Driver Quotes: Italian GP Friday

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ITALIAN GRAND PRIX
MONZA
FRIDAY DRIVER QUOTES
07 SEPTEMBER 2012


Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel
“I think overall we are not as quick as we would like to be, so there’s still work to do. I think we are more
competitive in race trim, but we aren’t where we want to be yet in terms of true pace. We ran through
our entire programme, so we got a lot of information to go through and learn from.”
Mark Webber
“We’re working hard, but we’re not there yet. We were a bit more competitive on the longer runs in
practice today. We’re not normally the Friday World Champions, so we’ll do some work now for
tomorrow. We often find a good step ahead of qualifying.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton
“Monza is a beautiful circuit and the whole place has such great history you really feel it as soon as you
drive through the gates. And, of course, it’s an absolutely stunning place on which to drive the speeds
are incredible and, when you get the flow right, it feels simply amazing. It’s very, very quick. It’s
somewhat deceptive, too: a map of the track makes it look quite simple, but it’s actually incredibly
technical. It’s also bumpy, which means it’s incredibly difficult to nail those final thousandths on a quick
lap. And that’s really what today has been all about: we’re trying to fine-tune the balance and find the
tiniest amounts of time. It’s extremely tight. Overall, today has been quite productive, and everything
has gone smoothly. Hopefully, we’re not in a bad position, although there are still things we can
improve on the car for tomorrow.”
Jenson Button
“Monza is so different from anywhere else we drive. The straightline speeds are incredibly high
in fact there are four points around the track where we hit 200mph [322km/h]. It’s been
satisfying to get some dry running under our belts today, because we were able to gather a lot
of useful information. We tried a few different directions with set-up this afternoon and some
were better than others but we’ll decide what works best before FP3 tomorrow and we’ll make
the necessary tweaks to get the balance right. I’m pretty comfortable with the car; you always
want more, but we’ve done a reasonably good job today. Looking at the data, there are quite a
few teams out there that look quick too: it’s very close and that’s going to make it an interesting
race.”
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Fernando Alonso
“Today almost everything happened, with various mechanical problems and we did not manage to test
everything we wanted, but all the parts that failed can be changed and thanks to Felipe we have all the
information we need to do well in qualifying and the race. Even if today was complicated, it was still
positive: it’s good that everything happened today, because we must try and avoid any problems
tomorrow and Sunday. I am optimistic about the car balance, which we did not have to change between
FP1 and 2. I expect we will see different strategies in qualifying because there seems to be very little
difference between the Medium and Hard tyres. In the race we will have to use both and so in the end it
balances out. Compared to Spa, here we are on the pace, maybe we have a bit more downforce and
make up a bit of time at the two Lesmos and the second chicane, while we are losing out in the first
sector with the two long straights. We will analyse these details this evening and tomorrow we will try
and improve also in terms of top speed, which was probably our weak point today.”
Felipe Massa
“A very positive day because I managed to make the most of the track time, completing all the
programme we had planned for this Friday. I did a lot of laps on both types of tyre, in the morning
and the afternoon, including a long run to evaluate the handling as well as possible. At the moment,
there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the two compounds in terms of performance, as
we could also see from the other drivers’ times, but we will have to see how it goes tomorrow,
because the difference could become greater as the track conditions improve, which will be an
important factor for qualifying and the race. I am also pleased with my lap times, as I was always up
there with the quickest cars in both sessions. We will be trying to improve the car set-up still further
tomorrow, but I am confident for the rest of the weekend. I am very pleased to be here in Monza in
front of our fans and I really hope that this positive day is the right start to get a great result for them!”
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team
Michael Schumacher
“I am quite happy with the practice sessions as we achieved a lot of reasonable work with regards to
long runs which was our main focus today. We have a different aero package for Monza which
seems to work well so it seems to be looking better than in the last races. During the sessions, we
made progress as well so I am curious to have a look at the data we collected and learn the full
picture. It’s always nice to be back in Monza as I am still so warmly welcomed by all the tifosi. As I
said earlier, I would like to say thank you for that and hope we can put on a good show tomorrow and
in the race on Sunday.”
Nico Rosberg
“That was definitely a better start for us than in Spa. We were able to complete a lot of laps today
and it seems that we have a good pace on high and low fuel levels. As always, it’s difficult to say
where we are compared to the others but I hope we can score some good points this weekend. It
was great fun to drive on this amazing track, and I always like the special atmosphere here.
Yesterday I went out on the old Monza track with a scooter which is great to see.”
Lotus F1 Team
Kimi Raikkonen
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Romain Grosjean
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Williams F1
Bruno Senna
“It was a difficult session. After not running in the morning I had a lot to do this afternoon, but we’ve
been trying different things and I think we can find a good path. Hopefully the car will be even better
tomorrow and we can iron out some of the technical details to improve for qualifying.”
Pastor Maldonado
“It was a productive day as we were trying some different configurations, especially with the aero
levels. We completed everything we set out to do in the programme. There is still more speed to
come and so tomorrow we will continue working to improve, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we
can do.”
Sahara Force India
Paul Di Resta
“A pretty standard afternoon session for me and I seemed to get in the groove quite quickly. The
preparation we had done in the simulator was useful and the baseline set-up was not very far away
from where we needed to be. We improved the car with each run so there’s plenty of data to go through
tonight to improve our performance before qualifying.”
Nico Hulkenberg
“It was nice to have a dry and straightforward Friday for a change so that we could get through our
programme and complete some long runs. Overall we look in reasonable shape, although I’m not totally
happy with the set-up yet. We learned a lot about the tyres and both the hard and medium are working
well here. The other big decision to make tonight is what downforce levels we will use over the
weekend.”
Sauber F1 Team
Kamui Kobayashi
“It was a bit of a difficult day. I didn’t do enough running to decide on the settings and the downforce
level. In the morning it was business as usual and also my first run in the second session was okay. But
then, after we had made some changes, the car was bouncing an awful lot. I nearly spun on the
straight. However, we identified the problem but could not fix it during the session. I think we have quite
a lot of work to do tomorrow.”
Sergio Pérez
“The first free practice went alright and also in the second session we almost completed our
programme, but I had to stop a few minutes early when the team called me in for some checks. Overall
so far I have the feeling we are a bit behind expectations here. We lose quite some time on the
straights and now have to find a good aero and set-up compromise. We definitely want to fight for the
top ten in qualifying tomorrow.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo
“You come to Monza with a special low downforce package and the car always feels a bitdifferent,
moving around more and you are reaching very high speeds, so in terms of balance, it’s hard to be
happy here compared to circuits where you run much higher downforce. Therefore you need to change
your approach a bit. However, we are still looking for some more speed and even if we have to accept it
might not be perfect, I do believe there is room for improvement for the rest of the weekend. We made
a couple of changes between the sessions, but we don’t yet have a clear picture of where we are at the
moment. It’s nice to see so many people from our factory in Faenza here to support us.”
Jean-Éric Vergne
“This is my first time at Monza in a Formula 1 car and it definitely feels fast! I have been getting used to
running with very little downforce and we still have some work to do to try and improve our performance
level. The team did a good job today in terms of working through a packed test programme and now it’s
a case of studying the data, trying to work out the best car set-up for qualifying and for the race. I have
to say that driving for an Italian team at Monza in front of such a big crowd, including many of our
people from the factory added something special to the experience.”
Caterham F1 Team
Heikki Kovalainen
“It’s a positive feeling for everybody. Spa was not acceptable, that’s clear, and when we don’t really
understand why we weren’t competitive it’s more difficult to sort out, but coming here we’re back to the
base level of performance we should have and now we need to build on that.”
Vitaly Petrov
“After the ups and downs we’ve seen so far this year I don’t want to make any predictions about where
we’ll end up on Sunday, or in Singapore or any of the races to come, but I think that if we carry on like
we have today we’ll be looking much better. That’s a good feeling, for me and the team, and hopefully
the similar weather conditions we’ll have on track tomorrow will suit us so we can have another positive
day.”
Hispania Racing F1 Team
Pedro de la Rosa
“Today we enjoyed two clean sessions that enabled us to try out different aero configurations and
complete a comparison of tyre compounds and a long stint towards the end in preparation for the
race. We faced no problems and were able to complete all the tests as planned. We can still improve
the car for tomorrow ahead of qualifying but we’ve set a good base for the race.”
Narain Karthikeyan
“We focused on testing different car set-ups and the car worked well with all of them. The shame is
that we had to stop before the end because of an issue with the exhausts. It was a precautionary
measure more than anything else and it will be fixed for tomorrow. But the best thing about the day
was that I found a rhythm quickly and that the car performed well.”
Marussia F1 Team
Timo Glock
“First of all it’s good to have stable weather conditions in Monza because this track is quite unique and
we needed to do a lot of preparation work. We got through the programme quite well and evaluated the
aero level of our rear wing options for here. We did a lot of back to back work with our Canada
specification and our latest components seem the clear way to go, which again proves out our
development direction. Overall the car felt okay and no problems with the long runs so far; the times
were quite consistent. I’m happy with FP1 and FP2. A bit of fine-tuning perhaps but, in general, a good
start and we will see what we can do from here now.”
Charles Pic
“A very busy day for us today, perhaps even more so than usual as we had to follow a very
comprehensive programme across the two cars to arrive at a good way to proceed from here. We tried
lots of different things this morning so that in the break we could analyse the information and decide on
a direction. This track is not easy to set the car up for and it involves a few compromises, but I think we
have worked well to establish a good starting point. There is still more work to be done based on what
we have learned here this afternoon and some things we can do to continue to improve the car.”

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