There were top ten times in Friday's practice for the Australian Grand Prix for Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz, both Lotus drivers and Nico Hulkenberg…
Daniil Kvyat: "Everything went quite well and according to plan today – everything felt good. We will do what we can tonight to prepare for tomorrow. It’s too early to see where we are compared to the others as yet – but we’ll see where we can improve overnight. Tomorrow we will know more."
Daniel Ricciardo: "In FP1 it took us a while to get going and we didn’t get out straight away. A problem with the ICE meant we couldn’t run in FP2, but it’s a problem that we can fix for tomorrow. There’s a lot of time to do what we need, so there’s no concerns – it wasn’t worth rushing it to get five laps this afternoon. We don’t believe it will affect one of the four engines, so it’s not a massive shot in the foot. I will look at what Daniil learnt in FP2 to get a direction for tomorrow – the circuit felt pretty rubbered in already in the morning so I should be able to get up to speed tomorrow. I’ve got to get these ants out of my pants now – I’m hanging out to drive! It’s been a bit of a tease all week, talking about driving, and now I just want to get out there."
Carlos Sainz Jr: "I’m happy with today, I had been waiting for this day for a very long time and it was definitely a decent first day. We covered a lot of mileage, which was obviously our target for today as I am a rookie and new to this circuit. I enjoyed it a lot out there. Now we need to go through all the data we gathered today and keep improving. I feel very comfortable in the car. It’s a challenging track, but I like it and all in all it’s been a positive day."
Max Verstappen: "This morning we were able to complete many laps and it was good for me to get used to the track. It was a useful first practice and I was able to understand the car a bit more. I also didn’t make any mistakes, so that was good. This afternoon unfortunately we were not able to spend much time out on track due to a battery issue. The team pushed very hard to send me out again but we ran out of time. It wasn’t the best end to the day, but we will check the data tonight and hopefully we can make the best out of tomorrow’s third and final practice session before my first ever qualifying session of the year."
Pastor Maldonado: "I was happy with my time in the car today and the E23 feels pretty strong. For sure, we missed some of the second session, but the issue was easy to diagnose so the team is working on a solution. As always for the first day of running here, the track was improving all the time, but we were able to run good evaluations between us so we have plenty of info for building on today's work. Our post-session debriefs have been very promising so it's great to start the season with a real positive vibe."
Romain Grosjean: "It feels great to get out on track and get some laps at Albert Park, especially with such a lovely day here. I was happy not just for the weather as the car feels pretty good and the whole team is very positive at the potential we have. Certainly missing much of the first session was not to plan, but we know the issue and I've every confidence we'll have it sorted for tomorrow. It's the kind of thing you encounter in the early season. The big plus is the car feels good and I think we should be able to go well this weekend."
Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a fairly normal Friday with everything running smoothly. The long run performance was pretty good, especially the feeling and confidence I had with the car. So the balance is okay; it’s just that we need to find some more performance, especially over a single lap. With almost 50 laps today I think we are quite well prepared going into the weekend.”
Sergio Perez: “It was a day when we were able to achieve the objectives and hit our targets in terms of mileage – so that’s positive. We did a lot of work with both the soft and medium tyre compounds, and I think we’ve already got a good understanding of how they perform. In terms of my feeling with the car, there is still a lot to improve, but it’s the first day of the season and the first chance I’ve had to do proper performance work. There is a lot we need to learn from the data and a lot of decisions to be taken tonight.”