Team reaction after day one in Istanbul (part 2)

Williams, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Lotus, Virgin Racing & HRT F1

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By Franck D.

28 May 2010 - 15:38
Team reaction after day one in (...)

Williams Cosworth

Sam Michael, Technical Director : We evaluated a couple of aero parts in the morning, which we continued with in the afternoon. With Rubens’ car, we spent some time working on car set-up, and we still have quite a lot of work to do before tomorrow. Nico made good progress today, but he lost the majority of the second session due to a hydraulic leak. The problem is fully understood and resolved.

Nico Hulkenberg: Today was a typical Friday. We had a problem in the afternoon with a hydraulic leak, but we still managed quite a
few laps and covered everything that we wanted to test. We will see where we are tomorrow.

Rubens Barrichello: I had a busy day. The car didn’t really perform that well so we need to search the data tonight to see what we can
find for qualifying.

Sauber Ferrari

Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa enjoyed two troublefree practice sessions in the heat up for the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul Park. On a very hot and dusty track they both completed their race preparations according to plan.

Kamui Kobayashi: “To me the balance of the car felt fine but we do have two areas to look at. We have a lack of grip and we are too slow on the straights. If you work on one issue you tend to increase the other one. But we will find a good compromise. I enjoyed driving a lot and as we had no trouble with the car it was a productive day for us.“

Pedro de la Rosa: “In the afternoon we had a very good test with comparing the race tyres – the harder prime compound versus the softer option compound. We did a lot of race preparation today which went very well. The long runs were good and pretty consistent. What we still need to work on is to find the right balance with new tyres.“

James Key, Technical Director: “It was a fairly standard Friday where we ran through the programmes on both cars looking at setting up the car for the circuit and the tyres. There are significant balance changes with different fuel levels and tyre compounds we need to consider for the qualifying and the race. Otherwise no technical problems, the drivers are fairly happy with the conditions they found the cars in. I think the race pace looks reasonable, we got some work to do for lower fuel levels but we have some clear directions to pursue for that. It’s obviously very close in the midfield, so we have to make sure we get the best out of the cars.”

Toro Rosso Ferrari

Sebastien Buemi: “We had a lot of things to test today and the programme went quite smoothly. I think we have seen what we needed to see from the data side, so we have a clear picture of the car, which is positive. It was a good day for us, even if the circuit was very dirty this morning and took a long time to clean up. The high temperatures were useful, as it should be like this on race day and at the moment I am feeling quite confident for the rest of the weekend.”
First Practice Session - Best lap 1:31.011, pos. 14th, 24 laps
Second Practice Session - Best lap 1:30.386, pos. 15th, 32 laps

Jaime Alguersuari: “To be honest, I find it difficult to assess how we got on today. We tried lots of different things on the car and my team-mate was on a different programme, so it will be up to the engineers to analyse what we have done. From inside the car, I never felt I had a good grip level. Overall, I am not so happy with today’s performance but hopefully we can put everything together and have a much better day tomorrow. It’s my first time here and I enjoyed the circuit which is interesting and challenging with a good mix of high and medium speed corners.”
First Practice Session - Best lap 1.31.735, pos. 18th, 27 laps
Second Practice Session - Best lap 1:30.933, pos. 18th, 37 laps

Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer): “Today’s programme involved evaluating new components on both cars, which meant that unlike a usual Friday, we did not focus so much on pure race preparation, regarding it more like a test session. Now we have to look at our data and take the best of the elements we tried on the two cars and then make the right decision in terms of how to progress tomorrow. Of course, we also went through the normal procedures of doing a tyre comparison, different fuel scans and other basic race weekend work.”

Lotus Cosworth

Friday’s practice sessions at the Istanbul Park Circuit saw Lotus Racing continue to pull away from the new teams and closer to the midfield, fulfilling the promise shown in the updates applied since Barcelona. The new pillar mounted rear wing, and a number of new mechanical and aero updates combined to bridge the gap to Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso to around 0.7 seconds.

Heikki Kovalainen: “It was a very good Friday again for me. I had a really good first session this morning, with no problems with the car and we were again able to improve the setup. The track felt good all day, a little dusty to begin with, but it cleared quickly and overall it felt great all day. This afternoon we were able to try both tyre compounds and successfully got through all our plans, so I couldn’t really ask for more.”

Jody Egginton, Chief Race Engineer: “We had a good balance from the start of the day on Heikki’s car, which meant we could complete the entire program. We gathered a lot of data, particularly on the long run, and managed to get good performance from the new tyres, so I’m very happy. On a personal level I enjoyed my day today – it was all quite short notice, but it was good to dust off the old clipboard and get on with it, so overall it’s been a good day!”

Jarno Trulli: “A bit more bad luck for me today as this afternoon’s session was cut short by losing third gear. We’d planned to do some setup work in the second session, and didn’t get the chance to do so, but against that you can look at the times and see that we have continued to move forward overall with the car. We are moving away from the other new teams, and closer to those in front – obviously we still have a lot of work to do, but it’s pleasing to see we are going in the right direction.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “A fairly positive day, although it was a shame Jarno’s day was curtailed by a gearbox problem in P2. That meant he couldn’t run the soft tyres, or try a low fuel run, but I’m sure that if he’d done so he would have been up with Heikki. Heikki had another trouble free day, and overall we’ve taken another step forward to the midfield, so now it’s up to us to confirm that progress tomorrow.”

Virgin Racing Cosworth

The first two free practice sessions for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix got underway in Istanbul today, where Virgin Racing fielded two revised chassis for the first time. The Istanbul Park Circuit basked in hot and sunny conditions for the first day of running, the ambient high of 32°C producing track temperatures of up to 52°C.

The day got off to a slow start with Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi trying to find a good balance with their cars in the morning session on a dirty track. The team explored a number of adjustments during the lunch break and these yielded some improvement in the afternoon session, in which Timo and Lucas were able to complete their planned programme of evaluation of both the aerodynamic developments for this race and the Bridgestone tyre options.

Timo Glock: “Today hasn’t been the best start to the weekend. We experienced a lot of balance problems with the car and this morning I was worried because it looked like we were going backwards rather than moving forward in the way we had hoped. Things were a bit better this afternoon but we have to home in on what is causing us the problem and find a solution overnight so that we can improve for tomorrow. Generally, at this stage, we have a big gap to close at the moment.”

Lucas di Grassi: “We’ve had a trouble-free and productive day in terms of completing our programme. Having said that, the set-up is far from perfect so we have a lot of work to do to find some solutions and improve the car for tomorrow. Despite this, it is good to have the revised car for the first time and to know that I will be able to push it on Sunday.”

Nick Wirth, Technical Director: “Our programme was a bit unusual today in terms of running higher fuel loads compared to how we normally approach a race weekend for a few specific reasons. When combined with a dirty and changing track, this made interpreting driver feedback and data a bit tricky, but we seemed to make progress this afternoon and I think we’ll make some more tonight. I think things will get a bit more representative tomorrow when we make the adjustments and get dialed in on low fuel.”

HRT F1 Cosworth

Following the announcement at the Chinese Grand Prix that Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto would join the Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team, Yamamoto was in action for the first time today in free practice for the Turkish Grand Prix as the team’s reserve race and test driver. Just as in Barcelona, Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team is working with three drivers over both Friday practice sessions with Sakon Yamamoto joining race drivers Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna. Yamamoto had a trouble-free session covering 26 laps at the wheel of the car in the first practice session today. Karun Chandhok completed 13 laps.

In the second 90-minute afternoon free practice session, in preparation for Sunday’s race, Bruno Senna took over from Yamamoto and covered 35 laps while Chandhok added a further 25 to the team’s tally.

Dr. Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Today we focused on our usual race preparation. Sakon had to get used to handling a Formula 1™ car after three years of absence from the Formula 1™ World Championship, but he put in an impressive performance and did a very good job, especially around the corners of the circuit. Unfortunately, Karun Chandhok had a problem with a car sensor which required a bit of work, so it was not possible for him to complete his full program during the morning’s free practice session. However, we found the source of the issues and are currently working to fix this problem. I am sure the team will pull through as usual and correct the problems with the set-up.”

Karun Chandhok: “It was a bit of a tough day for me. We had some mechanical issues in FP1 which cost track time and this afternoon we evaluated some modifications on the brake system on my car. I had some issues on the option tyre runs at the end which we have to look into overnight but thus far we seem to be at a similar level as Barcelona relative to Lotus. It was a bit abnormal to do my best time on the prime tyre but I just struggled for rear end grip on the options.”

Bruno Senna: “Today was okay but it was a bit different to be a spectator like I was in the morning session as Sakon was driving my car. In the afternoon session, I came back to my duties. We are working hard and tried to improve car balance on the track to get the car a little bit better for tomorrow. I completed 35 laps wit no major issues. I was running high fuel during the session.”

Sakon Yamamoto: “Today was a fantastic day! I am very happy to be back behind the wheel of a Formula 1™ car and its great to be part of a team such as Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team. Everything went quite well and I managed to complete a full 26 laps of the Istanbul Park circuit. We made some good progress and are already working to improve the performance so we can achieve even better lap times.”

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