Fri: McLaren, Merc, FIndia, Sauber

Friday 23-August-2013 14:52

There were top ten times in Friday's practice in Belgium for Sergio Perez, Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta...

Sergio Perez: "Today we had a very good first session, but a more difficult second session. That was a bit of a surprise for us, because this morning the car felt very strong and very fast, and I was very happy with its balance. But this afternoon, as I say, it was a little less consistent. However, we've got a lot of information to analyse now, so as to understand what's going on with the car, in an effort to try to improve it and hopefully do a good job for tomorrow and Sunday. Hopefully, the weather will help us, because I personally would prefer there to be wet or variable conditions, which we know is always possible here at Spa!"

Jenson Button: "For me, FP1 was very good, and I was very happy with the car. The balance was good and I think our pace was good, too. I didn't push very hard in the wet sectors, but in the dry as I say it felt very good. This afternoon, however, it felt different. It's obviously a result of the warmer temperatures, and perhaps the wind also, so we've got a lot of work to do to understand why that is. Hopefully, we'll work it all out and things will be better for us by tomorrow. Having said all that, it's great to be back at Spa - the circuit is simply stunning! It's one of the best circuits for a driver, so fast and flowing. You have true racing fans here too, which is fantastic to see. Okay, the circuit is a bit unforgiving, but in a way I don't mind that. I think we've lost a bit of that element with some of the newer circuits we've seen arrive on the calendar over the past few years. The old classics are the ones that really remind me why I love this sport so much: here, Monza, Suzuka etc."

Nico Rosberg: "It's great to be back at the Spa circuit, particularly as our car is more competitive this year, and it feels such an improvement to drive through the quick corners here. I'm not entirely sure where we are compared to the others but it looks like it will be quite a tough challenge and, of course, it is a completely different track here to at the last race. Today went pretty well for us though and it could be an interesting weekend, particularly with the mixed weather conditions that are predicted."

Lewis Hamilton: "We have some work ahead of us this evening to get the car feeling just right but overall today was a reasonable start to the weekend. The car feels very different here with the low downforce set-up, compared to at the last race, and we need to refine a few areas to get the balance sorted. We were able to get some good long run work done today and that's the most important thing for the race. We've got time to make the changes required so I'm optimistic that tomorrow will see an improvement."

Force India:
Paul di Resta: "Conditions were mixed this morning, but it was much better this afternoon. It's safe to say that we seem to be further forward compared to where we were in Budapest and we always thought the car would be more suited to this track. At the moment it looks like we are in the mix for making the top ten, but we need to carry a bit more speed into qualifying. We know that the rain might come tomorrow, so we have to be ready to maximise the conditions."

Adrian Sutil: "Quite an interesting day getting back in the car for the first time in almost a month. We were near the top of the times this morning in the damp session, but I had some balance issues to solve with the car so we made quite a few adjustments for this afternoon. When the sun came out the track conditions were very different so we tried some different downforce levels and need to choose the best approach for tomorrow. For the final few laps of the afternoon we made some progress and got the car closer to where we want it to be."

Nico Hulkenberg: "It was quite a tricky day with the mixed weather conditions this morning. We couldn't really get a full run on slicks. Sectors two and three were dry, but sector one was wet. I think there is still room for improvement. We still have some work to do on the set-up, as things can and have to be improved. I wasn't happy with the balance of the car. The tyres are behaving as usual: the medium compound is definitely quicker over one lap, as it provides more grip, but then we have to find out how long it will last during the race."

Esteban Gutierrez: "In the morning we had some running on a track that was wet and damp. We were able to run some aero tests, but, unfortunately, we didn't get through the whole programme. The qualifying simulation in the afternoon was not good. I lost part of the diffusor at the beginning of FP2, which impacted on performance. I'm not feeling very comfortable with the car. It's tricky driving the car on relatively low downforce, and the balance is not quite right. Now we have to analyse the data and see how we can improve that."

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Friday's Gallery From Spa

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