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Fri, 8 June, 2012Canada: Team personnel Friday quotes

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Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Lewis performed extremely well today. His short-run pace was strong, and his long-run pace was excellent. For Jenson, clearly, today was rather more troubled, albeit through no fault of his own. He suffered an oil leak in this morning's session which necessitated the removal and re-fitting of his gearbox. Then, prior to this afternoon's session, we diagnosed another problem and as a result we had to change his gearbox yet again. Consequently, he lost a lot of running time today – and then, when we finally got him out onto the track with only 18 minutes of P2 to go, he encountered quite a bit of traffic and was unable to get a decent run in the few laps available to him. Still, hats off to his mechanics, who did a splendid job to remove and replace the back-end of his car, not once, but twice, today. But tomorrow, in P3, we'll work on getting Jenson a good package with which to qualify, and we all know how brilliant he can be at this circuit. Last year he was superb here, as tens of millions of TV viewers worldwide won't need me to remind them. Lewis, too, is always super-competitive here – he won this race in both 2007 and 2010 – and I'm sure he'll approach tomorrow's qualifying session with his customary confidence again this year.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“We had a lot of work to get through today and we were worried the rain might come, which could certainly have made life complicated. Fortunately, the expected storm hit immediately after the end of the second practice session, so that we were able to get through everything we had set ourselves to do. We brought two different exhaust configurations here: one was the one used in the last two races, the other represents our latest interpretation of the concept that was part of the car when it made its debut in Jerez. From what we could see today, the latter configuration seems to be positive in terms of performance even if, obviously, we need to analyse the data very carefully to make the right choices for the race. This track requires a rather different downforce level to those we have visited so far, so we also worked a lot on this front and, in this case also, we need to study the data we have acquired before making a judgement one way or the other. Finally, we had to check the behaviour of the tyres, especially the Supersoft, over a long run: we did not manage to do that many laps and, also linked to this aspect is the unknown factor relating to temperature. In fact, the weather forecast for Sunday suggests an increase in track temperature of around ten degrees, which could completely change the situation compared to what we have seen today. Therefore there is a lot of work to do over the rest of the weekend, but at least we have got off on the right foot.”

Jakob Andreasen, Force India-Mercedes (Chief Engineer):
“A busy and productive day of practice in Montreal as we worked hard to dial the cars into this challenging circuit. Conditions were overcast all day with the threat of rain keeping us on our toes and forcing us to adapt our programme to make sure we came away with the data we needed. That was why Nico ran the super-soft tyres this morning, just in case the afternoon turned out to be wet, while Paul focussed on the softs. In the end the rain held off and we were able to run through a complete dry tyre programme with both cars. Another priority was to understand the brake and engine cooling requirements to make sure the solutions we have in place are adequate. So far we've been encouraged by our pace and the drivers' feedback suggests the changes we made to the cars between the sessions have been positive.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“It was quite a smooth day. In the morning we had to adapt the programme because some heavy rain was expected for the afternoon. We, therefore, moved some of the planned runs forward. Still we decided not to use all our tyres, which turned out to be the right decision because in the end it didn't rain, so we were able to do a lot of mileage and test many different things. Overall we are happy, but there is still a bit of work to be done for two reasons. First of all we have to assess what's best for the race, and secondly the weather is expected to get a lot hotter, so we have to adapt what he have learned today to warmer conditions. Overall it was a good day.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“We had a fairly full programme today and thankfully the forecast rain held off until after the end of P2 this afternoon. Our tyre usage sequence was a little different to a normal Friday as we were anticipating rain in the second session so we used the option tyre this morning. The engineers and drivers worked through the programme well, and we have some good long run data to look at this evening. There are still some areas to improve on the car but overall it has been a good start to the weekend.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“Our target today was to prepare ourselves for the race and therefore we mainly simulated race conditions during long runs. The lap times both drivers achieved looked quite consistent. Michael and Nico posted their quickest times today on the prime tyre as we used the options during our race simulations. We learned a lot about the behaviour of both types of tyres, which are the soft and the supersoft compounds like during the last race weekend in Monaco. Car number seven finished seventh today whereas number eight was 10th, so there is room for improvement tomorrow and on Sunday.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“We had a mixed day today with Pastor completing his entire run plan, despite having to readjust the programme ahead of the first session due to the impending inclement weather conditions. Bruno's running was hampered in the first session with a fault on his DRS system which was rectified for the second session. Unfortunately Bruno made heavy contact with the wall during the second session. He is perfectly fine and the mechanics are now working hard to rebuild the car. We are happy with our long run pace but still have work to do to optimise the car for qualifying.”

Alan Permane, Lotus-Renault (Trackside Operations Director):
“We ran the option tyres in first practice with some high fuel loads. The rain held off so we ended up running just one set of tyres for second practice which is why our times looked a little bit slower than others'. Neither driver was 100% happy with their car, so we spent some time working with setup changes. Romain felt his car was a little too biased to the front, but he was much happier with the changes made. Kimi paid attention to improving his car over the kerbs as it was a little bit too harsh to start with; steadily improving through the day. I'm confident our finishing positions in FP2 will not reflect where we'll be in qualifying tomorrow.”

Thierry Salvi, Caterham-Renault (Renault Sport F1 Support Leader):
“Canada is an interesting challenge for us from the engine side. The track evolves quickly over thw eekend but for us cooling and fuel consumption are probably the biggest focus areas, and we need to pay particular attention to the weather as that has a large effect on both cooling and fuel consumption. Both sessions today were dry so I think we have good data to work on from today's running, despite losing some time on Heikki's car after his accident in FP1. On the cooling side the weather also has a major influence on how we configure the car. The lower speeds in the wet mean the cooling capability of the cars also has to be lowered to compensate so today's information from the dry runs should give us the right platform to work on for both qualifying and the race. Both drivers are happy with how we have started the weekend, so we go into FP3 and qualifying in a positive frame of mind.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“That was a positive Friday for us. Heikki's accident this morning obviously meant we had to change his runplan for the day but excellent work by the team gave him enough laps on both tyre compounds in FP2 to make sure we minimised the loss of track time today. His times this afternoon were good but there is definitely some more to come. He had a few issues with traffic on the super soft tyres so I think we will see him pushing hard all weekend. Vitaly also had a good day, working through his whole plan and setting good times on both the soft and the super soft tyres. We have some more work to do on his car to help improve his low-speed traction and front grip, but we know what to do with that so I think we will be in good shape tomorrow on both sides of the garage.”

Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Chief Engineer):
“A very busy Friday for us with quite a lot of new parts to evaluate. Some were linked to Canada and the specific nature of the track which is the lowest downforce one we have come to so far this year, therefore we had new front and rear wings to deal with that. On top of that, as part of our ongoing development programme we had some significant modifications on Daniel's car concerning the exhaust system. So apart from preparing for qualifying and the race in the usual way, we also worked on evaluating these updates. Although we have learned some interesting things for the future, we still have a lot of work to do to improve car balance and grip level for tomorrow. Overall a positive day in terms of running, with no issues on both cars, but we are aware we must work hard to bring improvements that can make us more competitive tomorrow.”

Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“Before anything I would like to say that we're very relieved because our mechanic, Craig, is well after this morning's incident as we were all very worried. As for the racing, we tried out the wing that we specifically brought for this circuit and it seems like the car's balance is good and it's working as expected. Our only weak point was the brakes but it's something we're going to continue working on to improve. We're comfortably inside the 107%, so this is confirmation that the wing is working well. Tomorrow we will evaluate again how the upgrades are performing but we're running well.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“It has been a very interesting start to the weekend, with the weather and related incidents keeping the drivers and the engineers on their toes. We obviously have a new lower downforce aero package for this race, so the pressure was on this morning to get those evaluations completed before the weather hampered our efforts. We gathered all the data we needed though and that was more important than the story reflected by the timesheets and we are now equipped to make the right decisions for the rest of the weekend, including how best to operate the tyres. This afternoon the weather brightened up at first and we were able to start putting the data to work in getting a better picture of how we are looking. Somewhat frustratingly for Charles the brakes on his car had a loss of performance. This is not uncommon at this track but we felt the best option was to change the brakes and he lost track time as a result. In the dry conditions forecast for the rest of the weekend we hope to see some improvement.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“The teams were disadvantaged by wet weather during free practice inMonacoa fortnight ago, and we think they were all quite rightly wary of this happening again. So we saw plenty of drivers on the soft and supersoft tyres right from the beginning of the first session, but without knowing which fuel loads the different cars were running, it's quite hard to get a firm idea of their relative pace. Our initial findings suggest that there may be a difference of around 0.4-07 seconds between the two compounds, but as the circuit is evolving all the time, we will only be sure once we have analysed all the data. The fact that there was a red flag in both sessions simply goes to underline the difficulty of this circuit, with grip at a premium. Had the second session gone on for just a few minutes longer, we would also have seen the Cinturato intermediate and wet tyres coming out, so it emphasises just how unpredictable this race is. Under the circumstances, the teams will want to accumulate as much information as possible to cater for every eventuality. I am sure we will see plenty more running tomorrow morning as the teams continue to collect data and with the top 10 covered by just 0.619s we are surely set to see a very close qualifying session.”

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