Bahrain GP: Friday Driver Quotes

The entire Formula One Grid reflect upon today’s Two Free Practice Sessions and look towards the rest of the weekend.

Nico Rosberg (Williams)- 1st: “You can only ever compare your performance to other race weekends so, relatively, I think we are looking ok. We’ve done a lot of set-up work today and I am quite happy with everything so we’ve made good progress. The team brought some new parts to Bahrain and they seem to be working well so thanks to our aero guys for their continuing hard work in developing the car. I am really convinced that we will be able to do something positive at this race and to get the points that the car is worth.”

Fernando Alonso (Renault)- 2nd: “We had very hot track and ambient conditions today – even hotter than we had in Malaysia. We therefore concentrated on evaluating the brake cooling for race conditions and also compared the tyre compounds to make sure that the tyres work well in these temperatures. We’re happy with the work we have done today and managed to complete our programme.

Jarno Trulli (Toyota)- 3rd: “We collected a lot of data here during our winter tests at this circuit but the conditions today were very different. So we had to change some of our set-up in order to suit the car to these temperatures, which are much hotter. There is also quite a lot more sliding around than we had in the winter but I guess that’s the same for everyone. We spent the day going through our usual programme of tyre testing and set-up work. We still need to find a bit more driveability in the car but it’s not a bad start to the weekend.”

Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)- 4th: “So, obviously it’s back to normal now. Last weekend was fantastic, but we have to carry on as there’s a lot of work to do! So, our minds are now set to focus on Bahrain. It was a normal Friday, we were more or less able to do our full programme and had no issues with the car. Performance wise, it’s difficult to comment, but the car feels alright. We were struggling to find a good balance this morning, but it was better this afternoon. Now we have to look at the data and try to improve for tomorrow. I think everyone was surprised how hot it is when you leave the pits in the car, it’s like someone’s blowing a heat gun in your face. It’s better with the visor closed than open, otherwise you just get more hot air blowing at you.”

Mark Webber (Red Bull)- 5th: “It’s obviously different conditions here, compared to when we drove on Sunday in Shanghai. We have very dry conditions and, as usual, Bahrain throws up its challenge with car balance. We had a productive Friday, running on both tyres and the car ran faultlessly. In terms of pace it’s always hard to say who’s where on Friday but hopefully we’re in good shape again to get some good results on Sunday.”

Jenson Button (Brawn)- 6th: “A pretty standard programme for us today on what has been a very hot Friday in Bahrain. We have successfully completed our scheduled test items and evaluated a number of set-up options to find the best balance for our car around this track. The heat is intense however we are well prepared for this and looking forward to the novelty of a dry race weekend. The pace looks good from our initial evaluations and I am sure it will be a closely fought battle in qualifying tomorrow.”

Adrian Sutil (Force India)- 7th: “The second session was quite a bit better as the track was very dirty and sandy in the morning. We also tried the softer tyre that seemed to help a lot with the stability. It’s quite good balance-wise for a Friday, we can still tweak the general set-up and we still have to look at the brakes as I’m not 100% comfortable right now. I think the update package has helped us – if I look at my position in the afternoon, I think it is the best position I have been in ever on a Friday. Although it’s difficult to draw conclusions from this, the car feels good so let’s see how we go tomorrow.”

Timo Glock (Toyota)- 8th: “During our winter tests at this circuit we had a good, consistent pace but so far today I’ve found the car quite hard to drive. The lap times aren’t bad but I’ve been struggling for balance. So we’ll have to work overnight to sort out our direction for tomorrow and to get the car back to where it should be. If we can do that then I’m sure we can keep up our strong start to the year.”

Rubens Barrichello (Brawn)- 9th: “We had different set-ups running on both cars today to gather as much information as possible and compensate for our lack of testing before the season began. It’s very hot here in Bahrain obviously and it was quite difficult to find a good balance today but overall I am comfortable with the work that we have achieved. We are running quite competitively but have further work to do before qualifying tomorrow as other cars around us were also quick.”

Kazuki Nakajima (Williams)- 10th: “Today didn’t go too badly but we are lacking some pace compared to Nico. I’ll now de-brief with my engineers to try to find out where I’m losing that time so I can make it up in tomorrow’s qualifying. The circuit is getting better and better the more laps we do, which is good. It’s also really hot out there, but fortunately it’s bearable.”

Lewis Hamilton (Mclaren)- 11th: “We’ve definitely got a very well-balanced car around here. The track felt very grippy from the start of the session and our work on the prime tyre was very consistent. Both sessions were consistent and very productive. The whole field looks very tight, but we are definitely taking steps forward. While we haven’t made significant progress – we didn’t bring anything new here this weekend our goal remains to score some more points.”

Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India) 12th: “Today I am happier and more comfortable with the car: it feels like we have made a step forward with the new updates. The car is more consistent and I think we have reduced the gap to the others but let’s see tomorrow. The team did a fantastic job to have this package here and I look forward to tomorrow to seeing where we are on the grid.”

Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso)- 13th: “I think these high temperatures will make life difficult for everyone, but we are making sure we are as well prepared as possible to deal with the heat. At the moment, I feel good in the car although we still need to work to improve, even though it is difficult to say what our lap times mean, as we don’t know what fuel loads the others were running. I am happy with the car, even if it can always be better, as I lacked traction coming out of the slow corners and occasionally, I locked the front wheels under braking.”

Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso)- 14th: “The track has changed a lot from the morning to the afternoon session and that has made it difficult to assess the two types of tyre. It seems that the difference in behaviour between the Prime and the Option is very much related to the track temperature increase. Therefore, this afternoon it was difficult to assess the effect of changes we made to the car as the conditions changed. But as always on a Friday, it is nearly impossible to evaluate where you are compared to the others, until qualifying. 13th and 14th is not where we want to be tomorrow, but we will work hard now and then see what happens.”

Nelson Piquet (Renault)- 15th: “I’ve had a solid start to the weekend and ran with the new diffuser for the first time today, although it’s difficult to know how much extra performance it gives the car. I think we still need to improve the car in the final practice session tomorrow, but we managed to get some good data today. I hope I can have a strong qualifying session tomorrow, but I think it will be tough to reach the top ten shootout.”

Felipe Massa (Ferrari)- 16th: “This was definitely not a good day. We worked a lot towards the race, but we have to try and improve the handling of the car to move up the order for tomorrow and Sunday. The harder tyre is very difficult to use, while the soft one seems to be the best, not just in terms of outright performance but also over a distance. The KERS helps: without it, I would have certainly been slower. I made a mistake at the final turn on my last set of soft tyres, which cost me at least three tenths. We must be patient at the moment and try to do the best possible in these conditions.”

Robert Kubica (BMW)- 17th: “It was a usual Friday for us. We compared the tyre compounds and worked on the car balance. Additionally we worked on the KERS set-up, which is challenging as the temperatures here are quite high. We will now analyse the data and try to improve for tomorrow.”

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)- 18th: “Even if we don’t know what fuel loads the other teams had, it’s clear that we are not as quick as we would like, but we have to try and make the best of this situation. Anyway, we knew that the picture for this race would be no different to what we’ve seen in previous ones. Today we opted to run in two different configurations and did a lot of work on finding the best set-up for the car. We collected a lot of data which we will now analyse, to be as well prepared as possible for the race. We can expect a difficult weekend, but we were never in any doubt about that.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Mclaren)- 19th: “The track was surprisingly grippy at the start of practice, but the pitlane was quite dusty and slippery, making it easy to lock wheels. I feel more comfortable with the older-spec front wing, but maybe we still need to evaluate it. We once again made progress and have made improvements to the car since Shanghai. The big stops and long straights of this circuit really suit our package. My KERS stopped towards the end of the final session, which meant my times weren’t as competitive as they could have been. But I definitely think we’ll be more competitive in qualifying.”

Nick Heidfeld (BMW)- 20th: “Obviously we looked better in the morning session than we did in the afternoon. The difference in the balance with the softer Option tyres compared to the harder Prime tyres is quite big here, which makes it really difficult to set-up the car. I also had a lack of brake stability and the track didn’t have much grip, but this is rather normal on a Friday in Bahrain. We will now look into all the data and see what we will do tomorrow.”