Formula 1 – Aggregated Driver Quotes Korean GP Practice‏

October 15, 2011

Formula 1

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Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel

“It was an interesting day. For Saturday and Sunday the weather forecast is dry, so whatever we learned today might not be worth a lot this weekend, although we can use it for future races when it’s damp or wet. Unfortunately the track didn’t dry out at all today, so we didn’t get a chance to try the slick tyres, so we’ll find out in the race I guess. It’s a tough track for tyres here, even though you have a long straight, there’s hardly any rest after that, so it’s not easy. The car feels okay though and that’s important.”

Mark Webber

“It was pretty straightforward for everyone today – we drove on one set of tyres, so it wasn’t particularly exciting. We did some work, but it was limited knowing that the rest of the weekend will probably be dry, but we’ll see. McLaren looked very strong in the intermediate conditions and we didn’t get a chance to use the slicks at the end. The track takes a long time to dry out here. The slick tyre is the biggest thing – we need to learn how they are going to behave for us on the different fuel loads, we’d normally do that today but we’ll have to move that to tomorrow morning.“

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton

“Today’s times don’t really give us a relevant read on pace and set-up, particularly as I hear that the weather will be better for the next two days. Still, if it rains on Sunday then I think we’re in a good position – which is a positive. It would be great to get the pole here tomorrow: it’s difficult to read too much into today’s times – the lap on slicks at the end was impossible – but I think we are quick, the car is good and Jenson showed at the last race that we can be very competitive. So I have no doubt that we’ll be able to challenge the Red Bulls in qualifying. I think we’ll get a much better feel for things tomorrow.”

Jenson Button

“Our car was quick in today’s conditions – but it’s difficult to say how it will be in the dry. I hope it’ll be the same: it’d be nice to have the same gap back to the cars behind, but that’s unlikely. We didn’t really learn too much today – the humidity was so high that the track never really dried out. It looked like it was going to be dry right at the very end, but you couldn’t get any grip from the slicks because you couldn’t get any temperature into them. Over the last few races, we’ve been getting stronger in qualifying. I’d love to qualify well here, and I’ll definitely be giving it a go, but P3’s also going to be very important tomorrow because nobody knows how the cars behave on high fuel and dry tyres. There’s a lot more to understand.”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso

“It was quite a difficult Friday, with the weather changing throughout, making it almost impossible to draw any useful conclusions for the rest of the weekend. When one considers that it should not rain tomorrow or on Sunday, then it becomes even clearer why this day had little if any significance to offer. The objective is still to do the best we can and in this case, to understand as much as possible about the handling of the car at this track. We also had a new front wing to try, but it was definitely very difficult to evaluate it in conditions like these, conditions which were ideal for the McLarens for example. We need more laps to bring the tyres up to temperature and then, when we get there, maybe the tyres are already beginning to go off a bit. We will have to improvise a bit both in qualifying and the race. The entry to the pit lane is much improved compared to last year, but there is still room to do better with the exit.”

Felipe Massa

“Rather a complicated day. The track did not provide much grip and degradation on the intermediates seems to be more significant than usual: there is no other way to explain the fact that, even if an ever drier line was emerging, the times did not drop. Obviously, it makes it difficult to prepare as well as possible for the race and qualifying, but it’s the same for everyone. The exit of the pit lane is difficult, as one could see from the collision between Rosberg and Alguersuari: I think efforts should be made to improve it for the future. 150 Formula 1 races is a nice achievement: those I remember most fondly are the ones I won, and that would even include Brazil 2008. The worst memories? Races like the ones in Hungary and Singapore that same year, where victory was within my grasp, but slipped away from me.”

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Nico Rosberg

“I was feeling very comfortable on the intermediate tyres this afternoon, and we tried some different set-up options which worked out quite well. My car was running well in the conditions we had today, but the weather is expected to change for Saturday and Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how it works out tomorrow. The collision was a tricky situation and unfortunately brought my session to an early conclusion but at least I didn’t miss out on any dry running.”

Michael Schumacher

“Today was one of those Fridays where most of what you do is race preparation, knowing that the conditions will probably be totally different when it comes to Sunday. Through both practice sessions, it was too wet to use dry tyres, while the forecast for the rest of weekend is dry. However you can learn a lot about the car and how it works on the track, and that is what we were doing most of the time today. We now have to look deep into the data we gathered and try to work out the best way to approach the rest of the weekend.”

Lotus Renault GP

Bruno Senna

“There’s not much to say about this morning other than it’s frustrating for all drivers when you can’t go out to set a lap time. This afternoon, it was beneficial to get some track time though we did endure some difficulties with the balance of the car. Hopefully we will be able to rectify this, but we need to look at where we can improve the aerodynamics otherwise we will encounter more difficulties this weekend. Fingers crossed tomorrow that we will be able to run in the dry, so that we can become accustomed to the conditions that we expect to face on Sunday.”

Vitaly Petrov

“All of the day was wet. Our car struggles a little bit in these conditions as we still have to find the best aero setup so we spent quite a lot of time in the afternoon to try to find the right setup. We did a lot of running in the afternoon which will help us to improve tomorrow so I am quite optimistic. We also completed a couple of installation laps on the wet tyres to give an idea of the grip levels available from that compound. At the moment the car is working normally. Tomorrow is another day; hopefully it will be a dry day.”

AT&T Williams

Rubens Barrichello

“It was too wet to do much running this morning and this afternoon was only marginally better. We tried to go for a dry tyre late on in P2 but conditions were still too wet so we avoided it. The track was very slippery but the tyres actually held on quite well considering the number of laps we did. Because of today’s conditions it’s hard to make a reasonable judgement as to how we are going to perform compared to the other teams at this stage.”

Pastor Maldonado

“The rain cost me a lot of track time today which isn’t ideal because I haven’t driven here before. When I did get out I picked up the track quite quickly and I like it, particularly the third sector. It is a very interesting circuit, with a mix of slow, medium and fast corners. That makes it’s quite technical so we will need a fundamentally well balanced car. We will work hard to achieve that overnight and in third practice tomorrow so we are in the best possible shape for qualifying.”

Force India Formula One Team

Adrian Sutil

“The track was damp all day so all we could really achieve was consistent wet running on the full wet and intermediates. In the afternoon the rain was not so heavy, but this circuit takes a very long time to dry so we were just driving around waiting for the track to improve, which didn’t really happen. Even in the afternoon session the lap times were all quite similar and the track was not getting quicker. I tried the super-soft at the end of the session for a lap, but the track was not ready so I came straight to the pits. The set-up we had by the end of the day was not too far away from a dry set-up so I think we have found a good starting point for tomorrow.”

Paul Di Resta

“Today was my first experience of the circuit so I just had to make the best of things in the wet conditions. It’s not the ideal way to learn a circuit, but the team allowed me to do as many laps as possible and I gradually built up my confidence. The track was really wet in the morning and there was a bit of aquaplaning, especially through turns seven and eight, where the car was moving around a lot. The car felt okay running on the intermediates in the afternoon and there was a dry line appearing in the last 30 minutes, but the surface still felt very greasy. Like a few of the cars we went out on the super-softs right at the end of the day, but it was very difficult to keep the temperature in the tyres and you couldn’t learn much. The weather looks set to improve tomorrow so we’ve plenty of work to do in final practice to get on top of the dry tyres and be fully up to speed for qualifying.”

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Pérez

“It is a shame but there wasn’t much more we could have done today. There was just too much rain, and I didn’t do a single lap on dry tyres. For me it wasn’t an ideal Friday at all, as I don’t know the circuit. Now tomorrow I won’t have much time to get the balance of the car right.“

Kamui Kobayashi

“There was no grip at all. The track itself has a very low grip level, and on top of that our car doesn’t make very good use of the intermediate tyres. In general I don’t mind driving in the rain, and with the full wet tyres it was no problem, but later with the intermediate tyres I was struggling a lot. It seems to take a long time for this circuit to dry out. In any case, I hope we will have dry conditions tomorrow.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari

“I only ran in the afternoon today, but the outcome was very positive in my opinion. The track was never completely dry and both times we tried running on slicks it did not work and we learned how long the track takes to dry. In the wet, I would say that I felt really good , even if there is still more to come from the car. You can feel that it has potential and I was particularly impressed by our pace on intermediates. It’s always hard to know the truth about what the others are doing as you don’t know what is the situation with the tyres and the fuel loads. Apparently there is some chance of a bit more rain tomorrow and in these conditions, as I said, I feel positive about our overall situation.”

Sebastien Buemi

“This was a good day and the car ran reliably, even if, because of the conditions, we did not do so many laps in the morning. We have found the wet weather we remember from last year and I had a good feeling from the car in the wet today. It takes a long, long time for the track to dry and these are important lessons if we have more rain this weekend. If we have made a few mistakes today, they will be useful lessons when it comes to setting up the car for tomorrow. We have found out when we should switch from extreme to inter and vice versa and when we can change to slick, so at least we have a clear picture of the situation. We had no technical issues, so I think we should be able to make progress tomorrow from what has been a useful first day of practice.”

Team Lotus

Karun Chandhok

“I do seem to be a little jinxed with the rain… I think Monza and Suzuka were anomalies as every time I get in the car the rain seems to hammer down, but I just have to deal with what’s put in front of me, and so it was again today! Despite the limited running in FP1 I still got a sense of how good this circuit is but today it was simply about keeping it on the track and making sure I didn’t make any mistakes in pretty treacherous conditions. I think the pace was pretty good for the one run I did and certainly the last two Fridays have given me a lot more confidence in the car than I had a couple of months ago.”

Heikki Kovalainen

“This morning was basically a write-off. You could see that the whole pitlane had the same idea – limit the running on full wets as we’re not going to learn anything of real value for the rest of the weekend and avoid any issues that create unnecessary work. This afternoon the track at least dried enough for us to put in some laps on the inters, and we managed to complete some of the plan on the engine maps, so it wasn’t all bad. The balance felt fine, and I think it’ll be a totally different story tomorrow when it’ll be a very busy FP3 for everyone and we can see how the two compounds of slick tyres behave in the dry.”

Jarno Trulli

“To be honest today was just one of those days that we sometimes have in F1. The conditions meant we didn’t really have a chance to try too much as the forecast is for dry running tomorrow and Sunday, and when the track’s as wet as it was this morning, and we can only run on inters in the afternoon, there’s not a lot we can learn. We did a bit of work on the engine driveability in FP2, and at least we now know how the car’s behaving on the inters so if the forecasts are wrong we have banked some data, but I think a dry track tomorrow will suit us and we can pick up where we left off in Japan.”

Hispania Racing F1 Team

Narain Karthikeyan

“I had never driven in Korea before and having to do so in such foul weather conditions was not ideal. This won’t help me much with my preparation for the Indian Grand Prix, because it will surely be dry out there, but, nevertheless, it has been positive to be able to gather some data on wet conditions and I hope that helped the team out a little. Overall, I’m satisfied with the job done today”.

Vitantonio Liuzzi

“The track conditions were pretty difficult but also last year struggled to dry up. The slow speed corners were the worst. In the end we did some laps with intermediate tyres but it was too dry for them and too wet for slicks. I didn’t drive in the morning so I had to try and find some rhythm despite the conditions. We got some valid information but not much regarding the balance; tomorrow is going to be like a Friday session again”.

Daniel Ricciardo

“Today was very wet but that’s not bad because I need some experience in wet conditions. But we are expecting the weekend to be dry so maybe today doesn’t mean much for the rest of the GP. For us it probably means a bit more work tomorrow, trying to find the best set-up quickly and efficiently and then I have to learn the circuit in the dry as fast as possible. It was a good day overall as we got quite a few laps in. It’s hard to predict how the weekend will go but we will see what tomorrow brings”.

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock

“It’s been a difficult first day in Korea today with the wet conditions because I think that tomorrow, and on Sunday, it will be dry. We will have to do a bit of catching up tomorrow, but today was okay even though we had a bit of a problem on the front left suspension where we had to change some parts and it cost us a bit of time. The wet conditions also make it more of a challenging track but the day went well and it was good to be able to evaluate some developments for 2012. Tomorrow we have to concentrate on qualifying and our race preparation.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

“Today our programme was disturbed by the rain so it hasn’t been the easiest of starts to a race weekend. It’s a shame that it rained for so long really, but at least we were able to understand the behaviour of the Extreme Wet and Intermediate tyres here. We are not totally happy with the car balance yet, so we will have to work on this tonight in order to try and improve it for tomorrow.”

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