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Frirady practice reports – Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari – 2011 Singapore GP

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Red Bull: – Sebastian Vettel: “It’s a demanding circuit, it’s quite warm with the suit etc. and on top of that you have to focus – it’s one of the e toughest tracks for the mind here. I quite like it, but I’m sure no one’s jumping out of the car looking better than when they got in. We worked on the set up of the car, but the baseline was not too bad. We still have to make a good step overnight. It looked pretty tight out there today, so we need to wait and see.”

Mark Webber: “It wasn’t too bad. I need to find a bit more pace, but there’s a bit of low hanging fruit which we can grab tonight, which will be good for us. Seb’s going alright, so I just need to find a bit more and get into it tomorrow. In Free Practice 1, I had a small incident. I thought Glock was letting me through, but he didn’t know I was there, so when we got to the apex, our car’s touched.”

McLaren:Lewis Hamilton: “We were competitive in P1, but in P2 there was a larger gap to the front and we started struggling a little with the rear tyres. There are some areas out on the track where the bolts are coming out of the kerbs – they must be taking some serious force from the cars. On a couple of the corners – Turns Three, 13 and 14 – the exit and apex kerbing has been removed, so some drivers were using the extra track. We don’t yet know whether or not the kerbs will be reinstated tonight, so I continued driving as though the kerbs were there. If they’re not replaced, then we should gain an extra couple of tenths by being able to run as wide as some of the others did. Either way, we’re going to improve the car overnight; we’ll change the set-up a little bit. Qualifying will be very important tomorrow, because a good starting position for the race will be vital. Then, looking after the tyres will be key; we’ll be making adjustments to limit the rears’ sliding, and also to make them last longer.”

Jenson Button: “During P2, I locked up into Turn 14, but I just kept it out of the barriers. I selected reverse and started to pull back slowly, but then I had no drive. I tried to turn the car around, but there was no room. So I tried to reverse again, and something wasn’t working with the gearbox. We looked at the ‘box once we got the car back to the garage, and it’s now happily resolved. I only ran the Prime tyre today and didn’t really find a great set-up. It was a little disappointing not to do any more running, because I couldn’t improve the package. Still, we have some good ideas for tomorrow and I’m confident we’ll make more progress. I think everybody will struggle a little with tyres during the race – they seem to be overheating quite quickly. So it’s going to be a bit tough, but we’re all in the same boat.”
 

Mercedes GP:Michael Schumacher: “As usual on these types of circuits, the track is pretty slippery and provides low grip. It was not really useful therefore that the practice time was cut, because we had a big programme to work on. But then, it was what it was, so we made the best out of it. The picture overall is probably as expected: no big surprises, and maybe the most obvious thing is that the difference between the tyres is quite big. For the rest, it is too early to say as we did not have the time yet to analyse the practice sessions fully. I like the race here; it is a bit like the modern Monaco, very exciting with more run-off areas.”

Nico Rosberg: “It was difficult to learn a lot in the first practice session this evening due to the interruptions. However in the second session this evening, we were able to work through a lot of set-up changes and learn a lot about the car. I was on higher fuel levels to help our understanding of how to prepare the car for the race. It wasn’t a perfect day but a decent day for me and hopefully we can make further progress tomorrow.”

Images © Red Bull, McLaren. Mercedes, Getty Images


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