Lewis Hamilton set the pace at the Interlagos circuit on Friday, beating Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso was fifth...
Lewis Hamilton: "It's been a positive first day - I hope we can maintain our form or even progress it tomorrow. We're certainly looking strong, but this place can be so tough on tyres that it's hard to make any accurate predictions at this stage. The track and ambient temperatures were so high today that it felt almost as though I was sliding around the track with the tyres melting! Having said that, our long runs are usually tougher on the tyres [than shorter runs], but our long runs still looked quite good today. It's great to have such a positive final Friday with the team - it's been one of the best Fridays we've had for a long, long time, in fact. I'm savouring every moment of this weekend, and I'll be taking photographs of my engineers and mechanics through each day. The car feels really good - thanks, guys - and it would be the perfect Saturday if I could take pole tomorrow."
Jenson Button: "We were running a lower downforce set-up package to Lewis this afternoon. It was quite an interesting comparison, but, in the hot weather, lower downforce makes things trickier because the car slides more, which hurts the tyres. Still, it was a useful test, because we needed to see how well the smaller rear wing works. Obviously, it operates in a different way [from the higher-downforce set-up package], so we wanted to be able to understand that. Using the smaller rear wing, our long-run pace was surprisingly good. However, our single-lap pace wasn't as strong - probably because we weren't able to use DRS as fully as we could with the bigger wing."
Sebastian Vettel: "It was alright today, it was very slippery for everyone. It was quite hot today and in terms of track conditions not that easy, so I think everyone suffered the same kind of problems looking for traction and stability etc. So far we can be happy, we have to do our homework now, first comes tomorrow morning and we go from there."
Mark Webber: "The track was slippery today, it's very hot. I think we're all a little bit surprised by the lack of grip we had, but we got what we could out of today in these conditions. We got through plenty of stuff and also did a bit of'13 work, which was useful. It's the last test before next year, so we made the most of the beautiful sunny day in Brazil, before we go to colder Jerez in February."
Felipe Massa: "A very busy Friday in terms of our work on track, with a lot of kilometres completed to find the best set-up for the car. I am reasonably pleased with my times, especially when it comes to pace over a long run: I think I was the fastest man on track in the final part of the session. On my first lap with the Mediums, I lost a few tenth at the second corner, so, in terms of an outright time, I could have done even better than fourth place. The tyres are the same, but their performance is completely different to what we saw in Austin last week: definitely degradation is much higher here and so I don't think we will see a one-stop strategy. The helmet? It's odd not seeing anything yellow in the mirrors to the extent that sometimes I thought it wasn't me at the wheel!"
Fernando Alonso: "It was very hot out on the circuit today and, especially this afternoon, the track temperatures were well above normal, even for this circuit. We have not yet found the ideal balance on the car, so there is still a lot of work to be done with the engineers going into the rest of the weekend. The predictions are for very different conditions from Saturday to Sunday, further reason to concentrate on the best choices when it comes to preparing the car for qualifying, but especially for the race. After so many Fridays, there is nothing much new to say about the tyres: the Hards appear to be more consistent, while the Mediums produce a quicker lap time. It's hard to say if we prefer rain or the dry: as I said before, it is vital to be prepared to tackle both situations. We know we have to score 14 points more than Vettel for the Championship and not lose the same number to McLaren to maintain our second place in the Constructors'. Our targets are clear, but also difficult to achieve."
Michael Schumacher: "It was a reasonably good day, and we kept working on our planned programme. However, the predictions for Sunday at the moment are for rain, so there may be totally different conditions then. We therefore have to see what we can make of today's data and transform it into a good qualifying and, even better, a good race."
Nico Rosberg: "It was a decent Friday for us today. There were difficult conditions out there because of the high track temperatures and the altitude which made it hard to find grip. However we managed quite well and, especially on the long runs, the pace was good. So I hope we can do better here than in the previous races. But it will be tough for us, and our focus is still on learning and understanding for 2013."
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