The best of the backmarkers in FP2 for the Austrian GP as Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer were P15 and 16 respectively.
Kevin Magnussen: “A pretty good day. We made some positive improvement with the car and now have better traction, better braking and more grip. It feels a lot more stable in the high speed corners so that’s good too. We’ve still got some work to do but I feel much happier with the car than I have recently.”
Jolyon Palmer: “It got a bit fruity out there with the downpour even if there was a surprising amount of grip in the wet right up until the point the car spun! The car actually seems pretty good here and it was a solid day for us. It feels like we’re making some good steps forward.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “Well, we were expecting [the rain]; the forecast was pretty accurate. Everything was okay for me. Of course, we wanted to drive more and work through more of the test programme, but at the end of the day it’s the same for everyone. We didn’t manage to complete a run on the ultrasoft tyre but at this stage I’m happy with the car, particularly at the end of the day. I’ve known this track for some time and I like it. It’s high speed with fast corners and good opportunities to overtake, so in general it’s nice to drive.
Rio Haryanto: “This morning we tried a few different set-up changes and everything was going well but then unfortunately I made a mistake, spun off and that destroyed the tyres. On the positive side we knew we had a reasonable balance and we were confident in the direction for FP2. This afternoon the weather changed and conditions were very tricky, but 20 minutes before the end we had a reasonably dry track to play with and we could start to make good progress again. For the last run I took on the ultrasoft tyres but the yellow flags came out for the spin by Vettel. Although I wasn’t able to improve the lap time because of that, I think we’re in a good place for tomorrow. My first impressions are that the track is much smoother and generally better than in my previous years of racing here in another formula. I think there is more grip all round, so yes, I’m enjoying it.”
Esteban Gutierrez: “It was a very tricky day for us. It was not easy to have consistency, especially with the first practice. I managed to do some laps, but then we had a problem, which interrupted the whole session. It was the same in the second practice. We had only done a few laps and it started to rain, then at the end of the session I got held up by another issue. So, overall it was not a great day today, but we will try to do our best to recover for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and qualifying.”
Romain Grosjean: “FP2 was a tricky session with the weather. The morning was not too bad. I was pretty happy with the car. This afternoon we focused more on the long run on high fuel. The car doesn’t feel too bad. It’s all about understanding the tires and avoiding the graining, and then getting them in the proper working range. We’re getting better and better with that.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It was a decent day. It’s Friday, so we needed to run as many laps as possible in both practice sessions. The track is quite different with the new surface as well as the new kerbs. There was a lot to learn today. We were able to test three different compounds – the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyres. It was good to see the steps between them. FP2 was not ideal with the rain interrupting our programme. Nevertheless, we gathered some data today, and I am sure we can optimise things for tomorrow.”
Felipe Nasr: “In FP1 we were able to cover a decent mileage. I was able to see how the car behaves on the new surface on soft and supersoft tyres. It was important to understand the new tarmac and how much it is affecting the tyres. In terms of the car set-up, I am satisfied with the balance so far. I ran the practice engine, so I am sure there is more to come when I go back to the race engine from tomorrow on. In FP2 the heavy rain compromised our programme as we could not do high-fuel runs as planned. It is a bit of an unknown for us, but other teams were compromised as well. We will have a busy FP3 session ahead of us.”