. I am very proud to have scored pole number 100 for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. I have only driven with Mercedes power since my debut in 2007 and the whole Mercedes team has done an incredible job meeting the challenge of these new rules. It´s just as special to equal Nigel´s record of pole positions for a British driver. I owe it to the great people I´ve worked with throughout my career. 

DANIEL RICCIARDO
“It was exciting out there – the weather definitely added to the mix and the whole session went well. Q1 looked like it was going okay for us and then, when the rain fell, it’s the first time we’ve driven these cars on the limit in wet conditions. It was tricky, but at the same time a lot of fun and it was nice to always be up there. The engineer was always on the radio saying the pace was good and that we were P1, P2 P3 and in the battle for the pole position, so it was definitely a really nice first qualifying session with the team. I’m happy for us to have a front row start – it wasn’t looking like this a few weeks ago, so I’m pretty pleased right now.”

Nico Rosberg 
That was a really tricky qualifying session out there this evening. Starting from third place on the grid is not the optimum but okay for me. I know that I have a good race car and that makes me quite confident. With a good start, I should have a nice chance of scoring a strong result. It will be a very interesting race because fuel consumption and tyre wear will be on the edge. So there might be some surprises tomorrow. 

Toto Wolff 
That was the kind of qualifying session where mistakes are so easy to make – and the team delivered. We got the cars on track at the right time and coped well with the changing weather conditions. For the final run in Q3, both drivers chose to run full wet tyres as we were not sure how quickly the circuit was drying. Lewis did a great job to claim pole position with his final lap, while Nico was also P1 when he crossed the line at the end of his last run, although he finished up P3. After so much hard work to reach this point, it´s good that we have come through a tricky session safely and in strong starting positions. We are also proud to have taken the 100th pole for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, which is a nice milestone. But the points are won on Sunday and we know that it will be a tough race in terms of fuel consumption and reliability. We will leave no stone unturned overnight to make sure we are in the best possible situation for tomorrow. 

LCH Australia 2014

Formula 1


LCH Australia 2014

LEWIS HAMILTON PUTS THE MERC ON TOP IN FP2, LOTUS F1 IN TROUBLE, RED BULL IMPROVING, JUST ONE LAP FOR CATERHAM-

Lewis Hamilton : It really was a day of two halves today. While it was disappointing to not get any track time this morning, these little hiccups are going to happen with the new cars and we´ll have to get used to that. It felt like I was on the back foot from there but then we got up to pace quite quickly in P2 and found the balance relatively fast. I feel quite comfortable in the car so overall it´s a positive start but we need to look at the data now and understand where we are. We got a nice foundation for the weekend in the second session today so hopefully we can build on that in P3 tomorrow afternoon and then see where we are in qualifying. 

Nico Rosberg : It was so great to be back in the car today and I´m very pleased with the progress that we made. As always on a Friday, we don´t really know where we are in terms of pace yet and how much fuel everyone else was running in comparison to our programme. It´s definitely going to be very tough on fuel here, as we expected. The screen on my steering wheel shows the fuel target for each lap and we´re going to have to be very disciplined in the race. It´s a pretty good start for us overall and I´m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. 

Romain Grosjean“If we take the positives we can say that we’ve completed a few practice starts, and we’ve proven that Renault have done a good job from the laps we completed. It’s certain that we have a lot of work ahead and we still need to learn the tyres, the brakes and find a good setup. We’re taking a few steps every time we go out in the car and for sure we’ll get where we want to be.” 
 
Pastor Maldonado“I’m feeling really ready for tomorrow. I spent a lot of today waiting to get in the car as we had some problems, which I think are still normal to have so early in the season with these new cars. It was clear that we’re not the only ones to suffer on track and we have to work very hard, and maybe harder than the others, to try to catch up and be ready for tomorrow. We need to sit down with the engineers and re-plan our strategy for free practice.”

SEBASTIAN VETTEL : “In a way it’s a relief today, the fact that we were running, we didn’t have any problems, the balance was good and the performance looked alright. In the end Friday times are not worth a lot, but it’s better to be close to the top rather than somewhere towards the back, so I’m very happy with that. We will do what we can to prepare for tomorrow and Sunday, but let’s see where we are then – the most important thing is that we finish.”
 
DANIEL RICCIARDO“I knew the guys were doing everything they could since testing but still, we didn’t expect to do that many laps today, so I’m really happy and pleased for them. I think we have to be pretty positive with where we ended up today. We expected Mercedes to be quickest, but we were within a second of them today so that’s a lot better than we thought. Let’s see if it’s the same story after qualifying tomorrow, but for today we’re pleased.”
 

Marcus Ericsson: “That was a more difficult start to my first full Grand Prix weekend than I’d have liked, but hopefully that means we’ve got all the problems out of the way on day one! This morning it was an electrical issue with the engine that meant I only did one lap – out on the main straight the power suddenly dropped but I was still able to get the car back to the pits and when we had a look at it we found it was an electrical problem so that was fixed over lunch. In the afternoon we were back out at the start of FP2 but this time, when I boxed, there was a hydraulics leak. A bit like with Kamui’s car, fixing anything like this under the engine cover takes a lot longer than it used to with the old engines, so that was the end of the session for me and more work for the boys.
 
“Despite that I’m still very positive. Even with the good reliability we built up in Bahrain, we still came here knowing it could be a difficult weekend and I know I have to just stay focused on doing the best job I can when the car’s running as it should. There’s a lot of work ahead of us but we’ll do whatever we can to be back on track tomorrow and when it’s all fixed I’m ready.”
 
Kamui Kobayashi: “One lap in both practice sessions is obviously not a good way to start the season, particularly after our reliability had been good in the Bahrain tests, but we know what the problems are on side and we’re all working very hard to fix them for tomorrow. The problem on my car was to do with the fuel system – it was fine on the installation lap but when I boxed we had a small fire under the engine cover which came from a fuel system leak. The fire was out immediately but when we’d found the problem we knew it couldn’t be fixed in time to run in FP2 so made the decision to remove the Power Unit so we could fix the issue and aim to run properly tomorrow.
 
“Despite how the weekend has started I’m still pretty positive about what could happen tomorrow and on Sunday. We might be a small team but everyone works as hard as anyone else in the pitlane and if we can get back to the Bahrain test reliability levels I think we can still have a good weekend.”

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m29.625s           37
 2.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m29.782s  +0.157s  31
 3.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m30.132s  +0.507s  28
 4.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m30.381s  +0.756s  41
 5.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m30.510s  +0.885s  33
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m30.538s  +0.913s  38
 7.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m30.898s  +1.273s  32
 8.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m30.920s  +1.295s  38
 9.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m31.031s  +1.406s  34
10.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m31.054s  +1.429s  33
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m31.060s  +1.435s  35
12.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m31.119s  +1.494s  31
13.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m31.283s  +1.658s  36
14.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.355s  +2.730s  36
15.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m32.468s  +2.843s  26
16.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m32.495s  +2.870s  36
17.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m33.486s  +3.861s  29
18.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m33.646s  +4.021s  12
19.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m34.757s  +5.132s  29
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault                          1
21.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault
22.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault