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Friday quotes – Lotus, Ferrari, Williams – 2012 British GP

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, P1 – 2:00.253, 16th; P2 – 1:58.897, 8th

“It was wet. It’s a shame we don’t have more wet tyres to be able to get more track time, but if it’s going to rain for the whole weekend then everybody tries to save their allocation. We were able to test certain things so it wasn’t a total waste of time. It was interesting to see the new section of the track; it’s only a few corners so it doesn’t make too much difference to a lap. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be a bit better. Even if it is wet again, everyone will go out in practice and in qualifying so we should see a drier line emerge. When there are only a couple of cars running this doesn’t happen and there’s much more chance of aquaplaning, but with everyone out there it should be much better.”

Romain Grosjean, P1 – 1:56.552, 1st; P2 – no time, 21st
“It wasn’t the busiest day ever due to the weather conditions but still FP1 went well. The car looks to be good and consistent. We tested a few new aero parts which have worked pretty well. I also learnt that the old part of the circuit has a bit more grip than the new part. At the end of FP1 this morning it was incredibly wet and the same conditions at the start of FP2 so we had to wait and be patient. I would have liked to have more track time but due to the regulations on tyres we didn’t want to use up all our wet tyre allocation as more rain is expected on Saturday and Sunday. We looked at putting inters on but it wasn’t dry enough so we couldn’t really do many laps this afternoon. The conditions were a shame for the fans out there who came to watch us today, but we always appreciate their support.”

James Allison, Lotus technical director
“It’s never too much fun in conditions like we saw today as it is always a big dilemma about whether to risk the car to learn about what it is like to run in the conditions. We haven’t done a lot of wet weather running this year so it was useful for us to establish that the car behaves well in these conditions, especially as it may well be wet in the race. We were able to validate that all the wings are doing what they are supposed to do, even when the car is wet, and we did that with both drivers. Our pace in the morning showed that we don’t have any problems in these conditions. We were also able to conduct some pit stop practices which went well. Tomorrow and qualifying should be interesting.”


Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P1 – no time, 22nd; P2 – 1:59.015, 10th

“There’s very little I can say this afternoon, or at least even less than usual for a Friday. We did very few laps because of the rain and the fact that, with the number of sets of rain tyres limited by the regulations, there was no sense in doing more running. Rather, it was better to save tyres, given that the forecast is definitely not encouraging, as it is meant to rain all weekend. In other circumstances, if the rest of the weekend was meant to be dry maybe, then we could have done more running, but in these conditions, as I said, that really wasn’t the case. In the wet, the car seems okay, but it’s practically impossible to say where we are compared to the others. Tomorrow morning, let’s hope we can at least do a few laps in the dry so as to least have a rough idea of the behaviour of the Soft and Hard compounds that Pirelli has brought here. The off track moment towards the end? The car was aquaplaning and it got away from me. A shame about the front wing and now we must see if we can repair it.”

Felipe Massa, P1 – 1:58.119, 5th; P2 – 2:00.565, 15th
“The weather made this a difficult day. It rained all the time and upset our workload therefore we decided therefore to do only a little running to save tyres for tomorrow and Sunday. Obviously this meant we were not able to test the way we wanted, especially when it came to the small updates we have brought to this Grand Prix. I did only three timed laps, so it’s impossible to say anything about how the F2012 is behaving on this track. Tomorrow, regardless of the conditions, we will try and do more laps to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race. We will try and do what we can.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“Let’s say that today it would have been more interesting to compare tortellini with tagliatelle – or maybe Parma ham and Jamon Serrano, rather than spending three hours on the pit wall not even managing to complete a dozen timed laps! Joking apart, honestly it wasn’t worth doing much running, because the number of sets of rain tyre per driver is very limited and also because we did not want to risk the cars in such difficult track conditions, with so much surface water. So the real off key moment of the day was Fernando’s off track excursion right on his “in” lap at the end of FP2, which resulted in a broken front wing: now we will try and repair it for the rest of the weekend. We feel very sorry for the many spectators in the grandstands: unfortunately, this was the reality of the situation and we could not do many laps just for the sake of it. We had a few updates, nothing revolutionary, to try but obviously, we could not do much in these conditions. So we tried to do what we could, for example some practice starts, putting off until tomorrow the task of preparing for qualifying and the race. Certainly, if the rain was to continue to play its part, then we will have to be clever in managing the situation as well as possible. We continue to push on the development of the F2012, because now that we have significantly reduced the gap to the best, compared to where we were at the start of the season, it becomes increasingly difficult to make progress: the pace and effectiveness of the updates will be the key to the rest of the season.”


Williams
Pastor Maldonado, P1 – 2:00.125, 15th; P2 – 1:59.472, 12th

“We didn’t get chance to do a lot of running today but everybody is in the same situation. We didn’t try too many things with the set-up today but we used the time to see how the track conditions were. There was a lot of aquaplaning, but the car feels quite good despite not getting the chance to run on a wet set-up. If it’s like this all weekend, we’ll just need to make some decisions tomorrow ahead of qualifying.”

Bruno Senna, P2 – 2:01.099, 17th
“Unfortunately we didn’t have a very productive day in the end. The weather was poor weather with puddles on the track during second practice. On my second run, I aquaplaned on some deep water at the high speed Becketts section of the track and from that point was I a passenger until the car hit the wall. It was quite a heavy accident but I am ok. There is a lot of damage to the car but the Williams team will, I’m sure, do a great job of getting it back into shape for tomorrow.”

Valtteri Bottas, P1 – 1:59.733, 17th
“It was really wet this morning with a lot of water running across the track, meaning that the tyres were aquaplaning a little bit. The conditions were not easy but I think it was good overall. We got a little bit of direction with the car balance as it is looking like there will be rain all weekend. We made the most of the chance we had today by doing a few flying laps, but the weather was just getting worse.”

Mark Gillan, Williams chief operations engineer
“Unfortunately for everyone, and especially the spectators, the weather conditions were very poor today with constant rain throughout both sessions. As the forecast predicts both a wet qualifying and race we decided to run more than we would typically do in these challenging conditions in order to set the car up and get the drivers’ feedback ahead of the weekend. In FP2 Bruno aquaplaned off the circuit on full wet tyres damaging the front and rear wings and suspension. The mechanics are now busy rebuilding the car and we’ll be ready for FP3.”


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