Driver quotes: Monaco GP practice

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23 MAY 2013


Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber

“I think traditionally we’re never too electric here on Thursday’s, so today was actually one of the better

ones we’ve had in the last few years. You’ve got to be very, very focused here; concentration is very,

very high. It’s a challenging venue to pull everything together; we want to obviously get short run

performance as well as gaining short and long run data, which I think we’ve got. There are some quick

cars out there; we’ve seen that on Saturday at the last few GPs. All in all, a reasonably smooth day for

us, we’ve got plenty to go through now.”

Sebastian Vettel

“I think generally it was okay. Unfortunately we lost quite a lot of time in the afternoon while we were

making some changes, but that can happen on Friday, or in this case Thursday. We’d like to be a little

bit more competitive, so we need to try and find some more lap time. We had a KERS issue this

afternoon, so I didn’t use the system during P2. The guys know what the problem was with that.”

Scuderia Ferrari

Fernando Alonso

“It’s always nice driving at Monaco, even if it’s very demanding, because here more than anywhere,

you need to do a lot of running to adapt to the track and, in more general terms, get used to a very

special race. I am pleased that we managed to get through all our planned programme today, which

can’t always be taken for granted here as anything can happen! Even if the feelings are positive and we

got through the day without any problems whatsoever, we still don’t have a clear idea of the pecking

order in the field. We will have to wait a bit to see where all our rivals really are, because here too, until

Saturday, no one pushes a hundred percent: the barriers constitute too high a threat to take risks in the

first free practice sessions. There’s not much time to do a tyre comparison here, we did only one and

the results didn’t throw up any surprises: the Super Softs are a bit quicker and degrade more. All that

remains now is to spend all the available time analysing the data we have gathered to try and find the

best strategy for qualifying and the race”.

Felipe Massa

“The weekend has got off on the right foot, the car behaved well and I managed to find a good pace.

I finished in the top five in both sessions, which is important in such an unpredictable event as the

Monaco Grand Prix. However, we are aware that we still have much work to do. Now we will analyse

all the data available to try and find the right direction to go in, because here it’s vital to have a car

that is both competitive in qualifying and performs consistently in the race. Mercedes has shown that

it is quicker and it will not be easy to get ahead of them in qualifying, but I am sure we have what’s

needed to take the fight to them”.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button

“We struggled in the morning when the circuit was still fairly ‘green’ – we couldn’t get any temperatures

into the tyres, but I think that affected everybody, not just us. Our pace on a long run looks surprisingly

good, although we’re not quite there with our qualifying pace yet. Still, I feel happier with the car here

than I have the past few weekends. There are some areas in which we’ve struggled before that now

seem a little bit better, and that’s obviously positive. We may not be setting amazing times out there,

but I’m happy that we’re heading in the right direction. And hopefully we can improve on Saturday from

where we are today.”

Sergio Perez

“We tried a lot of things during today’s practice sessions. Not everything worked; some of the things we

tried made it difficult for me to feel confident with the car, especially through the faster corners. So we’ll

come back on those changes before Saturday’s practice. Still, we had no nasty surprises either, which

was positive. I’m hopeful we can make it into Q3. I actually think Saturday will be the most important

day of the weekend – everyone will be trying to save tyres so as to have as few stops as possible in the

race. It’s likely to be a slow race with low degradation, so we need to give it our all on Saturday.”

Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Räikkönen

“I was much happier at the end of today than this morning. We spent the first session getting the

steering right as it wasn’t great at the beginning, then we changed a few things on the car and it felt far

better. We’ve still got a few other areas to improve, but it was getting stronger with every run today. To

get pole we have to make the car a bit faster overall and I have to drive a bit better, then we’ll have to

see what happens.”

Romain Grosjean

“After a great start to the day it was a real shame to end things early. I didn’t have the grip I expected

going into the corner, but there was nothing wrong with the car; my braking and entry speed were all

wrong and I ended up hitting the barrier. There was no chance to let off and go straight on into the

runoff area; I was committed to the corner so that was it. We have a very good car here and it gives you

the confidence to push, but unfortunately I pushed a bit too hard. I’m sorry for the team and I definitely

owe them all a drink for all the work that’s needed before Saturday. The grid looks very close, but we

seem in good shape and I’m eager to get back out on track and fight for the top positions.”

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Nico Rosberg

“A very productive day for us. We completed a lot of laps and I feel comfortable in the car. It seems

that we are quick again on one lap but we have been working hard again to make improvements to

our race pace. It will be interesting to see where we are compared to the others over the weekend as

it’s not really representative today. It feels great to be back here driving around the streets of my

home city here again and I’m very much looking forward to the weekend.”

Lewis Hamilton

“It’s been a positive start for us today and I’m pleased with what we have achieved here in Monaco.

We did some good long run work this afternoon and the supersoft tyres seem to be performing well. I

need to improve my one lap pace however, partly with the balance of the car and partly from me. The

car is almost there and the pace looks good so we’ll look at the data tonight and work on those areas

which can still be improved before the weekend.”

Sauber F1 Team

Nico Hülkenberg

“It was a good day, and we were able to work through the programme without any issues. The balance

of the car improved during FP2, and we know the track will improve and get faster throughout the

weekend. We collected a lot of data, and there is still room for improvement.”

Esteban Gutiérrez

“It was a positive day in many aspects. In the first practice session, I focused on finding confidence in

the car. It was quite tricky, because it’s a very narrow and bumpy track, and in the beginning, it’s very

difficult to read the car. But this is something we were able to improve in the second session. It was

important to have the reference between the two cars. It’s evident the gap to the front is quite big, and

we need to find more speed in qualifying. Nevertheless I definitely enjoyed today, and we will keep

pushing for the limit.”

Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team

Paul Di Resta

“A good day’s work, although there’s always lots to talk about after two sessions around Monaco. There

are some improvements we can make to improve the balance, especially with the race in mind, and

that’s something we will work on tonight and tomorrow. The tyre programme went well and we got as

much data as we could, which is always the main focus for a Friday so I think we’re in good shape. My

general feeling with the car is good and the work we’ve done today has taken us in the right direction.”

Adrian Sutil

“It’s always a pleasure to come back to Monaco and drive a Formula One car at the limit – and for me it

is two years since I last drove here. It did not take me long to find my rhythm again and things went

pretty well. We made some progress between the two sessions and I’m feeling comfortable with the

car. We know what the plan is for tomorrow and where we can improve to be ready for Saturday.”

Williams F1 Team

Pastor Maldonado

“This is one of my favourite circuits on the Formula One calendar. It’s always great to drive here. The

practice session today was productive and we feel we have made some progress. The set-up in the

two sessions was slightly different and it felt like things were slightly better in FP1. We will analyse

everything tonight and tomorrow and choose the best configuration for the weekend ahead.”

Valtteri Bottas

“The track here in Monaco is very challenging, but brilliant to drive. I was learning more and more

with every lap and I feel like I’m really getting up to speed in my first time driving here. We have a lot

of data from today that we will look at in order to find the correct balance for the car; hopefully we can

look at everything and make a step forward for Saturday’s qualifying session.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo

“I really enjoy street circuits and this one in particular, however, this morning we were slower than we

had hoped and expected to be. I’m sure if we find some more speed for Saturday then it will be even

more enjoyable. Jev and I weren’t running the same settings and there is still a bit to come from myself

as well, because you can always find a bit more performance from the driver on a street circuit. We now

have one more day than usual to analyse everything and we also have some modifications we can

make for Saturday. I am confident we can improve and I am still looking at getting into the top ten, but

we have a bit of work to do to achieve that. As for the tyres, it’s the usual story that the Supersoft is

quicker and the Soft is more consistent, but I do think that running Sunday’s race on a one stop

strategy could prove more difficult than last year.”

Jean-Éric Vergne

“It was a good day with a lot of laps completed. At this circuit, driver confidence is an important factor

and you gain in confidence with every lap you do, feeling you can push harder every time. My last long

run looked pretty good at the end of the afternoon session. Now we need to put all the best elements

together so that we can improve our overall performance and I believe we can do well on Saturday,

much better than the story told in today’s time sheet.”

Caterham F1 Team

Charles Pic

“FP1 for me was ok. The steering felt a little light on the installation lap so we adjusted that, and then

worked on dialling out the understeer I had on the first full run, and by run three we’d found a pretty

good balance. That continued into the afternoon session and I’m pretty happy with how it ended. I

didn’t get a clean run on the supersofts but on the long run we did on the options we found that we

had quite good deg, good enough to give us some options for Sunday and the car felt good

throughout the whole run. We ran an aero test last week, to help sort out a couple of the issues we

found with the new package in Spain and in FP1 we ran further aero evaluation on what we learned

at the straightline test. The initial results are good and that will give us even more to work on tonight,

and give us more potential performance to extract tomorrow and on Sunday. Another really good

thing today was that we found a balance that worked on both compounds quickly, so we were able to

get everything we could out of both sessions. We didn’t have any issues that held us up, especially

compared to the number of small problems we had in FP1 and FP2 in Spain, so that’s put us in a

better position for Saturday and Sunday than we’ve been in all season.”

Giedo van der Garde

“I definitely enjoyed my first day in an F1 car in Monaco and I think we’ve made some good progress

today. In FP1 the grip levels on track were as low as you’d expect, but it came in pretty well and by

the end of the session it was possible to push round the whole lap. We had some issues with front

locking and unfortunately I damaged a front wing on my third run, but other than that it was fine. We

improved the traction throughout the session and started to dial out the oversteer I had on the first

couple of runs. In FP2 the car immediately felt better after we’d made a couple of setup and parts

changes, and the hotter track conditions helped the tyres come in more quickly so my first run was

good. We went onto the supersofts and waited for a gap in the traffic but then on my quick lap the

red flags came out when Romain’s accident damaged the barriers. That was bad timing as I was

definitely on my fastest lap of the day and I think we’d have been looking at a time around the mid-

1.17s, more representative of our real pace today. But, FP1 and FP2 aren’t about the quickest laps.

They’re about what we did today which was work through the program, start to understand how to

manage the tyres and generate as much data as we can for the guys to work on at the track and

back at the factory. I’m sure Saturday we’ll show what we can do around here and I think the tyre

strategies are going to make it very interesting!”

Marussia F1 Team

Jules Bianchi

“It has been a good day for us and I have really enjoyed my first experience of Monaco in a Formula 1

car. It was everything I imagined it to be and I am pleased that we have established a good baseline

that we can build on during the rest of the weekend. The fact that we have no running tomorrow means

that we have more time than usual to focus on the data we have gathered today, so we should be able

to draw some good conclusions that will help us to prepare for Saturday and the race.”

Max Chilton

“This track is amazing in a Formula 1 car and just as exhilarating as I thought it would be. It has been a

busy day but we were able to complete the full programme we had planned and I think we are

reasonably confident based on what we have seen so far. Once again the big challenge will be

managing the tyres through the race but the work we have done today means we have plenty of

information to help us make good choices for the race.”


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