Fri: Merc, Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams

Friday 28th March 2014

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Fri: Merc, Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams

Fri: Merc, Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams

Nico Rosberg set the pace in Friday's practice at the Sepang circuit, edging ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel...

Mercedes:
Nico Rosberg: "It was crazy conditions out there. In the very, very warm temperatures, it's a huge challenge to get everything right. The cars are on the edge and the tyre degradation was higher than expected today - we are sliding a bit more this year, perhaps because of the reduced downforce levels. We are still having some small issues and therefore we were not able to maximise everything today. The quickest teams seem to be closer together than in Australia, so we still have work to do overnight to improve our level of performance."

Lewis Hamilton: "I'm happy with our progress over the two sessions today and we were able to complete our programme. The car feels good and our focus was on trying to understand the tyres and make sure the balance is right for the weekend. There are areas where we can improve so we're keeping focused on our own work, rather than being distracted by what the others are doing. It was pretty tough with the temperature and humidity and it's so important to keep hydrated here. We would love a good result this weekend, particularly as it is the home race for Petronas, but it's impossible to predict what will happen at this stage. It's one of the trickiest races of the year so we just have to make sure we tick all the boxes and that it all comes together for us."

Ferrari:
Kimi Raikkonen: "This was definitely a positive day Kimi Raikkonen: and I had a better feeling compared to Friday in Melbourne. I was more comfortable with the F14 T today and even if we had no problems whatsoever, we know there's still a long way to go and a lot to do. Our programme concentrated on car set-up and on testing the compounds that Pirelli has brought here. The handling seemed to be good even if, as we found on the race simulation, we will have to pay very close attention to degradation, which is particularly high here. Now we will spend the evening carefully analysing all the data we gathered over the day, to try and work out how to improve."

Fernando Alonso: "We are on a learning curve, which is not unusual for the start of a championship and, to find out how competitive we are, as usual we will have to wait until Saturday and Sunday. Usually, Friday is a very confusing day, because everyone is working on their own programmes, but this year it's even more the case because of all the new elements. Everything went well, with no reliability problems and we managed to do a fair number of laps, enough to get a good understanding of the tyres, which will be a very important factor here because of the high temperatures. The Hard compound seems to stand up better over a long run, but it's still too early to talk about qualifying and race strategy. For now, the only thing one can be sure of is the need to do everything to perfection."

Red Bull:
Sebastian Vettel: "I think we had a good day, obviously Friday timings are not the most important thing in the world but it's good to be up there and in range of the top guys. I think we had a decent day, not a completely smooth day for both of us, there are still some things to solve on the software side and the programming, but that's the way it is. I think we have to learn a lot but all in all, I'm quite happy."

Daniel Ricciardo: "I think we learned quite a lot about the short run pace this morning. We were pretty pleased with the progress we made, but it could have been better with the long runs. I think we've got some room for improvement, but that's what tonight's for. Reliability was good today, so I think we're pretty pleased with that. It's always warm here, the humidity is probably the biggest challenge about this place, but it's all good, you know, it toughens us up a little bit."

Williams:
Felipe Massa: "We completed our run plan and we had no technical issues, so today was a good opportunity to learn more about the performance of the car. It was pretty hot so we could also understand more about how the tyres are working in high temperatures. We managed to do long runs on different types of tyre which has been very useful and the car was performing solidly. There is still more performance to unlock from the car, so we need to work hard tonight analysing the data we have to make some improvements for qualifying and the race."

Valtteri Bottas: "We tried many things with the car today and collected a lot of data on the long runs so on the whole it has been a good day. One challenge has been the difference in pace between the prime and the option tyre. The prime was sliding quite a lot and wearing out, so that will be something to watch out for over the weekend. I didn't have the best lap on my final run on the option tyres, so like most people we still have some more speed to come tomorrow. The car still needs more downforce, particularly in the high speed corners, but we have our own strengths and our top speed is looking strong which is always good in the race."

Related Links
Rosberg Pips Kimi In Prac Two
Friday's Pictures From Sepang

Formula 1 Descends On Suzuka

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