Fri: Force India, Williams, McLaren

Date published: April 15 2016

Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez both finished inside the top ten in FP2 in Shanghai along with Valtteri Bottas while Fernando Alonso just missed out…

Force India:
Nico Hulkenberg:
“I’m pretty pleased with today. There’s still work to be done, of course, but we’ve carried out the usual learning with the tyres and tried a few different things on the car. Tyre wear is always high here and we saw that again today, so it’s going to be a big factor in the race. We also saw how close everybody is on the timesheets so it’s going to be a tight grid.”

Sergio Perez: “The track conditions were not the best today because the wind picked up during the sessions and it was hard to be consistent. We also lost some time this morning because of the disruptions with the red flags. I think the main topic of the day is degradation and we have to try and learn how to improve that tonight as well as improving the balance of the car.”

Williams:
Valtteri Bottas:
“It was a difficult start to the day with the problem we had in FP1, but the team did a good job between sessions to fix the issues and I think we understand what happened now. The long runs this afternoon felt consistent but we need to wait until tomorrow in qualifying to determine our speed. I think we can have a good weekend; we just need to work hard.”

Felipe Massa: “It was definitely not an easy day. We had the issue in the morning but I’m confident it has been solved. Because of the morning, we lost a lot of mileage today and we need to concentrate 100 percent on being competitive tomorrow.”

McLaren:
Fernando Alonso:
“I’ve really missed driving the car in the last 26 days! But I felt good today. There’s still a little bit of pain, because the rib hasn’t completely recovered since the fracture, which is normal. But that pain is definitely manageable. Today, it was important to get a good read on the tyres because tomorrow it is forecast to rain. So today might be our only chance to test the dry tyres ahead of Sunday. We’re happy with today’s results, but we still need to find an optimal balance for the dry: we’re missing a little bit of traction and rear-end grip, so we need to make a few changes to be more competitive. If it’s wet tomorrow in qualifying, we’ll try to do our best, but our priority is focusing on performance for Sunday.”

Jenson Button: I think everyone is struggling a bit with tyre graining and overheating – the minimum pressures are very high, so it’s tough for everyone out there. Also, the tyres overheat quite quickly, which becomes an issue to manage – particularly on the longer runs. There’s still room to improve the set-up, but I think we may be a bit more competitive than we look. I’d welcome a wet qualifying if it mixes things up. If it’s dry tomorrow, I think we’ll be knocking on the door of the top 10 – we might even get through – and, if it’s mixed, you can make a big mistake and get it wrong, or you can get a break and get it very right. I’d go for taking the risk!”