Reaction round-up: Canadian Grand Prix practice

Reaction round-up: Canadian Grand Prix practice

The on-track action at the Canadian Grand Prix kicked off on Friday with two busy and highly eventful practice sessions.0978LB1D3081

Fernando Alonso was fastest in practice one, with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace in practice two. Here is a round-up of the driver’s reactions following Friday’s running at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve:

Sebastian Vettel

“It was a bit of a shame to lose some laps; we had something with the gearbox, but fortunately we got it checked and went out again. It meant that we were maybe a bit off the rhythm compared to some of the others, but it seemed to be alright and we still got some good laps completed. I think there’s still a lot if improvement we can do, the Mercedes is very quick, but it was okay as a start to the weekend.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“The driving was good today, but looking at the time sheets we’ve got some work to do! We got some good references to go by and we need to put some work in tonight – I enjoy driving around here and there are a lot of fans in the grandstands. It seems that we’re close to some of the other teams, so we’ve just got to extract as much from the cars as we can over the weekend.”

Nico Rosberg

“That was a great day and I felt very comfortable in my Silver Arrow. This morning, we worked on some different things with the brakes which didn’t quite work out so we had to change that this afternoon. It was much better for the second session so I’m quite happy now with that. But I’m still a tenth off the quickest time so I’ll work hard with our engineers tonight to find that extra pace. It’s a unique track here and it’s very difficult to hit the kerbs just right. It was also great to see so many spectators here already today and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

Lewis Hamilton

“It felt pretty good out there today but we’ve still got improvements to make and there is more to come from the set-up and balance tomorrow. This is quite a technical circuit which is all about the kerbs and apexes; you have to have a car that reacts well to the bumps. You’re always trying to find the limit so we’re not quite where we want to be yet. The Ferraris looked quite close today and the rest of the field seemed closer in general but hopefully not too close.

“It’s very hard to overtake here so pole position is important. Nico looked very quick today as well so I have my work cut out for sure. We’ll find out everyone’s pace in qualifying tomorrow afternoon so let’s wait and see what happens.”

Fernando Alonso

“I am reasonably pleased with the day’s testing as we got through a lot of work without encountering any particular problems. We tried some new components and now we must concentrate on getting a good understanding of how they are working.

“As always on a Friday, we must analyse all the data we have gathered to try and be as well prepared as possible for tomorrow’s qualifying, also taking into account the fact that tyre behaviour is very similar to what we saw in Monaco. Certainly, the Supersofts are not like they were in the past and in a race, they last for many laps. For that reason I think there won’t be any problems either in qualifying or the first stint of the race.”

Kimi Raikkonen

“Like every Friday, today’s program me centred on looking at different set-ups in the first session and a race simulation with both compounds in the second one. This morning, because of a problem on my car, I was unable to run as much as planned and that’s never a good thing, because getting in plenty of laps is very important.

“Thanks to speedy work from the team, in the afternoon, we managed to make up for the run lost in the morning and even if it’s too early to make predictions, overall, it didn’t go badly and by the end of the day my feeling with the car had improved. I am still not 100% happy with the handling of the F14 T, but I am sure that an analysis of the data we gathered will point us in the right direction for qualifying and the race.”

Romain Grosjean

“We’ve made good progress with the car since Monaco and the team has made improvements in the areas where we struggled there so that has been a real bonus today. We knew we would struggle on the straights here so we’re doing everything we can to make up for that. It looks like we should be able to find some more speed after looking through the data and the weather’s due to be hotter so we’ll be pushing hard to get into the top ten for qualifying tomorrow.”

Jenson Button0978LB1D1543

“In theory, this circuit should quite suit us: our car’s pretty good in a straight line, there aren’t many high-speed corners, and we’ve got the softest selection of tyres, so we should be okay. This morning’s long-runs looked quite respectable, but we made some set-up changes for the second session, which weren’t so bad when we were running low-fuel, but weren’t quite so effective when we switched to running higher fuel-loads.

“On my long-run, I also hammered the Supersoft tyre while running a high fuel-load – just to see what would happen. I anticipated that there might be graining – and there was. The Supersoft compound is a tyre that definitely requires you to look after the rears more than the fronts. Nevertheless, we gathered a lot of useful data, and that will inform the processes and decisions we make – not only about how to balance the car, but also about the inputs that’ll be needed from the drivers to manage the tyres during the race.”

Nico Hulkenberg

“It was quite a normal day of practice. Trying some different settings and aero parts this morning, and then looking at the soft and super-soft tyres in the afternoon. It went to plan, apart from a small problem at the end of the day, which is why we had to finish our session a little earlier than expected. The positive thing, however, is that we have good information to improve our performance tomorrow. We have a fair bit of work to do tonight to get in the best shape possible for tomorrow’s qualifying and obviously for the race on Sunday.”

Esteban Gutierrez

“It’s been a tough day. We had some technical problems this morning, which is not ideal because we lost valuable track time. This afternoon we managed to solve the issues we had in the morning, but I’m still not completely happy with the car’s overall handling. But we have good information in order to put everything together for tomorrow, which is pretty important so that I can feel confident with the car and drive it to the limit.

“The whole driveability into the corners is quite tricky, and the car is snappy, which is obviously not ideal on a track that is quite slippery. In addition, it’s important to have a stable car when you want to drive on the kerbs.”

Jean-Eric Vergne

“Despite the little issue that we had this morning, which cut my session short, we managed to still achieve a good test programme today. As for the car performance, I’m not 100 percent happy because, even though it looked quite promising in the morning, we lost some speed in the afternoon. On the positive side, the long run pace was not too bad and we know in which areas we have to work to improve for FP3 and Qualifying, so I remain pretty confident for tomorrow.”

Valtteri Bottas

“It was more or less what we expected. We got some good results from the changes we made from the last race, so it was nice to see some progress. It seems like everyone is still struggling with tyre warm-up with the prime, but the option felt a lot better. I still think we can improve our overall performance from today. I didn’t have the perfect lap yet with the supersoft, so I think there’s a little bit more to come.”

Jules Bianchi0978LB1D1504

“It has been a tough day today, which is a difficult start off the back of our last weekend’s performance. At least we have some data to work with to try to prepare for tomorrow but FP3 will be a little bit like heading into the dark. Still, we have turned things around before and I am confident that we can still have a good weekend.”

Kamui Kobayashi

“Tyre temperatures, braking issues and grip dominated FP2 for me. On both tyre compounds I was struggling to bring the tyres up to temperature efficiently which certainly cost me laptime, and that also contributed to the low levels of grip I had for the whole session.

“There’s definitely more time to come from the whole package here. Our final time isn’t a true picture of where we really are pace-wise, so we have to continue working as hard as possible tonight to give ourselves a chance to fight tomorrow. We’ll do just that and I’m sure we’ll make progress in FP3 and quali.”

Images courtesy of Octane Photographic

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.