The Sauber driver finished just outside of the top 10 in first practice before moving up to ninth in the second session. He had a smooth day of running at the track and worked through the scheduled programme.
“It was a normal Friday,” he said. We worked through the programme we had planned and learned quite a lot about the car and the tyres today. I am confident that we will be able to show a strong performance. There is still room for improvement in the set-up of the car, but overall I’m happy.”
Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez completed 57 laps on Friday and finished the second session in 11th place, four places higher than his position in the opening practice session.
He tested different set-ups throughout the day and is now looking to find the right compromise for qualifying and the race: “Today was a very productive one. We tested different set-ups on the car and evaluated how the tyres behave here. In the morning we were testing different balances, and it’s always a matter of finding the right set-up for qualifying and then the right set up for the race. Now we need to find the right compromise for tomorrow.”
He added: “Here the track changes a lot from the morning to the afternoon, as track temperatures vary significantly, so it is challenging to judge the car. This will be the same for qualifying and the race.”
Sauber are currently chasing down Force India for sixth in the constructors’ standings.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic