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Fri, 27 July, 2012Hungary: Team personnel Friday quotes

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“As FP1 began this morning, the track surface was already pretty hot, but, even so, it was a little difficult to get the tyres to switch on in the first instance, and as a result we struggled to achieve optimal balance, excess understeer being the principal problem. Nonetheless, our car appears to be competitive enough, and both drivers reported themselves happy enough with it. Fridays are now test days really, though, so we aren't going to get carried away. Besides, the Hungaroring is relatively lightly used in the run-up to the Grand Prix weekend, so the track surface is always rather 'green' for initial running. Inevitably, therefore, it'll rubber-in significantly over the course of tomorrow and Sunday. Today we saw a light sprinkling of rain, but our forecasters tell us that we'll probably experience dry conditions for qualifying and the race. We hope they're correct, and that the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix will be a entertaining and exciting motor race, contested on a dry track, and that Jenson and Lewis will be in the thick of it by the time the chequered flag is waved on Sunday afternoon.”

James Allison, Lotus-Renault (Technical Director):
“We conducted valuable analysis of our latest aerodynamic developments on Kimi's car this morning which help bring it a step closer to deployment in a race sometime in the future. Romain was uncomfortable with his car today which is something we will try to understand this evening. Kimi was pretty happy overall, even this morning when we weren't running the native downforce settings for this circuit. With the Hungary setup in the afternoon, Kimi was comfortable, quick, and happy with both specifications of dry tyre. Whilst we haven't conducted our usual long runs today it looks like both compounds should be reasonable race tyres.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“We had a very good couple of sessions today with all three drivers performing well and giving us back excellent feedback on what was an extremely busy run programme. In the morning both Pastor and Valtteri tested a number of different aero development items. They also established a decent mechanical baseline set-up. In the afternoon Bruno and Pastor ran different programmes, concentrating on getting more tyre information for the remainder of the weekend. Unfortunately the rain came earlier than expected and we adapted the run programme to get some information in the wet, which may prove useful come race day.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“We did a hundred laps between our two drivers, but much less than half of them were really significant in terms of evaluating the performance of the F2012 on this track. As usual on Friday, we had a lot of work to get through, especially as far as the car's aerodynamics are concerned. Luckily, the rain, which seems to be always with us in this long summer part of the season, arrived when this part of our work had been completed: we picked up a raft of data which we now need to analyse, both on the track and back in Maranello, to decide not only the configuration of the car for the rest of the weekend, but also to continue our development work for the second part of the season. We had no reliability problems, which is always positive. From the little one can see of the others, it only goes to show what we said before the weekend: there are some cars that are faster than us and if we want to have even the slightest chance of beating them, we must do everything perfectly. It won't be easy, but we will give it our best shot as usual.”

Jakob Andreasen, Force India-Mercedes (Chief Engineer):
“We made the most of the dry morning session to run through a busy aero programme with Jules and gathered some useful data. He did a good job once again although we struggled to find the sweet spot with the car in the morning session. Nico was back alongside Paul for the afternoon and we focussed on fine-tuning the cars as well as understanding the tyres. It was a shame to lose the final half of the session to rain, but we made some progress with the car and have a good idea of the direction we need to take tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“We had a mixed day really. We did some lower fuel work this morning and planned to do higher fuel this afternoon, however the rain came just as we began that programme so there is still some work to do there. Michael had an unfortunate incident during P2 when the car aquaplaned and went straight off. The conditions were similar to those which we might see on Sunday so we were keen to get out and see how the car was, and we were still able to pick up quite a lot of useful information from Nico. The balance of the car isn't great yet around this technically challenging circuit and there is some work that we want to do tonight to improve the car for the weekend.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“It was not a great first day for us here in Hungary, and there is room for improvement tomorrow. Michael's off in the second session due to aquaplaning was not a big deal. He lost only ten laps of track time compared to Nico and his car will be fine for tomorrow.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“The session was not the easiest to manage with the rain. Overall there's quite a lot of work for us to do with regard to performance as well as reliability. We had some reliability issues on Sergio's car, which cost him some running time. It was easier here to get the intermediates tyre to work than in Hockenheim, but also here half of the track was quite dry. In completely dry conditions we are definitely not where we want to be with regard to the lap time, so we have to analyse all the data tonight and draw the right conclusions.”

Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Chief Engineer):
“We had a few new aero parts to try: a new rear wing and a slight variation to our diffuser. The test this morning went smoothly and it has produced plenty of data for us to study now. The drivers got into their stride quickly, which helped with the work on the job sheet. In the afternoon session, before the rain arrived, we got on with our usual Friday tasks, including doing a tyre comparison. Although there is currently only a very slight risk of rain for Sunday's race, it was still worthwhile going out on track with the intermediates to judge the conditions. In fact, it seemed that part of the track was better suited to slicks and others to extreme wets, but you never know, that could happen again on Sunday so it was a useful experience.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“I am pleased with what we have accomplished today. In FP1 we ran our normal Friday morning programme and both drivers completed their runplans for that session. In FP2 we put the Valencia-spec aero package on Heikki's car so we could run back-to-back tests with the package introduced in Silverstone. Development opportunities on track are obviously extremely limited and as part of the development plan we had targeted this race some time ago to run direct comparisons with the new parts, and FP2 in Hungary gave us the perfect opportunity to run those tests. Now the team on track and back at the factory will look through all the data we have generated achieved today I think this has been a very useful exercise for us.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“I think the whole pit lane was surprised by the intensity of the rain we experienced this afternoon, relative to the forecast of a much lighter shower. As such, it had a bigger impact on the course of the FP2 session and we were unable to continue what was a very positive start to the day this morning. Charles was looking strong, finishing the FP1 session between the two Caterhams. We were also pleased to hear more positive feedback from Timo in light of his recent balance woes. So we went into the afternoon feeling optimistic, but the weather rather dominated and left us with a race against time and track condition but we were unable to achieve our Soft tyre run at the end of the session. We are therefore out of kilter with the cars around us on the timesheet. We'll come back at things afresh tomorrow and hope to pick up where we left off this morning in terms of the promise indicated for the rest of the weekend.”

Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“We did a good job in the first session with Pedro and Dani, who is more comfortable in the car every time. Both of them completed their work with no issues. With the heat from this morning we couldn't imagine that it would rain in FP2 and we would have liked to have done more laps with Narain since he hadn't run here for a while. But despite this he set good times and at the end the track was in tricky conditions so we didn't risk it. We're being consistent and tomorrow we will try to continue in this line.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“Although we had the same tyre nomination as Germany, the conditions were quite different – underlining the capabilities of our tyres in a wide range of weather and track conditions. The unique layout of the Hungaroring means that driving precision is key to hooking up the flowing sequence of corners, and obviously the grip from the front tyres in particular is crucial. Teams can improve turn-in by working on the set-up, but this can have a detrimental effect on tyre wear so as usual today's running was about finding the best compromise set-up, under challenging circumstances. Once again we saw some rain during the session, but with a 50% chance of more rain on Sunday this was a valuable opportunity to learn not only about the car in these conditions but also the circuit, with some parts of the track remaining much wetter than others. The rain also meant that teams did not get the opportunity to complete long runs on full fuel with the soft tyre, which will affect their strategic preparations for the race and now becomes a priority for the final free practice session tomorrow. We're expecting a difference of about 0.8s per lap between the soft and the medium tyres in dry conditions but with so many variables we seem set for another unpredictable race, following what should be a dry qualifying session tomorrow.”

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