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Friday Practice: STR-Ferrari, Lotus, Virgin, Hispania Racing

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Toro Rosso:
Sebastien Buemi: “We had a trouble free day, which is always important, so I am happy with that. It was an interesting day, because between the morning and the afternoon, we saw the biggest improvement in lap time that we have had so far this season. That makes life quite difficult, because as the grip improved very quickly, you had to find the confidence to make use of it immediately, which is different to what we are used to. We have a reasonably good understanding of tyre behaviour after doing the long stint. Now we have to see where we can improve for tomorrow and overall the work we did today was not too bad.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “In the morning we did a useful test on the brakes, however, I preferred the previous system, which we went back to for the afternoon, therefore, FP1 did not mean much, but as the track conditions improved a lot for the afternoon, that was not a problem. In FP2, the car felt quite good and I was getting a much better feeling with the brakes, which are very important here, because on this track you can gain a lot of time through your braking. It was particularly good on the long runs, so I am expecting a lot from tomorrow, as we improved the car significantly from the morning to the afternoon and there is the potential to improve still more.”

Lotus:
Heikki Kovalainen: “I feel really good. It’s been an excellent Friday. We’ve made really good progress with the car, and every set up change we made seemed to be pushing us in the right direction, and in the end the tyres seemed to be working well over the long run. The track itself is good, it’s nice – a semi street circuit, but with a little more room than Monaco! It’s smooth, with quite a good grip level and all in all it’s quite good fun. I did arrive late today because of the French strikes – we had to drive down from Geneva and arrived early this morning. But I feel fine – it’s just one night with a little less sleep than usual, so it’s no big deal. My physio Petri and I shared the driving, so I feel absolutely fine. For qualifying tomorrow, we’re going to try to push it to the maximum. Our aim is to get closer to the back of the established teams as much as we possibly can so I’m always pushing, always to the maximum, and let’s see where we are tomorrow afternoon!”

Jarno Trulli: “It was a better day for me today after some of the luck I’ve been having. I had one or two gremlins, but it was a good day to shakedown the new chassis properly and make sure everything was working well. We got a good idea of where we want to be on the setup and the direction for Saturday and Sunday, so I think this was much better for me. On track there was good grip out there this afternoon, and the car felt good, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Virgin:
Timo Glock: “It has been a reasonable day for us apart from the gearbox problem that we had this afternoon. Apart from that the car didn’t feel too bad. It’s difficult to comment on our pace because I lost some time at the end of the session and didn’t get my Option run, but in general I’m happy with the first laps of the weekend and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

Lucas di Grassi: “Today was a very good day and we achieved everything that we needed to from our programme. We didn’t experience any major problems, so I’m

pleased with the work we have done so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how we can improve for tomorrow.”

Hispania:
Bruno Senna: “The first session was difficult because of the track conditions. It was very slippery and therefore not easy to drive. But the grip level improved in the afternoon and the lap times got better. We could do our quickest lap on the option tyres and now we have to focus on the qualifying. “

Karun Chandhok: “”It was quite a tricky day for us. The first two sectors were good but then we had a hydraulic problem in sector 3 on the option tyre run and therefore no representative ultimate lap time for me. We will have to look at Bruno to judge our pace and it definitely looks like we could be in decent shape to compete with Virgin cars tomorrow. The tyre degradation wasn’t as bad as Montreal and the option tyre was more consistent as expected. The track will improve a bit more tomorrow so hopefully we can have a productive third practice and prepare well for qualifying and race in front of our team’s home crowd.”

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