Formula One News » F1 2013: Canadian GP: Team and driver quotes – Friday practice Posted on 08/06/2013
Infiniti Red Bull Racing
“It was tricky this morning with the wet weather, but fortunately in the afternoon we had some dry conditions. It was quite slippery, with low grip at the end. The dominating factor was the weather today and we’re not sure what’s going to tomorrow, but we’re happy with where we are.”
“Today was pretty good. It’s a tricky circuit, especially when it’s a bit green and there’s not much rubber on track. The first session was wet, but we got some information on all of the tyres at the end there in FP2. The new tyre compound was ok, it wasn’t expected to be hugely different, but it ran well. It would have been nice to do some more work on it, we got five laps – but it’s better than nothing. We seemed pretty strong in both conditions today.”
Today was pretty good. It’s a tricky circuit, especially when it’s a bit green and there’s not much rubber on track. The first session was wet, but we got some information on all of the tyres at the end there in FP2. The new tyre compound was ok, it wasn’t expected to be hugely different, but it ran well. It would have been nice to do some more work on it, we got five laps – but it’s better than nothing. We seemed pretty strong in both conditions today.”
“It was an untypical Friday, affected by the extremely changeable weather. We didn’t manage to complete our programme because the track was wet in the morning and so only tomorrow will we find out if the updates we tested here produce a real performance evolution. It was very important that we try them just as it was also important to try the new Pirelli tyres. Felipe and I made different choices for the long runs and this is another reason why we will have to wait for the outcome of qualifying to understand more. The only certainty is that we must ensure we make the right decisions, because today we saw how getting a clean lap depends a lot on the time you make the decision and what track conditions are like at that moment. We can expect a very complicated weekend, because the weather is due to remain changeable right up to Sunday and judging the grip level will be difficult, both in qualifying and in the race.”
“Today, it was a case of working for just half a day, because in the morning, the rain meant we could only do a small number of laps. Therefore, the bulk of the work, given over to evaluating the tyres and new parts brought for this race, had all to be squeezed into the afternoon session. Now we will have a busy time analysing all the data we gathered to try and understand which of the updates could be used in the next couple of days. If it does not rain tomorrow, then the track conditions will be completely different and that means we must be ready to tackle whatever situation could arise.”
Pat Fry, Technical Director
“As every Friday, today too we had a particularly busy day’s work in prospect, as it is now a tradition on the first day to reconcile working on developing the car with the usual race weekend programme of comparing tyres and finding the best set-up. Given the forecast, we were ready for any eventuality the rain could have thrown at us. At one point in FP1, it wasn’t wet enough to use the Intermediate, nor dry enough for the Medium and at that moment we therefore preferred to wait for conditions to improve: in the final minutes we managed to go out on the experimental tyres Pirelli brought here in preparation for the British Grand Prix and we also ended the session with a few laps on the medium. We knew we wouldn’t get a clear enough comparison in terms of pure performance and therefore we worked mainly on different aerodynamic configurations. Making the most of the time available we did a comparison for the two nominated tyres for this race, the Medium and the Supersoft, and gathered important data which we will now use to find the best balance on the car for
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“I think we’re a little nearer to the front than we’ve been in the past – the times are very close – but it’ll be the usual front-running cars who set the pace this weekend.
“We needed everything to be reliable today, but I only managed three laps on my high-fuel run before I had a problem with the gearbox. That was a pity because it meant we didn’t get the long-run information we were after. In fact, we had a similar issue last year, when I also had a gearbox problem on the Friday. In 2012, I had a difficult race with rear graining.
“Nonetheless, the positive from today is that each car was running a very different set-up, so at least we gathered lots of good information. We’ll go away and study that tonight ahead of tomorrow’s sessions. I’m hoping the conditions will stay mixed for tomorrow – if they do, I think we’ll be able to make the best of it.”
“We encountered some very tricky conditions out there today. This morning’s session, when it started damp and slowly dried, was particularly difficult. The rain that fell during this afternoon’s long-run didn’t help, either.
“We’re still lacking overall performance to the frontrunners; but anything can happen here, especially in the conditions we saw today, which were extremely varied. If tomorrow is as wet as today, everyone will go into Sunday without any proper long-running under their belts – that could make the race a big surprise for everybody.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal
“It’s been a tricky day. It was a little bit frustrating for both the drivers and the engineers that they weren’t able to perform all the tests they wanted today. We had a lot of work, and a variety of tests, to do, but the conditions made that difficult. We got as much done as possible, but we’ve still only got a limited dataset to analyse ahead of tomorrow.
“Still, the weather equally disadvantaged everyone hoping to get some meaningful running on a dry track. We’re not as strong as we want to be – we’ve got bits and pieces of data to study – but we’ll still do the best job we can.”
Lotus F1 Team
“We improved the car through the day and by the end of the session it was ok; not ideal but certainly not a disaster either. It wasn’t easy to get the tyres up to temperature today, but it’s pretty cold at the circuit so that’s not too much of a surprise. If we can get the tyres working better it will be an improvement for sure, but it’s not going to change the world. We’ll be looking at how to get them a bit warmer for qualifying tomorrow and then see what the weather does. After that, we’ll do the best we can.”
“It was more or less a normal Friday for us. This morning was obviously a wet session so we worked on setup for those conditions, then in the afternoon we tested the prototype tyres and completed some long runs. It’s quite hard to get the tyres switched on in these conditions as the surface here is very smooth, so with low temperatures it’s a bit more tricky to build up the energy in the rubber; more so with the mediums but even with the super softs. It’s meant to be quite warm on Sunday which is always a good thing for us, so we’ll try to get the maximum from the car in qualifying tomorrow and go from there.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director.
“We’re fairly happy with our single lap pace, but we weren’t as comfortable as we usually are on high fuel levels. Both drivers also complained about a lack of tyre temperature, but with warmer temperatures forecast for Sunday this shouldn’t be too much to worry about. We didn’t learn too much in the morning in the damp conditions, other than getting some worthwhile laps on the intermediate tyres to ensure we’re happy in case of a wet qualifying session. In the afternoon we ran all three types of dry tyre – including the developmental spec – so we’ve got a good amount of data to collate overnight. Kimi’s session ended early as we made a precautionary stop related to the rear brakes, but it’s nothing of concern for the rest of the weekend.”
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team
“The first session was interesting and we learned a lot when the track was drying out. This afternoon, we wanted to learn how the new development tyre works: I had some problems warning up the fronts and also flat-spotted them on my run. All in all, it was a decent day, although I need to see how the long-run pace compared to the others. The track was very cool today and pretty challenging, but I felt very comfortable in both conditions. So hopefully this will be a good weekend for us again.”
“Today has gone pretty well for us and I’m pleased that it dried out this afternoon so we could get some decent running in. The track is definitely not at its full potential yet but we were able to start analysing the tyres over longer runs and work on getting them up to speed for the first lap. The car felt pretty good today and I tried a couple of different things over the two sessions which made me feel a little more comfortable so that’s positive. Hopefully it will be dry for qualifying tomorrow and we can have a strong day.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
“It was nice to get back to racing today and we had a good session this afternoon in particular, completing the work we wanted to do. Fortunately, the circuit dried out this afternoon which allowed everybody to run the development tyres, and our first impressions were positive. We ran our normal programme when the conditions allowed, although it was somewhat abbreviated because we had to pack our work into a single session, and like our rivals we got some good high-fuel running done towards the end of the afternoon. Of course, today’s running was not entirely representative because the conditions were cool and the track green, so that makes it an added challenge to extrapolate what we will need in terms of set-up for Sunday. That will be a nice engineering challenge, especially if it turns out wet tomorrow, as predicted.”
Toto Wolf, Mercedes Motorsport boss
“We showed a solid level of performance today on both the short and long runs. The first indications are good for the weekend, although we should also be realistic that the cool temperatures probably suited us, too. A positive first day overall, which we need to build on overnight to ensure we are competitive in both qualifying and the race.”
Sauber F1 Team
“It was a difficult Friday. The rain this morning didn’t allow us to run through our programme as planned. It’s extremely difficult to test new parts, especially the new tyre compound, in these conditions. Despite the rain that was forecast, FP2 was dry. The afternoon, however, was also difficult. The car felt undriveable and mid-session we found a set-up error. But even after we corrected that, we still had difficulties. I am not happy with the current set-up, we have to improve that and have quite a bit of work to do before tomorrow.”
“All in all we tested a lot of different set-ups today so we could find the right balance. But it’s quite evident we need to find a lot more speed. We are definitely not where we want to be and we need to work as a team to improve and have a better overall speed. The track is really fun to dive on in a Formula One car – I like it a lot. You can attack the kerbs, you have the high-speed braking and it’s a good challenge overall. The change of weather conditions has actually been good. It was important to gain experience on the intermediate tyres. The forecast is still unsettled, and I think we are more competitive in the wet.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:
The wet free practice one session was not ideal but we elected to give the drivers as much experience as possible in those conditions, as the forecast is still unsettled for the rest of the weekend. FP2 was difficult for us as a session. We had some build problems with Nico’s car at the start, which took a while to get sorted. The high fuel run performance was stronger, but there is still a lot of work to do. For the first time here in a Formula 1 car, Esteban did a good job getting lots of experience on a challenging track. There is a lot of work to do before qualifying tomorrow.”
Sahara Force India F1 Team
Paul di Resta
“We were quite cautious with the wet weather this morning and we only fitted the dry tyres for the last few minutes of the session. Before that I had a good run on the intermediates and felt happy with the performance – probably the most comfortable I’ve felt on the intermediates this year. So overall we didn’t look too bad in the damp conditions. The afternoon was a case of getting through the dry tyre programme and trying to find the right car balance. Unfortunately things were cut short with the electrical issue, so I didn’t do the long runs we had planned for the final part of the session.”
“We had lots of different track conditions today, but the car was quick in both sessions. The wet morning gave us a chance to improve our performance on the intermediates and the car felt good. In the dry this afternoon the main issue was warming up the front tyres, especially the medium tyres. On the supersofts there was much better grip and the long runs seemed quite competitive so it feels as though we are at our usual level here. Tonight we just need to work on making the car more consistent.”
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer
“Despite the mixed conditions we’ve come through today pretty well. The wet weather programmes this morning were productive and both drivers feel we’ve made progress with our performance on the intermediate tyre. The dry afternoon gave us a chance to fit the new prototype medium tyre before we switched to the regular compounds for the majority of the session. An electrical issue for Paul interrupted the afternoon and cost him the final half hour of running, but Adrian was able to get the long run data we needed. In terms of performance, the car is working well whatever the conditions, so it’s just a case of seeing what the weather delivers for tomorrow and Sunday.”
Williams F1 Team
“The conditions were tough this morning. There was a dry line towards the end of FP1 but on cold tyres I put a wheel off-line and I crashed. This afternoon was better as we completed our full programme, however, we still need to work to get a better feeling in the car and we need to focus on getting the tyres working quicker. Despite the changeable conditions we managed to get a lot of data today which we can assess ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.”
“The first session was quite tricky for everyone and difficult to test anything even as the track was drying out towards the end. This afternoon was good for us though as we did a number of both short and long runs gathering a lot of data. Nevertheless it’s difficult to see where we are from today’s sessions. It’s the first time I’ve driven here in Montreal and it was good to get the mileage in and I certainly enjoy the layout. Overall I’m feeling positive after today, but we still need to look through the data before we decide which parts and set-up options to run for the rest of the weekend.”
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director
“We couldn’t complete our full test programme during FP1 due to the wet weather, so we just did some limited running to get a feel for the car. We had an incident towards the end of the session with Pastor hitting the wall after running off line on a drying track and damaging the nose and front wing. He didn’t damage any of the parts we were planning to carry through to qualifying though so it didn’t compromise us too much. In FP2 we got straight to work with both cars on different rear wing configurations with Valtteri also doing some front wing comparisons while Pastor completed some tyre work. Our main limitation in the conditions today was getting the tyres up to temperature quickly enough. Once everything was up to temperature the car looked better so that is something we will be looking at tonight.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso
“In the wet this morning, we didn’t look too bad, even if you always feel you could be quicker. We seemed to be where we should in the mid field and I was pleased with the way the car went straight out of the box, so that’s always good when you don’t have the feeling you are going to need to create a whole new race car to be on the pace. In the dry in the afternoon, after my first couple of runs on the prototype and the Prime, I felt we could get more out of the car, so we made a fairly big change which I think worked in our favour. I was quite pleased with my Option run but we still have some work to do, as there is more to come. Overall, a good Friday, a good start to the weekend.”
“The morning session was useful in terms of learning how the extremes and intermediates behave, as we might have more wet weather in the next two days. The car responded well in the wet. In the afternoon, we did the usual Friday job of evaluating tyres and so on. I was not so happy with the way my car was behaving, so we need to look at the data now and fix it. We seem to be roughly where we should be, so as long as we can make progress tomorrow, we can have a good weekend.”
Laurent Mekies, Chief Engineer
“We actually ended up with more dry running than we had expected today and that was a bit of a bonus. In the rain in the morning, we were able to get a good impression of running in these conditions, which is important given that the forecast is for more rain over the weekend. In the afternoon, we ran our usual tyre comparison, while evaluating different set-ups across both cars. I think overall, we are reasonably happy with our day, having got through our programme, with both cars running trouble-free. As usual, there is a big pack of cars in the midfield, but we have started the weekend on a good footing and, if we put everything together tonight, we can move forward tomorrow and be fully in the fight with our competitors.”
Caterham F1 Team
“I’m reasonably pleased with how FP2 went. On my first run the car had too much understeer so we tried a couple of aero and mechanical changes for the next runs and by run four, on the supersofts, we’d found a good balance, one I could start to push with. We might have gone a little too far on the front as the car was turning in well by the last run, but we lost a bit of mid-corner stability so we’ll have to look at that tonight and see where we can improve tomorrow. On the long runs the deg levels and pace looked ok on both compounds but Sunday’s going to be hotter than either Friday or Saturday, which will suit us more, so even if we don’t find another good step before Sunday, I think we can maintain the race pace we’ve shown since Bahrain.”
Giedo van der Garde
“FP1 was a bit like being back in Monaco! Wet to start with, then onto inters and then slicks and I have to say it was pretty good to be driving out there in conditions that kept changing.
“Both sessions for me were dominated by understeer, but towards the end of FP2 we’d found a really good setup on the long runs. I didn’t have a clean go at the performance run, but on both compounds on heavy fuel I was really enjoying driving the car. There was a bit of power understeer coming in but it wasn’t really damaging the tyres too much so it looks like we’ve found a good direction for Sunday.
“We also tried our new traffic light pitstop system for the first time today and that’s another good sign of how the whole team keeps making progress. In the last couple of races I’ve been able to show how much more confidence I have in the car and my own performance, and, as a rookie, when you see the team investing in something like the traffic light system, something that will help us perform even better in the races, it all adds to the confidence levels. Bearing in mind it’s the first time we’ve ever used it the system worked really well, and talking to the boys, it’s clear they’re pumped about having something that can help them perform better on race day – it all makes this a good place to be working
“It was great to get back into F1 action and to do so in Canada, at a track I’ve raced and won at in the past in Formula BMW, was a good feeling. We’ve been keeping an eye on the weather forecasts for the last week, so we knew it was going to be wet, but it was still good experience to run on wets, inters and slicks, giving me the chance to try out the full range of tyres that I haven’t driven before in F1. After the installation lap I wanted to go straight back out again as, for me, moving up from GP2 grip levels to F1, even though the track was wet to start with, there was still so much more grip than I’m used to that I wanted to get on with it, but the main thing today was working to the plan and that’s exactly what we did.
“Now it’s straight back to Europe for the next ‘first’ for me this year, Le Mans. The plan is all focused on F1 but I’m excited about adding endurance racing to my CV and I’m with an experienced team, with a number of people from Caterham who I know and have already worked with, so I know we can put in a good performance. It’s another learning curve, but, like today in the wet / dry conditions, I know how to adapt to what’s in front of me and that’ll come in very handy for my Le Mans experience.”
Marussia F1 Team
“The track conditions were very tricky at the start of FP1 and unfortunately I got caught out on a damp section of the track. I had completed just 8 laps, which was very frustrating because this is a new circuit for me and we also had a busy aero programme to get through this morning. I’m pleased that I have been able to recover the ground we lost and happy with how we end this first day of running. I really like my first taste of this track, so it’s a shame that it wasn’t such a smooth start but I think we are back in a good place for the rest of the weekend.”
“So far so good on my first outing at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It’s a great track; I love it. This morning our running was subject to the steadily improving conditions. We had some aero work to do on the prototype tyres so that we could press on with preparing for the race this afternoon. We managed to condense that so that we achieved everything we needed to and we end the day’s running with plenty of data to look over this evening. These are never the best conditions to get your first taste of a new track but I’m comfortable with where we are so far and looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“We came to Canada with a number of mechanical updates to try on the car in FP1, along with a desire to understand as much as possible about the prototype tyres which Pirelli have brought here. Unfortunately, the weather conditions in FP1 curtailed a lot of this work, including some of the evaluations of the revised exhaust parts we have introduced. This means that much of this work has now been delayed until Silverstone, owing to the fact that the dry running in FP2 needed to be devoted to evaluating the tyres and brakes for this event. Jules obviously missed a significant proportion of running in FP1, which was far from ideal. His crew worked well to change his gearbox in time for FP2 and he had a very productive session. Max had a great Friday, covering the majority of his programme and he seems to be fairly happy with the balance of his car. With both cars we are pleased with our progress so far. As is always the case in Canada, brakes will form an important part of our data analysis work tonight and decisions on what specifications we will run going forwards, however we feel relatively confident that in all areas we seem to be on top of things.”
Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director
“The rain in the morning meant that the drivers didn’t really get to assess the new construction of the rear as thoroughly as they would have liked to, but initial feedback has been positive. We’ll be analyzing a lot more data about this new construction over the next few days before drawing a final conclusion, but we don’t expect this to be a massive change. It’s only a minor alteration to ensure that none of the previous delaminations – which do not impact on safety – recur, and it doesn’t affect the fundamental characteristics, performance or durability of the tyre. Canada is always one of the most challenging circuits for the tyres, because of the layout of the track and also the heavy braking, which puts plenty of heat into them. Conditions today could well be representative of what we have in the race, with around 17 degrees ambient and track temperature, and we’ve seen good durability and performance from both compounds so far – with little graining despite the cool temperatures. It’s hard to make a prediction about the number of pit stops at this point because the track is still very green and there are so many variables here, but we’ve seen some long runs from the supersoft in practice with no significant drop-off in performance, so this certainly looks set to be the tyre to qualify on tomorrow.”