Friday quotes: McLaren, Haas, Williams, Sauber


McLaren, Haas and Williams failed to break into the top-ten in practice for the Belgian GP with Sauber slowest of all.

Fernando Alonso:
“Spa is probably the best circuit in the world, and every lap you do here is magic. Having said that, we lose so much on the straights, but then we gain in the corners, so it’s a difficult weekend for us here. We didn’t have a great day today, especially in the first session, where we had some issues. The second session was business as usual and we eventually got to a reasonable car, which we can work on tonight with the engineers and try to find some tenths for tomorrow. When it started raining, we went out in the wet conditions to check how the car would behave in case there’s more rain over the weekend. We didn’t expect it to rain that much, so I quickly came back into the pits to bring the car home safely. We need a good qualifying, a good start and a good strategy to make everything perfect if we want to take points, and we need to be focussed and concentrated. It’s going to be difficult, but maybe the weather will help us – mixed conditions would be ideal.”

Stoffel Vandoorne: “The feeling in the car was quite positive today, the handling felt quite good. From my position, this weekend we know we are starting last, so we had a bit of a different run programme today compared to a usual Friday, concentrating more on high-fuel runs to set up the car for the race. That’s where our main focus is for this weekend, and hopefully with a bit of changeable weather we can still have a good result. The penalty doesn’t affect my motivation at all. It’s a shame that it’s happened in Spa, but it’s the way it is. The penalties were inevitable considering the issues we’ve had at the beginning of the season, so it was always going to be like this. We need to think about the future, and hopefully it will help us at other grands prix. I feel confident about the rest of the season. As usual, there are circuits that will suit us better and circuits that will not suit us as much – but when the chance is there to grab some points, we need to take advantage of that.”

Romain Grosjean:
“Generally, we’ve been struggling a little bit on low downforce circuits and that seems to be the case here again at Spa. We’re trying to find the setup between drag and downforce, but we’re struggling a bit with it. We’re going to see where we can do better tonight, work hard, find the last few tenths and decide on the downforce level – which will be a big decision for us. It’s a tricky one getting everything to work and the right top speed. Hopefully, tomorrow we’ll have slightly more performance and that’ll put us in a decent place.”

Kevin Magnussen: “I think we’ve got a lot of information from today on different things. There’s a lot to look at and analyze for tomorrow, so I’m keeping positive. I wouldn’t read too much into today. The challenge for tomorrow is looking at downforce levels and finding the right setup. That’s what’s going to be key. It was good fun driving these cars here, no surprises, but good fun.”

Lance Stroll:
“That was not where we were hoping to be. We are just struggling to carry speed through the corners and be as competitive as we want to be. We need to improve in the high-speed corners, as we are still suffering with the same kind of problems we faced in Silverstone and Austria. We just can’t seem to carry the entry speed in those typical high-loaded, long corners. We need to work on the balance for tomorrow and understand how we can be more competitive in FP3. But things can change, as we have a lot of people looking how to improve and I am sure after the briefing we will understand more.”

Felipe Massa: “A session to forget for me. On the first lap I had big oversteer in corner seven when I touched the inside kerb. It was my mistake and I feel really disappointed to do only one lap in the day. It’s not positive for the weekend because when you lose two sessions like that it’s difficult to understand everything about the car. Tomorrow will be a day to learn everything from zero. I think the session was not great for Lance as well, looking at the car it didn’t seem as competitive as we want to be yet. There’s a lot to learn and understand tomorrow, and I really hope we can improve.”

Marcus Ericsson:
“Today’s sessions went quite ok for me. We were able to work through our programme and evaluate the car by testing different setups. In FP2, we continued to work through the planned programme and gathered lots of data. However, the rain came down quite hard towards the end which prevented us from completing long-runs. We will analyse our data now and work on improving our performance for tomorrow.”

Pascal Wehrlein: “Today was not the best day for me, as I had technical difficulties in the morning, followed by rain which had an influence on our FP2 programme. My team of mechanics worked hard in FP1 and managed to fix the issues we were having and get me back on the track. Due to the circumstances, however, I was unable to complete as many laps as I would have liked today. I am positive that after we sit down and look into our data we can improve our performance for the rest of the weekend.”