FP1 & FP2 - Styria GP 2021 - Team quotes
“Overall it’s been quite a good day for us and although there are a few things to look into, which is very normal for a Friday, I am quite happy with where the car is at the moment. In the second practice Lewis had a faster lap time that was deleted so it looks a bit different to what is shown at the moment on the timesheets but we expect to see both teams at the top. The weather forecast looks like it is changing all the time, so let’s see what it is actually like tomorrow, but I think it will be a very tight battle again.”
“Track conditions were tricky at the start of FP2 but they improved throughout the session. From our side we need to do a bit of fine tuning as there’s definitely some more potential in the car and finding a few tenths here makes a huge difference. I’m still learning the best set-up adjustments for the car and as usual, taking my time with the engineers to get that right. I think we do have good pace and the long runs seem to be promising. So, if we’re able to find a couple of tenths overnight then we should be in the fight tomorrow and hopefully we can put a good lap together in Q3.”
“This morning was great, the pace and performance of the car was strong and everything went well, so it was a really positive session for the start of the weekend. Unfortunately, the team spotted an issue on the PU and didn’t want to take any risks, so have spent the afternoon checking this. There were some things we wanted to try during FP2 so it’s a shame to have not been able to do that but at the end of the day, there’s nothing we can do about it and we just need to look forward to tomorrow now. Yuki didn’t feel as comfortable in the car this afternoon as he was in FP1, so we need to go away and analyse all the data we have ahead of tomorrow, then we can piece everything together for Qualifying.”
“I’m fairly happy with today. We saw in FP1 that the short run pace of the car is definitely there, and I was able to put in some good lap times during the session. However, on the longer runs in FP2 I struggled quite a bit with the balance of the car, so I need to work on that tonight. I know there’s a chance of rain tomorrow, but I would prefer dry conditions if I’m honest. I don’t have a lot of experience in the wet in Formula 1 so that would make things trickier for me. If it’s dry, I just need to put everything together step-by-step in Qualifying and increase my confidence as I go through the session.”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“Given the risk of rain in FP2 we brought forward our typical plan to FP1, so both drivers focused on short run performance across the Mediums followed by the Soft tyres. We then split the cars, with Pierre completing long stints on the Soft tyre and Yuki doing the same with the Mediums. As the focus was on tyre understanding there was little room for setup testing and optimisation, but we were able to hit the ground running with the car and the performance was looking promising. Additionally, the soft tyre over the long run behaved reasonably well, even with the high track temperatures. During the break, Honda spotted something strange in the data on the PU and did not want to take any risks, we chose to investigate the issue fully this afternoon and therefore Pierre didn’t run in FP2. It’s an unfortunate situation because FP2 ended up being almost completely dry, so Pierre did lose out, but at least the performance was looking strong in the morning and I am confident he will be able to repeat it in FP3. For Yuki, again we completed a typical FP2 plan, but unfortunately he was not able to show his full potential in his first push on the Softs, meaning the final classification today is not fully representative. Putting it all together we know there is more to come tomorrow.”
“I think we have made a decent start to the weekend. Our pace over one lap is looking encouraging and I think we can squeeze out more from the longer runs. We have a good idea of where we can make those improvements, which is the important thing. Racing in the mountains means it can be really tricky to predict the weather, so it is going to be about making sure we are on the right tyres at the right time and reacting well to the conditions. We have not had much wet running this year, so it would be good to experience the car in the rain.”
“The car felt good from the first lap and both sessions were positive for us. We know where we can make some improvements, such as the balance in the low-speed corners, so we will go away tonight and review the data to see where we can find some further improvements. There has been a lot of talk about rain, but it only slightly drizzled at times today, so it was not really a factor. I love driving in wet conditions and it always mixes up the field - so I will not complain if we get some rain tomorrow or Sunday.”
Alpine F1 Team ran with both cars inside the top five in Friday Practice as preparations started for this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix in Austria.
Esteban Ocon finished in third place in Free Practice 2 after the low fuel, Soft (C4) tyre runs, with Fernando Alonso 0.037secs adrift in fifth.
In Free Practice 1, both drivers started the day on Hards (C2) setting continuous laps to get up to speed on the ten-turn, 4.318km circuit. Fernando had three laps deleted as he pushed to find the limit, in particular at Turns 9 and 10 where, for this year, the kerbs have been removed on the exit of the corners.
After completing their Soft tyre runs, with Fernando sixth and Esteban seventh, the pair ended the session on high fuel on the same compound.
Both drivers were quick out of the garage in Free Practice 2 with the risk of rain looking high in the area. Fernando briefly occupied first place on Mediums (C3) in the early running. Esteban too had a turn at the top of the timesheets after setting a 1min 5.790secs on his first push lap on Softs. As others completed their laps on Softs, Esteban settled into third place on the leaderboard with Fernando in fifth.
The team ended its day on high fuel with both drivers assessing the Medium tyres.
“It’s been a busy Friday for us with lots of things completed. Having both cars well into the top ten is positive but it is only Friday and we need to stay focused and keep working on the areas that we can improve. Nevertheless, it’s been a productive day and we look forward to tomorrow. It’s nice to be third on the timesheets and hear ‘you’re P1’ on the radio for a short moment, but it’s only FP2 and tomorrow is when it counts.”
“It was a smooth Friday for us today. We were all expecting a wet free practice session, but the weather stayed on the dry side, so we completed our normal programme. The car felt good straight away in FP1 and I think there is more pace to come as we didn’t quite put everything together. That gives me confidence heading into qualifying tomorrow so hopefully we should be in for a competitive weekend.”
Davide Brivio, Racing Director
“It has been a productive day. We were expecting rain in the afternoon so we had to adapt and be flexible with our programme, but we were able to get through everything we wanted, including long runs with different tyres to collect a lot of information to analyse overnight. Of course, there is room for improvement, but the race and qualifying pace is not so bad for both drivers, so we are hopeful for tomorrow and Sunday.”
The eighth round of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with practice on Friday at the Red Bull Ring in Austria as teams prepared for Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix.
Friday’s track action consisted of two 60-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 4.318-kilometer (2.683-mile), 10-turn circuit.
With thunderstorms threatening to disrupt the weekend, FP1 crucially remained dry affording plenty of laps for the rookie pairing of Mazepin and Schumacher. Both VF-21’s ran the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium rubber for their respective wake-up runs. A switch to the Red soft tires saw each driver bank their fastest laps of the opening session. Schumacher produced a best tour of 1:07.473 (P18) with Mazepin recording a 1:08.081 (P20) as his quick lap. Mazepin remained on the softs to start his high-fuel stint before pitting for mediums. Schumacher returned to the medium set to run to the checkered.
Some light rain was detected prior to FP2 but the forecast storm failed to materialize allowing a second dry session for the 20-car field. Mazepin and Schumacher got down to business immediately with some baseline laps on the medium rubber. Qualifying simulations meant bolting on fresh sets of the soft tires. Schumacher clocked a 1:06.886 which placed the German 17th overall. Mazepin was 18th on the timesheets with a best lap of 1:07.404. The Russian concluded his run plan with a high-fuel outing on used mediums. Schumacher sampled both his softs and mediums for his final long-run of the day.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team ran a total of 120 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 61 by Mazepin and 59 by Schumacher.
“The first few laps in FP1 were a lot calmer in comparison to tracks I know less – such as Portugal, Baku and Monaco for example. Overall, it was quite a chilled working day. I was pretty surprised this morning when I woke up because I expected it to be pouring down with rain and it wasn’t. We got some dry running in, some understanding of the set-up, but I’m not sure if we’re going to be using much of that knowledge tomorrow subject to the weather. I’m trying to be happy regardless of the factors I cannot control. I can learn a lot from the conditions that we had today, but it’s also a great learning opportunity for me and the team to get this car around in the wet conditions. Let’s see what the weather brings.”
“Overall, we had steady improvement over the day. We got to do everything we wanted, and I feel like we’re in a pretty decent place. There were a few raindrops at the beginning of FP2 but they didn’t do any harm. There are always things you can improve, whether that’s with driving or the car. It’s not far away from what I want in the car, it’s just about finding a little percent here and there to try to get it to exactly where I want it to be. I wasn’t expecting a Q2 appearance at Paul Ricard but we were there, so hopefully we’ll be able to make a surprise appearance again here.”
“Not a bad session for our cars today. We did a lot of running which is the most important thing for the guys to do at the moment. In FP2, we were a little bit concerned about rain, so we went out straight at the start to do as much as possible and then came back in, before coming back out at the end to do a practice start. I would say it was quite a boring session for us, but boring sometimes is good because we did everything that we wanted to do.”
“So, a good day. I’d say strange. Strange because we were expecting a lot of rain, especially this afternoon and it didn’t quite arrive. We weren’t expecting two dry sessions. Whether that’s going to stay for the weekend, we’ll see.
“I think it was a productive Friday for sure. In the morning we were a little off the pace. We made a few adjustments for the afternoon and I think that was better. Obviously, the time sheets certainly show it was better. We made a step in feeling and confidence in the car, but I do feel there’s another step we need to make to stay in a strong position for tomorrow. A bit of fine-tuning tonight but otherwise we should be pretty good. I’m happy with the day and we’ll go from there.”
"A positive day. We started FP1 not looking too good, but we made some changes and definitely made the car better going into FP2. Hopefully we can make another step into FP3 and gain even more lap-time, but it’s going to be extremely close. It’s all about putting the lap together and doing that consistently. I think we can be confident we have a decent car, but it’s going to be tight no matter what."
Andrea Stella - Executive Director, Racing
“It’s been a productive Friday. Despite there being rain around, it didn’t affect the programme and we could go through our run plan. That revolved around set-up work, some aerodynamic tests and, of course, understanding the tyres in preparation for the race – we saw in France what a difference tyre degradation can make. Overall, the car seemed reasonably competitive. We’ll keep an eye on the weather – which remains unsettled – but we’re looking forward to qualifying and the race.”
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN completed a successful day of practice for this weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix, with Kimi Räikkönen, Antonio Giovinazzi and reserve driver, Robert Kubica, behind the wheel in the two Friday sessions, while the team’s C41 cars sported a tribute on their livery to celebrate yesterday’s 111th anniversary of Alfa Romeo’s founding.
On a day in which teams were able to make the most of the two hours of testing at the Spielberg track, the team appeared immediately at ease, with both sessions finishing with at least one Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN car within the top ten. Promising signs ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session, although the added challenge of finding a suitable space in traffic on the short Austrian circuit will be an added hoop to jump through.
The mood in the camp is, so far, positive : the engineers have plenty of data to work with tonight and the drivers are comfortable with the balance of the car. Tomorrow is another day, but preparations are going to plan.
“I was able to do a good job in the afternoon session and the car didn’t feel too bad : of course, you can always improve on it but that’s what we need to work for ahead of tomorrow. Traffic is an issue around this short track and it made it quite tricky today : in qualifying, it will be important to pick the right time. We’ll see what the weather does tomorrow : in any case, especially on such a short lap, we’ll need to put all the corners together as every tiny mistake matters.”
“It was a good Friday today, the car balance felt good from the first laps in FP1 so we have a good base to build on. We are happy with the day but we also know that tomorrow will be more difficult : we need to keep working tonight, find some speed in a few little details and hopefully have the same positive feeling when we head out in FP3. Putting a lap together here is a challenge, traffic and track limits will be key topics in qualifying : but if we get everything done, we can have a good Saturday too.”
“It’s always great to be back in an F1 car, although today hasn’t been the smoothest day. I’ve been racing in other categories since I last drove the C41 in Barcelona and it’s not easy to get a feeling when you only have a couple of laps to get up to speed. Still, I enjoyed the opportunity and hopefully brought the team some useful data. It’s hard to compare how much the car has moved forward since I last drove it, as we are always testing different things in varying conditions, but the general feeling is positive : the team has been doing well lately and you can feel the confidence building. We know we can be in the fight if we do a good job, so we have to make the most of our package and of any opportunities.”
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
We have had a good day here at the Red Bull Ring. There was rain in the area this afternoon, but it was difficult to predict if it would hit the circuit. We made some adjustments to our programmes in both practice sessions to give us the best chance of collecting the key data ahead of the race. Although only a few drops fell early in FP2, this approach worked well, and we are happy with our day’s work. The car is working reasonably well here as we continue to understand the new parts that we have fitted over the last couple of events.
Nicholas had a spin during FP2 but there was no significant damage to the car, and he was able to complete his session as planned. George did a long performance run on the Soft tyre early in FP2 during the light rain before moving to high fuel to finish the session.
The rest of the weekend will probably be dominated by the weather, with more rain predicted for Saturday and Sunday. Our job now will be to make the most of the conditions no matter what finally comes our way during qualifying and the race.
It was enjoyable out there; the car felt good and our high fuel runs are looking really strong, so there are plenty of positives. The conditions were difficult at the start of FP2 with some rain, so I didn’t push too hard as it wasn’t worth the risk, but I think we’ve definitely got some more lap time in the pocket. We’ve been very consistent with our qualifying efforts this season, so I’m hoping for Q2 tomorrow. However, we’re also focussing on finding a balance which translates that qualifying performance into race pace, as that’s where the points are scored.
The track limits were a little tricky out there today, and in FP2 I overstepped a little bit and dipped the wheel on the edge of the gravel which caused the car to spin. The car set-up felt good though, which is definitely an improvement from France. In terms of tomorrow, it’s a little difficult to say what the expectations are, especially due to the changing conditions, but we’ll go away tonight, analyse the data and make sure we’re ready for qualifying.
It was a very busy first day of free practice at the Styrian Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari. In both sessions, the team evaluated the different Pirelli compounds available for this event, checking their behaviour with various fuel loads. The team acquired a lot of data that will now be analysed over the next few hours to try and optimise car performance, especially over a single flying lap where there is still room for improvement. The situation over a long run seems more in line with that of the Scuderia’s closest rivals. Today, the two SF21s completed the most number of laps across all teams, 147 in total, which is more than two race distances.
FP1. In the first hour of Friday practice, Charles and Carlos put in 69 laps – 36 and 33 respectively. They both did a lot of running on the Soft compound, but also tried the Mediums towards the end of the session. At the start of the hour they had evaluated the car with low fuel levels, setting their best and almost identical times of 1’06”629 for the Monegasque and 1’06”630 for the Spaniard.
FP2. In this afternoon’s 60 minutes, Sainz and Leclerc made the most of the fact that, contrary to expectations, the track stayed dry and they were able to complete their programme. Again in this session the drivers only did a qualifying simulation at the start, setting their best times of 1’06”147 for Carlos and 1’06”270 for Charles.
Programme. The third and final free practice session starts at 12 CET tomorrow, in preparation for qualifying at 15. The Styrian Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday at the same time.
It was an intense Friday. In the morning, we tried various set-ups to find the best direction to follow regarding the tyres. Our main aim in both of today’s sessions was to understand the behaviour of the various compounds.
Tomorrow we will concentrate more on enhancing the car’s performance on flying laps with the aim of qualifying well, but it will not be easy. Our race pace was not bad, but we are cautious and we will continue to analyse all the information and data gathered today.
We learned a lot today, having tried many solutions. Our long run pace seems quite competitive compared to our closest rivals. Where we did struggle a bit was with our qualifying pace, which it is not usually the case, so we will have to concentrate on this tonight and tomorrow. It’s hard to say if we have found the way to get the tyres to work at their best but we look in better shape when compared to the previous race. There’s still a question mark over the weather, as it could rain and also be cooler and that could make the situation even more complicated.
Two solid sessions of learning for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team on practice day in Austria
— Lewis finished the first session of the day third quickest with Valtteri just behind in P4.
— Lewis took P4 in the second session, after having the quickest time of the session deleted for a track limit violation.
— Valtteri finished the second session in P12 after encountering traffic on his fastest lap – and focused primarily on long runs on the soft and hard tyres.
Overall, a work in progress - it’s been a beautiful day, a few drops of rain at the start of the second session but the track is awesome. We’re a little bit down, particularly over a single lap, but generally the car felt relatively solid. I’m happy with where we’ve got the car to, I’ve been working hard all week trying to figure out where I want the car and I hope the hard work starts paying off soon. Red Bull are throwing some good punches at the moment so we’ve just got to have our guard up and make sure we’re ready for the return.
FP1 felt overall a bit better but in FP2, we had just one run with lower fuel and that was a little messy so the lap time on the board was nothing amazing. But the focus for today was on the long runs, trying to find the long run performance - we prioritised that well today and hopefully that will pay off on Sunday. Lewis and I were running quite different set-ups so we have lots to analyse tonight to find the best bits to take into qualifying and the race.
It’s been a productive day for us and a lot drier than we’d expected from the forecast. The drivers were fairly happy with the car throughout the day; the first session was odd as we looked off the pace but the balance of the car wasn’t far off where we expected it to be. There were a few tweaks to the setup going into the afternoon and encouragingly, our pace looked a bit better both on single lap and long run, although it could have been a mixture of conditions coming towards us and improving the car. It’s a tricky circuit to set the car up for as the track warp in the slow speed corners makes it difficult to find a consistent balance and on such a short lap, any mistake can be very costly. However, we’ve got some good direction from today and can no doubt make further steps forward. The forecast remains unsettled so there’s every chance we’ll still get some wet running.