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Fri, 20 July, 2012Germany: Team personnel Friday quotes

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Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“Today's sessions were dominated by the weather, with the second session starting in full wet conditions and subsequently transitioning to intermediate running. Pastor drove well today and was particularly strong in the second session on intermediates. Valtteri went through a development programme in the morning but unfortunately towards the end of the session he locked his rear brakes on entry to T13 and crashed into the barrier. The mechanics worked extremely quickly and did an excellent job to get the car ready again for Bruno at the start of the second session. Bruno got out on track early and worked on set-up in the changeable conditions. The forecast suggests that qualifying will be wet and the race dry so it looks set to be another very interesting race weekend.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“We had two very productive sessions here at Hockenheim today to start our home Grand Prix weekend. We had some new things to try on the car which we had the opportunity to try in the dry and the wet. The car seems reasonably well balanced but we will have a good look at all of the data tonight to see how we want to proceed tomorrow. Michael's incident on the wet track at the end was a little unfortunate but it didn't cost us any running time.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“Not typical Hockenheim conditions for the first day of our home Grand Prix. We looked ok as far as today's lap times can be judged, however they are certainly not a full reflection of the competitive order. Unfortunately, Michael had an off during the closing stages of the session, which is not ideal but better today than tomorrow or on race day. Our team will work hard this evening to repair his car. The forecast also predicts rain for tomorrow and a nice, sunny day on Sunday. It looks like what we had in Silverstone could be repeated in Hockenheim - two days of rain followed by sun.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“It was another Friday of fighting with the weather. We tried to maximise our learning, and apparently we have to find the best possible compromise because the weather forecast suggests it will be wet for qualifying but dry for the race. In the morning we were able to work on measurements related to aero parts. For the afternoon we had a revised programme due to the rain. Overall it is obviously very difficult to make a judgement on today's performance.”

Alan Permane, Lotus-Renault (Trackside Operations Director):
“We saw a tricky first session with track conditions changing a lot due to intermittent rain, which didn't aid the learning process regarding our new parts. The afternoon was far more productive as the wet conditions were reasonably consistent. We looked at both the intermediate and wet tyres in the second session to give us some good data if qualifying or the race are run in similar conditions, and also assessed a variety of set-ups and tyre pressures. Both cars ran with aero updates, which were rather more visible on one car than the other. We've seen encouraging signs from our latest prototype concept and although we won't race it here, it's likely to make another appearance during practice in Budapest.”

Jakob Andreasen, Force India-Mercedes (Chief Engineer):
“Conditions like we saw today always pose a great challenge as we try to dial the cars into the track and understand the tyres. Jules did a good job along with Nico this morning, although we had to reduce the programme and make sure we were out when the track was at its best. We still managed to pick up some aero data and completed our baseline dry set-up evaluation. The wet session this afternoon has given us a good read on the performance of the intermediates and the wets, but it was difficult to learn much more than that.”

Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Chief Engineer):
“We knew it might rain, which is why we did as many laps as possible in the morning, more than anyone else. We had a new front wing to evaluate on Daniel's car and we managed it, even though the conditions were not that stable, but it was enough to gather useful data. This afternoon was entirely wet and again, we tried to do plenty of running and both of them did well not to make any mistakes when they were first out on track, at the time of the wettest conditions. We got the best out of today and, as was the case in Silverstone, we are a bit more competitive in the wet.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Another tricky dry-wet first day of practice at a grand prix. The changeable weather makes it harder to establish an effective baseline of sorts, but we were able to get some decent mileage under our belts today – and that's been important. Firstly, it's allowed us to ascertain the effectiveness of the upgrades we've brought to this race. Secondly, it's helped deepen our understanding of the car's behaviour in wet weather on both the Intermediate and Full-Wet Pirelli tyres. So it's been a positive day – certainly from a data-gathering point of view. Nonetheless, there have been some encouraging signs – we implemented a number of measures to improve wet-weather performance and I'm pleased to say that we appear to have made progress in that area. More pleasingly, our planned series of upgrades delivered without issue and have given us confidence for the remainder of the weekend. The weather still looks unpredictable for tomorrow, with brighter weather beckoning for Sunday's race. For the engineers, tonight will be a question of finessing the car as best they can to cope with the fickle northern European climate – the only thing we seem to be able to predict with any certainty these days is the weather's sheer unpredictability!”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“At least it seems that the rain is not just an English phenomenon this summer! Joking apart, we would definitely have preferred a nice sunny day or at least, a dry track throughout in order to get through all the work programme we had planned for today. Unfortunately, we were only able to do a few laps on the dry tyres this morning, however, not many of these were useful, because the rain kept making an appearance. From what we could see, the car seems to be more or less alright in terms of balance, both in the dry and the wet. Some of the updates we have here proved to be okay right from the start, while in order to evaluate the others fully, we need to analyse carefully what little data we were able to gather today. Tomorrow, the possibility of having another wet qualifying seems quite high, while for the race, it is meant to be dry. At Silverstone, we were competitive in both conditions: let's hope the same applies here too.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“Whilst the rain came as no surprise to us today, what was a little more frustrating was the frequency with which the conditions changed from wet to drying to wet. Having said that, conditions like this on Sunday would make for a seriously interesting and eventful race for the fans and really test race engineers up and down the pit lane. In the slightly more favourable conditions this morning we achieved quite a lot of good work, whereas this afternoon has been more about evaluating the wet tyres at this circuit. All of this is useful however because none of the teams have any experience of the Pirelli tyres - wet or dry - at this circuit. We experienced an alternator problem for Timo at the end of FP1 this morning, but this was clearly attributable to parts mileage and readily addressed to ensure he is equipped for the rest of what is an important weekend for him in front of his home crowd. A good start to the day for Charles also on the other side of the garage.”

Thierry Salvi, Caterham-Renault (Renault Sport F1 Support Leader):
“This is our first visit to Hockenheim with Caterham but we obviously have a great deal of experience at this track from the last race here in 2010. Hockenheim has a couple of interesting challenges for us, specifically looking at how we can give the drivers maximum top speed down the long straight, which is one of the longest of the season, and make sure their fuel consumption is managed effectively. This track is heavy on fuel consumption so the cars will start this race with one of the highest fuel loads of the season and we have to take that into account in conjunction with the team, particularly when looking at tyre degradation. In addition, we have been continuing to work today on fine tuning the engine maps with the revised exhaust layout the team first brought to Silverstone. For Hockenheim we need to make sure the drivers have good torque response, especially in the stadium section, and that has been a focus area for us today. We have had a good day on that front – the mileage we completed gives us a very reasonable amount of data to work through so this has been a positive day.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“FP1 was a good session for us on both cars. We wanted as much dry running as we could today to continue the aero work we were doing on Wednesday in France at the straightline test and we had dry running for most of the session. Both Heikki and Vitaly completed 24 laps each and we were able to run through the whole program we had set out for that session. FP2 started with rain that was heavy enough to keep most of the field in the garages but once it had eased off a little we sent the cars out on the full wets to start the FP2 program. We have a couple of minor modifications to the package we introduced in Silverstone and tonight we will be focusing on what they have added, what we can take from the data from both sessions and what can be applied for the rest of the weekend. Fundamentally we are heading in the right direction, giving the drivers the aero balance they need to be able to push and the downforce that is required to compete with the cars ahead. We still have a lot of work to do but I am reasonably optimistic that both the races in Germany and Hungary will see us return to the levels of competitiveness we have targeted for races 10 and 11.”

Luis Pιrez-Sala, HRT-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“Today we were able to give Dani continuity and he was able to do more miles in the F112. The day was complicated because FP1 was mainly dry whilst FP2 was wet. In the afternoon we had a small issue with the braking system on Pedro's car, but the team did a great job and he was able to come out towards the end of the session. Narain ran in wet in the afternoon and he was able to get to know the circuit a bit better in these conditions. Overall it went well but there is still work to do.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“After the British Grand Prix, most people had seen enough rain but it was back! This morning was a very different situation to Silverstone though, with the track drying up rapidly between showers – it was not quite wet enough for the intermediate tyre – and there was some dry running as well. The afternoon was much wetter, but this very wide range of conditions allowed teams to assess the crossover point between slicks, intermediates and wets, which could be vital information for qualifying in particular. We have never competed at Hockenheim in Formula One before, so it was important to try and gain as much information as possible – particularly because we had three slick compounds running today for the first time this year. The variable conditions meant that the drivers were not able to draw many firm conclusions about the experimental tyre, but with more changeable weather expected tomorrow, this was far from being a wasted day in terms of information gathered.”

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