The West McLaren Mercedes team went through a set programme during today's Free Practice sessions for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. Mika Hakkinen posted the second fastest lap with 1:38.339 while David was fourth quickest with 1:39.010. Mika and David completed 31 laps each.
'I'm confident with the work we have done today and the balance we have achieved is good. The kerbs at the last chicane have been modified and I'm still trying to find the right line and the optimum acceleration to get this part absolutely perfect. We are heading in the right direction and I'm feeling very positive.'
'It's always tough to find the ideal balance due the nature of the Suzuka track. It's important to stabilise the rear of the car at the entry and exits of corners and that is what we have been trying to optimise during today's sessions. There are a number of medium speed corners where you don't really brake hard before the entry, so by the time I was feeling confident with where to position the car, my tyres had lost their edge.'
'As you would expect everybody is focusing on achieving the result we need this weekend and the team made good progress towards this goal during today's practice sessions.'
'The team worked on the race set-up and the impression is that we are on the way to achieving our goals. We expect a close fight for pole position tomorrow.'