McLaren: Our baseline was in the wrong place
25 October, 2013
Team and drivers report from day one of the Indian Grand Prix weekend at the Buddh International Circuit.
Sergie Perez MP4-28A-01: “This is a great circuit, with long, fast corners and the longest straight of the season. After today’s practice sessions, I’m feeling quite optimistic for the weekend – I’m happy with the balance and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Nevertheless, we had some issues with the balance of the car during today’s session. The Prime tyre is definitely working better for us than the Option, but we didn’t really run it with an optimised car set-up, so I’m not too worried. Still, we definitely need to analyse the Option tyre’s performance tonight to see how we can improve it. The most important thing is to have good tyres for the race. Overall, I think we’re in the same position that we’ve been in for the last three or four races – so our objective tomorrow will be to have a strong qualifying session and to make it into Q3.”
Jenson Button MP4-28A-04: “We tried a number of different set-ups this morning – but I think our baseline was in the wrong place, so they didn’t particularly work around this type of circuit. So we reverted to more of a traditional set-up for the afternoon, and we developed the car over the course of the day, so we’re now getting there, despite the setbacks of the morning. In a way that’s positive, because it meant that we’d already been getting the best out of the car for the whole year. The tyres will be very interesting this weekend – the Prime tyre seems to last forever, while the Option tyre doesn’t! There’s a very big difference between the two tyre compounds so I think we’ll see some very interesting strategies this weekend.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “As is very often the case these days, we chose to pack a lot of test and development work into the morning’s run-programme. As a result, that meant neither Jenson nor Checo were able to dial their cars into the circuit until the afternoon session. Still, we gathered a valuable amount of data from our investigative work during first practice. The afternoon also allowed us to start looking a little more deeply at the tyres – and it immediately became clear that the Option tyre is going to be quite challenging to manage in the race on Sunday. We got quite a lot of good data today, though, and we’ve got the tools and the means to drill down and gather some useful findings for the rest of the weekend.”
Subbed by AJN.