Adrian Sutil made a solid return to Formula One as he finished ninths in Friday's Australian GP practice while Nico Hulkenberg completed the top ten...
Adrian Sutil: "It wasn't the easiest of days because I had a balance issue with the car in the second session. It looks like I picked up some damage, so it was not easy to gauge exactly where we are. Given that it's likely to be wet tomorrow, it was crucial to get all the tyre information we needed today. There is a noticeable difference between the two compounds, but it's difficult to say much more until we have been over all the data."
Paul di Resta: "It was a very good day and I feel satisfied. The baseline set-up was not too far away from what we needed and the car felt very similar to the way it performed in Barcelona at the final test. I had a good feeling all day and enjoyed working with my engineers, who I already know very well. The track is obviously evolving and improving, but we got a good feel for the tyres. The main focus tonight is to work on improving the balance on the super-soft."
Nico Hulkenberg: "Overall it was a challenging day. On the first day there are always a few things you need to work on and improve. I think we still have some homework to do. Free Practice two was quite difficult for me because of traffic. I think we can still improve our time. We collected a lot of data for the tyres and if we do our homework well we should be able to aim at the top ten qualifying tomorrow."
Esteban Gutierrez: "It was a very productive day. The tyres are getting better, and not as critical as in Barcelona. As a team we need to find more speed, and that means me as a driver as well. I've improved from free practice one to free practice two. Now I will focus on improving for qualifying tomorrow."
Jenson Button: "Clearly, we're not as quick as we'd like to be, so our task now is to work hard to find out why our car is like it is, particularly in terms of ride and downforce. Our short runs weren't particularly encouraging, to be honest. We're a couple of seconds off the pace, by the looks of things, and that's always going to be disappointing for a team as successful as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. But, in a situation like this one, all you can say is that there's a hell of a lot of work for us to do - and that we're well up for it. This team is incredibly good at turning things around, performance-wise, when that's what's required. So we'll now spend the next few hours working hard, studying our data, and I'm confident that we'll be able to find some improvements for tomorrow. Qualifying won't be easy, but I'm pretty sure we'll be able to do a better job on Saturday than we've done today."
Sergio Perez: "We're struggling a bit, to be honest. We aren't as competitive here as we'd wanted to be. But we're working on it - and, as Jenson says, we should be able to find some improvements for tomorrow. But, going forward, I know exactly how good Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' technical guys are - I've seen it from the outside before and I'm seeing it from the inside now - and there's no doubt that they can close the gap to the cars ahead better and faster than anyone else. We have an incredible team spirit too, which is fantastic to be a part of. Lastly, it's important to remember that the Australian Grand Prix is only the first race of the season, and that there's a long road ahead of us. We knew before we came here that we wouldn't be as quick as some of the other teams, but our task is still to score as many World Championship points as we can. The competition in Formula 1 is incredibly intense, and every World Championship point counts."
Daniel Ricciardo: "In FP1 it was soon clear that in terms of balance and set-up we were not where we wanted to be so we made some changes and they helped. I definitely feel we made progress from morning to afternoon, but not enough, so there is more to do overnight to find more pace. It's nice to be racing at home in Australia again, which is an added incentive to work really hard to get the car to go quicker and give the fans something to cheer about on Sunday."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "It's really nice to be back on track for the first Grand Prix, the first day of practice and I'm happy to be back in the car. The most obvious change from winter testing has been the higher temperatures and this meant the tyres have worked much better today than they did in Spain. We have quite a bit of work to do to get closer to those ahead and I feel we currently lack some speed. However, our long runs looked pretty good and the balance of the car was okay."
Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.