Fernando Alonso – 12th/5th: “It was a Friday like any other, a Fernando Alonso part from a mechanical problem this morning which reduced my track time. Fortunately, this did not affect the programme too much, with a first session given over mainly to getting used to this track again. It’s always important to get the right feeling for a circuit, and especially to try the tyres, that are very important here. We also got a first idea of our race pace and also the rate of tyre degradation: we must take into account that track conditions on Sunday will be very different to today’s. The situation is not that different to recent races. We are a bit behind in performance terms and tomorrow we must try and get a good starting position to get away well in the race and make it to the podium”.
Felipe Massa – 8th/7th: “A positive day today, with the car w Felipe Massa orking well and I hope that on Sunday things will end up even better, because I like this track a lot. On my first lap with the Softs, I didn’t manage to set a good time because of the traffic, but I am quite pleased with the race simulation I did in the afternoon, because on the Medium tyres, I managed to do a lot of laps and that’s a very interesting point in terms of the race. Degradation is not that high here and so I don’t think we will see a lot of pit stops. I think we won’t see too many pit-stops, even if we will have to be careful with the Soft tyres in the first stint because of blistering. The team to beat is still Red Bull, but we have to see how the other cars will perform, especially in qualifying, because Mercedes and Lotus are very quick. As usual, we will have to push to the maximum”.
Pat Fry: “A problem on Fernando’s gearbox restricted his running in the morning session to just six laps. Some components were changed for reliability reasons and that got him back out on track in the afternoon, when he made up for lost time, working on set-up and the general balance of the car. With both drivers we tried to adapt the aerodynamic downforce to the amount of grip available from this track, as it gradually improved. Looking ahead to the race, today it was important for us to understand the behaviour of the tyres chosen for this track by Pirelli over a long run. It was the usual Friday in that the time sheet has little significance, but it did supply worthwhile clues for the race and the data relating to our pace is encouraging. We just need to pay close attention to the performance of the two compounds, starting with tomorrow’s qualifying to work out the best race strategy”.