Fri: Force India, Renault, Manor, Sauber

Date published: April 1 2016

Force India and Renault failed to shine under the lights in Friday’s practice at the Sakhir circuit, joining Manor and Sauber at the bottom of the timesheets…

Force India:
Sergio Perez:
“Even though I sat out the first session today, I believe we managed to catch up in the evening with a very busy FP2. The lap times are not where we want them to be, even if it is very early in the weekend, so we will be working hard this evening to make sure we are competitive in qualifying. The car balance is good, so we should be aiming to find some lap time and be back in the top ten tomorrow.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “The two sessions today were routine by free practice standards. It’s good, especially at this early stage in the season, to go through two sessions without any hiccups: it means we have lots of information to help us find some more speed overnight. It’s hard to judge where we stand at the moment in terms of absolute pace, but we’ve done all our homework in terms of running

Renault:
Kevin Magnussen: 
“We got through all of today’s programme and logged plenty of running so it’s been a good day and I’m happy. We’ll work hard this evening to analyse all our data as usual and see if we can find more pace as we’re not yet as strong as we were in Melbourne relative to our rivals. It’ll be interesting to see what the weather does as well; today’s temperatures did have an effect on the tyres. We’ve seen rain this week so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Jolyon Palmer:  “FP1 was very bad. We had an issue, but it looks like we had sorted it for FP2. It appeared to be a tyre blanket issue, but it’s still being investigated. We got a reasonably smooth run all day with a lot of laps, but we need a bit more performance for tomorrow, but at least we’re understanding the car quite well. We don’t really know what to expect, so we’ve done a run on the super-soft and the soft now, holding the medium tyres back. We’ll see what everybody else did, as they were running the mediums and then have a think about what we’re going to do on Sunday. I think it’s reasonably close. We don’t need to find a huge amount in order to be back to Melbourne level and thinking about points. It’s not an ideal Friday, but it’s not a write-off yet.”

Manor:
Pascal Wehrlein:
“We’ve learned a lot since Melbourne and that was evident in our performance here today. It’s another new circuit for me but I was soon feeling comfortable with the track and able to crack on with the programme. In these early races it’s all about exploring the car’s behaviour and potential, so we spent a lot of time on the Medium tyre establishing a better starting point for the weekend. The pace on the Soft tyre was encouraging so more of that tomorrow I hope. So far I’m happy!”

Rio Haryanto: “We end the day with a much better balance so I’m pleased with the way we’ve approached the weekend so far. It’s a good reflection of the work we put in after Melbourne and shows how quickly we can bring more performance to the car with just a few changes here and there. I really enjoy this circuit and running under the lights is very exciting. A good first step with more to come tomorrow I think.”

Sauber:
Marcus Ericsson:
“It was a productive day. I was able to collect some good mileage. We need that in order to continue our work in understanding the characteristics of the C35. There is surely room for improvement in terms of performance, but the main priority today was to put in as many laps as possible. Now we need to analyse everything to see what we can optimize for the rest of the weekend.”

Felipe Nasr: “It was positive that we got in some mileage in both practice sessions. We were able to do short and long-runs, which is important for the rest of the weekend. In terms of driving, I am still not satisfied with the handling of the car. We still have a lot of work to do as we have to find more pace.”