Day passed to night as the cars ran round the 5.554km Yas Marina Circuit on the first day of practice sessions at the penultimate race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Vitantonio Liuzzi made his return to the #23 car after stepping aside for Narain Karthikeyan in India with Daniel Ricciardo behind the wheel of the other car. In the morning’s practice session both drivers tested out the different tyres: mediums, softs and the experimental soft compound tyre which Pirelli have brought to Abu Dhabi as they continue to work on next season’s tyres.
Both drivers found a good rhythm with Tonio finishing the session in 20th and Daniel in 21st. In the afternoon, under the Yas Marina floodlights, the pair continued to work on traction and the tyres, experiencing a difference of around two seconds between mediums and softs. Liuzzi suffered a minor electronics issue which prevented him from running as many laps as planned but finished the session in 23rd with teammat e Ricciardo in 24th.
“It was good to be back in the car, I had missed this feeling these two weeks off so I wanted to be back behind the wheel as soon as possible. The morning session went quite well as we completed the entire programme. The track had really low grip so we were drifting a lot but the balance of the car wasn’t too bad and we accumulated some decent data.
In the afternoon we couldn’t finish the programme because of some electronics issue which kept us in the box for a while which is a shame. The car wasn’t as good as in the morning so we have to work on understanding this. The track temperature was lower in the afternoon and as the sun went down the car was much less driveable so we need to find out if this happens to everyone or if it is our problem”.
“I wasn’t particularly happy with the first session in the morning because we started off a little bit away from our set-up and what we normally have. We made a few changes for the afternoon but it didn’t make the step we were hoping so it’s going to call for a bit more tomorrow. We need to work tonight and make some changes and cross our fingers that it works for tomorrow. I remain positive and think we still have some more to get out of the car. Hopefully our improvement starts tomorrow morning in FP3 so that we head into qualifying full of confidence”.
Unfortunately we had some electronic issues with Tonio’s car
Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
“In the morning everything went according to plan, we did the normal testing schedule to find the best set-up for the race. There was very low grip and so it took some time. In the afternoon everything started well but unfortunately we had some electronic issues with Tonio’s car and lost some track time but he was able to recover. The times are of no significance today and I think we will be fine for qualifying and the race”.
Maximum temperature: Air 28ºC, Track 42ºC
13.00-14.30 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 1
Vitantonio Liuzzi - F111-002 #23 20th (28 laps) 1:46.385
Daniel Ricciardo - F111-003 #22 21st (27 laps) 1:46.532
17.00-18.30 FORMULA 1 PRACTICE SESSION 2
Vitantonio Liuzzi - F111-002 #23 23rd (21 laps) 1:46.249
Daniel Ricciardo - F111-003 #22 24th (34 laps) 1:46.328