Driver Quotes: Singapore GP Practice

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DRIVER QUOTES SINGAPORE GP – PRACTICE

INFINITI RED BULL RACING

#1 Sebastian Vettel
“Was today unlucky? I don’t believe in good luck and bad luck. I think we did a lot in the last few years that was right and we weren’t just lucky then; this year it’s a bit different and we have had some problems, but that’s part of life. We have overcome the troubles that we have had and it’s progressively getting better. In terms of pace it’s looking good this weekend. It was important to get a good feel on the supersoft tyre. The mechanics were pushing hard and changed the engine in less than three hours after FP1, which is a massive job, so thanks to them that I was able to get out in the second session.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo
“I’ve got a feeling Mercedes probably have a bit more in the bag. I saw Hamilton is about three tenths up the road and Rosberg was improving and then he caught the red flag or the yellow flag so I don’t know, I think they’ve got a bit more in the tank. I think we do too, but probably not enough to get on par with them yet, but hopefully a good night of homework will pay off tomorrow. I wasn’t expecting such a big difference between the tyres, it just doesn’t seem the prime is working as well, the supersoft seems normal but the prime is tricky to turn on so that’s making it a bit hard. The tyres are going to make a big difference in the race – to be quick on the tyre is one thing, but to make it last more laps is another and that could save you doing an extra pit stop in the race.”

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

#44 Lewis Hamilton
“Today was a work in progress. We made some changes between P1 and P2 and, whether it was those changes or the track itself, the balance didn’t feel right. It felt like we lost a bit of performance but we’ll look into the details and see what it was tonight. The long run was okay – I had a bit of traffic which wasn’t ideal, as when you back off to rebuild the gap the tyres come back to you a bit which may not give an accurate picture of exactly how long they will last. Pole here has always been very important. The right side of the grid, for example, always seems to get the better starts. Being up at the front
will be crucial and that’s obviously my target for qualifying tomorrow. Nico looks very quick, as do the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, but I’m feeling good this weekend and I’m focused on the job.”

#6 Nico Rosberg
“I had a good feeling in the car. The only pity was that I had to abandon my quick lap due to the red flags. Although I didn’t get the second part of that lap, though, in the first part the car felt great. We then decided to do more laps on high fuel to learn more for the race and overall it was okay. It will be difficult with tyre degradation on the softer tyre so we still need to work on that. But it’s generally a great challenge driving here. This is one of the most difficult tracks out there but to fight through all the curves and bumps – especially with this amazing Silver Arrow – is a great feeling.”

SCUDERIA FERRARI

#14 Fernando Alonso
“As always, Friday in Singapore is a bit different to what it is at other tracks, as its characteristics mean it is one of a kind and driving here at night is always exciting. The feeling is more or less the same as usual on a first day of practice, as we were reasonably competitive in both sessions and we got through the programme without any problems. The two compounds we have for this race behaved as expected and of the two, the Supersoft produced more grip. The restrictions on radio communication did not affect our work much and it was a regular day from that point of view and everything went off as normal.”

#7 Kimi Raikkonen
“Overall this was a positive day, even if, as usual, there is room for improvement. In the first session we concentrated on looking at different set-up solutions and on my first set of Soft tyres I managed to do a good lap, then unfortunately some technical niggles prevented me from getting the most out of the second set. At the end of the session I had a problem with the brakes overheating, but the team managed to sort it out quickly and prepare the car for the second session. The changes we made to the set-up improved the handling of the car and with the Supersoft tyres there was plenty of grip.”

LOTUS F1 TEAM

#8 Roman Grosjean
“The car performed well today, better than previous races which is something we expected to happen, but nevertheless is good when it goes the way that has been predicted. With more downforce on the wings the car works better. We also had a few new parts to try on the car – some worked really well and some provided us with a good idea of the direction to go for next year’s car.”

#13 Pastor Maldonado
“For one lap on the softer tyres the car feels quite good. We’ve made a bit of a step forward here in terms of our relative pace and we’re much closer to the times in the top ten. We hope to be slightly more competitive for the race. The balance was quite snappy when the tyres were a bit older and I lost it in the middle of the corner, then the exit is quite narrow there which meant nowhere to go so that was the end of my session.”

McLAREN MERCEDES

#22 Jenson Button
“It’s always good getting to grips with this place – it’s so different from most of the circuits we visit, and it’s such fun. We tried a few things on the set-up this afternoon that didn’t work so well for us; but at least we know what to do tomorrow, and, all things considered, it’s not looking too bad, particularly compared with some of the others around us. The difference between the two tyre compounds is particularly apparent around here – it’s around 2.5s per lap – and I can’t see that changing over the course of the weekend. We normally don’t profit from that, as we’re usually very good on the Prime tyre, but this looks like being a decent opportunity for us, particularly as qualifying is so important here. In terms of radio traffic, I think the situation has ended up without much being taken away. They’ve stopped the engineers from coaching the drivers, but I’ve never been coached around a lap to go quicker, so not much has changed for me personally.”

#20 Kevin Magnussen
“It’s a nice track. It’s very warm and humid out there, and it gets extremely hot inside the cockpit, but it’s a good feeling to drive around this place. It’s still difficult to say where we are right now, pace-wise, but I think we ought to be okay. We’re still trying to evaluate and get the best from the new package – but we’ll study it carefully tonight and see if we can get any more out of it for tomorrow. Today’s runs showed us that the Option tyre wears out very quickly; the Prime lasts longer and is more consistent, but we’ll look more closely tonight so that we can get a better idea for tomorrow. Hopefully, we can improve and find a bit more pace.”

SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM

#27 Nico Hulkenberg
“Completing all these laps with no major issues and ticking all the boxes in our schedule was a good starting point. It was a regular Friday, from that point of view, even if I am not totally comfortable with the car just yet. We have a bit of work ahead of us, trying to understand the car a bit better and fine tuning its balance ahead of qualifying. Tomorrow will be about getting some more performance out of the car.”

#11 Sergio Perez
“We had a good day in which we managed to complete our programme. The first indications show that it will likely be a very close battle in qualifying; we need to keep working to find another couple of tenths because a good starting position will play a big part in the race. On Sunday it will be a matter of getting the strategy right and looking after the tyres. We ran on both compounds today and were able to assess their performance, but we know the heat will play a big role so being gentle on tyres will be a priority.”

SAUBER F1 TEAM

#99 Adrian Sutil
“Both practice sessions were interesting, and it was lot of fun driving on this track. I was able to run many laps without major incidents. However, we could not charge the battery perfectly because we had some issues with the power unit. Due to the restricted energy, we had less power during the long runs. Regarding the new aero parts, I cannot really judge so far, but the engineers are going to analyse the impact as we tested several modifications. We have to work on the set-up of the car as the balance is not ideal yet, and I think we can surely improve it.”

#21 Esteban Gutierrez
“I lost a lot of track time in the first practice session because of the problem with the control unit. In the second practice session we tried to get the maximum out of the programme. Overall, I did not have a good feeling for the car in the afternoon. I believe that we made a small step forward on the aero side. However, on this track the aerodynamics are not essential, and therefore we cannot see a clear benefit straight away. We have a lot of work to do for the rest of the weekend.”

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

#25 Jean-Eric Vergne
“I’m quite happy today, even though we had a problem in FP1 which did not allow me to run that much. But the feeling was good and I’m confident that we have a competitive car this weekend. The lap time is not really representative as, apart from losing time on track, I didn’t complete a perfect lap but the long run pace looks pretty good. We will now do our usual work in trying to improve our already not too bad performance for tomorrow and Sunday’s race.”

#26 Daniil Kvyat
“It was a good session, not a bad performance at the end of today’s sessions but we nobviously always aim for a higher position. Generally we are quite good on Friday evening in analysing all the data and improve the car for Saturday so we will certainly do our homework in the best possible way and be back tomorrow in a pretty good shape, with a faster car.”

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING

#19 Felipe Massa
“It was a very difficult day today as we were struggling a lot to balance the car and we need to resolve this tonight otherwise it will be a tough weekend for us. We saw some improvement between FP1 and FP2, but we need to find more gains in FP3 if we are to have a qualifying that would satisfy us. We knew that this track wouldn’t suit our car as much as recent power circuits, but we have done lots of tests that will help us tomorrow.”

#77 Valtteri Bottas
“Today wasn’t an easy day for us as we struggled with the balance of the car from the very beginning, especially with the rear. The primary focus tonight will be squeezing more lap time from the option tyre as we only gained half a second over the prime, whilst other teams gained as much as two seconds. I don’t think the position we have finished today is truly reflective, but the car is certainly not as easy to drive here as it has been recently so we need to work hard to find more lap time.”

MARUSSIA F1 TEAM

#17 Jules Bianchi
“I think it has been a good day overall. In FP1 we did not quite have the set-up but we made some adjustments during the break and the car was better balanced in FP2. I think we showed this improvement during the option tyre run. It’s good to be back at this track. It’s such an interesting challenge, made even more interesting by the change to the rules regarding use of radio. It was something new and felt quite different; not as much chat as usual. Generally though, a good first day here.”

#4 Max Chilton
“In FP1 I wasn’t so happy with the set-up and there seemed to be a bit of work to do, but I’m quite happy with the progress we made from session to session. Towards the end of FP2 I was happier with the car but then suddenly we experienced a powertrain issue and I was forced to pull over to protect the car. Hopefully that’s an isolated problem that we can resolve and which shouldn’t affect us through the weekend.”

CATERHAM F1 TEAM

#10 Kamui Kobayashi
“We still need a bit more time to fully understand the car here in Singapore, but I have a good feeling for this weekend, it’s a track I enjoy driving. This morning in FP1 I wasn’t entirely happy with the balance of the car and, even though the car improved slightly from FP1 to FP2, it’s still not enough. We have a lot of homework for tonight. We need to
improve but I’m confident that we can.”

#09 Marcus Ericsson
“It’s been a good start to the weekend; we completed plenty of laps in FP1 as well as trying a few different settings. I felt good in the car straight away – I already knew the track from my GP2 days, so there were no surprises. It’s a circuit I really like and it’s even better to drive in an F1 car. FP2 wasn’t as positive as the first session, but we still
managed to complete many laps which is always important for us. Performance-wise, we were not as competitive as we would’ve wanted to be – I didn’t put a lap together on the option tyres so that was a bit disappointing, but it’s only Friday so it’s not a big problem, we still have time to fix it for tomorrow. We can all be reasonably pleased with our start, but now we need to work even harder throughout the weekend.”

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