Laurent Mekies: "As far as our performance is concerned, we knew the track layout here would be less favourable to us than Silverstone."
Daniel Ricciardo (FP1: 1:33.901, pos. 13th, 23 laps / FP2: 1:31.855, pos. 12th, 42 laps): “We had quite a smooth day with no troubles on the car or with the tyres and I managed to do a lot of laps.
It would be nice to continue like that, but we knew this circuit would not be quite so favourable to us. I’d need to look at our competitors’ lap times to get a better understanding of where we really are in the order.
My final sector seemed quite strong, but we were lacking in the first one, which only has a few corners so we need to find some more pace.
My long run felt okay, but there is a margin to improve and if can come up with some ideas for fine tuning the set-up overnight, I think we can improve tomorrow.”
Jean-Eric Vergne (FP1: 1:33.976, pos. 14th, 26 laps / FP2: 1:32.055, pos. 13th, 39 laps): “It’s my first time driving a Formula 1 car at this track, but that had no effect on my day. The different type of tyre is performing more or less as we had expected and from the safety point of view, we saw no signs of problems, so that is a positive thing.
In terms of the car’s pure performance, we need to work a lot overnight, because we are not where we wanted to be. Even if we knew the Nurburgring configuration would not suit us so well, I am reasonably hopeful that we can find some things to do to the car to improve for the rest of the weekend.”
Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “We had a productive Friday. Obviously, the tyres have changed for here and so we spent a reasonable part of our time looking at the implications of that. We had a first look at these tyres in Canada, but we did not get in many laps there. Overall, everything looks okay.
As far as our performance is concerned, we knew the track layout here would be less favourable to us than Silverstone, so our pace today was not a surprise. I would say it is very close between McLaren, Force India and us here, so it is going to be down to all the little details we can put together tonight to try and get ahead of this group. It will be a more challenging weekend for us than the last one.”