“Coming to this track we knew it was going to be difficult for us because it’s a high downforce circuit and we’re lacking a little bit in that area - that’s a gap we’re addressing with our development programme. I think we made a good step from FP1 to FP2 and the lap time is improving; we’re edging closer to Sauber and Renault.
“We did some long runs at the end of FP2 to try to better understand the tyre degradation. It’s very hot here this weekend, so we shouldn’t have the challenge of trying to get up to and maintain temperature so much. I’d like to think we’ll be a bit better off here but we need to analyse the data and finalise a set-up direction for tomorrow to help us manage the tyres.”
“We were experiencing some problems in FP1 and at the end of the session took the decision to make a precautionary engine change. During the morning we only completed 9 laps, so it made sense to change while we continued to investigate the problem and ensure we were able to do some meaningful running this afternoon. The boys did a great job to turn the car around so quickly; we just missed the start of FP2 but ran for the rest of the session. So, yes, good to get back on track.
“We’re not in too bad a place at the end of Friday, but there’s some work to do overnight and into FP3 before we can get a full read on where we are at this track. We have some updates here and after qualifying we should know a little more about how much they have helped us. So we’ll wait and see – normal for a Friday.”
Dave Ryan, Racing Director
“A much better afternoon for us after a more challenging start to the day this morning for Pascal. It was clear there was an issue that needed further investigation but better that we did that without compromising our track time any further. So we made the decision to change the engine as a precaution, and this happened very smoothly during the lunch break. Pascal’s crew worked well to ensure he was out on track very early on in the FP2 session and we’ve made good progress catching up this afternoon. Rio has made steady progress through both sessions and is heading in a good direction.”