A productive Friday practice for McLaren in Abu Dhabi

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Martin Whitmarsh: “After our encouraging performance in India last week, it appears that we’ve been able to carry that momentum forwards to this weekend.

Sergio Perez (FP1: 1m45.331s, 20 laps, 10th / FP2: 1m42.006s , 36 laps, 6th): “This was a productive day for the whole team – I felt really comfortable with the car in both sessions, and really enjoyed my time on the track today.

Sergio Perez, McLaren MP4-28
Sergio Perez, McLaren MP4-28

Photo by: XPB Images

“I feel happy with my car, and I don’t expect to change too much. Normally, we change quite a lot on the car between Friday and Saturday in order to refine the balance and set-up, but I don’t think we’ll be doing too much of that tonight.

“The Option tyre is performing quite a lot better than it was in India. While I think we feel more comfortable with the softer tyre, it’ll still be difficult to make a one-stop strategy work on Sunday. Tomorrow, I’d like to see us get into Q3.”

Jenson Button (FP1: 1m45.099s, 20 laps, 8th / FP2: 1m42.010s, 31 laps, 7th): “It was a pretty good day in terms of understanding the car. Our direction with the set-up looks reasonably good, too.

I also think both tyres are working reasonably well around here. I got my fastest lap on my first attempt on the Option tyre, which most people didn’t, so I’m quite happy about that.

“My long runs proved quite tricky, however – first, because of traffic, and, second, because I was delayed by an issue that we initially thought was a puncture but that actually turned out to be a sensor failure.

As a result, I had to drive slowly back to the pits, after which I lost a lot of track time because we had to replace some parts on the car that had got a bit warm during that slow lap. Still, all in all, I think we’re in reasonable shape here.”

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “After our encouraging performance in India last week, it appears that we’ve been able to carry that momentum forwards to this weekend.

“Both Jenson and Checo enjoyed productive sessions: while our focus this afternoon was once again on understanding and developing concepts and components for 2014, the evening’s session quickly proved productive as we progressed through our set-up and tyre evaluation work.

Despite a sensor failure for Jenson – which prompted us to believe that he’d suffered a puncture – both drivers got a decent amount of mileage under their belts and reported that the car was behaving well around this circuit.

For tomorrow, we feel we already have a useful understanding of the car, but we’ll be looking to further refine that ahead of the qualifying session.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

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About this article
Series F1
Article type Practice report
Tags abu dhabi gp, button, mclaren, perez

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