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Friday practice quotes: Toro Rosso, Marussia, Caterham

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F1+Grand+Prix+China+Practice+x4r6sQenSWOxToro Rosso
Daniil Kvyat, P1 – 1:41.977, 11th; P2 – 1:39.648, 10th

“It was a good Friday and it didn’t take me long to learn the track. I found it quite straight forward and we were able to start work on our basic set-up straight away. We managed to get through our programme and collect a lot of data for us to study tonight. So hopefully we will find a good compromise for tomorrow.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, P1 – 1:41.505, 7th; P2 – 1:39.759, 13th
“I think it was a normal Friday. Today we needed to work on the long runs, in which we look pretty good. After today’s sessions we feel confident we can have a good car for Sunday. As for tomorrow, I think we still have some work to do. The weather forecast is clearly predicting rain so it’s difficult to say what to expect.”

Phil Charles, Toro Rosso chief race engineer
“Overall a pretty good day for us. We worked through our programme with both cars, including a tyre test at the end, so we were able to collect lots of interesting data. It’s another new track for Daniil and he’s done a very good job settling in. Jev has also done a good job but he is not particularly happy with his car balance, so we’ve got a little bit of work to do there. Tonight we’ll have a close look at all the data and prepare ourselves for the remainder of the weekend, which should be quite interesting with rain expected tomorrow.”

F1+Grand+Prix+China+Practice+fisSmcWz76ZxMarussia
Jules Bianchi, P1 – 1:44.270, 19th; P2 – 1:42.327, 19th

“I keep saying that my objective is to have some better luck, but this morning I had barely completed my installation lap when we experienced a fuel system problem on my side and I had to sit out much of the session. The team worked really well to get me some track time at the end of the morning and to ensure that we were on top of the problem for the afternoon. I completed seven laps in FP1, which were still quite important and I was pleased with the balance of the car at this stage. The afternoon session was better for me and I’m pleased that I ended up ahead of my nearest competitors. We still need to work on the performance of the car here but with all the information we have I’m sure we can make good progress overnight.”

Max Chilton, P1 – 1:44.782, 20th; P2 – 1:43.473, 20th
“The conditions we are experiencing here are very different to Bahrain, so while we completed a lot of the preparation work for this race in Bahrain, we have needed to make adjustments to suit the specific nature of this track. We’ve made some good progress but our efforts have been hampered a little by some problems with the DRS, and this has prevented us from getting a good rhythm. Generally though, I’m quite happy with the way the race runs went and I’m feeling positive for the weekend ahead.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“Off the back of what was a very positive test last week, it is unfortunate that we have arrived here with a couple of issues, which have hampered the programme slightly today. From the very start of FP1, unfortunately we experienced a fuel system issue with Jules, although this was quickly rectified and he was able to get some baseline running completed at the end of FP1. Throughout the day, we have seen problems with our DRS system on both cars, and this has proved difficult to fix during running. The problem affected both drivers, but perhaps more so Max. On the positive side, the car seems to be behaving well in terms of balance and although there are some improvements to be made overnight we are reasonably happy with where we are. Tonight we will focus on a permanent fix for our DRS issues along with working through the data to try to improve the balance of the car ready for tomorrow. Looking at the weather we may have to deal with different conditions, so I’m sure it will be another interesting day.”

F1+Grand+Prix+China+Practice+CaterhamCaterham
Kamui Kobayashi, P1 – 1:44.038, 17th; P2 – 1:43.530, 21st

FP1 started with the coldest track temperatures we’ve had this year so we had to work a lot on bringing the tyres up to the right operating temperatures. The car balance felt fine but we were having some issues with front locking and on the third run I had a flat spot on the front left that was right down to the carcass so, after speaking with Pirelli, we decided to end the session after 16 laps as it wouldn’t have been safe to run again on that set.

Over lunch we made a couple of changes to the car but in the first FP2 run it was a lot more snappy than it had been in the morning session so we made some more mechanical changes for the second run and there was an improvement, still a bit too much oversteer but definitely a step in the right direction. We followed our usual Friday plan and went onto the option tyres before finishing with the long runs, but I didn’t have a clean performance run due to a couple of issues in the cockpit so we’ll fix those for tomorrow. The final long run was ok – the deg levels on both compounds look reasonable and we have a lot of data to work through tonight before making more progress tomorrow.

Marcus Ericsson, P1 – 1:44.835, 21st; P2 – 1:43.679, 22nd
Twenty two laps in FP1 was a solid start to the weekend and meant we got through most of the planned program. Traction was the main issue for me throughout most of the session – with the cold track temperatures and hard tyres we used in FP1 there was very low grip out there and that meant I had to be especially careful in the braking zones, not being able to attack them as I’d like, but as the weekend progresses and the track rubbers in more that’ll obviously improve.

At the start of FP2 the car was oversteering too much, especially in the high speed corners, so we introduced a bit more understeer to help counteract that and it worked well on run two which we used to do some aero evaluation. Before going back onto the mediums for the last half hour, to do the long run, we tried the softs for the first time on the performance run but I didn’t have a clear lap and my final quickest time was nowhere near what the car is capable of. We have a couple of new procedures here which didn’t really work so we’ll change them for tomorrow and I’m sure there’s a considerable amount of time to come in both FP3 and qualifying.”

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