Fri: Merc, Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus

Friday 4th October 2013

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Fri: Merc, Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus

Fri: Merc, Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus

Lewis Hamilton was the one to beat in Friday's practices in Korea where he edged Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg...

Mercedes:
Lewis Hamilton: "The track is really great and the small changes that have been made this year are good improvements, especially the pit exit which is now much better. Generally it seems that we had a good day but Red Bull is always very hard to beat. We were quite close to them today and I hope this will continue the whole weekend. My only concern after the long runs was graining on the front tyres, which is something we need to work on tonight and watch out for. We have brought also some new bits and pieces to Korea which are working well and leaves me optimistic for a strong result this weekend."

Nico Rosberg: " I was very happy with how the sessions went today and it's the first time I can remember that second practice has really gone well for me. We haven't changed anything but the day just went smoothly and all the processes with the team worked well. I love this track: it was clean from the start, it provides good racing on Sunday afternoon and it just gets harder and harder through the lap. You have the first sector which is good for overtaking, then you get more and more corners coming at you and those final two sectors are all about precision. You need a good downforce package, too, and the car is feeling good. We can still make improvements overnight, and I have some things I want to do with the set-up, but it's been a good start for us."

Red Bull:
Sebastian Vettel: "There is some room for improvement. It will be close with Mercedes; of course we're not sure what others were doing with their fuel loads today, but it seems close ahead of tomorrow's qualifying. I like the track here, it's a shame it's so far from Seoul, which is a great city, but it's good coming here as it's quieter than some other races, which means we can focus on our job."

Mark Webber: "We need to work on the balance; it's more about understanding the tyres again and getting those working as well as possible. We need to work on both the short and long run balance, as obviously I'm going to be out of position after qualifying. We need to have a car which can be strong in the first sector, so we can get some overtaking done."

Ferrari:
Felipe Massa: "Today didn't go too badly, everything worked as it should have done and I had a good feeling in the car. In the morning, I was unable to do much running because of a puncture on the front left tyre, then in the afternoon, we made up for lost time, managing to test everything on the programme. The car handled well on both the compounds that Pirelli has brought here, even if on the Supersoft we encountered particularly high degradation. On a first lap on new tyres you gain a lot at the beginning, but then you lose a lot and over the long run maybe there is more graining than with the Mediums. It's only Friday and we still need to understand where we are compared to our rivals. Even if we saw that Mercedes and Red Bull are very strong, I hope to have a more competitive car than in recent races, which will allow me to fight".

Fernando Alonso: "The impressions are the usual Friday ones and to say more, we will have to wait until tomorrow and see how qualifying goes. On this track too it's aerodynamics that make the difference and for that reason, I am not expecting too many surprises when compared to the last few Grands Prix. The time sheet follows the order that continues to be more or less the same seen in previous weekends and there is every probability that, again here, we can expect to struggle in the race. The difference between the two compounds is not as evident as in Singapore, but the Supersoft definitely has a very high degradation and we will have to see how much the track surface improvement will affect its behaviour. It won't be easy for us in performance terms, but we know that apart from that, we can do well on Sunday. Now, we must try and get the most out of what we have available and put everything together tomorrow and in the race".

Lotus F1:
Romain Grosjean: "My first two runs this morning weren't perfect, so we decided to change a few things during the break but that didn't exactly go to plan either. Finding the right balance for a full lap here is quite tricky as the different sectors are quite unique from each other, but eventually we returned to a more conventional setup for a run on the option tyres and the car felt much better. This circuit is a bit more front limited which doesn't particularly help us, but hopefully the track evolution will bring it towards us a bit more tomorrow. Half a second to the leaders is a bit of a gap and they look pretty quick, so I think top five is a realistic target in qualifying, but of course we'll do our best to catch them."

Kimi Raikkonen: "Obviously it didn't help that I destroyed part of the car this morning; maybe I ran out of talent there! It didn't cause too much damage and the car was fine for the second practice, even if the guys had quite a hurry to fix it. They did a good job and we managed to complete everything we wanted today. The car feels quite strong - especially on the long runs - so that's good news for the race. On the short runs it wasn't exactly as I wanted, but we still have some time to make improvements there."

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