There were top ten times in Friday's Spanish practice for both Toro Rosso drivers, both Williams and the McLaren of Jenson Button…
Max Verstappen: "I'm happy with today. This morning in FP1 I did some longer runs as well as testing the new aero bits we’ve brought here and it was useful to get valuable information and put it all together for the afternoon session. I think the car is strong on this track, which makes me very happy and confident for tomorrow. Now we just need to carry on like today and optimise everything and hopefully we can continue like this for the rest of the weekend."
Carlos Sainz Jr: "It was a positive day for us. We immediately saw that the car was adapting well to this tricky track and this made me feel confident straight away. This afternoon’s FP2 was a bit more difficult for me because we struggled a bit and still need to fine-tune a few things, but we know what we have to do to be ready for tomorrow. It’s amazing to drive out and see so many Spanish fans cheering me on here in Barcelona. It’s great to be racing at home and I look forward to the rest of the weekend."
Jenson Button: "You simply can’t compare the car I drove today to the car I last tested here back in February; the difference is night and day. Then, the last corner was easy-flat, whereas now it isn’t because of the extra grunt our Honda power unit is pushing out these days. We felt reasonably good on the Prime tyre this morning, but really struggled on it in the afternoon, when we were much better on the Option. So there’s a lot of work for us to do in every area to optimise what we have, and also to figure out why the car is doing certain things on track. All in all, it’s been a positive but tough day in terms of putting miles on our components: for example, we tried three different front wings today – so the sessions were mainly about data collecting. There’s still plenty of room for improvement, so we need to properly study all the data tonight."
Fernando Alonso: "Today felt more like a test day than the Friday of a grand prix weekend. But it’s been positive: we ended the day without any technical problems, and we completed everything on our run programme. I had a little spin at the end of FP1 – I was pushing on one of my in-laps, just having a bit of fun, when the car pirouetted at Turn 12. The track was a little bit slower today than it was in winter testing, and we had to adapt the car to today’s conditions, but hopefully tomorrow we can be a little bit closer to the cars at the front. We’ve made a number of positive steps today, and the car seemed to behave well, but we have a lot of work to do tonight. We need to pull everything together and then select the best parts for qualifying tomorrow."
Valtteri Bottas: "Missing the first session meant the second practice became more important so I’m happy we had a good run plan and could do everything we targeted with the tyres, car set-up and testing the updates. Now we need to look through the data and I’m sure there is still some more we can unlock from the package in time for qualifying. It’s too early to say anything about performance and where we stand, so we will have to wait until tomorrow to see where we are compared to our rivals. Having said that we are very much looking forward rather than backwards and looking to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari."
Felipe Massa: "Today was a normal Friday and we worked through our programme well. The focus was on understanding the tyres and maximising the performance of the package ready for qualifying and the race. We know this track well from testing, but the conditions were very different with a lot of wind and hotter temperatures so the lap times were slower. Mercedes and Ferrari are still looking very strong so we will need to wait and see where we are compared to them."