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Friday Practice: Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren

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Ferrari:

Fernando Alonso: “Here, as in Montreal, our car seems to work well, even if it’s difficult to make a direct comparison, given that the track surface is very different and that one needs a bit more aerodynamic downforce. Together with Felipe, we worked on the development of new technical solutions, but it is hard to say how much we have improved compared to the others. The F10 has turned out to be easy to drive and competitive in every situation, both with low and high fuel loads, but it is too early to say where we are: this morning, the McLarens were very quick, the Red Bulls are always on front running pace and even Mercedes and Renault are very close. However, our only aim is to be ahead of everyone, otherwise we wouldn’t be Ferrari.”

Felipe Massa: “The track was very dirty, which makes it difficult to understand exactly how much the new parts which we used for the first time today have improved the performance of the car. I never managed to get a clean lap when I was on new tyres with low fuel and this explains my position on the time sheet. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the handling of my car. I think we have made a step forward in performance terms and that we should be competitive this weekend: I hope I can fight for a place on the top rows. The spin? I hit a kerb, spun and then I chose to brake to avoid hitting the wall: unfortunately the engine cut out and we now have to look into why the anti-stall did not work.”

Red Bull:

Sebastian Vettel: “Overall a good day, we did a lot of laps, we didn’t have any problem with the car so we could follow our programme like it should be on a Friday. We need to see if we keep the F-duct in the car, we need to confirm that, but all in all I think the pace was promising today considering this shouldn’t be our strongest track. We did a step forward with the whole car – it was a good day for us.”

Mark Webber: “We had a good Friday programme with no interruptions and evaluated the tyres and the F-duct which we will look into tonight – as we all know it’s not without its challenges getting that thing working. The track changed a lot this afternoon, the conditions were moving around a bit. But a very productive day for us: the car ran faultlessly and was pretty comfortable so looking forward to tomorrow.”

Mercedes GP:

Nico Rosberg: “We’ve had a productive day and I am feeling comfortable in the car although the tyres were a challenge again with graining and various issues. The option didn’t seem to work well but it was the same for everyone and we made the most of it. The team has done a good job on our upgrades and I’m sure that they have improved our competitiveness. We have a few bits and pieces to resolve overnight but we are on the right track which is nice to see. We know that our race pace is better than our qualifying performance at the moment so if we can get our qualifying right, we should make good progress this weekend.”

Michael Schumacher: “It was exciting to drive the track for the first time today, probably even to a bigger extent than I had anticipated yesterday after checking it. So this morning for me was mostly about getting a feeling for the track. You need to get used to it but I found it quite comfortable to drive even if some of the corners are blind. However it’s

demanding to get the real rhythm which I have not totally found over one lap yet. The long runs went okay and all in all it was not too bad today, depending on the fuel loads obviously which we need to look into more deeply now. Regarding Lewis, I must apologise as I did not see him and was not informed that he was there. As I was planning my lap at that moment and looking ahead, I was unfortunately in his way.”

McLaren:

Lewis Hamilton: “The first session looked quite good for us. But it was always going to be interesting to see how quickly the blown-diffuser cars could get up to speed – and they looked very competitive this afternoon, particularly over a single lap. And the grip they appear to have through the high-speed stuff could make them difficult for us to touch. Nevertheless, I still think our race pace will be good, and we’ll keep pushing: this weekend is all about us taking as much as we can from the blown-diffuser cars while they have an advantage. As for the small misunderstanding with Michael [Schumacher], well, it’s always difficult to find a gap out there. I saw him ahead of me and I thought he was on a quick lap – then, all of a sudden, he slowed down to create a gap from the guy in front. Around here, it’s all about managing the gap between the guy in front and the guy behind. Fortunately, I missed him, so no hard feelings – and I hear he apologised anyway, so it’s all good. There’s no problem. Everyone’s always backing up here at the final corner, so it’s a bit like Monaco in that sense. And it shows just how tricky it will be to find a gap in qualifying.”

Jenson Button: “It’s hard to get a balance around this circuit, but we changed it throughout P2 and the car feels pretty good now. Our long run was quite promising, too – we were perhaps a little over-cautious at the beginning, so I was able to push at the end. I’m reasonably happy, but there are a lot of quick cars out there. The Ferraris look very fast; so do the Red Bulls, Renaults and Mercedes. But that’s because teams bring out upgrade packages at different points during the season, and we don’t have an upgrade for here, and many teams do. Anyway, it evens out over the season but we’ve just got to fight it out here and get the best out of what we’ve got. This is a car we know, so we’ll tweak it and try to make sure we don’t make any mistakes this weekend. It’s going to be a tough weekend for us, but an enjoyable one too, and we should still get some good points from it.”

Source:orange.planetf1.com

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