McLaren's long-run pace looks competitive on Friday practice in India

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LEWIS HAMILTON (MP4-27A-02 - FP1 1m28.046s [+0.427s] 25 laps 4th - FP2 1m27.131s (+0.910s) 38 laps 7th): “It was quite a positive day – on my side of the garage, at least.

The helmet of Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
The helmet of Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

Photo by: xpb.cc

“The car felt quite good, but to get the best from the tyres each lap wasn’t so easy. We’re not quite quick enough yet, but tyre durability and our long-run pace both looked quite good.

In fact, I was very happy with the long run. If we continue in that direction, we’ll hopefully be strong in the race.

“I think we’re probably quick enough to qualify third or fourth fastest at the moment, but, to go for pole, we’re going to really need to push hard in our development work tonight.

“It looks like it’ll be another close race.”

JENSON BUTTON (MP4-27A-01 - FP1 1m27.929s [+0.310s] 21 laps 2nd - FP2 1m27.182s [+0.961s] 24 laps 8th): “It hasn’t been a perfect day. “Our lap-times in the first session were okay, but we couldn’t really get the Option [tyre] working in FP2 – perhaps that was down to a temperature issue.

“Then I had a gearshift problem during my long run in the afternoon. The team is currently looking into it – hopefully, we’ll have it sorted by tomorrow.

“Still, I think Lewis’s long-run pace looks promising. We’re still a few tenths shy of the very fastest cars, but I think we’re more competitive on long runs than we are on short runs, where we’re slightly struggling to get the tyres working.

“Fortunately, this is a good circuit for overtaking, but our aim is obviously still to qualify as close to the front as possible.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: “This was a relatively routine practice day for the team, although it proved quite difficult throughout both sessions to find a low-fuel balance that worked for both drivers.

However, our long-run pace certainly looks competitive.

“Unfortunately, Jenson’s final run of the afternoon was cut short by a gearshift issue, but Lewis’s race pace was more encouraging – Lewis himself felt the car was very well balanced during his long run.

“Our aim for this evening will be further to maximise our race-pace potential while simultaneously looking to improve our performance in qualifying.

Whilst a good grid position isn’t essential for the race, since overtaking into Turns Three and Four should be relatively straightforward, it’ll still be important to stake a place close to the front of the grid in order to optimise our chances of scoring maximum possible points on Sunday.”

Source: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

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About this article
Series F1
Article type Practice report
Tags buddh circuit, button, hamilton, india, indian gp, mclaren, whitmarsh

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