The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team had a productive opening day of the Chinese Grand Prix today at the Shanghai International Circuit. Drivers Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto were able to complete their programmes of set-up work and tyre...
The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team had a productive opening day of the Chinese Grand Prix today at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Drivers Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto were able to complete their programmes of set-up work and tyre comparisons, putting in longer runs in the afternoon's warmer session. 'Green', slippery track conditions initially led to many drivers' having off-road excursions, but as temperatures increased and more rubber was laid down lap times improved.
Adrian, making his Shanghai debut this weekend, recorded the team's best time of the day of 1:39.224 in the second practice, putting him 19th overall and within one second of the top 12. Sakon also completed a solid day's work, although both drivers did struggle to find a comfortable balance on the harder tyre option available.
After a final practice tomorrow morning, Qualifying will start at 14:00 local time.
"At the beginning of the day, the track was nearly undriveable and it was very difficult just to stay on track. By the end of the day it was much better and I think we can expect a further improvement tomorrow. We did long runs on both the hard and soft tyre option, and found that the balance was definitely better on the softer tyres."
"On a new soft option, the runs were quite good, but with the hard tyre we just don't seem to be able to make them work at the moment and I think we need to wait until the track gets a bit more grip. Overall it was a normal good day though and I am quite happy going into the weekend from this basis."
"Today we didn't have any problems and could get through our programme and, importantly, could collect a lot of data. In the afternoon we tried out both types of tyres, but unfortunately at the end of the second session when we had a new set of tyres we couldn't make the most of them and improve our times. We have to investigate why now so we can try and go forward tomorrow."
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer:
"It was a reasonably productive day on both cars. Adrian started to learn the circuit, although it was very difficult in the low grip conditions. The track did improve slightly towards the end of the day, but overall we look competitive with the group in front as in the previous races. We now have to work a little bit harder to find that bit of performance for tomorrow."
FP1: 22nd, 1:40.149 (26 laps)
FP2: 19th, 1:39.224 (37 laps)
FP1: 21st, 1:40.126 (27 laps)
FP2: 22nd, 1:40.051 (38 laps)