Fri: Lotus, Williams Virgin, HRT

Date published: October 7 2011

Heikki Kovalainen was quicker than both Williams drivers, who failed to see the end of FP2 in Japan…

Heikki Kovalainen was quicker than both Williams drivers, who failed to see the end of FP2 in Japan…

Team Lotus:
Heikki Kovalainen: “I’m pretty pleased with how my afternoon went. You’re always a little bit on the back foot when you miss the morning session at this kind of high speed circuit as you need a bit of time to get your eye in, but the balance was good almost immediately and we were able to complete the whole plan, so it was a good session. The tyres seem to be behaving well here – on the long run on the softs they held up until about the last lap so I think we’ve already found a good setup. As the track evolves that will improve even more so I think we could be in a good position in the race, bearing in mind our race pace and how well we can manage the degradation on both compounds. We’ll see on Sunday!”

Jarno Trulli: “One of those stop start days for me. This morning I was adapting to the power steering system we’ve put on here and it felt ok but the runs were cut short with a mechanical issue before I could really start pushing. This afternoon the changes we made definitely felt better but when we had the soft tyres on an electrical problem meant I couldn’t get any meaningful times in. Despite that the car felt like it was improving and looking at Heikki’s times I think we’ll be ok tomorrow.”

Williams:
Rubens Barrichello: “I had limited running today which was unfortunate. In this morning’s session, a puncture cut my session short and then an off this afternoon also put me out early. The car felt quite loose before the incident and so we have a lot of things to look into now.”

Pastor Maldonado: “An engine problem caused me to stop early in P2. It’s my first time at Suzuka so I really need some more laps. We’ll have our work cut out in tomorrow’s final session.”

Virgin:
Timo Glock: “It wasn’t a trouble-free first session as I had a water leak and I wasn’t able to run much. This cost us a bit of time and we had to carry work over to the second session in the afternoon, so we had a very tight schedule this afternoon. I think we are heading in a reasonable direction even though we still have to improve the car. The team did a great job today and fixed the problems very quickly. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio: “I think the first session went quite smoothly. The second session was busy and I’m not happy yet with the balance of the car, so we’ve got a bit of work to do on that. But definitely there is room to improve for tomorrow so we will get down to work tonight and try to get the best out of what we have. I really enjoy racing here – Suzuka is an incredible track.”

Hispania:
Daniel Ricciardo: “My day went pretty well; luckily it went better than Tonio’s who unfortunately had to retire early on. So I’m happy to have completed both sessions. The car doesn’t feel too bad but we’re still quite a bit off the pace of our closest rivals so we need to make a big step to close the gap on them. I’m not sure where we’ll find this lost time; some of it could be in my driving. But we all need to work together on this to close that gap and hopefully we can achieve it to have a competitive race.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “Unfortunately today was too short to have any information on the car. After three laps we had an issue with the water pressure so we had to stop the car on the track. Two laps aren’t enough to judge how the car is but the good thing is that in those two laps we were up to pace. It’s a shame because this is a circuit where you need to do kilometres to get some rhythm going so it won’t be an easy weekend after this short practice session but we’ll see where we are tomorrow morning.”

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