Practice: Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull


Lewis Hamilton came out on top in FP2 after Sebastian Vettel set the early pace; Max Verstappen not happy with the balance of his Red Bull car.


Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been a good Friday, but I’m happy that it’s the last one of the season. We got lots of laps in today and made good progress with the balance of the car. We have a bit of work to do, but I feel like we’re quite competitive here. It’s relatively close still, but I like that.”

Valtteri Bottas: “We dedicated the first practice session to testing for next year. We ran different kinds of mechanical and especially aero tests, so we didn’t learn that much for this weekend in FP1, but definitely a lot for next year. The second session was more straightforward, [but] I was missing a bit of time in the last sector, so as a team we need to work on that. Overall, it’s been a pretty good day, we just need to find some more pace from my side for tomorrow.”


Sebastian Vettel: “This was a good day. The car and the balance were good and I think we were all very close. If we can do the usual step forward on Saturday and improve the car a little bit, then it should be a good day, but I don’t think we need to do too much. We also tried something aimed at the next season today. I think we are ready for next year, but right now it is important to finish this season in the right way, because the better the result, the better the mood within the team. Saturday is always particular and different, but we’ll see what happens. We need to get everything right. This is not the worst track at which to overtake, but usually it depends on where you are and who you want to overtake.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “On Friday, we always try to make progress in the set-up of the car. For sure there are things we have to improve; there is some work to be done, but that’s the normal story. Today, it was not easy to put a good lap together; the car felt very good in some places, while in some others it could have been better. It’s too early to have a clear idea; later this evening we’ll analyze all the data that we gathered in both sessions and we’ll try to do our best over the weekend.”

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo: “This afternoon we put everything in the car that we needed and it was solid. On low fuel we looked quite strong. But I thought we would be a bit quicker with high fuel, so we still need to find a bit there. The general grip wasn’t quite there and I was sliding around. We’ll try and find a way to keep the tyres working a bit better in the night conditions. We were ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes today [but] we expect them to be quick tomorrow. If we have the same pace tomorrow as we had today I expect them to jump us. We still need to find a bit more speed.”

Max Verstappen: “The first practice was all right. But the second less so – probably because we changed so things I wasn’t happy with. We tried a few different things today to see what suited the conditions. We know what was changed which resulted in me not being able to turn as well as I would have liked, so we should be able to fix that for tomorrow.”