DRIVER QUOTES AUSTRIAN GP – PRACTICE
20 JUNE 2014
INFINITI RED BULL RACING
#1 Sebastian Vettel
“I think this morning we struggled a little bit, this afternoon it was better. We’ve seen that people struggled a bit to get the primes, the harder tyre, to work but it should be a different story tomorrow when it’s a bit hotter. I think everyone is looking forward to a great weekend, we’re not the favourites going into this weekend, we’d love to be but we’re not quite there yet. Today was very productive, we seemed to make progress throughout the day, but if anything, the fact that this is our home Grand Prix is an extra motivation.”
#3 Daniel Ricciardo
“We learnt actually a hell of a lot today. We came in the morning with a few ideas and some worked, some didn’t, as always on a Friday, it’s never really a perfect Friday. But yeah, coming into P2 we tried a few more things and I feel we improved a lot from P1. We’ve still got a bit more I think in our pockets, but yeah, we gathered up enough information tonight to make progress for tomorrow. I don’t think we’re as quick as the Mercs, we didn’t really expect to be, but hopefully we can be the next best again.”
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS
#44 Lewis Hamilton
It didn’t feel bad out there today considering this is a new track to me. Already after the first few laps I was feeling comfortable and always seemed to be finding time with new lines and improvements. To be as quick as I was considering others have already driven this track is a great feeling. It was very windy out there today, but we got a lot of running and we feel set for the race on Sunday. The high speed corners were working the rear tyres hard but they seemed to cope well. The feeling was good for both sets of tyres, even in the long runs, so if the car is like this for the race, I’m in a good place. The goal for tomorrow will be pole position but there is still a long straight up to turn two so anything can happen in the race.
#6 Nico Rosberg
I did a lot of laps today and on a new track every lap is important for the learning process, so I’m quite happy with that. In general it was a complicated day for me, so there is still some lap time to find compared to my teammate and there is a lot of work required from me tonight. My car is bouncing a lot down the straights and that continues into my braking zones, so it was difficult there. But I’m sure we can improve on that. It is really great to be back on this wonderful track again, thanks to Bernie and Mr. Mateschitz. Austria definitely needs an F1 race. There we so many fans out there already, which is great to see.
#14 Fernando Alonso
“It’s nice to be back racing here, the track has many changes of gradient and that always makes for enjoyable driving. In both sessions, Kimi and I were on different programmes and now we must put all the data together to choose which of the elements we tested have worked best. There were no surprises on the tyre front, the Supersoft seems quicker and will definitely be the tyre for qualifying, but for the race, it’s impossible to establish now what the strategy will be. It was always cloudy today and there were even a few drops of rain, but the next days are meant to be sunny and so tyre behaviour could change. The good forecast means that anything is possible and hopefully that means the chance to put on a good show for the fans who were already here in large numbers today.”
#7 Kimi Raikkonen
“Today was particularly busy, which is normal when you go back to a track for the first time in many years. Despite the changeable weather reducing the amount of track time in the first session, we still managed to complete our programme, which today centred on analysing new aerodynamic parts brought for this race. Along with Fernando, we concentrated on different set-up tests, me on the front end and him on the rear, so as to compare the data from the second session. In the afternoon, I had a better feeling from the car, but for various reasons, including a lack of grip, traffic and the wind, I didn’t manage to put together a good lap, or to improve in the final sector.”
LOTUS F1 TEAM
#8 Roman Grosjean
“It was good to discover the circuit at the wheel of the E22 for the first time today. We have done a lot of work, completed 74 laps however it is fair to say that we have also struggled in the sessions. I wasn’t happy with the handling and the set-up of the car but we will work hard to rectify the different areas that need working on. It was good to learn that the longer run pace was stronger, we just need to unlock that pace for qualifying tomorrow.”
#13 Pastor Maldonado
“We have worked methodically today and as the track improved we found a bit more pace as the day went on. Unfortunately we have encountered a power unit related issue this afternoon that didn’t allow us to entirely complete our programme the way we had planned. We must now investigate and solve any issues encountered today; analyse all the data in order to be ready for Saturday. I remain optimistic as we must push as hard as we can for qualifying tomorrow.”
#22 Jenson Button
“For us, it was a relatively productive day. We’re still struggling with graining on the Supersoft tyre, as we did in Canada, but the Prime seemed good on both our short- and long-runs. Our aim will be to make progress and, at tracks that are less suited to our package, to not drop too much ground to the teams ahead of us. Eventually, it would be nice to be able to challenge the teams ahead of us in the constructors’ fight.
“There will probably be a couple of talking points in the drivers’ briefing tonight. The pit entry at Turn Eight is tricky; I tried to go round the outside of someone who was pitting, but I just went straight on because I was on the marbles. So that might need a little look.
“Additionally, the exit of Turn Eight needs looking at – it’s seemingly quicker to run with all four wheels off the track, but it’s a bit more dangerous because you run out of asphalt and have to get back on the track before it grasses over.
“Still, today was fun. It’s always nice to go to a high-speed track like this – we don’t have too many of them left any more – it’s very relaxed, it’s old-school, a good mix. We love the glamour of Monaco and the city races like Montreal and Singapore, but it’s nice to have these old-school tracks, too.”
#20 Kevin Magnussen
“This is a really cool track, with some nice corners and interesting changes in gradient. This is exactly the kind of place I like: fast corners and big braking zones.
“And, to be honest, our car didn’t feel too bad through the high-speed stuff – there are still a few things we need to look at ahead of tomorrow’s running, but it’s been a positive day. We still need to look more closely at the results of today’s aero tests – and we’ll have a clearer idea of where we are by tomorrow – but the car felt good, so I’m positive.
“Turn Eight is a bit tricky – [to enter the pits] you have to stay right before the corner, which requires you to be slower at the apex, so we might have to have a look at that during the drivers’ briefing tonight.”
SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM
#27 Nico Hulkenberg
“It’s a fun track. Quite a short lap, but it flows nicely. It looks easier on paper because in reality it’s quite challenging and technical in many areas. The morning session was very solid; I was happy with the car straight away and the performance was there. For some reason we struggled more this afternoon on both tyre compounds and I was not as comfortable in the car: so that is where we need to analyse things tonight. One explanation could be the wind, which picked up this afternoon, but we will look deep into the data to make sure we improve things for tomorrow.”
#11 Sergio Perez
“It was a good day. We followed our programme and managed to learn a lot about the way both tyre compounds behave over long runs. The track is very challenging and it doesn’t offer many overtaking opportunities, so grid position will be crucial for a successful weekend. There are still good margins of improvement we can extract: getting everything out of the car and doing the necessary changes to use the tyres in the best way will be our main objectives for tonight.”
SAUBER F1 TEAM
#99 Adrian Sutil
“I was able to go through the second free practice without any incidents. In the morning I lost quite a lot of time on track due to a technical problem. However, I am satisfied with our programme today. As the track is very slippery, the car is unstable and, therefore, difficult to drive. With the expected higher temperatures tomorrow, I should have a better feeling as the grip level on track will be higher.”
#21 Esteban Gutierrez
“We had a good day. We used the time on track efficiently as we managed to get through our programme. From that point of view the sessions went well. Although, we still need to work more on the consistency of our lap times. The driveability of the car is also a factor, which is quite important during the long runs. This is our priority at the moment.”
SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO
#25 Jean-Eric Vergne
“I think it was a positive Friday and I’m happy with my car. We brought many new parts and updates here in Austria, which means we had a lot to test and understand today. I have to say that the situation looks good. We have to put all the data together overnight but I believe we have a good potential for improvement for FP3 and particularly for qualifying tomorrow”
#26 Daniil Kvyat
“I really enjoyed driving this track today, it’s definitely among my favourites on the calendar, with heavy braking points, some fast and medium speed corners which are good fun. As for today’s sessions, I was hoping for a better pace here but on the positive side I’m sure there is still a big margin of improvement. We have gone through a good programme today, so I’m confident we can have a strong remaining weekend.”
WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING
#19 Felipe Massa
« It has been a good Friday. To return here and be where we are is encouraging. The balance of the car was good and the car behaviour was positive so we will be there fighting. It’s not an easy track and so many things can happen as we have learnt today, so we have to be consistent. It’s great to be up there with Ferrari but you can’t ignore any of the teams behind you and we will be ready for anything. »
#77 Valtteri Bottas
« It’s a really nice track; I think it will become one of my favourites. It’s an old-school track with some high speed sections and no room for mistakes. With long straights it should also make racing here interesting too. It’s not an easy track to set the car up for as you face different issues with each corner, Turn One is an uphill right-hander and Turn Three is a downhill right-hander, both at different speeds, so we will have to analyse the data to find what works best for us. Qualifying will be very tight so it will come down to who can put the lap together best. »
MARUSSIA F1 TEAM
#17 Jules Bianchi
“Overall we have ended the day with a lot of good information, which will be very useful in helping us to improve for tomorrow. I lost some time due to a radio problem, which kept me in the garage, but we started to recover quite well and I think there is more to come. This is a nice track and the early signs are that we can do well here as we have already showed some good promise versus the Saubers. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
#4 Max Chilton
“Generally a very promising day for the Team, considering this is collectively our first visit to this circuit. I think we have been able to extract a lot of the potential of the car due to smooth running and we were able to get a nice long consistent race run. A positive start.”
CATERHAM F1 TEAM
#9 Kamui Kobayashi
“We completed 24 laps in FP1 and even though a bit of rain did interrupt the session we were still able to work through the plan – obviously something that’s really important normally, but even more so on a new track like this.
“It’s a good circuit to drive on, particularly the double-left through five and six, and the last couple of corners onto the start / finish straight, but what we still don’t know a lot about yet is how the tyres will behave when the track temps warm up. Today the weather was cooler than it’s forecast to be for Saturday and Sunday so we’ll have to do more work on that in FP3.
“In FP2 the car was immediately better after the setup changes we made over lunch, especially on braking. On the first run the traction had improved, the car had more grip and even though there was some understeer it was a good step from FP1.
“We went onto supersofts for the first performance run, and then the long run, starting on the same compound. I found six-tenths on that set in the performance run but it was a bit weird – the grip levels felt the same as the softs and even though I wasn’t expecting a massive step, it was still a bit strange that there wasn’t more grip. We’ll look at that properly tonight and maybe increased track temperatures will help – we’ll see tomorrow.
“We started the long run on supersofts and I was up to lap ten of that first stint when I started feeling the car pull right under braking. It didn’t feel right so we boxed so the guys could take a look to see if there were any problems – there wasn’t anything obvious, and the data didn’t point to anything specific but we decided to end the session with about 15 minutes left so we could have proper inspection and avoid any issues on track.”
#10 Marcus Ericsson
“FP1 obviously ended a lot earlier than we’d planned with an electrical system issue on lap nine. I came out of turn one and the car switched itself off, there was nothing I could do. When we got it back to the garage we found out the problem was related to the ERS-H control unit so that was fixed over lunch and we had the car ready again well before FP2.
“Until then I have to say I was enjoying the track. After the trackwalk we did yesterday with the engineers it was clear that the Red Bull Ring was going to be a really good challenge, and even after just eight laps I was enjoying myself! There wasn’t a lot of grip, as usual in FP1, but I was starting to find a good rhythm and carried that through to FP2.
“After limited laps in FP1 we had more work to do in FP2 than normal so we started with a 13 lap run on the softs. I had some issues with traction and oversteer but the balance was ok, especially in the high speed corners so we made a couple of changes before heading out for the first run on the
“My first run on that set was ok but I still had the same traction issues as we’d started with, and oversteer in the low and medium speed corners. I also had traffic in the last two corners on my fastest lap which cost me a chunk of time, but the main area we needed to look at was the oversteer that was hurting laptime, mainly mid-corner.
“We continued with the runplan and went onto the first long run of the weekend. I started on the softs and had pretty good deg on that set – they were holding up well, as were the supersofts which we went onto after a stop.
“Overall it was an ok afternoon, definitely better than the morning, but we have a lot to do tonight to sort out the oversteer and find more grip, but we’ve been pretty good at finding improvements from Friday to Saturday this year so the aim is to do so again here.”