Nico Hulkenberg showed good pace in the Renault to finish P7 in FP2, while Fernando Alonso also lodged himself into the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg: “We had two okay Friday sessions with no major issues today. Amongst the work accomplished was the running of a new floor this afternoon. We now need to analyse and see what it has done for us. Regarding the pace, we need to do some work to find a bit more balance and performance overall, especially in the long runs. This means a bit of preparation work for us between now and tomorrow’s qualifying, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Jolyon Palmer: “I missed half the morning with an MGU-K shaft that needed replacing, but when I did get some running in I was pretty happy with the car. The afternoon started okay and I was happy with the car on the Soft tyres, but when I put on the Supersoft tyres I found there wasn’t any grip. I had a spin and then struggled to get them working correctly. Unfortunately then we had to stop the car on a long run with a clutch problem. We will hope for better luck tomorrow!”
Felipe Massa: “It was a normal Friday, with no problems related to what we had in Austria. Everything was working in the normal way and I was happy with the balance of the car. With the tyres, we were able to get them working on the first lap, and everything with the car felt normal. The car feels competitive in the way it should be, so on the whole it was a good Friday.”
Lance Stroll: “This is a great track to drive, the grip is high and the car is a lot of fun around here. It was not a bad day, but there are a few things to improve on from my side. We were just testing the limits, as, with the high grip, when the car goes it goes quite aggressively. The car feels more competitive than in Austria, and we have improved the balance since then, which is positive looking at what Felipe did. All in all it seems like a positive day. I think it’s going to be quite tight in the mid group tomorrow, so I am going to have to improve on a few things overnight. However, I am confident we have a good car so am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Fernando Alonso: "I’m pretty happy with how my day went. We’ve got several options we need to look at now, to choose the best one for tomorrow, but we’ve mainly been concentrating on race pace because we know that we’ll start from the back [with a 5-place ESS penalty]. As we know, the lap-times are not that significant on a Friday. For the last couple of races we’ve been between 8th and 12th position, so we have to wait and see what happens tomorrow. The main issue here is choosing what level of downforce you want to have. Depending on how much power you have, you take some wing off to be fast in the corners and defend yourself on the straights, or if you have little power and you want to be reasonably okay on the straights you have to use the smallest wing you have. It’s difficult to judge."
Stoffel Vandoorne: "Today has actually been a pretty good start to our weekend. Given that this is a long circuit, with a lot of high-speed corners, I think our car has been performing well – I felt pretty comfortable out there. As usual, the times in the midfield are very close, so it’ll be the tiniest details that will make a difference during qualifying tomorrow. At the moment, we’re still exploring the car’s limits – particularly in the Becketts section of the lap. I think both Fernando and I had a moment during that part of the lap – just losing the rear on the entry of the final section. Fernando and I have been trying a lot of different downforce configurations throughout today’s sessions. Now I think we have a very good idea of what we should run tomorrow – we’ve done a lot of learning on that front.”
Esteban Ocon: “It’s been a solid Friday overall. Our pace was promising from the start of practie and we kept improving every time we went out. We didn’t make any mistake on a day of tricky conditions and I generally felt the car was pretty good. This is not an easy track on which to drive – it’s fast and demanding, but also very enjoyable to drive. We have work ahead of us and we’ll need to wait until tomorrow to see where we stand, but I think we have a strong base. Something that really struck me on this track is the performance of the cars: they are so fast and the cornering speeds are impressive. You really feel it in your neck through the fast corners – I think I’ll need a really good massage tonight!”
Sergio Perez: “It’s been a positive day for us, despite the windy conditions that added a bit of difficulty. We have a good understanding of what the car is doing and of what we can improve for both qualifying and the race. Driving the 2017 cars on this track is impressive. The amount of downforce you carry in the high-speed corners is incredible. Of all the tracks we have raced this season, this is probably the one on which I have experienced the biggest difference compared to last year. All the reference points you have built up in the past change and this can put you at a disadvantage: it took me a bit of time to get used to the amounts of grip we have, but I am feeling comfortable now.”