Fri: Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, STR


Ferrari set the pace in Friday’s second practice in Shanghai as Kimi Raikkonen beat Sebastian Vettel while Nico Rosberg was third fastest…

Kimi Raikkonen:
“It has been quite a difficult day overall, I was struggling to get the grip on the tyres probably due to the wind. I was sliding a lot and this feeling was not very nice. When I put the supersofts they seemed to work better, I had more grip and this helped to have a pretty good lap. We’ll see how the weather conditions turn out to be tomorrow, we’ll try to make a good day and then get the maximum out of the race.”

Sebastian Vettel: “Friday is not so important in terms of position but in terms of feeling. We had a decent day and the feeling with the car was ok, but we can still improve, especially the balance. Tonight we’ll have a lot of work to do, in order to get on top of everything. For sure to go for pole is always our goal, but it’s only Friday so I wouldn’t stress too much. This track is quite brutal on tyres, I was sliding a lot and there was a lot of degradation. I looked at Kimi’s data and saw where he was faster. This afternoon we had different programmes and this is useful to make a comparison because we can learn from each other.”

Nico Rosberg:
“It was good to jump in the car again today and a decent start to the weekend. The first session was compromised by the red flag – but we managed to try a few different things that worked well. It looks like we are quick here again – but in the afternoon we saw that Ferrari are also very quick, so we are definitely looking out for them and we’ll have a bit homework to do tonight. I’m happy that we have the old Qualifying format back for tomorrow and really looking forward to that. I hope the fans are too and we can put on a good show for them. It’s always great to be back here in China, I really like the track – but most of all it’s the people. The fans are so enthusiastic! They waited two days at the airport to see me, which is really humbling, so thank you to them.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It’s not been a bad day. I didn’t feel too comfortable with the car this morning but the team made some changes over lunch and it was much better in the second session. The weather has been surprisingly warm but with a lot of wind, which made it quite difficult out there through the high-speed corners. We’re seeing already that tyre degradation will be a big factor this weekend, which is pretty normal for this circuit but definitely something to watch out for on Sunday. I’ve had some amazing support here already. Every time I come to China I’m blown away by the amount of fans who come to see me. It’s only Friday and there were plenty of them over in the stands already with banners and flags, so a big shout-out to them.”

Red Bull:
Daniel Ricciardo:
“Looking at the lap times we are fairly satisfied but I think there is still more to come in terms of balance. If we find what we’re after, we’ll be a lot closer to where we want to be. I think most guys were struggling for balance because we seem to be relatively competitive. But the car was a bit of a handful today and I think it was like that for everyone. We saw quite a few guys spin this morning, maybe the wind was having quite a big effect as well. The long runs at the end with the Soft tyre were promising and the pace didn’t look too bad. If it rains tomorrow it should give us a bit more of a chance. I’d say top five would be achievable for us.”

Daniil Kvyat: “Tyres work in an unusual way here so we need to understand how to make them work for tomorrow, that’s our target. It wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t have a single clean lap to be honest. I struggled on the Super Soft, it just didn’t work for me and we have quite a bit of work to do to get ready for qualifying. The weather forecast for tomorrow is rain which will change things up again, we’ll have to wait and see what the afternoon brings.”

Toro Rosso:
Max Verstappen:
“This morning’s FP1 was a difficult session as you couldn’t really put a long run together because of the red flags… We were going out, then in, out, then back into the garage again; but it was good to regain confidence at this track, see what was new and get a first understanding of the car. For FP2 we were able to get a lot done and, even though there’s still some work to do tonight to improve for tomorrow, we can be satisfied with today.”

Carlos Sainz Jr: “Today was another smooth Friday for us. We had no issues on the car, which meant that we could complete all our program. FP1 was quite an interrupted session because of the red flags, but this afternoon’s FP2 was very good and I end the day happy. I think it’s going to be a challenging Grand Prix for everyone and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend, especially to qualifying which is back to the old format.”