Fri: Haas, Renault, Sauber, Manor


No surprises here at the back of the grid, Haas driver Romain Grosjean, though, had a few concerns about reliability while his team-mate retired due to loss of power.

Romain Grosjean:
“First off, this is always a great track to drive. We have a lot of fun around here. Clearly, we had some issues with the brakes today, which didn’t make our life easy, but eventually we worked our way around it. We still have a lot of work to do tonight trying to balance the car. It’s one of those tracks where the timing is very tight. Two-tenths of a second can make a big difference. Let’s hope we find those.”

Esteban Gutierrez: “It was quite a tricky day. We’ve been trying to experiment a little bit, trying to find the best compromise in every area of the car. We now have a pretty good idea. We tested a few things so we can get ready for tomorrow. Unfortunately, we ended up with a failure in the afternoon, but this will not harm us in continuing our program for Saturday and our focus on qualifying.”

Kevin Magnussen:
“We completed a lot of running today and it went pretty well. I ended the day 15th fastest, which is always nice to see but it’s only Friday and a bit too early to draw any conclusions. The car feels good; we have a bit of work to do now to get ready for tomorrow’s qualifying but things so far are encouraging.”

Jolyon Palmer: “It was a shame to lose time in Free Practice 1 this morning as I’d never properly driven here before. In contrast, everything was good in the afternoon and there’s more pace in the car than my lap time showed. It’s quite a technical circuit so I need to get the sequences just right, which is something to work on tomorrow. Otherwise, it feels as though we have a similar pace to that we had in Malaysia at this point. It bodes well for the rest of the weekend.”

Felipe Nasr:
“It has been a productive day here in Suzuka. FP1 was mainly about testing different set-ups in order to get a better read for the balance of the car. In the afternoon we concentrated on short and long runs on different tyre compounds for qualifying as well as race preparation. Now we have to analyse the data collected, so that we can find improvements for the rest of the weekend.”

Marcus Ericsson: “It has been a decent day. In the morning we tried different configurations on the aerodynamic side, which we have to evaluate more in-depth. Later on in FP2, I was a bit unlucky with the yellow flags, so it was difficult to get a feeling for the car on low fuel. The long run on medium tyres felt ok, but we need to have a closer look at the data.”

Pascal Wehrlein:
“I’ve been really looking forward to getting out on track here. It’s not an easy circuit to master but I’m quite happy so far and I have a much better feeling with the car than the last race. We seem to have made some progress, which is good. It’s an awesome track to drive; a fantastic challenge and some fun corners. I’m feeling pretty positive about it, even though it’s not one of the most well-suited for our car. The most important thing is that we’ve found a good set-up and we’ve improved step-by-step through the two sessions. I’m also certain that we can squeeze a few drops more from the car in FP3 and be better for qualifying. So with a good run at tomorrow morning, it can go well for us here, I hope.”

Esteban Ocon: “I love everything about the fans, the track and Japan in general. I thought I might, but now I’m here I can’t get enough of the place. I really enjoyed my first day of practice here; it’s a really technical and demanding track. I love chicanes in general and these are pretty quick, so I’m really enjoying driving them. We’ve tried a few different things on set-up and I think we’ve ended up in a good place as far as direction for tomorrow goes. Our long pace looks promising. There’s still some work to do on our qualifying pace, but I’m optimistic that we can have a good fight on Sunday.”