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Fri, 22 June, 2012Europe: Team personnel Friday quotes

Jakob Andreasen, Force India-Mercedes (Chief Engineer):
“A solid day of practice in Valencia and we managed to get through our programme of test items, which included some aero parts and items we had evaluated in the simulator. The results were encouraging and show the correlation between our simulations and reality is working well. In terms of tyres we gathered a lot of data today and both the soft and medium compounds are performing well for us. The drivers were excellent, too, and their feedback has given us a good basis for tomorrow. There are some tough decisions to make tonight because we expect the temperatures to rise for the weekend, but we are up and running and well prepared heading into final practice tomorrow morning.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“We are not really happy with how the day went. We expected to have a lot of homework to do, because this track is not the easiest for our car. We dedicated the morning to quite a lot of aero work with both cars, which was positive because we were able to gather a lot of data. In the afternoon we concentrated mainly on race preparation with some tyre work and some more validations on the aero side. With Kamui we were able to find a good balance and get him happy with the car, however, he lost a lot of track time because of what looks to be an hydraulic leak which we weren't able to fix during the session. We will have to analyse this very carefully. Sergio was not happy with the balance of the car, so we have a lot of work to do there as well. Overall, it was a mixed day.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“A fairly standard Friday programme for us today. We ran the medium tyres this morning to start our set up programme and get an initial understanding of the tyre management parameters, then used both compounds this afternoon over longer runs. The day ran smoothly and we completed our full programme. Michael and Nico are reasonably happy with the car's performance so far, so we will keep working hard and see what the weekend brings.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“A positive first day for us. Nico posted fastest time on the prime tyre but did not get a clear lap without yellow flags on the options, following an accident on the track. Michael's and Nico's long runs under race conditions looked consistent on both types of tyres, so we have a solid baseline for another step tomorrow.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“We had a good day today and tested a number of new development items in addition to working on the car set-up and tyre management. All three drivers performed well with Pastor being particularly strong throughout the first session. Having been out of the car for a couple of races Valtteri quickly got up to speed and gave us good feedback on his test programme during this morning's session. Bruno then completed a good second session with the race drivers working on both low and high fuel balances on the medium and soft tyres. We have collected a lot of data which we now need to dissect, and make decisions on ahead of both qualifying and the race.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“Once again this Friday, we had various new components to test, some with the aim of using them in this race and others for the rest of the season. It shows above all that the effort we are putting into improving the performance of the F2012 is still very intensive and the fact the first indications are matching our expectations is a positive sign that confirms the trend we have seen reasonably constantly so far this season. We managed to get through our planned programme without any real problems, which is always a good thing and of course, we also worked on a comparison between the two types of tyre that Pirelli has brought here to Valencia. Now, it's down to our engineers to decide on the best choices for qualifying and the race. Usually, the first day here, the track is very dirty and that means the lap times evolve very quickly. It's also true that this will still be a consideration in tomorrow's qualifying, when it will be important to pick the right moment to do the timed laps in order to get the most out of the tyres.”

Alan Permane, Lotus-Renault (Trackside Operations Director):
“It's been a straight-forward and issue-free Friday for us. We conducted aero evaluation of a new front wing and new floor and we will be considering the data this evening. In the afternoon we concentrated on race pace and tyre management so our finishing positions, as usual, don't necessarily represent where we expect to be after qualifying tomorrow. Overall, we're very happy with the way the E20 is performing here. There is some scope for improvement to get both Kimi and Romain 100% happy with their cars, which we will work on tomorrow morning. In terms of long run pace we think we are looking competitive.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Today was a challenging day, at the end of whose second free practice session the top 15 cars were covered by less than a second. That statistic clearly underlines just how close the cars are this season – but, even so, we'd be a bit happier if we'd ended the day a little closer to the front. The unexpectedly gusty winds presented further problems, and made development more difficult, especially as tomorrow and on Sunday it's likely that the weather will revert to the hot conditions we saw here yesterday. So, now, we've got a lot of data to process, and this evening we'll be crunching that data with a view to optimising our cars' performance and balance on this tricky street circuit for qualifying and the race.”

Thierry Salvi, Caterham-Renault (Renault Sport F1 Support Leader):
“Valencia is another of the temporary street circuits and presents a similar challenge to what we faced in Melbourne. The drivers talk about this track being very stop / start as there are a number of long straights that end in first or second gear corners and that means one of our main focus areas is managing fuel consumption. The cars are constantly braking and having to use on / off throttle application which leads to high fuel consumption, up to around 2.7kgs a lap which is considerably more than we saw in Canada, for example. Today we've seen the sort of hot, dry weather we expect in Valencia, and stronger winds than normal, and they also contribute to the high consumption levels we see here. The temperatures are not expected to drop this weekend so having completed 103 laps in total on both cars today I think we have achieved what we set out to in the Friday sessions. This gives us enough data to be able to maximise our fuel usage in qualifying and the race, so this has been another positive Friday for us and the whole team.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“I am pleased with our performance today. Both drivers completed most of their planned programmes - we had a mechanical issue relating to KERS late on in FP2 on Vitaly's car, but he had run through his low and heavy fuel laps and had completed good mileage on both tyre compounds so we have not lost anything from his slightly shortened FP2. It is also good to see that the first set of upgrades we have brought here appear to be matching the targets we set for them. We will have more new parts for Silverstone, but it looks like we have made more progress here today so the aim is to maintain this momentum and see if we can keep closing the gap in qualifying tomorrow, and particularly in the race on Sunday.”

Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Chief Engineer):
“It was a standard Friday practice with both drivers running similar programmes as we concentrated on getting the cars to work well around here in these very hot conditions. We scanned a variety of set-up options and began to assess the tyre life of both compounds with a view to Sunday's race. In the afternoon, our drivers split this task, each doing just one long run, using different compounds. Overall, it was a trouble free day in the heat of Valencia and now we have to work hard tonight to put together the best package we can for both qualifying and the race.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“This morning, prior to FP1, we obviously had some work to do to reshape our programme in order to ease the pressure on Timo. Although he was feeling better than he had been, we felt it best not to overload him and cause any setbacks in his recovery. He did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances and seemed to feel okay when he was driving the car. All credit to him for completing 21 laps this afternoon and being able to demonstrate good pace at this stage. Similar credit to Charles however, as he picked up the reins, broke the back of the race preparation programme and has made good progress on set-up. Across the board there is more to come, we feel, and a night spent poring over the data, coupled with a good night's rest for Timo, should see us back in our normal stride tomorrow. The track conditions should also have improved by then as the circuit was very dirty this morning and took a while to clean up. The early indications, despite a less than straightforward day, are that our pace here is closer to what we expect following our low downforce blip in Canada.”

Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“Overall it was a positive day; in the morning we were around and about the 104% and in the afternoon, after adjusting the balance of the car, the feeling improved. Narain, with a full deposit, had a very good rhythm and the car held out well, however he was unable to get the most out of the soft tyres. Pedro had an accident before switching to softs but fortunately it wasn't too severe so tomorrow we will try to make up for lost time. Today we focused on the race and tomorrow we will work with qualifying in mind.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“From what we can see initially, the time difference between the two tyre compounds is in the region of 0.3-0.5s, and this only emphasises how close the times were in the first two sessions. As usual, free practice is all about the teams collecting data relating to the performance of their car-tyre package compared to that of their rivals, under every set of circumstances possible. It's very hard to overtake in Valencia, so effective strategy will be key and the sessions this morning were vital to gathering the information to base this on. We're expecting both weather and track conditions to change over the course of the weekend, as the circuit is constantly evolving. However, conditions this afternoon were a bit more representative, so maybe this was a better reflection of what we will see in the grand prix. Valencia is the most demanding street circuit of the year in terms of energy through the tyre, so the drivers will have to look after the soft compound in particular. This has shown a lot of speed so far, but as there is not an enormous performance gap between the compounds many teams could choose to base their race strategy on the medium.”

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