Jenson Button was the surprise of FP2 as he managed to get his Honda-powered McLaren as high as P7 by the end of Friday.
Jenson Button: “We had several different issues in FP1 – it was a very unlucky morning. We changed the power unit between FP1 and FP2 – we were a little late out this afternoon, but the guys did a pretty amazing job to build the car up. After that, we had no issues with how the engine was running – but we’ll look at the data tonight to understand if we should continue with the engine we took out this morning, or stay with the one we fitted for this afternoon. In FP2, I was able to do a reasonable amount of running. The car feels good and is enjoyable to drive, but there are some set-up issues to resolve, which we’ll do tonight. It’s been a positive day, but there’s still improvement needed – if I was another half-tenth quicker, I’d be fourth overall, and if I was two tenths slower, I’d be 11th – so we really need to maximise everything we have for the rest of the weekend.”
Fernando Alonso: “It’s been a good Friday. We were able to try a few interesting things, including all three tyre compounds, which will for sure be the most interesting element this weekend. Tomorrow, I think that perhaps qualifying 11th will be the best starting position for the race, as you’ll be the fastest runner free to choose your starting compound. I reckon starting the race on the Ultrasoft might not be ideal. Everything worked well today, including the new turbo from Honda. However, we didn’t have too much grip, and need to look at improving our traction out of corners. Now we have collected all the data from both cars, we need to find the direction for tomorrow.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “We did a large number of laps today, especially this afternoon, and that’s what you want from a Friday. The car felt good from the start, which is always an encouraging sign, and we kept on top of the track evolution, which changed a lot as the day went on. The two sessions have been fairly straightforward: a lot of tweaks and small changes to try to find the ideal balance and a bit more speed for qualifying. In general it has been a good day that gave us a lot of information.”
Sergio Perez: “The changing weather between the morning and the afternoon meant we had two very different sessions. The track was very green at first, but we still managed to learn a lot about the car and the tyres. The red flag cost us a bit of time, especially as we had just gone out for our first run when that happened. The potential for a good result in qualifying is there, but of course we need to do some work tonight to make sure we’re in the right position tomorrow. Finding the right balance under braking and good traction is crucial here so those are the areas where we are focussing our attention.”
Carlos Sainz: “I’d describe today as a good Friday. Even if our FP1 was cut short this morning because of a red flag, during this afternoon’s FP2 we managed to cover the whole programme. It was a day with no issues or major problems, which is always welcome. This means we had a good baseline to start the weekend with and now we just need to continue like this and hold on to this positive feeling. It’s looking like a very tight midfield again here, so I’m sure we will witness a good fight to get into Q3, but we just need to focus on ourselves and extract the maximum from the car: the top ten is our target!”
Daniil Kvyat: “It was a decent and useful first day here in Montreal. We were able to complete plenty of laps and this will certainly help us to continue preparing for Sunday’s race. We still need to sort out a few things regarding the set-up of the car, but that’s what Friday evenings are for. We can be happy with our start and I’m looking forward to tomorrow: the gaps with our main competitors are really small, but I’m confident we can fight for a good result!”