Fri: Mercedes, Force India, Ferrari

Date published: July 1 2016

Nico Rosberg was the fastest driver in FP2 for the Austrian GP, beating Lewis Hamilton by 0.019s while Nico Hulkenberg was third.

Mercedes:
Nico Rosberg: “There are some changes to the circuit this year with the new asphalt and kerbing; from my point of view those changes are pretty cool and it’s still a really enjoyable track to drive. The new asphalt seems to be suiting our car quite well, maybe better even than the old tarmac, but tyre usage will be the decisive factor this weekend as we saw quite a lot of graining during our dry running. In the wet this afternoon, I found a good balance with the car, so overall I’m pretty happy with our first day.”

Lewis Hamilton: “It was a tricky day getting up to speed and getting laps out on track. It started coming together this morning but then the rain in the second session meant we had to adapt our programme. Luckily, the high track temperatures meant the circuit dried out very quickly, so I was able to get more running on the ultra-soft tyre before the session finished and to get a feel for the balance and performance. We didn’t have any problems today, which is definitely a positive, and there’s definitely more to come. So I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Ferrari:
Sebastian Vettel: “It was a decent day. It is not entirely clear where we stand, as we didn’t have a lot of running due to the weather, in particular in the afternoon, but in general the car feels good. When I span at the end of the second session, I had an issue with brake distribution. It caught me by surprise, but it didn’t matter too much, as I only lost a couple of minutes, and in the end it didn’t make a lot of a difference. My plans for tomorrow? For sure I will watch the soccer match with the team. Italy is playing stronger than expected, Germany is quite strong as well, so it should be a good match.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “It was quite a messy day, but overall I had good feelings. In the morning we managed to have a few runs while in the afternoon, because of the weather conditions, we did not get to do many laps and never really got a proper qualifying simulation done. The day could have been a lot better, the situation now it’s a bit unknown, but it’s not too bad either. There is no point now in starting to guess where we are, we still have tomorrow morning to know, and I’m sure it will be ok.”

Force India:
Nico Hulkenberg: “Definitely a solid day. The car feels okay, but we still have some homework to do tonight to improve the balance. It was quite a strange day with the changing weather, especially this afternoon when the big storm arrived, and the knock-on effect means we don’t have very much long-run data – but it’s the same for everybody. We were able to do some laps on the intermediate tyres, which is important because we don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow and whether the rain will return. Overall, I think we are in good shape heading into the weekend.”

Sergio Perez: “It was one of those days when the wet weather really limited our programme. I didn’t drive this morning so the wet session this afternoon was not ideal. I feel that I’m a little bit on the back foot and it’s going to be important to maximise what we can get out of final practice tomorrow. Nico has shown that the car is competitive here and hopefully I can find some more performance in the morning to be ready for qualifying.”