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Friday practice quotes – Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams

45 (10)Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, P1 – 1:40.843, 2nd; P2 – 1:39.944, 2nd

“This was definitely a positive day and I had a better feeling compared to Friday in Melbourne. I was more comfortable with the F14 T today and even if we had no problems whatsoever, we know there’s still a long way to go and a lot to do. Our programme concentrated on car set-up and on testing the compounds that Pirelli has brought here. The handling seemed to be good even if, as we found on the race simulation, we will have to pay very close attention to degradation, which is particularly high here. Now we will spend the evening carefully analysing all the data we gathered over the day, to try and work out how to improve.”

Fernando Alonso, P1 – 1:41.923, 11th; P2 – 1:40.103, 5th
“We are on a learning curve, which is not unusual for the start of a championship and, to find out how competitive we are, as usual we will have to wait until Saturday and Sunday. Usually, Friday is a very confusing day, because everyone is working on their own programmes, but this year it’s even more the case because of all the new elements. Everything went well, with no reliability problems and we managed to do a fair number of laps, enough to get a good understanding of the tyres, which will be a very important factor here because of the high temperatures. The hard compound seems to stand up better over a long run, but it’s still too early to talk about qualifying and race strategy. For now, the only thing one can be sure of is the need to do everything to perfection.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“Although the Friday work hasn’t changed, the number of variables on which we need to concentrate has increased compared to previous years. Among the many parameters that require particular attention are the management systems of the new power unit, especially in terms of its reliability. That’s what we focused on this morning, while in the session just finished we went through the usual set-up work, trying to adapt the balance of the car to the characteristics of the Sepang track. The tyres are harder than last year, but they still come under a lot of strain from lateral loads in the fast corners and so managing their degradation will be a key factor. Even if we are just a few thousandths off the top of the time sheet, as usual on Friday, it’s impossible to give any real assessment. The actual pecking order will only be seen tomorrow in qualifying.”

45 (9)Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1 – 1:41.523, 7th; P2 – 1:39.970, 3rd

“I think we had a good day, obviously Friday timings are not the most important thing in the world but it’s good to be up there and in range of the top guys. I think we had a decent day, not a completely smooth day for both of us, there are still some things to solve on the software side and the programming, but that’s the way it is. I think we have to learn a lot but all in all, I’m quite happy.”

Daniel Ricciardo, P1 – 1:42.117, 12th; P2 – 1:40.276, 7th
“I think we learned quite a lot about the short run pace this morning. We were pretty pleased with the progress we made, but it could have been better with the long runs. I think we’ve got some room for improvement, but that’s what tonight’s for. Reliability was good today, so I think we’re pretty pleased with that. It’s always warm here, the humidity is probably the biggest challenge about this place, but it’s all good, you know, it toughens us up a little bit!”

45 (7)Williams
Felipe Massa, P1 – 1:41.686, 9th; P2 – 1:40.112, 6th

“We completed our run plan and we had no technical issues, so today was a good opportunity to learn more about the performance of the car. It was pretty hot so we could also understand more about how the tyres are working in high temperatures. We managed to do long runs on different types of tyre which has been very useful and the car was performing solidly. There is still more performance to unlock from the car, so we need to work hard tonight analysing the data we have to make some improvements for qualifying and the race.”

Valtteri Bottas, P1 – 1:41.830, 10th; P2 – 1:40.638, 9th
“We tried many things with the car today and collected a lot of data on the long runs so on the whole it has been a good day. One challenge has been the difference in pace between the prime and the option tyre. The prime was sliding quite a lot and wearing out, so that will be something to watch out for over the weekend. I didn’t have the best lap on my final run on the option tyres, so like most people we still have some more speed to come tomorrow. The car still needs more downforce, particularly in the high speed corners, but we have our own strengths and our top speed is looking strong which is always good in the race.”

Rod Nelson, Williams chief test and support engineer
“Like most teams we were concentrating on tyre degradation and tyre temperatures today, and we managed to collect a lot of good information on these elements and know what we need to do for qualifying and the race. We also made a few chassis changes between FP1 and FP2 which have looked successful. It’s looking very tight at the top, with only three and a half tenths separating the top six, so it won’t take much for our drivers to move up. Valtteri had a yellow flag on his first timed lap on his medium tyres and didn’t have a clean run on his second attempt, so there is more pace to come. We have had some good feedback from the drivers who have given us a clear direction on where we need to make improvements so I’m pleased with how today has gone.”

Images © Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams

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