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2014 F1

2014 Spanish GP: Friday practice quotes – McLaren, Toro Rosso, Pirelli

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Jenson Button drives at Spanish GP Friday practice
McLaren
Jenson Button, P1 1:27.891, 2nd; P2 – 1:27.811, 7th

“In this afternoon’s warmer temperatures, it was harder for us to get the car working properly. When you’re limited on downforce, the car seems to operate properly within a very narrow temperature range. 

“This morning, I think we looked quicker than we actually were. We’re now trying to work on the balance to improve our long-run pace a little more – and I think we can make the car a bit stronger for tomorrow.

“There are a few upgrades on the car for this weekend that seem to have helped the balance, so hopefully they’ll help us compete in the tight midfield group in which we find ourselves.

“A good result here would be for us to get everything out of our package – but it’s still too early to say where that would put us.”

Kevin Magnussen, P1 – 1:28.423, 7th; P2 – 1:27.788, 6th
“I like this circuit, and the car feels better here than it did in Shanghai, so hopefully we can have a better weekend.

“I think our upgrades are working – they’re not going to completely change the world, but they’re a small step in the right direction and we need to keep taking those small steps.

“If we get everything right this weekend, I think we can be fighting well in the midfield pack. That’s obviously still not where we want to be, but it would represent a step forward from China.

“So I think we can be slightly encouraged by the improvements we’ve made. Anything that moves us forward is good.”

Eric Boullier, McLaren racing director 
“Today has shown just how relentless is the pace of Formula One development.

“We brought a series of upgrades to our car this weekend, and it’s encouraging to see that the package has been a useful step. It seems to have corrected some of the problems that affected us in China last month, but we’re still only taking the first steps on a long journey back to the front.

“As a team, we worked well today, diligently refining the car and collecting data to work through this evening. Apart from the top three teams, the battle for the midfield is incredibly delicately poised – so our aim for this weekend will be to try and emerge on Sunday towards the head of that pack.”

Toro Rosso
Daniil Kvyat, P1 – 1:28.792, 11th; P2 – 1:28.049, 10th

“It was a productive Friday and I was quite happy with the balance. The car ran reliably on both the option and prime tyre, so we were able to collect a lot of useful data which we will study tonight. I have a good feeling and I hope we can come out strong in qualifying tomorrow.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, P1 – 1:28.859, 13th; P2 – 1:28.246, 12th
“Not a bad Friday, even if we still have a lot of work to do and things to understand for tomorrow. A certainly positive aspect is that we look pretty good on the long runs, so if we can manage to improve overnight, things should look better for tomorrow.”

Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso head of vehicle performance
“Overall, until five minutes to go, it was going quite well today. We had a solid Friday with pretty much all of our test items completed. As everybody, we had a few new things on the car here and we had to go through the process of testing them against our preview solutions and I have to say we feel like we have now the answers we were looking for. Pace wise, the field is extremely tight, with two or three tenth between being P6 or P12 so it’s going to be about trying to extract everything out of the car tonight to be at the top of that group tomorrow. Unfortunately we had an issue with Jev’s pit stop at the end of his long run, when we lost a wheel as soon as he left the pit lane, but luckily no one was injured. We have to understand exactly what went wrong and make sure we can correct that for tomorrow.”

Pirelli
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“The tyres have a lot of work to do in Barcelona, particularly the front-left, but despite this wear and degradation is in line with our expectations, which means that we should see most drivers do a maximum of three stops tomorrow. With no pre-season testing in Barcelona this year, the teams used today to adapt their 2014 cars to the high-energy characteristics of the track, and we expect lap times to fall further as more rubber is laid down. There is normally a high degree of track evolution here, helped by the large number of support races, which will have an effect on tyre wear over the rest of the weekend. On that subject, the fact we’re bringing the most number of tyres that we’ve ever transported to a grand prix – 3224 – underlines our commitment to the sport and providing the best possible spectacle for the fans, by encouraging competitors to run as much as possible.”

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