Formula 1 – Italian Grand Prix FP1/2 Round Up

September 10, 2011

Formula 1

Sebastien Vettel just got the edge on Lewis Hamilton in FP2, after no driver got close to the Brit in FP1.

Michael Schumacher was a surprise third fastest, holding off the Ferrari’s & Red Bull’s Mark Webber.


Red Bull Racing


Sebastian Vettel


“It was an interesting day. It’s a track that traditionally doesn’t suit us, but we were happy with the car today. McLaren look very quick in particular and the ones to beat this weekend, but it’s very difficult to judge on a Friday as so many factors are involved. We had no problems today, so we’re satisfied.”


Mark Webber


“That was pretty good. We’ve got a lot to go through regarding downforce and gear ratios, it’s a pretty tricky venue in that regard. The two different tyre compounds are behaving pretty well, we did most of our work in P2 on the option tyre. We re-adjusted a few things following the camber setting guidelines for this race. Set-up here can be interesting, as it’s a compromise between grip for corning and straight-line speed. Seb and I ran different programmes today, so we’ll put that info together tonight.”


Vodafone McLaren Mercedes


Jenson Button


“Some of the things we tried on my car throughout the day worked better than others, so we’re not really where I feel we ought to be yet, and we haven’t yet determined what downforce level to run. I don’t yet feel totally at one with the car, but we’re working on it. In fact, I think there’s going to be quite a lot of data to look over tonight before we choose a direction for the rest of the weekend. Otherwise, there’s a fresh surface on quite a lot of the circuit, so there’s quite a bit of sliding about, which is tough on the tyres, particularly over a long run.”


Lewis Hamilton


“We spent today working on wing set-ups – it looked like some teams may have been running lower downforce than us – but once we used DRS we were looking pretty good. It’s interesting to see the different downforce levels – some teams are faster along the straights – but we’re faster through the middle sector. It’s always a compromise, but our long-run pace doesn’t look at all bad. We were pretty strong in both sessions and, on heavier fuel, I think we’re slightly stronger than the Ferraris. At the end of P2, the Red Bulls were looking pretty strong, but I’m pretty sure they weren’t on the same fuel load as us, which is encouraging. Jenson and I are both running the same wing set-up as each other, and I feel really happy with it. We’ll make some small changes overnight, but I think we can challenge the Red Bulls this weekend. The car is going really well, and we’re continuing to make small improvements, but it’s going to be a hard race.”


Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro


Fernando Alonso


“Racing at Monza is always exciting, especially if you are a Ferrari driver. The warmth of the fans is amazing and you can feel it. However, from a technical point of view, today was just a Friday like any other: we worked a lot on comparing different aerodynamic solutions as well as on evaluating different set-up choices on the car. Now we must put everything together and try and make the right choices. Honestly, I think we lack a bit of performance compared to the best, even if there are still the same unknowns relating to Fridays, especially those linked to fuel loads. However, we have to be realistic: the car is more or less the one we had in Spa, apart from specific updates to cope with the fact this track requires low aerodynamic downforce. Sure, it would be nice to repeat last year’s performance, but we know that will be very difficult. You can’t create a miracle in two weeks, but we will do our utmost to give the fans something to cheer about. What is my motivation like for this final part of the season? I am a very competitive person and I don’t like losing. It’s true, this year that’s happened quite often, but there are still targets that are within our grasp, for example, second place in the Drivers’ championship: Webber is not that far ahead.”


Felipe Massa


“I would say it’s been a good day, especially because we managed to do everything on our programme. We have understood which direction to go in from the point of view of our aerodynamic configuration and set-up. Now, we must try and optimise the car both for qualifying and, especially for the race. The difference between the Soft and the Medium? It’s simple, the first is quickest over a lap. On this track, tyre degradation does not seem to be so high, compared to other circuits therefore I don’t think there will be many pit stops. However, we have seen different directions taken in terms of aerodynamic downforce: to understand who has made the right choice, we will have to wait for qualifying and even more so for the race.”


Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team


Michael Schumacher


“It’s always a special feeling to be here in Monza. It began yesterday when I did my lap of the circuit, saw the tifosi and enjoyed the particular atmosphere of this track. Then going out in the car today, it’s nice to feel what comes across from the fans – it reminds me of being at my home races. In terms of the character of the circuit, we are usually good on braking and traction, and there are not so many of the medium and high-speed corners in which we have not been so strong this year. It certainly looks good in terms of my position today, and I’m pleased with that; but we will only find out tomorrow what it is really worth.”


Nico Rosberg


“I didn’t have an ideal session this afternoon as we had some issues, particularly with the KERS problem at the start of the session. However by the end of the day, we have learned quite a lot for the race, and importantly I was able to get used to the track. Monza is a very different circuit from many others with the high speed sectors and low downforce corners and it takes a bit of time to find your rhythm here.”


Lotus Renault GP


Bruno Senna


“Today was a lot more straightforward than on the Friday in Spa, and I managed many more laps, which is absolutely crucial for me. We had been working steadily to ensure that we came away on a Friday with signs of progression, and I think it’s clear we’re going forward. I’m beginning to understand the car better, and I believe I’m moving in the right direction but there’s still scope to improve tomorrow. There’s definitely more to take from the car, and Saturday is a crucial day in which to prove that. I’m really loving being out on-track and looking forward to what awaits me over the weekend.”


Vitaly Petrov


“The practice sessions went ok today, principally because on paper we achieved everything we set out to do. That’s always reason for satisfaction, but naturally we are looking to up our game in terms of lap time because we know there’s more to squeeze out of the car this weekend. We’ve put together a bespoke Monza low-downforce set-up which we are confident could reap rewards come Sunday. Our spirits are up and we hope to translate that into a constructive next two days.”


AT&T Williams


Rubens Barrichello


“We weren’t fast enough today unfortunately. We need to work hard tonight to see what we can do this weekend.”


Pastor Maldonado


“It was a hard day and it’s been very hot. We completed our programme so that is positive but we need to work hard to get a good balance for qualifying and the race.”


Force India Formula One Team


Adrian Sutil


“Two straightforward sessions for me. The car had a bit of oversteer this morning, especially in Parabolica, but the general feeling was pretty good straightaway. In the afternoon I felt quite happy with the aero balance but we will need to explore all the options this evening to make sure we make the right call on the downforce levels for the race. We didn’t look especially competitive on the timesheets today so it’s clear we need to think hard about how we approach tomorrow. In terms of tyres, things look okay. I did long runs on both the medium and soft compounds and they both lasted quite well, so should not cause us any worries.”


Paul Di Resta


“Monza is not the easiest of tracks to get up to speed on. There are so many big stops on the brakes and it took me a while to find my rhythm this afternoon. Otherwise it was a typical Friday session without any dramas. We obviously concentrated on trying to find the best aero balance and worked on the stability of the car under braking. What we have is a good baseline and not too far away, but once we’ve been through all the data we should have a better idea of where we can improve for tomorrow. It’s also clear that we need to find some speed overnight because the times around the middle of the pack are very close.”


Sauber F1 Team


Sergio Pérez


“For me this was a very positive day. Actually it was better than I expected, which is good news. When I was on new soft tyres the track was a bit dirty, so this makes me hope I can improve in qualifying. My car feels well balanced, especially with the soft tyres, and also on long runs.”


Kamui Kobayashi


“Having stable weather and track conditions was very useful today, and enabled us to do proper set-up work in both sessions. For me the car isn’t perfect yet, but I can see that we have the potential to improve the balance and the lap time. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”


Scuderia Toro Rosso


Jaime Alguersuari


“I am very happy to be back racing at Monza which is a great track, with plenty of high speed sections and heavy braking to make it exciting. In both sessions today, I got a good feeling from the car and I think we are continuing to show good form, with some improvement when running in qualifying trim. The whole team did a good job today and there is more potential to come out of the car tomorrow and on Sunday. If we continue to work well through the weekend, I think we can be fighting on level terms with Force India and Sauber again on Sunday. We experienced the two DRS zones for the first time today and you can see from comparing the top speeds with and without the system, that it makes a huge difference to top speed, so it will be the key to overtaking in the race, although it will be less important in qualifying. There is quite a difference between the two Pirelli compounds, while degradation is not that bad and I think we can get more out of the Softs tomorrow.”


Sebastien Buemi


“This morning went well, as we tried out various things on the car to see how it felt around Monza, so overall it was a positive session. However, the afternoon was less successful as I only managed a handful of laps. I made a mistake and hit the wall, so I am sorry for giving the team a lot of work now to repair the damage. But, as they say, tomorrow is another day and this evening I will be working hard with the engineers to see what we can do for the rest of the weekend. In terms of tyres, not much to say and I only ran with the Prime so far. The DRS worked well and running the car in the Monza-specific low downforce configuration was interesting and enjoyable.”


Team Lotus


Heikki Kovalainen


“That wasn’t too bad but we can definitely improve. This morning’s session was brought to an early end with a sensor issue on the gearbox and I was given the instruction to pull over when the engine temperatures started rising. This afternoon we worked on both sets of tyres and I think the softs are ok but we weren’t really able to get the best out the mediums which gave us some areas to work on tonight on improving overall grip.”


Jarno Trulli


“That was a trouble free Friday afternoon for me but honestly I’m not all that happy with the balance of the car at the moment. There’s quite a lot of understeer on turn-in and through the exit of the corners and we need to work on dialling that out to find more speed. There’s definitely more to come and we’ve shown all season we can take good steps forward from Friday to Saturday, so I think we’ll be ok tomorrow.”


Hispania Racing F1 Team


Daniel Ricciardo


“The morning session went as planned and we got through the established programme. I understand the car better and how it behaves on track with every day that goes by. On the first lap in the afternoon session we had an electrical issue and had to spend around an hour in the garage to solve it. The mechanics did a good job under pressure in a short amount of time which allowed me to get back on track at the end of the session to do a few laps. Obviously, I would have preferred to have done 20 or 30 laps but at least I was able to get back out. I have a lot to learn from Tonio’s experience and, realistically, if you look at his times and compare them to Lotus and Virgin, then we were pretty close. The F111 adapts better to this track than to others, so I think this could be a good weekend, but now what we have to do is work hard for tomorrow.”


Vitantonio Liuzzi


“It was a pretty good first day in Monza, just how I wanted to get my home grand prix underway. This track suits our car better than others because there aren’t any high speed corners where a lack of downforce tends to cost us. So we’ve closed the gap quite a bit with our main rivals. We did some set-up work in the morning and worked on understanding the soft tyres in the afternoon so, overall, we got some valid information. I think we have a good balance on lung runs but need to work on our single lap pace tomorrow morning. Everybody did a good job today and I think we can have a good weekend but we must keep on working hard.”


Marussia Virgin Racing


Timo Glock


“Not one of our best Fridays. I think we struggled quite a lot in FP1 with some technical and sensor problems and we couldn’t really complete the programme this morning. I was just hanging around for 45 minutes in the pits and I couldn’t run, so that left a lot of work to be done in the afternoon. In FP2 we put the car quite quickly in a good direction and I felt quite comfortable. It’s a bit difficult against the top guys here – they are quicker and the top speed difference can be quite big, so we have to look into that for tomorrow and try and make the car better and quicker. It’s still early to talk about the upgrade as we have to study the data, but I hope for a smooth Saturday.”


Jérôme D’Ambrosio


“It has been a smooth Friday apart from the issue with the engine. Today wasn’t so much about me but more about the other car and the upgrade, which doesn’t look too bad. Now we have to study all the new data and wait until tomorrow, but for the moment it’s encouraging. In general my day today was very useful, getting ready for the race on Sunday. Tomorrow I hope we can continue to work like we did today


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