Turkish Grand Prix first day driver quotes

28 May, 2010

Turkish Grand Prix Friday practice day

Turkish Grand Prix Friday practice day

May.28 (Grand Prix 247) Below are quotes from drivers reflecting after the first day of the Turkish Grand Prix weekend at Istanbul Park. Updated as they become available from the teams.

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6 stops on track.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Mark Webber's car gets airlifted after its Renault engine expired

Mark Webber – Red Bull Racing RB6: “The engine went at the end of P2, but it was a high mileage engine, so we were expecting it to be on the edge. There’s no hand brake on a F1 car so when I stopped I was trying to tell them to put something behind the wheel to stop the car rolling back. A frustrating thing to explain from within the car! We need to analyse the new F-duct system tonight, we know it’s not the most straightforward of systems. The guys have done a phenomenal job to get it to this point and we’re happy with how it went today but, whether we race it or not, we don’t know yet.”

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Racing RB6: “It was a reasonable day – and quite tough as we introduced the F-duct. We still need to do some fine tuning, but it looks good. I think McLaren looks very competitive here, their system seems to be working well and they seem quite a bit quicker than everyone else on the straights. You can make up time in the corners, but there are quite a few straights joining them. We’ll see if we keep our system on. It feels more natural now with the new chassis, it was good to change it and overall I was happy with the balance of the car.“

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in the Istanbul paddock

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in the Istanbul paddock

Fernando Alonso – Ferrari F10: “Compared to the Spanish Grand Prix, I think the situation is a bit better, down to the fact the track characteristics are different and do not require the maximum aerodynamic downforce, but rather an intermediate level which is better suited to our car. However, it would be a surprise if the Red Bulls were not ahead of everyone. We are thereabouts, behind them along with McLaren: that is my prediction. We tried some solutions for finding the best way to manage the blown rear wing system and have made some progress, even if it is not yet perfect: we will work on it for the upcoming races.”

Felipe Massa- Ferrari F10:
“I was not able to do a time on the soft tyres because I ended up spinning on my first timed lap at turn 8. This was the most inconvenient factor today, as that set of tyres was no longer useable and I had to do almost the entire second session on just one set of the harder compound tyres. The track improved from the morning, bit by bit as the cars did more laps, which is something to bear in mind for the rest of the weekend. We have to improve the car still further to be competitive: McLaren and Red Bull seem very strong here. Having said that, I think we can manage to find the right way to progress to take the fight to them.”

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Jenson Button

Jenson Button – McLaren Mercedes MP4-25A-03: “This morning was reasonably good, and this afternoon was better. I was struggling a little through Turn Eight, it’s an area we’ll be working on overnight because it’s pretty tricky through there at the moment. It’s a tough corner, especially if the car’s moving around – so we’ve got to hope we can solve some of those issues before tomorrow. The car feels reasonably good around here – there are still some areas where we’re not so strong, and the Red Bulls will once again be the cars to beat in qualifying tomorrow, we can’t get away from that. I just hope we’re closer than we’ve been in the last two races. I think the Ferrari will be quick here too. It should be the top four teams that we normally see, and possibly Renault as well, so I don’t think qualifying tomorrow will be boring. There should be some good battles.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren takes a look at his McLaren MP4/25. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton – McLaren Mercedes MP4-25A-01: “This is such a great circuit, and the grip didn’t seem too bad today. It also seems very tight between all the frontrunners – the times are very close. Our car doesn’t seem to be performing too badly, so I’m happy with today’s running. Turn Eight is quite bumpy as always, and you could see today that some of the others were having a few difficulties through there, but it wasn’t a problem for us. I have no doubts that tomorrow in qualifying the Red Bulls will pull out something extra, which they always seem able to do. We haven’t made too many changes to the car for this race, but we’ve got a chance this weekend, and I think we’ll be able to compete with them.”

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg – Mercedes MGP W01/02: “We made some good progress today and have been working hard with our updates for the car. It wasn’t a perfect day as we lost some time in the process of evaluating the new developments, particularly in the second session, so I was playing catch-up this afternoon. However we achieved a lot of interesting work and arrived at a decent balance by the end of the day so I am reasonably happy. We have a few question marks remaining and it will be a busy final practice session tomorrow. The early indications are that we have made a decent step forward and although we don’t know how much yet, it is a good job from the guys at the factory and at the track to get everything here and working.”

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01  Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher – Mercedes MGP W01/01: “It’s really difficult to judge what the current picture is after today’s practice sessions, especially as we don’t know who was running on what fuel loads. We certainly have some improvements on the car which you can notice but it is very difficult to quantify the full effects coming from Monaco to here and thus not having a clear reference and comparison. Clearly the improvements are in the right direction but as always it is a matter of how quick we develop compared to our competitors. Turn eight is still a nice challenge here. It has small surprises in terms of bumps and it is fun to drive obviously. It is exciting and technical at the same time. Let’s wait and see what is going to happen tomorrow.”

Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30 Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Robert Kubica

Robert Kubica – Renault R30-03: “This morning the track conditions were not ideal but we did a couple of runs to evaluate the balance of the car and to decide which direction we should take with the set-up. We also did a comparison with the new front wing, which seemed to give us an improvement compared with the previous wing. In the afternoon we mainly concentrated on improving the balance of the car and I did a long run with the option tyre to check the degradation rates. Everything is working pretty well, but we just need to improve the balance a bit more before qualifying.”

Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Renault R30. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Vitaly Petrov

Vitaly Petrov – Renault R30-02: “I’m pleased to be back here in Istanbul Park because it’s a circuit that I enjoy and I won the GP2 race here last year. The track conditions today were not great to begin with and the track was quite dirty, but it was the same for everybody and hopefully it will improve during the weekend. Overall it was a fairly normal day because we started with a basic set-up and just tried to improve the balance in the morning and the afternoon. The car felt quite good by the end of the day, but we can still improve it, so I will work my engineers tonight to be ready for final practice tomorrow morning.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi passes Adrian Sutil in first practice

Vitantonio Liuzzi passes Adrian Sutil in first practice

Adrian Sutil – Force India VJM03/03: We got as much data as we could on the new developments we have this weekend. The morning was pretty useful to get the first information about our switchable rear wing, and we also got a lot of running in on the hard tyre. Unfortunately I had an accident towards the end of this session – I got some understeer through turn eight and went wide on the marbles and that was it really, I was into the barriers. I was OK but the front right s

uspension was pretty damaged. The team did a fantastic job to get me out in the second session and we made a few runs to at least get some data on the option tyres. At this stage it’s good to get the information, we’ll look at it tonight and see how we can make some improvements for tomorrow.

Tonio Liuzzi – Force India VJM03/04:
It was quite a productive day today. In the afternoon the balance of the car was not ideal, but in the morning it was good and we could get some useful data on the new SRW. I think it’s working pretty well, it’s a clever solution to it and not too difficult to use considering what you have to do. We made some progress to understand it over the two sessions so now we just need to work on the balance as we are still not in the right ball park just yet. Overall a positive day and I can definitely feel an improvement over the last weekend with the car.

Nico Hulkenberg – AT&T Williams Fw32:
“Today was a typical Friday. We had a problem in the afternoon with a hydraulic leak, but we still managed quite a few laps and covered everything that we wanted to test. We will see where we are tomorrow.”

Rubens Barrichello – AT&T Williams Fw32: “I had a busy day. The car didn’t really perform that well so we need to search the data tonight to see what we can find for qualifying.”

Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR5. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Jaime Alguersuari

Sébastien Buemi – Scuderia Toro Rosso STR5-02: “We had a lot of things to test today and the programme went quite smoothly. I think we have seen what we needed to see from the data side, so we have a clear picture of the car, which is positive. It was a good day for us, even if the circuit was very dirty this morning and took a long time to clean up. The high temperatures were useful, as it should be like this on race day and at the moment I am feeling quite confident for the rest of the weekend.”

Jaime Alguersuari – Scuderia Toro Rosso STR5-03: “To be honest, I find it difficult to assess how we got on today. We tried lots of different things on the car and my team-mate was on a different programme, so it will be up to the engineers to analyse what we have done. From inside the car, I never felt I had a good grip level. Overall, I am not so happy with today’s performance but hopefully we can put everything together and have a much better day tomorrow. It’s my first time here and I enjoyed the circuit which is interesting and challenging with a good mix of high and medium speed corners.”

Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) BMW Sauber C29. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Kamui Kobayashi

Kamui Kobayashi – Sauber C29.01: “To me the balance of the car felt fine but we do have two areas to look at. We have a lack of grip and we are too slow on the straights. If you work on one issue you tend to increase the other one. But we will find a good compromise. I enjoyed driving a lot and as we had no trouble with the car it was a productive day for us.“

Pedro de la Rosa – Sauber C29.03: “In the afternoon we had a very good test with comparing the race tyres – the harder prime compound versus the softer option compound. We did a lot of race preparation today which went very well. The long runs were good and pretty consistent. What we still need to work on is to find the right balance with new tyres.“

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus. Formula One World Championship, Rd  7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28  May 2010.

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus Cosworth T127-01: “It was a very good Friday again for me. I had a really good first session this morning, with no problems with the car and we were again able to improve the setup. The track felt good all day, a little dusty to begin with, but it cleared quickly and overall it felt great all day. This afternoon we were able to try both tyre compounds and successfully got through all our plans, so I couldn’t really ask for more.”

Jarno Trulli Lotus Cosworth T127-03:
“A bit more bad luck for me today as this afternoon’s session was cut short by losing third gear. We’d planned to do some setup work in the second session, and didn’t get the chance to do so, but against that you can look at the times and see that we have continued to move forward overall with the car. We are moving away from the other new teams, and closer to those in front – obviously we still have a lot of work to do, but it’s pleasing to see we are going in the right direction.”

Lucas di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Racing VR-01. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday 28 May 2010.

Lucas di Grassi

Timo Glock – Virgin Racing VR01: “Today hasn’t been the best start to the weekend. We experienced a lot of balance problems with the car and this morning I was worried because it looked like we were going backwards rather than moving forward in the way we had hoped. Things were a bit better this afternoon but we have to home in on what is causing us the problem and find a solution overnight so that we can improve for tomorrow. Generally, at this stage, we have a big gap to close at the moment.”

Lucas di Grassi – Virgin Racing VR01: “We’ve had a trouble-free and productive day in terms of completing our programme. Having said that, the set-up is far from perfect so we have a lot of work to do to find some solutions and improve the car for tomorrow. Despite this, it is good to have the revised car for the first time and to know that I will be able to push it on Sunday.”

Karun Chandhok – Hispania Racing: “It was a bit of a tough day for me. We had some mechanical issues in FP1 which cost track time and this afternoon we evaluated some modifications on the brake system on my car. I had some issues on the option tyre runs at the end which we have to look into overnight but thus far we seem to be at a similar level as Barcelona relative to Lotus. It was a bit abnormal to do my best time on the prime tyre but I just struggled for rear end grip on the options.”

Bruno Senna – Hispania Racing: “Today was okay  but it was a bit different to be a spectator like I was in the morning session as Sakon was driving my car. In the afternoon session, I came back to my duties.  We are working hard and tried to improve car balance on the track to get the car a little bit better for tomorrow. I completed 35 laps wit  no major issues. I was running high fuel during the session.”

Sakon Yamamoto – Hispania Racing:“Today was a fantastic day! I am very happy to be back behind the wheel of a Formula 1™ car and its great to be part of a team such as Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team. Everything went quite well and I managed to complete a full 26 laps of the Istanbul Park circuit. We made some good progress and are already working to improve the performance so we can achieve even better lap times.”


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