Felipe Massa set the pace in Friday's practice for the Chinese GP, edging ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso...
Felipe Massa: "Today, I immediately had a good feeling in the car and even if, at the start, I was not completely happy with the performance of the Medium compound and we were not as quick as our rivals, the times were good all the same. When I fitted the Softs, the car improved a lot and this meant I was able to set the fastest time of the day. It was impressive, like driving two completely different cars. Our race pace looks competitive, the car is handling well on both types of tyre and degradation was not excessive, even if the higher wear rate of the Soft compared to the Medium compound will be an important factor when it comes to choosing the right strategy. I feel confident and hope that the whole weekend can keep moving in this direction".
Fernando Alonso: "By the end of the day, the overall feeling is positive. We worked well and on top of that, it's always great fun driving the Shanghai track which has some really unique features, such as the first corner. From one session to the next the track conditions improved significantly, because the other categories that ran after our morning session cleaned the surface. The increase in temperature means the conditions were very similar to those predicted for tomorrow. Once again, tyres will play a key role in this Grand Prix because of the high level of degradation over a long run. We will have to ensure we pick the right strategy for Sunday, as well as deciding on which of the new parts we tried this morning to fit to the car. As usual, we can expect a long evening studying the data."
Kimi Raikkonen: "If you look at the lap time it looks to have been a pretty okay day. For sure there are things we have to improve and you never know what will happen tomorrow but it's a reasonable start to the weekend. We seem to be happy with the soft tyres and maybe not as happy with the harder ones. We've still got time to improve and we're certainly not struggling so it could be a good weekend."
Romain Grosjean: "Today was not so easy for me and I'm still looking for the right setup. I ran with the new exhaust package in the morning and the older one in the afternoon to try to help find where improvements can be made. We now have a lot of data to help find the extra performance we want. The new front wing helps, so that's a step in the right direction. In Malaysia we developed the car as the weekend continued and there are of course a few things we can change overnight. It's a new day tomorrow and we'll hopefully be able to have the car as I'd like it for a strong result this weekend."
Nico Rosberg: "It was good to be back on the track here in Shanghai where I have experienced some really good moments in my career. I felt very comfortable in the car and it was a productive day for us, we definitely learnt a lot. We looked good on one lap, but there is some work still to do on the longer runs. Tyre degradation was particularly high on the option tyre out there today. So we need to analyse this and decide what is best to do in the race."
Lewis Hamilton: "We've made a good start today but there is a lot of work to do overnight. The car feels reasonable although I'm still finding myself a little uncomfortable so we made a change for the afternoon session which was a really positive step. I'm hoping that we can continue to improve as I spend more time in the car. The tyres are going to be challenging this weekend, particularly the option compound. Our pace looked good and although I had some traffic on my quick lap, there was enough to give me a good feeling. We'll find out in qualifying where we really are."
Mark Webber: "It was good today and we achieved a lot of mileage. There are obviously some pretty quick cars out there - we saw that in Malaysia before it rained in qualifying. We're getting a lot of information, but we're still in this early phase of learning about the tyres. I think that we have a bit of work to do, but the car doesn't feel too bad, we just have to keep working on understanding the tyres. It's nice to have a stable weekend in terms of weather, which is unusual in Shanghai."
Sebastian Vettel: "Today was a tricky day for us. I struggled a bit this afternoon and the gap to the guys at the top is a little bit bigger than I'd like. There are two or three things that we need to work on and then we should be in a better shape for tomorrow. I think we know what we need to do. It looks like the soft tyre is the one for qualifying, but it seems that we won't see that many stints on the soft tyre during the race."
Friday's Pics From Shanghai
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