Ferrari and Mercedes are both happy with the set-up of their cars after Friday's sessions, while Red Bull are cautiously optimistic.
Sebastian Vettel: “I think we had a decent morning. We tried a lot of things and it was good to feel the power of the car. This afternoon was expected to be wet. We would have loved to run a little bit more, but you can’t do the right amount of driving, because you don’t want to ‘burn’ your tyre supply in these conditions. The results of the last two races were not good, but the car is strong. We have every reason to be confident and I am sure that on Sunday we’ll be able to show what we can do. If tomorrow’s qualifying is wet, then we should improve. The last qualifying in wet conditions happened in Monza and it was not a good result. In Malaysia it was a little bit better, but we hope we learned our lesson. It’s up to us to get it right. Whatever the weather will be, I hope we can show our potential.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today we were expecting to have difficult conditions in the afternoon, so we focused on the morning session. We did a little bit more running and generally, we worked on our programme like every other Friday. Overall it was not bad and the feeling was ok. In the afternoon we did not even try to learn anything; we are limited on tires and we have to save the full wet compound in case qualifying is run in wet conditions. It’s a pity because we did not do a lot of laps, but at least we have got some ideas. As for tomorrow, let’s wait and see what happens in the morning and then through the day. Whatever it will be, we are going to do our best.”
Lewis Hamilton: "It's been an interesting day, the car is feeling much better than it was in Malaysia. I'm glad that we had the dry session for FP1. In FP2, there was a lot of rain, but it felt really important to go out and assess the track and see how the car was feeling as the car was not good in the wet in Malaysia. The car feels back to normal, so I'm ready to race. The fans are pretty special here – to be out there in the rain, waiting for us to go out through the whole of FP2. That's also another reason I wanted to go out and at least give them a little bit of a show. So hopefully at least they got to see something as not many cars went out."
Valtteri Bottas: "We didn't really run in FP2, so it's a shame for the fans out there who were waiting to see us running. In practice one, the car did feel better than it did in Malaysia, but we still need to work on things to make the car quicker. As a starting point for the weekend, it definitely feels better than a week ago. My run with the Soft tyres was good, but with the SuperSoft, I didn't really gain any grip. So the main thing for me is to understand the SuperSoft performance. The long runs actually weren't too bad, and hopefully we'll see better weather tomorrow."
Daniel Ricciardo: “This morning in the dry we went out early because we thought the rain was going to come at the end of the session and we did quite a lot of running. Ferrari were quite strong and Mercedes always turn it up on a Saturday so we still have some pace to find, but the balance was pretty good and overall it was a good morning. We were losing a bit on the straight which I don’t think was all engine today, it looked like we had more downforce so we need to see if this is the best set-up for us or if we can find a better compromise for the corners and the straights. I do think next year they should change things a bit, we get an extra set of intermediate tyres on a Friday but not extremes which is why we didn’t run in FP2. There is a high chance of rain again tomorrow so we may need to save them for when it counts in Qualifying. It’s good that some cars ran but I think for everyone to go out in sessions like this we need an extra set of extremes. Any kind of uncertainty or changing conditions gives us options to take a bit more of a gamble, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Max Verstappen: “We didn’t do that many laps this morning but I was happy with the set-up straight away and I think we looked competitive. The red flag interfered with the programme a bit but we still managed to get some good data and I feel happy at the end of the day. We adapted plans this morning as we knew the rain was coming this afternoon and this means the washed out second session hasn’t impacted on our plans. Mercedes look strong as usual, Ferrari I’m not sure about but I think we are close and that is the positive thing. The track certainly feels faster this year with the updated cars, perhaps a second or so which is expected at a circuit like this. The warmer conditions on Sunday should help us and for now Qualifying looks dry so we can get on with some improvements tomorrow. There looked to be a lot of rivers on the track when it was raining so we just thought it wasn’t worth the risk of going out in those conditions. Last year was a very good race, I enjoyed it a lot and finished up on the podium so I hope for more of that this Sunday.”