Lance Stroll was best of the rest in Friday’s practice for the Azerbaijan as he finished ahead of Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat.
Lance Stroll: “That was good fun, as I am enjoying the track. The car was working well and we didn’t have any issues, which was great. I felt the balance was good and now we just need to think overnight, improve on little bits, come back tomorrow and continue pushing. I think what was really positive was we didn’t have any issues, and nothing that got in the way of us running our programmes. What was really important for me on this kind of track was to get confidence on every lap and every run. Today we did exactly that and didn’t lose any laps with problems or stuff going wrong. Things could be better, as this is still the first day of my first time here and we could improve for the qualifying run, but all in all I have to say it was a very positive day in many ways.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a good day. I was happy with the car. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really put together a lap on fresh tyres, because of the traffic and the yellow flags. But, I was happy with the balance and I was happy with the long runs. The little mistakes that we made today weren’t a big problem, because we didn’t damage anything, which is always a positive thing here. We’re definitely in the fight, so I hope that we can put everything together for qualifying tomorrow.”
Sergio Perez: “First and foremost, I want to thank my mechanics and the whole team for fixing the car so quickly. They are some of the best guys in the pit lane and they showed exactly why. This morning was all about trying to find the limits, and I think we did – it was good it happened today rather than tomorrow. It was a bit of a messy day, not just with what happened in FP1 but also because of all the yellow and red flags breaking the flow of the sessions. I still think we are in a good position. Tonight we will need to work out the best set-up: I feel we have a good potential for the weekend, we just have to put it all together when it matters.”
Esteban Ocon: “I’m pretty happy about today. We had good pace in the car and I felt quite comfortable right from the start. I feel we couldn’t really show our speed because of all the yellow flags and the traffic I found on my quick laps, but it doesn’t matter. The important days for this weekend are yet to come. It was my first time around this circuit, so the priority was to keep out of trouble: this is not an easy track to learn but I enjoy the challenge. It’s a narrow circuit and it’s very easy to brake a bit too late, which is why there were so many yellow flags.”
Daniil Kvyat: “The run programme today was a bit compressed but, nevertheless, we were able to complete most of it, even though I wasn’t able to do as many laps as I would’ve liked to. At least the ones we did were good, even though not everything is clear as conditions were very tricky – it was very easy to make a mistake out there today and we will just try and put it all together tomorrow and see where we are. I don’t think we’re in a bad situation but we need to keep going forward… Tomorrow is a new day!”
Carlos Sainz Jr: “Not the easiest of days. In this morning’s FP1 we had a few issues with the balance of the car and we weren’t able to get it right straight away. This meant that we had to do some changes before FP2 and in this afternoon’s session I felt a lot more comfortable with the car. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to exploit this improvement because of all the traffic or yellow flags… I think I did about 15 laps on the supersoft but didn’t manage to push during any of them! At least everyone else has been in this same situation, so it’s very difficult to judge where we are. I expect us to improve as soon as we put a lap together on the supersoft tyres tomorrow.”