Fri: McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, FIndia

Date published: June 8 2012

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Friday’s practice in Montreal, edging ahead of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa…

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Friday’s practice in Montreal, edging ahead of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa…

McLaren:
Lewis Hamilton: “I’m very happy with my start to the weekend: happy that the rain held off for both sessions today and happy that we got through a lot of good set-up changes. This is a great track to drive – it’s a place that requires 100 per cent commitment and where the driver can really make a difference. It magnifies the differences between drivers. Today, even though the Option tyre was a little quicker, I preferred running on the Prime tyre. It was an unfortunate day for Jenson, who had some problems with the back-end of his car. Still, I was very pleased for him that he was at least able to get out at the end of the session and get some laps under his belt. This is a place where it’s important to do some running, because there are some pretty close walls and you need to build your speed up gradually. So today has been positive, but it’s definitely going to be tight this weekend – not just for qualifying, but for the race, too.”

Jenson Button: “Well, we certainly had a few issues today. We had an oil leak on my car in this morning’s session, so the mechanics had to take the gearbox off then put it back on. And then we found another problem, so they had to take it off again then put it back on again! They did a great job, but the delays stopped us from doing any high-fuel running or any set-up work simply because we had to get out on the circuit and get some laps in. It meant we didn’t put a set-up on the car that felt quite right. Still, as I say, I want to say a massive thanks to the guys for working flat-out to get everything fixed – they were fantastic. But I’m not too worried – the car has been working well and Lewis has been quick all day, so there’s a lot of good information for us to look at for tomorrow. I enjoy driving around this place, so we’ll be hoping for a bit more luck tomorrow.”

Ferrari:
Fernando Alonso: “I am rather pleased with the way things went this Montreal Friday. This morning, we concentrated mainly on evaluating some new updates, while in the afternoon, we worked principally on a comparison of the two types of tyre, looking for performance over a single lap and also to check the behaviour of the car with a lot of fuel on board. The first indications seem to be positive, but it is much too soon to draw any conclusions as Friday times should never be taken at face value. Now we must concentrate on analysing the data and prepare as well as possible for the rest of the weekend. The circuit named after Gilles Villeneuve is very similar to a street circuit, with the walls very close to what are normal roads. It therefore becomes very important to find the right reference points, especially in terms of braking points and how far one is from the walls, in order to put together both a quick lap and to drive smoothly over a long distance.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a very positive Friday for us. We managed to do a lot of laps and, above all, test everything we had on our programme. Fortunately, the rain, and boy did it rain, arrived just after the second session had ended, so we managed to do everything properly. I think we can be happy with the fact that the updates we have brought here worked, even if it’s hard to give an instant assessment of how much of an improvement they have produced. In any case, the intention is to keep the car in this new configuration. The car seems to be well balanced and it seemed to me to be pretty consistent in terms of performance, even if, obviously, the track is not yet providing much grip, this being the first day of the race weekend. To sum up, this has been the best Friday of 2012: let’s hope that can continue through Saturday and Sunday as well!”

Red Bull:
Mark Webber: “It’s been a pretty good day. We thought there would be more mixed weather, but it didn’t come. We ran the super soft tyre in the first session, which we thought was the right thing to do, but in the end it didn’t really rain in the second session. The programme was a bit compromised, but we still got everything done that we needed to. We’re pretty happy with where we’re at and I’m confident in the work we did with the car, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. There are some quick cars out there, but we’ve seen that Fridays before this year – I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Sebastian Vettel: “We ran the super soft tyres this morning thinking there would be rain this afternoon; in the end it didn’t come but you never know in advance. I think we had a good day; we got decent laps and even with the different approach in terms of when we ran the tyres, I think we can be happy. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow. It’s a great track here, there are a lot of stop and starts, braking, chicanes and quick changes in direction but it’s good fun – it’s part of this track, there are bumps, so it’s wild and rough, but it’s fun.”

Force India:
Paul di Resta: “The weather was a bit of a worry today with the constant threat of rain so we had a very busy morning and probably did more laps in FP1 than we normally would. The initial baseline of the car was good and we worked on improving things further with each run. By the end of the day I was very happy with the feel of the car in terms of balance. Of course the ambient conditions are expected to change overnight and we need to see how that impacts us tomorrow, but based on today’s performance I think we can target Q3 if everything comes together.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “I enjoyed both sessions and ended the day with a very positive feeling. The balance of the car is where we want it to be and the changes we made to during the lunch break seemed to take us in the right direction. There is still a lot of homework to do this evening and room to improve things further, but it’s been a good start to the weekend.”

Related Links
Prac Two: Hamilton remains on top
Gallery: Friday’s action from Montreal