Fri: Renault, Manor, Sauber, Haas


At the back of the grid, Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein did well to edge Sauber and Haas during FP2, while Romain Grosjean only managed to complete 14 laps.

Kevin Magnussen:
“We made some good progress with the car today. It was my first time driving this circuit and I’m happy we were able to get the car dialled-in where we wanted as it felt much better in the second session. It’s the altitude that takes your breath away here rather than the track layout, which is pretty straight-forward. I certainly want some more grip tomorrow.”

Jolyon Palmer: “That was a reasonable Friday for us however we still need to work on the balance of the car as it isn’t where I want it. The track is certainly slippery. We saw the grip improve over the sessions today and we’d certainly expect it to improve further tomorrow and on Sunday. I would have liked to have felt a little happier at the end of the day today, so we’ve got some work to do.”

Pascal Wehrlein:  
“Overall I feel positive about today. In fact, this is the first Friday I’m happy about since quite a long time. It was a fairly normal programme, other than that we started out slightly differently by working with the Soft tyre, before the Medium. Our pace looks good, more or less similar to Sauber, so I’m happy with that. And I like the track. It has a nice fast, flowing rhythm and it’s fun to drive. So, a good start. It was quite challenging out there! We have been struggling a bit with tyre temperature, which is making our life a little bit more difficult, but we will do our best to improve for tomorrow.”

Esteban Ocon: “Honestly, it has been a difficult start to the weekend for us. We’ve struggled a bit today with how the car is handling. We tried some different things to try to improve, but it was still difficult to drive. We need to have a good look at why and see what we can do to get around that for tomorrow. I really like the track here, it’s very challenging with high speed sections, which is great, but it requires more confidence to get a good lap time. I think to some extent we’ll be starting afresh tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have solved the issues and we’ll be able to squeeze a lot of things into FP3 to get back up to speed and to where we need to be ahead of qualifying.”

Marcus Ericsson:
“It’s been a productive day. We had two problem-free practice sessions during which we have tried different car set-ups. After analysing all the data tonight, we will know more about which way to go for the rest of the weekend. All in all it has been a little bit difficult to get a good read of the car, because of the low grip conditions as well as rather low temperatures, but this is the same for everyone. We need to find a way to get the car to work at its best in these conditions. This will be the main challenge for us for the rest of the weekend.”

Felipe Nasr: “We had a couple of issues today. I had a broken front wing after I ran over the kerbs at the exit of Turn 11, which caused damage to the car. Because of this incident, we lost quite a significant amount of time in the morning. Thanks to the mechancis, as they were able to put the car together again, I went out again for three laps at the end of FP1. Besides that, I have tested the halo system. It was okay to run it, and I did not have issues with driveability. It was just a matter of getting used to it. In the afternoon session I was compromised by traffic on my quick laps. On the long-runs we seem to have a decent pace on the medium tyres, which is positive.”

Romain Grosjean:
“The morning wasn’t too bad, but our afternoon was disastrous. It’s up to us to work around that. When we have problems like this on Friday, it tends to cost us on Sunday. Granted, we still have tomorrow, but we need to make the most of it in light of everything we dealt with today.”

Esteban Gutierrez: “FP1 was a pretty good session for both Romain and Esteban and we managed to get all of our program completed. FP2, however, was not what we wanted. Romain had an immediate problem with the ECU and that stopped us. We had to change a lot of the electronic equipment, which left him with only the last 30 minutes of the session. So, we couldn’t get everything done that we needed to do. With Esteban, he had no grip in comparison to FP1 and was just sliding around out there. We will be looking into this to see what we can find out and, hopefully, find a solution for FP3 tomorrow.”