Fri: McLaren, Force India, Willliams

Date published: May 13 2016

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso is delighted with Friday practice sessions as his Honda-powered car looks to be improved.

McLaren:
Fernando Alonso: The feeling with the car today has been pretty good. We need to improve a few things for tomorrow – especially with the grip at the rear. I’m not totally comfortable with the car yet, so we’ll try a few more things. This evening, we’ll go through the data from Jenson and myself and pull together a better solution for tomorrow.  Looking ahead to qualifying, I think we’re in the same situation as we were in Russia: the practice times suggest that we can get into the top 10, but you tend to need an extra push to get into Q3, and we don’t have that step quite yet. Still, power unit performance is not as critical here as it was in Russia, so maybe we’ll be able to crack it. Let’s see…”

Jenson Button: “I had a pretty average day: FP1 was tough, then we couldn’t get the car out of the garage for the opening part of FP2. Eventually, however, I got some running under my belt – and our long-run pace didn’t look too bad. The balance came together when we ran the Soft tyre at the end of the day, which was encouraging because I had a big issue with the rear-end feeling like it was ‘floating’. We’re getting there. We have upgrades arriving for each race, which is fantastic – but we have to spend a lot of time on Fridays working out whether they work or not. Today was a busy day, but we’ll really be able to focus on performance and qualifying tomorrow. This won’t be the easiest race at which to score points, but we’ll do our best.”

Force India:
Nico Hulkenberg: “It was frustrating to lose some track time this morning, especially when you have some upgrades to test, but we managed to recover well in FP2. I’m not yet totally comfortable with the balance, but I believe we have made a big step forward compared to the car we had at the beginning of the season. Track position is very important in Barcelona so hopefully we can turn this performance into a good qualifying result tomorrow.”

Sergio Perez: “It was frustrating to lose some track time this morning, especially when you have some upgrades to test, but we managed to recover well in FP2. I’m not yet totally comfortable with the balance, but I believe we have made a big step forward compared to the car we had at the beginning of the season. Track position is very important in Barcelona so hopefully we can turn this performance into a good qualifying result tomorrow.”

Williams:
Valterri Bottas: “I think today was okay. We knew it would be a bit trickier here, but I’m sure we can be better tomorrow than what we’ve seen from the lap times today. We still have some things we can turn up for qualifying. I reckon it’s going to be very close in terms of lap times, and in Q3. Whatever small things we can find today, with both the set-up and driving-wise, will be a big help tomorrow.”

Felipe Massa: “It wasn’t a very fantastic Friday. I managed to understand the tyres which is the most important thing. I made some mistakes on my laps on the new tyres, which is why I couldn’t do a better lap time. It wasn’t like the Friday we had in Russia, but we are working hard for tomorrow to be as fast as we can.”