Adrian Sutil, P1 – 1:42.365, 13th; P2 – 1:41.257, 13th
“In comparison to Melbourne, we made a few steps forward. The things we had on our plan partly worked out. However, the car is difficult to control and it is not easy to drive. We have a lot work ahead of us. We made steps in the right direction and it is working better than in Melbourne.”
Esteban Gutierrez, P1 – 1:42.904, 15th; P2 – 1:41.407, 15th
“I think it was a positive day. We managed to have no problems during the entire day. From that point of view, it is positive. Besides that, we managed to do our planned programme with both cars, so we collected interesting information which we can use to make the right decisions for tomorrow. In comparison to Melbourne, we made a step forward as the braking stability is better. We still have further things to develop and to improve. We have to evaluate the high fuel and find the best compromise for the race.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara , Sauber head of track engineering
“Today went well. We were able to work through the planned programme without any issues. The measures we took to move forward appear to work well and brought the expected improvements. However, we are not where we want to be and we still have some work to do. A positive thing is that this track seems to suit our car better than Melbourne did, which is useful. For tomorrow I think Q2 is a sensible target, but here in Malaysia you never know as it might rain and things can get exciting.”
Jules Bianchi, P1 – 1:43.825, 16th; P2 – 1:43.752, 19th
“It has been a pretty straightforward day for me. We did some good work looking at the aero options for the rest of the weekend here and also some more general work with the ERS system to help us improve for qualifying and the race. We have made some improvements during the two sessions and I think if we can maintain this good direction we can have a positive time here in the race on Sunday. We have had no major issues, which is good from a reliability point of view.”
Max Chilton, P1 – 1:46.911, 18th; P2 – 1:43.638, 18th
“It was good to be back in the car. We learned so much from the masses of data we gathered in Melbourne and there really is so much potential for development with the car that it’s nice to start making in-roads into that. This morning we were compromised quite a lot by an electrical problem and this afternoon ended better than it started. I spun on my opening lap but we got the car back quickly and I was still able to achieve quite a lot of track time, so it was a good recovery. There’s still plenty of work to be done to improve the balance but we ticked a lot of boxes.”
John Booth, Marussia team principal
“Today has been a good day, with much more track time with both cars. Jules completed all of his planned programme and was able to generate a lot of data, which will enable us to make better decisions overnight with regard to improving the performance of the cars. With Max, we did have an issue this morning with the electronics on the car, however the engineers and mechanics worked well together to change parts on the car and get the car running again before the end of the session. This afternoon both cars ran to programme and we have completed the normal sequence of short and long run tyre evaluations. We are once again happy with our reliability and the car is coping well with the heat, so we can be confident for the race in this respect. Tonight will be about gaining more performance, which I’m confident we can find.”
Marcus Ericsson, P1 – 1:45.775, 17th; P2 – 1:45.703, 20th
“Twenty four laps in FP1 means we started Friday much better than we did in Australia! It was a good first session for me, working through a normal FP1 program which was particularly important with the issues we had on Kamui’s car. At the start of the session the track was okay and as it went on and the grip levels improved so did the car balance, but for most of the time I was having issues with traction although we did improve the driveability of the power unit throughout the session. Overall, understeer was the main balance issue and a flatspot on one of the tyres meant the car was understeering quite a bit in the final two runs, but in general it was an okay session.
“In FP2 we were again able to get through a lot of laps but I had an issue all afternoon with the engine cutting out at various points throughout each lap. That mean I wasn’t able to put in a representative lap time in the whole session and that’s something we need to look at tonight with Renault. The car was also still understeering, particularly in the mid and high speed turns, and we’ll also have a look at that tonight when we have all the data from today.
“Overall it’s just good to have a full Friday behind me for the first time, especially here at our home race in Malaysia. I know the team are working as hard as possible to fix the problems on Kamui’s car, but at least we are a good step on from where we were this time in Australia with 55 laps completed on my side of the garage today – that will obviously help us tomorrow, both in FP3 and qualifying.”
Kamui Kobayashi, P1 – 1:51.180, 19th; P2 – no time, 21st
“FP1 started okay. We did the normal installation lap and then another three laps of the baseline run but then the power started cutting in and out and we had to box to take a look at the problem. It was pretty quickly identified as an energy store issue which meant we had to change the battery and that was the end of FP1 for me. Unfortunately we also found an oil leak when we took the floor off the car and that meant I wasn’t able to run at all in FP2 as it would have taken too long to fix both issues.
“This isn’t good, obviously, and I’m not happy that we’ve lost another Friday, but it is important to say that I know how hard everyone is working, in our team and at Renault, to try and fix these problems so we can have a proper race weekend. The fact Marcus was able to run the most laps of anyone in FP1 shows that we can be reliable – we just need to make sure both cars run like that for the rest of the weekend or we’ll have another difficult race ahead.”
Images © Sauber, Marussia, Caterham