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2014 Bahrain GP Friday practice quotes: Mercedes, Ferrari

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A close picture Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes GP, Friday Practice, F1 2014 Bahrain Grand PrixMercedes:- Lewis Hamilton, P1 – 1:37.502, 1st; P2 – 1:34.325, 1st 
“It’s been a pretty decent day for us. The car felt good from the outset which allowed us to spend time getting to grips with the tyres. The softs in particular seem to be working well and we saw a fair difference in lap time between them and the mediums. The focus today was on the second session as the timing and conditions reflects that of the rest of the weekend and the difference in temperature between the sessions was quite large. The key was to not react too much to that change in terms of our approach to set-up and we seemed to manage that well. It was great driving under the spotlights here: the circuit looks even better at night and you don’t really notice a difference in terms of visibility. It’s actually quite nice to be driving in cooler conditions too. As always there are still some tweaks we can make to improve the car, but overall I’m feeling good. I heard the update about Michael Schumacher after FP2 and we are all thinking of him and his family.”

Nico Rosberg, P1 1:37.733, 2nd; P2 – 1:34.690, 2nd
“Today was a good day of testing for us. It seems that we are quick in terms of outright pace and I also had a good long run in the second session, so I’m quite confident about the weekend ahead. Driving in the evening is very different, as the track temperatures are much lower than during all the test sessions we’ve had so far during the day. We learned a lot in the new conditions and it worked out quite well. It was also great to hear some encouraging news about Michael Schumacher today. The whole paddock was happy to hear this and I hope his progress continues.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“Today was a good day for the team. It’s impressive to see the cars running under floodlights for the first time in Bahrain. The important thing, however, was that we dealt with the change in temperature having become very familiar with running during the day here. The car looked competitive and reliable in the hands of both drivers, so we clearly handled the situation well. As always, though, we must keep our feet on the ground and make sure we maintain this level throughout the weekend: starting with qualifying tomorrow. We have also heard some positive news today from Grenoble. All of our thoughts are with Michael Schumacher, his family and friends and we hope to hear of more encouraging signs moving forwards.”

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes team executive director (technical)
“We’ve conducted a lot of testing here in conditions similar to those of today’s first session, however this is not representative of the timing and conditions we will encounter during qualifying and the race. We therefore opted to run a reduced programme in P1 and focus our efforts on P2 later in the day. During P1, both drivers completed a pair of short runs at the beginning and end of the session. P2 took a more normal format of short and long runs using primarily the option tyre and assessing potential strategies for the race. Both cars ran trouble-free throughout and the drivers were pleased with the balance. We’re pleased with our day’s work and looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.”

F1 Testing Bahrain, Sakhir 27 February  - 02 March 2014Ferrari:- Fernando Alonso, P1 – 1:37.953, 3rd; P2 – 1:35.360, 3rd 
“After many daytime races, it was really strange to be running here in the dark even if it was not very different to the other night time races, so we just have to get used to it. From this aspect, today was very useful, especially FP2, to learn about the behaviour of the tyres and the car. Even if we did a lot of running here in winter testing, now it’s like starting from scratch and one has to adapt to the new indications coming from the differing track conditions. We know our strong points and the areas we must focus on to improve, but we must not overreact in trying to close the performance gap. At the moment we must make steady progress while still keeping an eye on reliability, which has brought us a good points haul in the first couple of races, which is always very important.”

Kimi Raikkonen, P1 – 1:38.783, 6th; P2 – 1:36.366, 14th
“Overall, this was a difficult day, because I didn’t feel comfortable with the car in either session. In the first one, I damaged the floor on the kerb at Turn 4 and this meant I had to pit. The team did a super job, because they got me back out on track in a short time, but then, because of a problem with the brakes, I was unable to complete the programme. In the second session we concentrated on looking at the two Pirelli compounds and with the soft it was definitely better than the medium. Now we will get down to analysing all today’s data, especially regarding the immediate change in the track from day to night and we will try and improve for qualifying and the race.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“Today’s two sessions were very different to one another, as was predicted, partly because of the programmes we ran and partly because the track was cleaner in the second one. In general, the second session was more representative, just because the temperatures were more similar to what we can expect in the race. Work on both cars concentrated on set-up, aimed at improving stability under braking. In the earlier session, Kimi’s programme was interrupted when the floor on his F14T was partly broken after he hit a kerb at Turn 4, but we had no problems with Fernando. Then tonight, we did a long run test and now we must look closely at tyre performance, which is a key factor this weekend along with fuel consumption. It will be interesting to see how the hierarchy will change between tomorrow and Sunday, because the technical characteristics of this track mean the gaps between some of the teams could close up.”

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