Driver Quotes: Bahrain GP Practice



04 APRIL 2014


#1 Sebastian Vettel

“It was a solid day for us and we didn’t have any problems with the car. We’re still learning a lot in

terms of reliability and car set up, so it’s important to do laps and not to have any problems.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo

“We had a better run in P2 today than in P1. In P1 we played around a little bit with a few things on

the car, but this evening was better and we made a step forward. We’ve still got more to go through

– so overall not a bad day, but still room for improvement.”


#44 Lewis Hamilton

“It’s been a pretty decent day for us. The car felt good from the outset which allowed us to spend

time getting to grips with the tyres. The softs in particular seem to be working well and we saw a fair

difference in lap time between them and the mediums. The focus today was on the second session

as the timing and conditions reflects that of the rest of the weekend and the difference in

temperature between the sessions was quite large. The key was to not react too much to that

change in terms of our approach to set-up and we seemed to manage that well. It was great driving

under the spotlights here: the circuit looks even better at night and you don’t really notice a

difference in terms of visibility. It’s actually quite nice to be driving in cooler conditions too. As always

there are still some tweaks we can make to improve the car, but overall I’m feeling good. I heard the

update about Michael after P2 and we are all thinking of him and his family.”

#6 Nico Rosberg

“Today was a good day of testing for us. It seems that we are quick in terms of outright pace and I

also had a good long run in the second session, so I’m quite confident about the weekend ahead.

Driving in the evening is very different, as the track temperatures are much lower than during all the

test sessions we’ve had so far during the day. We learned a lot in the new conditions and it worked

out quite well. It was also great to hear some encouraging news about Michael today. The whole

paddock was happy to hear this and I hope his progress continues.”


#14 Fernando Alonso

“After many daytime races, it was really strange to be running here in the dark even if it

was not very different to the other night time races, so we just have to get used to it. From this

aspect, today was very useful, especially FP2, to learn about the behaviour of the tyres and the car.

Even if we did a lot of running here in winter testing, now it’s like starting from scratch and one has

to adapt to the new indications coming from the differing track conditions. We know our strong

points and the areas we must focus on to improve, but we must not overreact in trying to close the

performance gap. At the moment we must make steady progress while still keeping an eye on

reliability, which has brought us a good points haul in the first couple of races, which is always very


#7 Kimi Raikkonen

“Overall, this was a difficult day, because I didn’t feel comfortable with the car in either session. In the

first one, I damaged the floor on the kerb at turn 4 and this meant I had to pit. The team did a super

job, because they got me back out on track in a short time, but then, because of a problem with the

brakes, I was unable to complete the programme. In the second session we concentrated on looking

at the two Pirelli compounds and with the Soft it was definitely better than the Medium. Now we will

get down to analysing all today’s data, especially regarding the immediate change in the track from

day to night and we will try and improve for qualifying and the race.”


#8 Roman Grosjean

“We have learnt a lot about the car today which can only help us to make progress. I had a bit of an

issue which needed investigating in the second session, so it was frustrating to miss some time as

I’m sure we would have made more improvements. It was interesting driving one session on a hot

and bright afternoon then the next in darkness. We have lots of work to do for tomorrow.”

#13 Pastor Maldonado

“It was good to have a reliable car and we completed a lot of work today. We had a lot of parts to test

and we ran through many different evaluations. I made a little mistake in the evening session and we

took quite a bit of air after jumping the kerb. Fortunately, not too much damage was done and we

could continue the session. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see how well we can perform.”


#22 Jenson Button

“The conditions in the evening [FP2] were very different from the conditions in the afternoon [FP1].

There was no significant difference in terms of sighting braking points and apices under lights; no,

the key difference was the lower air and track temperature. As you’d expect, on cooler asphalt, in

FP2, it was much more difficult to get temperature into the tyres, but on the other hand you didn’t

have as much degradation, so there was a trade-off there.

It was the same for everyone, of course, but there’s still a gap between us and the fastest cars – in

fact I don’t think anyone is really happy with their car except Mercedes – so we’ve got a lot of work

to do. But we’re pushing as hard as we can to do that work and close that gap.”

#20 Kevin Magnussen

“Today we got through our planned programme well, and our car seems to be working okay on this

circuit; it feels like a pretty decent racing car here, in fact, but obviously it’s still too early to say much

for sure.

We’re quite a bit off the pace of the quickest cars, of course, but I reckon we’ve got a slightly better

chance to make up for that here owing to the cooler air and track temperatures. Also, apart from the

quickest cars, the field seems to be pretty well bunched.

If it stays like that, hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to qualify decently tomorrow, which should

place us well in terms of scoring points on Sunday. But it’s early days yet, so let’s wait and see.”


#27 Nico Hulkenberg

“It was quite a good day for us; we did not do a lot of running but when we were out on track the

running we did was quite good. First practice was not that representative because the race will be

held at a completely different time of the day and with very different conditions, but the second

session was a more realistic. We did some quality running in this session and we looked okay. I felt

quite comfortable in the car and we just need to do some tweaks to the set-up tonight. I think we

have a good starting point for the rest of the weekend.”

#11 Sergio Perez

“Today was positive; we managed to complete our programme and we’re quite happy with the car,

especially on the prime tyre. I was able to complete some long runs and that will give us plenty to

analyse tonight. The track temperature and conditions change a lot between the late afternoon and

the evening, and it’s something we were expecting. We will keep working to improve the car for

tomorrow, but we can be satisfied with the amount and quality of work done today.”


#99 Adrian Sutil

“Today in the morning we were able to test different set-ups for the car, and that was ok. The

medium and soft tyres are a good choice for this track. The second practice session was interesting

because of the lower temperatures, which will probably be similar during qualifying tomorrow. In

general, the grip was good. Because of the lower temperatures, the tyres are not over-heating, but

the track is a challenge for the rear tyres. However, it is good that we have cooler temperatures,

which should also be a benefit for the race. In the evening we could do our short runs with the

medium and soft tyres. Later in the second practice session the engine switched off and I had to park

the car in Turn 4. Because of this we missed doing the long runs. We tried to head out again, but

there was no time left.”

#21 Esteban Gutierrez

“Overall the balance of the car is pretty much there where we want it to be, and this is a good sign.

The feeling of the car is quite good and I am satisfied with the balance. We still have some work to

do with the gear shift. At the moment we are missing quite a lot of straight-line speed on high fuel.

However, in the corners the car does not feel too far off. We have to work on the fine-tuning and we

need to get a better understanding of the track temperature, as this is very different in comparison

to how it was in Melbourne and Sepang. It is a different kind of warming up of the tyres.”


#25 Jean-Eric Vergne

“It was not a bad Friday, even though we didn’t start the day with a perfect car. Overall, we improved

in the second session and I’m sure we can make the same step forward for tomorrow’s FP3. We

certainly need to analyse all the data carefully tonight, but I’m confident that there is still more speed

to come, so this was an encouraging start.”

#26 Daniil Kvyat

“Overall, this has been a good day for us, as I managed to do a lot of laps, with no big problems. It

was the first time I have driven under the floodlights and that was fine. Comparing the two tyres,

clearly the Soft is much quicker than the Medium but in general this evening all the lap times were

faster because of the big drop in temperatures once the sun went down. We will now analyze all the

data with the engineers and I hope we can have a strong remaining weekend.”


#19 Felipe Massa

“It has been a good day for us even though we didn’t do much running. We covered some good

miles during pre-season testing, so today wasn’t about learning, but fine tuning. Luckily the car

hasn’t changed too much since we were last here, but some other cars have definitely caught up.

The car feels ok and I think we can be competitive, hopefully more so than in Malaysia. We still have

some work to do tomorrow but we are feeling positive.”

#77 Valtteri Bottas

“Today has been a short day for me after sitting out of the first free practice, but Nasr did a good job

and handed the car over in one piece and he managed to complete his programme. Today we

opted for short stints as we have had plenty of time running throughout winter testing. The aim of

these stints was to fine tune the set-up and we can still improve it for tomorrow. Overall though the

feeling is positive from my side and after so few laps today I still have quite a bit of work to do



#17 Jules Bianchi

“I think we saw promising signs from our running today which suggest that we have made some

good progress with understanding our package a little more since Malaysia. The run on the soft tyre

looked good so we look forward to exploring the performance of the car a little more tomorrow. Of

course, we did have to end the day early to look at the brake disc problem that Max experienced, but

a good start and some things to look forward to over the rest of the weekend I hope.”

#4 Max Chilton

“It was not the straightforward day of practice and preparation we had targeted but we were making

good progress nonetheless and things were looking quite promising in the early part of the second

session in particular. We were just getting started on the long run work when I felt something let go

on the front left and it threw me into a spin. It felt like a brake disc failure and this is in fact what

happened, so it’s something we need to look into very carefully this evening. It’s interesting to be

back here after pre-season testing at this circuit but obviously the floodlights give a different

dimension to the action. I do like the night races.”


#9 Kamui Kobayashi

“After sitting out FP1 I was keen to get back in the car, especially with the better reliability we had in

the first session which will help us much more over the rest of the weekend. The car felt ok but we

had understeer in both the low and high speed turns so we tried a different front anti-roll bar for run

two and there was a small improvement, but there was more front locking so I couldn’t really attack

into the braking zones.

On the softs the car felt better, but it was very snappy on power. On my first quick lap on the softs I

had traffic and I had to lift for yellows in turn four, and then again the next time I went for a quick lap

so I think with a clean run there was quite a few tenths left in the car, but we didn’t have a chance to

improve that as we went onto the long run for the final stint, starting on the mediums. That went ok

and we finished Friday with a good number of laps for the first time for me this year. The normal

long Friday night is now ahead and I’m sure we’ll make some progress tomorrow.”

#10 Marcus Ericsson

“FP1 was ok – we started with a rear wing change to look at some data from that, and then got stuck

into the full program that was used mainly to prepare for the race. Throughout the session we kept

improving the driveability of the power unit, and, balance-wise, we started with too much oversteer

in the high speed corner, and understeer in the lows, but we made a couple of changes to the ride

height and a few other mechanical setup changes, and by the end of the session we were heading

in the right direction.

For FP2 we made a few more changes to the setup and the initial feeling was that there was more

grip overall, especially in the high speed sections where the balance was ok, but I was having power

issues throughout most of the first run which meant I wasn’t really able to push. The power was

coming in and out in a way that wasn’t really predictable, so I didn’t know what was going to

happen when I got on the throttle coming out of each corner – unfortunately I didn’t get one lap

without that issue so the final laptimes really weren’t a clear guide to where we are performancewise,

but we’ll look at that in detail tonight.

We finished with a long run which started on the softs. The deg levels were pretty good but with the

same power issue I wasn’t really able to push, but with about five minutes left of the session I was

told to stop the car as we had a power unit problem. Renault will look at that and thankfully it

happened at the end of the session so, overall the main thing is we’ve finally had a better Friday and

that means we’re in a better position after FP1 and FP2 than we’ve been all season. We have a lot to

do tonight, but I’m feeling better about the rest of the weekend than I did in Australia or last week in

Malaysia, so now the aim is to build on the mileage we put in today and make some real progress



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