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Frirady practice reports – Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso – 2011 Singapore GP

Force India:Adrian Sutil: “I always enjoy street circuits and today’s sessions went pretty well for me. It usually takes a while to get back in the rhythm, especially on such a long lap as Singapore, but I got up to speed quite quickly. The general car balance has been good all day with just some understeer in the high and low speed corners to solve. By the time I was running on the supersofts the understeer issue was much better. We did some good work on both tyre compounds with some long runs in the second session. The supersofts obviously give a lot more grip, but the drop-off in performance after a few laps is quite big.”

Paul di Resta: “It wasn’t the best of days because what I really needed was time on track to help me learn the circuit. The first session was cut short and in the second I had a hydraulic brake issue, which took most of the session to fix. So it means that I go into Saturday with limited running on the soft tyres and just one timed lap on the supersofts. It’s not ideal because you need to build your confidence on a street circuit and find the limits because there is little margin for error. On the positive side Adrian has shown that the car seems to be on the pace and I felt quite happy during the limited running I did do on the soft tyres.”

Sauber:Sergio Perez: “Today we had very nice conditions for driving. The circuit is very demanding for the drivers and also for the tyres. You have to be focused all the time. Turn ten can be quite tricky because the kerbs are high, and if you get it wrong in that chicane you jump too high. I hope we manage to find a good balance for the car for the race. I think we have some good opportunities here to score points.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “My car is quite okay. Generally it is better on circuits which require more downforce, which, unlike at the recent circuits we have raced on, is the case here. It is a different and a better feeling. Also for me both tyre compounds, the soft and the super soft, seem okay.”

Toro Rosso:Jaime Alguersuari: “I am very happy to be back in Singapore again, as I enjoy the track and the special atmosphere, driving in the night time. As usual on the first day, the grip level from the track surface is very low and in general, I was not so happy with the car and I never felt that comfortable with it today. Because we did not run for the full amount of time, we still do not have a clear picture of the Soft tyre’s behaviour on a long run and we have yet to see how much degradation will be a factor. I think the track was dirtier today than this time last year, which did not help, although the surface feels less bumpy, especially going into Turn 7 and apart from that the only change is the one they made to the kerbs this morning. We still have one more session to improve the car prior to qualifying, which will be a more important session than at other races this season, because overtaking on a street circuit is always so difficult. In the morning, I did not hit any walls, but I rode the kerbs very aggressively and the team called me in before the end of the session, to check over the car as a precaution.”

Sebastien Buemi: “The morning session was delayed as they modified the kerbs at some points on the circuit and so, at first we had to adapt to the new lines that were made possible because of the removal of the kerbs. We managed a good number of laps in the first practice, which meant we were able to get a first impression of how the Soft tyres perform. Degradation seemed quite high, but this is normal here on the Friday. In the second session, I did two more runs on the harder tyres, but when I switched to the Supersoft, I was doing a hot lap when I made a small mistake exiting the last chicane and I touched the wall. My session therefore ended early, but I hope we will recover for Qualifying tomorrow. The car is not bad here and, as we saw in Monza, even if things do not go too well on Friday, we can still have a good race.”

Images © Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Getty Images


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