Fri: Mercedes, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Red Bull


Mercedes pip the group once again with Nico Rosberg fastest in the second practice session while Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz suprising everyone as gets ahead of the two Red Bulls.

Nico Rosberg: “It’s great to be back in Europe and to be back in Spain. It was a good start for us today with two good practice sessions. Times were looking good on the longer and also on the shorter stints. I feel very comfortable with the car with some new parts added and they seemed to have worked well. Ferrari also look very strong around this circuit so I’m looking forward to Saturday’s third practice session as well as qualifying and to seeing how we can perform out there.”

Lewis Hamilton: “That wasn’t an easy day for me, I struggled with the car balance through the day and this afternoon in particular it felt really tricky to drive. I had traffic on my quick lap, so the lap times don’t tell the full story, but it’s clear we have plenty of work to do this evening to get the car driving like I want it to. But we will get our heads down this evening, work through the data and I’m confident we can pull things around for tomorrow.”

Kimi Raikkonen:
“It was a normal Friday, we were focused on our program. At one point I came back into the garage to check something in the car: we wanted to be sure that everything was ok. It was only a small issue and by the end of the session we managed to do all that we wanted to. It’s hard to say now where we are compared to our rivals, it was not a bad day, but for sure we can still improve. This is a very hard circuit for the tires and there is a twisty last part, but it is the same for everybody. Compared to Russia it’s easier to make the tires work, but obviously there’s still work to be done to be 100 percent happy with the balance of the car. In the evening we’ll work to improve and hopefully we’ll be stronger.”

Sebastian Vettel: “Even if today was not the perfect day, it should be better tomorrow. I think this afternoon was a bit more tricky for us and not as good as it was in the morning, but we can still work on the car and improve it overnight. Usually we are quite strong in this. In the end it is only Friday, so I think we need to be careful with our judgements. I think the first impression of our pace today was good. Whether we can confirm it tomorrow depends also on what the others were doing today. I believe we can make the step and be stronger tomorrow.”

Toro Rosso:
Carlos Sainz: “We had a really good Friday and we’ve started my home Grand Prix weekend well. I’m happy with today and I feel very comfortable in the car, but we need to keep working like we are because tomorrow it will all be much tighter than what it looks like today. It feels like we can have a strong weekend here in Barcelona and I’m really looking forward to it!”

Daniil Kvyat: “It was my first Friday with the team, so there were plenty of things to look at and adapt myself to, as well as trying to find the best compromise for tomorrow. We’ve definitely learned a lot from today and we know in what direction to go in order to make steps forward for the rest of the weekend. I already feel like at home here, the team has really given me a warm welcome and we are working well together.”

Red Bull:
Daniel Ricciardo: “Everyone is keeping a close eye on the team this weekend to see how Max goes; I’m a small part of it, but it’s exciting. Coming into the weekend we are expected to be the top five, so we’ll keep that goal; anything better than that will just mean bigger smiles. I was relatively happy with today; I think there is a bit more for us to find, but generally it was a good day. I know what this car is capable of, so a few changes tonight and then tomorrow hopefully we will be a bit further up the front. We did a good long run on the soft and the medium, which gave us a lot of good tyre information. This has given us the info we need for tonight to make smart decisions for tomorrow.”

Max Verstappen: “I’m happy; for a first day you can’t complain! We got through a lot of work and did a lot of laps and I think that’s the most important thing for me at the moment. I’m still getting used to the car, I don’t feel its full limit yet. It’s a new car, but I wasn’t nervous this morning, I just wanted to experience the car, I was eager to just go out and drive. I’m still learning a lot about the car; the seat position, the steering wheel position, all the switches and the procedures are all completely different to the Toro Rosso, but we are working on it and it’s getting better and better. Red Bull Racing is a good team and I enjoy working with them. If we have a good feeling tomorrow I will do my best and from there on we will see what happens; for sure you need a few weekends to be fully comfortable.”