Fri: Lotus, Merc, Virgin, HRT

Date published: October 28 2011 - Editor

Mercedes GP found themselves sorely lacking in pace in Friday, finishing at the back of the timesheets with Lotus, Virgin and HRT…

Mercedes GP found themselves sorely lacking in pace in Friday, finishing at the back of the timesheets with Lotus, Virgin and HRT…

Team Lotus:
Jarno Trulli: “That was a very smooth Friday and we made good progress in both sessions, both on learning the track and on the best setup here in India. The track is not too hard to learn but it’s interesting – there are a few different lines you can take and I think that will encourage overtaking, so Sunday’s definitely going to be fun. The track surface developed quickly today and I hope it continues to do so – off line it’s still very dusty and that could catch out a few people, so let’s see how it evolves over the weekend. On the tyre side I think we’ve seen some interesting results today. The softs seem to hang on very well over the long runs but the hard tyres have almost no grip and it seems pretty tough to get them up to temperature. We’ll have to see if that’s the same tomorrow as it could change as the track keeps developing.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I’m reasonably pleased with how it went this afternoon but think I suffered a bit from not running this morning. Still, you have to deal with what you have in front of you so we worked hard in the afternoon session to get used to the track and find a balance that gave me the confidence to push. There’s definitely quite a lot more to come from the car and as the track evolves I think we’ll see that the fact we’re pretty kind to the soft tyres should help us, probably more on Sunday than tomorrow, but we’ll see.”

Mercedes GP:
Nico Rosberg: “The new track here in India is awesome. It has some very interesting corners, and that’s why it takes a bit longer to get used to the layout than at some of the other new circuits. Turn two for example is very different; you come from downhill, then go up looking into the sky and so you see the hairpin very late, just before you arrive. In general we had two good sessions and learned quite a few things today so I have a good feeling for this weekend. Hopefully that feeling will continue tomorrow.”

Michael Schumacher: “This is a very interesting track with a challenging layout, and it’s certainly enjoyable to drive. As we expected, off-line it is extremely dusty but the racing line became quite grippy over the day. This morning, I was happy with the balance of the car, however this afternoon was more challenging for us. We weren’t really able to get into working properly for various reasons, including the red flag, and therefore tomorrow we need to work on the set-up for both qualifying and the race.”

Timo Glock: “It’s been a good first day here in India. The track is just awesome and really good fun to drive. It’s been an enjoyable day without any problems. The car felt okay, it has a reasonable balance to it and we were able to get through the entire programme and achieve good set-up work. Now we just have to analyse the data overnight and see what we can do for tomorrow. I can’t wait to get back in the car again here!”

Jerome D’Ambrosio: “The afternoon session ended quite early for me as I made a mistake out of turn 11 and hit the wall, damaging the rear wing and right rear corner a bit. But apart from that I think I was running fine until then. We have lost some track time but we still have tomorrow’s FP3 to make up for it, so that will be the plan.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “It was our first day here and I can say that it is quite a fun circuit, I’m happy with the layout and I think that most drivers will enjoy it. This morning the track was cleaning all the time so we just did as many laps as we could which is the most important thing. This afternoon we started to work a bit with both compounds. I’m not as happy as in the morning since we made some changes which didn’t work as well as we thought they could do. We’ll analyse that and work on it for tomorrow. I think we can compete with our main competitors here and give them a good run for their money.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “The first lap was very special; I felt so many emotions driving in India. I just couldn’t believe it and there were so many things running through my head. In the first practice we were just trying to get into the swing of things and the second one went much better and we have a lot of things to try for tomorrow. Overall it was a good session for me, considering I haven’t driven a full race distance since July, so the body needs to wake up a bit. The track evolved a lot and so times were improving too. We have a few things to try ahead of tomorrow so I’m quite excited to see how qualifying goes”.