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Friday practice quotes: Force India, Williams, Sauber

jm1418ap37Force India
Nico Hulkenberg, P1 – 1:41.175, 5th; P2 – 1:39.736, 11th

“It was quite a smooth day in terms of completing our programme and working through the job list. There is still work to do on the set-up and some things we can try to optimise the car ahead of tomorrow, but on the whole I’m satisfied with what we learnt today. The tyre work went okay and we have all the data that we need on the soft and the medium tyres to prepare for the rest of the weekend.”

Sergio Perez, P1 – 1:42.733, 15th; P2 – 1:40.124, 15th
“I had an issue with the DRS this morning, but the afternoon was much better and we completed our lap target. The tyre work went to plan and, as we expected, the degradation was high on the soft tyre. I’m still not completely happy with the balance so there are some areas to work on overnight.”

Robert Fernley, deputy team principal
“It’s been a fairly normal Friday for us with both cars getting through their respective programmes. Sergio lost some track time with a DRS issue this morning, but the afternoon was much more straightforward. There are a few aero developments on the car this weekend, which we ran during the Bahrain test, and we continued to evaluate them here. It’s difficult to judge our competitiveness based on today’s performance, but it’s fair to say that we have some work to do this evening to optimise things. There’s also a good chance of rain tomorrow, which could impact on qualifying and make things interesting.”

_74315702_felipenasrWilliams
Felipe Massa, P1 – 1:41.699, 10th; P2 – 1:39.118, 6th

“All of the upgrades we brought here have improved performance which is really positive. Having new parts that we will use is good news as we have made some good steps forward. The balance and feeling of the car is better, however we know that most other teams have also made improvements. The low track temperatures made it slippery, and if it rains tomorrow it will be the same in the race. We also suffered some graining on the front but we can make some changes to sort this problem. Today has been a good day and the long runs gave us some good data to work on.”

Valtteri Bottas, P2 – 1:39.830, 14th
“Conditions made it hard today, but we had some really good information from the new parts. It took time for me to get used to the track this afternoon after missing this morning, made harder by the fact that there are some difficult corner combinations, but once in the rhythm it was clear we have a better package than in Bahrain. The weather could play its part tomorrow if it rains, this will also mean the track stays slippery for the race which is always interesting. Overall I am feeling positive and I know I can offer a lot more for qualifying and the race.”

Felipe Nasr, P1 – 1:42.265, 13th
“It was a bit of a challenge as I have never driven this circuit before. So as well as testing new parts I was also learning the track, which compromised how much I could push. We had some new parts to test so I was focusing on that. The track was cold and so grip was low, but we had to work around that. The positive factor is that it’s another circuit learnt and more time in the car which is really valuable for me.”

Rob Smedley, head of vehicle performance
“It has been a good day. We had a complicated and involved programme which we completed, so well done to the guys for that. The morning consisted of aero testing of a number of new components, most of which were positive. This afternoon we looked at mechanical and power unit set-up and completed that programme as well, which means it has been a really busy day. The guys did really well, but we now need to spend tonight analysing all the data to make sure that we are prepared for tomorrow.”

F1+Grand+Prix+China+Practice+RDYrWE8nbMqxSauber
Esteban Gutierrez, P1 – 1:44.162, 18th; P2 – 1:40.359, 16th

“The clutch problem was not an ideal start to FP1, but the team did a great job fixing the issue quickly. I was able to get out on the track in the middle of the session, which was quite important. Unfortunately, we had another unexpected problem with the ERS. We did not have the full power and this issue effected the lap times enormously. However, we kept running to get a better feeling for the balance of the car. In the afternoon we were able to do the long runs. Obviously, we are not where we want to be at the moment. We will keep pushing to get things sorted out and try to make another step tomorrow.”

Adrian Sutil, P2 – 1:40.395, 17th
“I only ran in the second practice session. At the beginning it took a while to get going. The driveability of the car is still not easy. I am struggling with the tyres to get them to work. There is still a lot of work ahead of us. In comparison to Bahrain, I think we had more straight line top speed, which brings us closer to the teams in front of us. The mid-field is quite tight together. In terms of lap times, we are closer to our direct competitors, but we are obviously not there where we want to be.”

Giedo van der Garde, P1 – 1:42.615, 14th
“It was a good session. It made quite a big difference that I had been in the car for a whole day at the test in Bahrain. I think we did some good work today. The track was quite cold, so it was not easy to get the tyres to work. Other than that, it was positive that we could work on some set-up changes during the session. We also worked on the pedal and brake mapping, so all in all I am happy with the outcome of FP1. It is good to be back in the car again.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Sauber head of track engineering
“Esteban lost a lot of time in FP1 due to a clutch problem. Once this was fixed he was able to go out, but he was then hindered by an issue with the Energy Recovery System, which cost him good lap times. The afternoon was trouble free for both drivers and enabled us to work on our planned programme. We were able to find some improvements on the C33 which brought us closer to our direct competitors in low fuel conditions. This is positive, but in race conditions we are not yet where we should be. With these settings we are losing speed on the straights. This is something we have to look into.”

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