CHINESE GRAND PRIX FRIDAY PRACTICE DRIVER QUOTES…
Valtteri Bottas: It was a normal Friday for us without any mistakes or unknowns. The updates we brought have worked, so we are a little quicker through the corners now, which is always positive. The temperature here suits us better than in Malaysia, so I think we can be strong in qualifying but we need to make sure we focus on the race and especially on the front left tyre graining.
Felipe Massa: The first session went to plan, but this afternoon we had a few issues with the rear wing. Under braking I lost all grip in the rear tyres and as a result the car spun which put me out for the rest of the session. We lost a lot of time, but the team made the changes to Valtteri’s rear wing so the same wouldn’t happen to him. We need to have a strong day tomorrow to set ourselves up well for the race.
Nico Hülkenberg: “It was a straightforward Friday in which we were able to get through our programme as planned. The majority of our work was on the tyres and on car balance, which should offer us a base to work from for the rest of the weekend. We were able to run with some test items in the morning and hopefully this will give the team plenty of data to process and analyse. I definitely think there is some interesting stuff going forward. We obviously have some work to do in order to extract some more performance from the car, especially as we switch between the different tyre compounds, but that should be the main focus for us tonight.”
Sergio Perez: “Today was not the easiest of days for me, especially the afternoon session, but at least the conditions out on track were quite consistent. We had to abort my first run on the option tyres and, when we went to resume it, there was a lot of traffic, which made it difficult to learn about our single-lap performance. It is something we will need to focus on tomorrow morning ahead of qualifying. On the other hand, we were able to fit in a longer run on the prime tyres, which gives us useful information for Sunday.”
Jolyon Palmer: “I’ve been waiting to get my hands on the E23 during a Grand Prix weekend and the experience didn’t disappoint. The track was quite green which provided its own set of slippery challenges and I had to learn the circuit quickly as I hadn’t driven in Shanghai before but overall I’m happy with P15. I was able to complete a decent tally of laps and test the limits of grip on a couple of occasions on the fresh track. It was great to be out on track and mixing it on a Grand Prix weekend.”
Romain Grosjean: “Obviously I’d have preferred to be in the car for both sessions but we had a good afternoon and we’re always happy to see a top ten lap time. We completed a good number of laps and the car feels basically pretty strong. As always, we’ve got some areas we can improve on but we’ve made a good start.”
“We had a good Friday, we got all the running we could from the sessions and our pace looks good. We had a few aero updates and drivability is always getting better, we definitely have had an improvement and that’s all we can ask for. We obviously have a few more steps to take but we’re making them in the right direction, so that’s positive.”
“We are investigating what happened with the brakes, it felt like I couldn’t stop the car, so we need to learn more about that. Everything had been fine up until the end of FP2. It’s a shame I couldn’t make a longer run but we still got many useful laps in. We brought some upgrades here and they look quite positive.”