Fri: McLaren, Ferrari, FIndia, STR

Friday 15-November-2013 20:40

There were top ten times in Friday's practice at the Circuit of the Americas for former Champions Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso...

Jenson Button: "Both sessions today were quite positive. Our car's feeling reasonably good around here, and it's a fun circuit to drive, so I think we can make further progress. Hopefully we can qualify a little nearer to the front, too.

"However, that will be made more difficult due to my three-place grid penalty for overtaking under a red flag during FP1. It wasn't a dangerous situation, and I didn't do it on purpose - the other car slowed down - but the rules are the rules, and it was the wrong thing to do.

"Nonetheless, in terms of race-pace, I think we're looking reasonably good - we just need to extract the maximum qualifying performance from the car. It's a pity that I'll be starting three places further back - I haven't made it easy for myself in the past few races - but I'll be giving it everything I've got tomorrow."

Sergio Perez: "After the past few days, it was really nice to be able to get out on track and do the work that I really love.

"This circuit is quite dirty, so it's difficult to warm up the tyres. The track surface also changed quite a lot between FP1 and FP2, so I think it'll be very interesting to see if it changes further tomorrow, particularly as more changeable weather is expected.

"We had a mechanical issue today that affected our running - the balance of the car wasn't great, and I didn't feel comfortable. It also cost me quite a bit of time this afternoon and meant we didn't do too many miles on high fuel. Of course, that makes things a little tougher, but with the changes we're set to make overnight, I'm sure we'll improve tomorrow."

Fernando Alonso: "I had no problem being back on track today. My back felt fine and I was able to drive the same as always. Compared to last year, the track conditions seemed better: for the first Grand Prix here, it was too new and there was a bit of oil on the track, while now there's a lot more grip. As expected, there was very little degradation today as Pirelli's choice of the Medium and Hard compounds here in Austin are an ultra-conservative choice. Generally, there were no major surprises and now we must wait and see how things go tomorrow and especially Sunday."

Felipe Massa: "Today was hard to interpret, because in the morning we got off to a good start and it seemed the track was well suited to the characteristics of our car, but then that changed in the afternoon and we were unable to set competitive times. Compared to recent races, the car has stayed the same and therefore we cannot expect a very different level of performance. But it's definitely important to understand why the car changed so much between the two sessions, especially as compared to last year, the asphalt has improved a lot and the grip has increased considerably. I don't think that is down to the rise in temperature, but maybe the wind didn't help. Now we have a lot of work ahead of us to try and improve for the rest of the weekend."

Force India:
Adrian Sutil: "It's my first visit to Austin and I have to say I really like the track. There are some nice corners and some tricky ones where it's easy to make small mistakes. It's not that easy to learn the track either because it's a challenging lap, especially the high-speed sections. We worked hard to improve the car set-up today, but the balance is still not where I want it to be. Hopefully we can make some positive changes overnight. As for the tyres, there is not a big difference between the hard and the medium, but we managed long runs on each compound so should be well prepared for the weekend."

Paul di Resta: "It's been a difficult day to understand exactly where we are and I don't think my position in FP2 is a true reflection of our competitiveness. I came across some traffic on my best lap so Adrian's position is probably more representative. The long runs looked more promising and if we get everything together we can hopefully match the performance level we've shown for the last few races. The focus tonight will be on tyres: understanding them more and how to manage them over the weekend."

Toro Rosso:
Daniel Ricciardo: "Today was not what we had hoped for in terms of real performance. We were a little bit off the top ten, which is where we want to be. I wasn't really happy with the balance of the car today, both morning and afternoon. We still have some work to do tonight to understand how to improve the car and hopefully we can come up with some good solutions for tomorrow. I felt as if the tyres were a bit too hard for conditions today, as it was taking a long time for them to warm up."

Jean-Eric Vergne: "Of course I've got no problem with Daniil driving my car in FP1, as it's good experience for the whole team for next year, but it does make life a little bit harder when you only drive one session. We struggled with the car today and I wasn't happy with the setup, but at least the long runs were good given the problem we had with the balance of the car. We definitely have to work hard tonight for qualifying and I'm confident we can improve and be more competitive tomorrow."

Related Links
Vettel Hits The Front In Red Bull 1-2
Friday's Pictures From Austin

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