Heikki Kovalainen – 21st: “I think today proved what we suspected, that managing tyre degradation is going to be critical to performance on Sunday. This morning we tried a couple of setup options that didn’t really work too well but we made some changes over lunch and straight away this afternoon the car felt better. I had more grip and was able to manage the tyres well over the second run we did so I think we’ve found some improvements where we wanted to today and have a base to work on tonight.”
Vitaly Petrov – 19th: “We worked through the normal Friday runplans and for me it was a pretty good day. The grip levels this morning were not good, but I think that was the same for most of the teams, but this afternoon we had found some improvements, even though the track itself had lost some of the grip from this morning. We have a couple of areas to focus on tonight, particularly looking at maximising traction, but I’m reasonably pleased with where we have ended up.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “Preparations for this race started several months ago when we first ran the engines on the dyno and replicated the heat and the humidity we run in here in Malaysia. We work very closely with the aerodynamics department at the team to make sure we have the right cooling on the bodywork and from what we have seen today it looks like we have achieved the targets we set ourselves for this weekend.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “An interesting day for us and probably every team in the paddock. We knew that tyre management would play a key role over the weekend and it was immeditaly clear this morning that degradation levels on both tyre compounds are going to be high. The forecasts this morning suggested it might rain this afternoon so we switched the plans and went through some of the afternoon’s workload this morning, looking at how the tyres behaved on different fuel loads on each car. This afternoon we saw improvements on both cars and now have a lot of data to look at to prepare for tomorrow and Sunday.”
Riad Asmat, Caterham Group CEO: “First of all it is just great to be back on track in Sepang, in our home country. We have had a tremendous welcome here and, for me, it is good to feel the heat of home. That is not quite the same for the guys in the garage but they have prepared well and are all working extremely hard to make sure we can reproduce the pace we saw in Sunday’s race in Melbourne. Whatever happens, we will do our best to give the home fans reason to cheer and we have the right people in control of our race plans to do just that.”
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