Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen completed 20 laps between them while it was a solid FP1 display from McLaren with Fernando Alonso firmly in the top 10.
Sebastian Vettel: “I have witnessed something like this already – yes. We had a year in Canada where the race was held for a long time due to rain; and we had a year in Japan, where we had to cancel Qualifying on Saturday and do it on Sunday. It is a shame, especially for the people who came to see us this weekend here at the circuit. But there is not much we can do. We have to remain calm and get prepared for tomorrow as a normal day. Today we obviously didn’t learn a lot, then we see from the conditions what the day brings. Everybody is in the same situation.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “We cannot take very much from today’s free practice. This morning, we only did three timed laps because we wanted to save intermediate tires for the second session. We don’t have many sets of tires for the rain conditions and if we still expect more rain it’s better to keep them. It’s a difficult situation but it’s the same for everybody. At the moment we are just guessing, tomorrow we’ll see how it is and then what comes after that if we can’t drive. With this weather conditions there’s more gamble and more chances for odd races, it can go all for you or against you. It’s a shame for everybody, the spectators can’t see anything and we can’t drive because of the conditions. Hopefully we get the proper conditions at least on Sunday and we can do qualifying and race. We’ll try to make the right decisions. I’m sure we have the speed to recover at the start.”
Fernando Alonso: “It’s a pity we couldn’t get any running under our belts this afternoon. We had a productive morning session, running through some power unit and aero evaluations. There’s definitely progress being made, and it would’ve been nice to have further validated those changes in FP2. This afternoon, the rain was just too heavy for us to run safely. I can’t remember the last time I saw weather like that – it was unbelievable. In these situations, the highest priority is to keep the fans and competitors safe – so we made the right decision today.”
Jenson Button: “It’s always disappointing to have to cancel a session, but I think this afternoon’s decision was entirely correct – the track was never in a sufficiently safe condition to enable us to run, and the loss of daylight meant it wasn’t possible to prolong the session either. That’s a real pity for all the fans who came to the track today. The main thing is that people stayed safe – particularly with the proximity of the lightning today. It’s always difficult when these things happen. As racing drivers, we try our best, but weren’t able to do anything today. Although the forecast doesn’t necessarily predict it, here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.”
Valtteri Bottas: “We had a bit of running this morning, so with both cars we were trying some different setup changes to learn more about the wet weather and our performance. We did struggle today with front tyre graining. It would have been nice to go out again and try something different. We managed to get into the top 10, which is slightly better than we’ve seen, but we still have a lot of work to do in the wet. We can’t change the weather and it’s the same for everyone so we’ll take it as it comes. Hopefully it’s dry for Sunday, that’s the main thing.”
Felipe Massa: “Not a lot happened today. We did a few laps on the wet tyre in the first session, which was ok to drive and gave us some ideas for the setup. We didn’t run in the second session as it was raining a lot. We just need to wait to see if it will be possible to drive tomorrow. It’s not nice to see the weather like this, so I hope it gets better for everyone.”