Ferrari: No major surprises and now we must wait and see how things go
16 November, 2013
Team and drivers report from the opening day of free practice for the United States Grand Prix, Round 18 of the Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Fernando Alonso: “I had no problem being back on track today. My back felt fine and I was able to drive the same as always. Compared to last year, the track conditions seemed better: for the first grand prix here, it was too new and there was a bit of oil on the track, while now there’s a lot more grip. As expected, there was very little degradation today as Pirelli’s choice of the Medium and Hard compounds here in Austin is an ultra-conservative choice. Generally, there were no major surprises and now we must wait and see how things go tomorrow and especially Sunday”.
Felipe Massa: “Today was hard to interpret, because in the morning we got off to a good start and it seemed the track was well suited to the characteristics of our car, but then that changed in the afternoon and we were unable to set competitive times. Compared to recent races, the car has stayed the same and therefore we cannot expect a very different level of performance. But it’s definitely important to understand why the car changed so much between the two sessions, especially as compared to last year, the asphalt has improved a lot and the grip has increased considerably. I don’t think that is down to the rise in temperature, but maybe the wind didn’t help. Now we have a lot of work ahead of us to try and improve for the rest of the weekend”.
Pat Fry: “Because of the fog in the morning, our first practice session was shortened to just half an hour of track time and that meant we had to reorganise our programme, concentrating mainly on aerodynamic testing, centred on the front and rear wings in order to find the best balance for the car. In the second session, before the usual long run tests, we tried a few different mechanical solutions aimed at completing our set up work. Compared to last year, the track seems to have improved and there is every chance that the more abrasive surface will ensure there is more grip. Tyre degradation is still an unknown factor to be assessed carefully, especially in the light of the data we acquired from the long runs. As usual, it will be very important to work out the best strategy and the number of pit stops to make during the race.”
Subbed by AJN.