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Teams and drivers quotes – Friday practice 2011 Canadian GP

Sebastian Vettel, Kamui Kobayashi, Adrian Sutil and Jerome d’Ambrosio on their brushes with the Montreal walls; Pedro de la Rosa on his unexpected call-up for Sauber; and Fernando Alonso on setting the pace around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Drivers and senior team personnel on day one in Canada…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1 – 1:18.852, 16th; P2 – 1:15.476, 2nd

“I had an incident this morning. I lost the rear, but by the time I hit the wall I had low speed, so the crash was quite mild. There wasn’t much damage, so we could fix the car and get back out this afternoon. McLaren and Ferrari look strong here, although I haven’t seen all the times from practice yet. For us, I’m happy with the car’s balance and how it performs, so we will see. It’s a special circuit here, it’s quite rough with the kerbs and chicanes, but I like it. The target is to win, but it’s a long weekend and a lot of things can happen. It’s important to finish and do your best, whatever that is.”

Mark Webber, P1 – 1:17.820, 12th; P2 – 1:16.102, 7th
“We were a bit compromised with the red flags at the end of P2, so we could have had a smoother end to the final session, but it wasn’t too bad. We tried different fuel loads today and now we just need to chip away and get the car a bit quicker. It’s a tricky venue here and we might have some different weather conditions thrown into the mix over the next 24 hours.”

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, P2 – 1:17.051, 13th

“Good to be back in the car, because having had Spain and Monaco one after the other, it has seemed like a long wait to go racing again. I didn’t run this morning, which is fine, but it makes the afternoon more important. It went well and we have a good scan of what the tyres are doing, including the prototype Medium which we tested here for Valencia in two weeks’ time. I did many laps which is positive, given that it was a tricky session with some cars going off track. We ran low downforce wings of course for this circuit and we have a good understanding of how they are working. It’s very nice to drive the car in low downforce configuration, with a very high top speed which is exciting. This track is always demanding for the brakes and so we pushed really hard on them today and now we must look at the data to see if we have made the correct cooling calculations.”

Jaime Alguersuari, P1 – 1:18.458, 13th; P2 – 1:17.684, 14th
““I feel I have made a step forward here in terms of my understanding of the car, because I suffered a bit in recent races, so that is a positive aspect of the day. I am still struggling a bit to get the tyres to work properly over a single flying lap so we must work on that, although it might be difficult to do that tomorrow morning as I hear rain is forecast. On the other hand, I was very impressed with our long run race simulation, because the car seemed to perform much more consistently than in the past. For example, degradation on the rear tyres does not appear to be much of an issue. As for the brakes, I had a better feel for them here than in Monaco, so I think overall we are making good progress.”

Daniel Ricciardo, P1 – 1:18.648, 15th
“I attended the race last year but this is the first time I have been on track here. It’s awesome and walking the track, or driving it on the simulator does not give you a real impression of how good it is. It’s really more than I expected. I love being able to get out on track and really attack it and use the kerbs. Getting close to the walls gives the driver the impression of really owning the car and manhandling it which is good fun. So, a very enjoyable session. I ran a slightly different programme to the other races this year. I went out and did a couple of runs as a base line as usual and then I did a longer run at the end, although we had to change the plan a bit because of the red flag. Actually, this was the most laps I have ever driven consecutively in a Formula 1 car, doing 19 laps. It was good fun experiencing the Toro Rosso in more of a race trim for the first time. I learned a bit about the tyre behaviour even though the track was very dirty for the first two runs. Apart from the Prime, I was also able to try the Pirelli Medium which we have been given to test for Valencia. It was only for a short run and the level of grip they gave seemed quite nice and I am sure they will be good to race on in Valencia.”

Lotus
Heikki Kovalainen, P1 – 1:19.422, 19th; P2 – 1:18.482, 17th

“Overall I’m pretty satisfied but it was a bit of a strange day. In the early runs this morning it felt like one of the hardest Fridays I’ve had this year in terms of the balance and overall performance of the car, but as we kept putting more laps in we made some good improvements with the brakes and the setup and I think we pretty much got what we wanted out of it by the end of P2.”

Jarno Trulli, P1 – 1:19.274, 18th; P2 – 1:18.470, 16th
“That was a good Friday for us. We ran well all day with no problems, got through the tyre evaluation programme and put good mileage on both the compounds. The grip level this morning was as dusty as we expected it to be and then it improved throughout the day, but with wet weather coming I think it will be harder work for everyone over the rest of the weekend.”

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
“A very useful day for the team and good preparation for the weekend ahead. Both drivers completed their full programmes and we ran all day with no mechanical issues on either car. This morning we ran on the development tyres and both the primes and the options in the afternoon and were pleased with how well all the compounds behaved. We have definitely made some progress on the setup, particularly on Heikki’s car, so that goes down as a good day.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 support leader for Lotus
“Another good Friday for us. We generated a lot of data from the mileage we ran, particularly on maximising performance on the very long straight here, and both drivers have given us good feedback about the maps we worked on so we have definitely achieved what we set out to today.”

Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
“Today’s performance in both sessions is a good way to mark my first visit to Canada. We have obviously made good strides on the reliability of the cars and that sets us up well for the whole weekend which is key to our development on track, so I am very pleased with how today has gone. Off track we have also had a very good lead up to the Canadian race by completing a number of very exciting deals for both Team Lotus and AirAsia. We will unveil everything we have been working on in due course and when we do I am confident that it will serve as proof positive of how successfully we are growing both the F1 team and the airline.”

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, P1 – 1:15.591, 1st; P2 – 1:18.601, 19th

“It was a positive start to the weekend, and we seem to have made some progress with our race pace. I felt comfortable with the car today and we completed a lot of laps despite the interruptions, which was good. The tyres are holding up well so it will be interesting to see the comparison once we start working on low fuel tomorrow. Overall, I’m quite happy.”

Michael Schumacher, P1 – 1:16.549, 3rd; P2 – 1:19.209, 20th
“We covered quite a lot of work today. Obviously we didn’t do any times on lower fuel and just concentrated on high fuel due to the red flags shortening our programme this afternoon. That’s why we are at the opposite end of the timesheets to this morning, when it looked encouraging for a weekend that we did not enter with the highest expectations. We will now sit and analyse our performance and hope for another encouraging day tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
“We’ve had a good day to start our Canadian Grand Prix weekend. Today’s running was obviously interrupted with the various incidents, however we have focused very much on our race preparation, particularly this afternoon. The loss of track time meant that we did not complete any low fuel running, but from our long run work, the car looks reasonable.”

Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“A good and productive first day for us here on the Ile de Notre Dame at this great track. In the afternoon we concentrated on race simulations with both types of tyres: Nico’s times looked consistent in both cases, but for Michael there is still some more set-up work to be done. Nico’s time this morning was comparable to the best times from the afternoon when the track in Montreal has more grip and is therefore usually quicker. Today was certainly one of our better Fridays. The weather forecast for tomorrow currently predicts a 75% chance of rain at 1300 when qualifying starts, and it is possible that this will be the first wet running of the weekend, because P3 should still be dry. Qualifying could therefore be even more interesting and challenging than usual; hopefully we can repeat our good form from today.”

Pirelli
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“We certainly had an action-packed session today, underlining the challenging reputation of this fantastic circuit. As the track is only used in its entirety twice a year there was very little grip today, but despite this handicap our tyres were extremely competitive, easily eclipsing the free practice times from last year and coming incredibly close to the 2010 pole time. We’re sorry that Sergio Perez is not feeling well and hope to see him back behind the wheel soon, but it was a fantastic effort from Pedro de la Rosa to jump into the car and immediately go 18th fastest, and it’s great to see two former Pirelli test drivers on the grid now! The feedback about the new medium tyre was generally good and now we need to evaluate all the data we have gathered over the course of the two sessions.”

More to follow.

The Reports © Formula1.com

Source: Formula1.com


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