Both Marcus Ericsson and Sergio Perez had big offs on Friday, while both Williams struggled once again at Paul Ricard.
Charles Leclerc: “It was an interesting day for us here at the Circuit Paul Ricard. With the venue coming back to Formula 1 after such a long time, it has been a challenge to all teams to find a way in which to master this track today. The two free practice sessions went quite ok for me. The wind played a big role in terms of how it affected our balance, and it was difficult to have a consistent performance during the sessions. We will now analyse the collected data and work hard to find a way to maximize our performance for the rest of the weekend. It will be important to put everything together in FP3 tomorrow, and have a satisfying qualifying result. I like a challenge, and look forward to being back on track again.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It is a disappointing outcome for me, as I did not participate in the second free practice session today. FP1 looked quite promising. We had some updated parts on the car, and it felt like we made another step forward there. As we were starting to feel more and more comfortable on track. The wind was affecting the balance but I was coping with it when I suddenly lost the rear of my car entering T11 and crashed into the barriers. We are currently analysing our data to understand what exactly happened. Unfortunately, the incident has compromised our weekend quite a bit. We lost precious time and the mechanics have a lot of work ahead to change the chassis. I look forward to having a more positive day tomorrow.”
Esteban Ocon: “Driving a Formula One car at home felt very special. I have been looking forward to this moment for a long time and I really enjoyed those first few laps. Unfortunately it wasn’t the smoothest day for us. I lost about 20 minutes of track time in first practice because I flat-spotted my tyres. Then, in second practice, we had to understand what happened to Sergio’s car before I could go back out. There is quite a lot of work to be done before I can say I am happy with the car. On a new track you need as many laps as possible and we suffered a bit today. We need to try and make up for the lost time and find a good direction for tomorrow.”
Sergio Perez: “It was not the easiest Friday for us. Unfortunately we lost a lot of time this afternoon with the issue I had on my car. We lost a bit of track time in the morning so we are missing some information ahead of the race, especially on the tyres. However, we still have some practice tomorrow so we will see what we can do. Despite these problems, I like the new circuit. I wasn’t very positive about it until today, but now that I drove it for the first time I quite like it. The wind is a big issue: it changed between the two sessions and it took a lot of time to get used to it. I had a couple of moments on my soft runs, but I wasn’t the only one. It’s hard to tell where we stand but our target for tomorrow is definitely to be up there fighting to be best of the rest.”
Lance Stroll: “That was just another Friday, but the track conditions certainly changed a lot from FP1 to FP2. We will have a briefing now, go through everything and try and sort out a few issues and see what we can do for tomorrow. We have the usual stuff to do to try and find more lap time, but the car’s performance was more or less as expected. We are where we are, and I will just drive as fast as I can. Anything can happen, and maybe a bit of rain will come up.”
Sergey Sirotkin: “It was a long, difficult day. I had predicted it would be tough. We still managed to go through some interesting things and we collected some reasonable data. Putting it all together, we would expect some progress for tomorrow, but at the same time we need to be realistic that what we put together isn’t going to deliver an impressive step in performance. It’s going to be hard tomorrow, but it is what it is.”