Jean-Eric Vergne (STR6-03)
First Practice Session: best lap 1:42.633, pos. 11th, 26 laps
“This was really like a first session for me, as Korea one month ago was a wash out. I believe the team is satisfied with the job I did, as everything went well. I don’t think it was anything exceptional, it was just what you would expect from a driver who wants to be in F1 next year. From my side, I think I could have done a bit better, but that is in my nature as I don’t believe that being a rookie should be a reason not to win right away, even if that approach which I’ve had since I started karting does not apply to F1 because of the difference between the teams.
I was surprised at the high level of grip on the Soft tyres that I tried towards the end and I did not manage to do a quick lap right from the start which is what was needed with these tyres, so I was a bit disappointed with myself for that. In general, the feeling from the car came back quite quickly after my test last year and all the time I spend in the simulator this year. I was not thinking about my lap times today and overall, it was a positive session. I learned a lot and will use that to do better in Brazil and before that I am looking forward to the test here next week, driving the world championship winning car.”
Sebastien Buemi (STR6-03)
Second Practice Session: Best lap: 1:41.680, pos. 12th, 33 laps
“It was a shorter day for me, running only in the afternoon, but I soon got used to the circuit again and I feel pretty confident for the rest of the weekend, based on what we have seen so far. However, we seem to be slightly slower than at the last two events, which might be down to the track characteristics. Therefore, it will be important to get the most out of our car data tonight and then on track tomorrow morning. On the plus side, we ran all three tyres and have a good understanding of the Soft and Medium and I see no reason why we can’t be fighting for another good result on Sunday.”
Jaime Alguersuari (STR6-02)
First Practice Session: Best lap 1:42.377, pos. 10th, 26 laps
Second Practice Session: Best lap 1:41.983, pos. 14th, 34 laps
“I am pleased with the way today went, getting through a lot of work, evaluating some new things in the morning, as well as having a third Pirelli compound to try. That was interesting work as the development compound seemed very quick. We were able to do a large number of laps with the extra tyres and I don’t think my times mean very much, as I ran into traffic at times.
The general balance of the car seems good and it looks from our long run that we should be more competitive in the race than in qualifying, which has often been the case this year. We might be a tiny amount slower than at the previous race, but it’s not much and I still feel we have the potential to score points on Sunday.”
It was good for us that Pirelli decided to bring two extra sets of development tyres
Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer):
“We ran Vergne this morning, which was really his first session with us after just a few laps in monsoon conditions in Korea. It was good for us that Pirelli decided to bring two extra sets of development tyres here, because it meant we were able to run a full session with him, which was also good for the team as we were able to get some serious work done.
All three drivers tested the new Pirelli compound today. With its slower speed corners, the Yas Marina circuit has very different characteristics to those of the last three races and it is clear we will have to work hard evaluating all the data tonight to make our car as competitive as possible, because relative to others, we have lost a little bit of pace, so our job now is to work out how to get it back at this track.”