Timo Glock, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Doornbos finished 6th, 7th and 16th respectively in a rain-soaked free practice day at Suzuka. Timo Glock: "It didn't go too badly today given the extremely rainy conditions. It was a bit difficult for me...
Timo Glock, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Doornbos finished 6th, 7th and 16th respectively in a rain-soaked free practice day at Suzuka.
"It didn't go too badly today given the extremely rainy conditions. It was a bit difficult for me to start with as I don't know the circuit and it's hard to learn it in the rain. But after a few laps it was okay; I found a good rhythm in the wet and the car was not feeling too bad. At the end I was quite happy with both sessions although the rain got so heavy we had to stop before the session finished. The car was quite good in these conditions so I hope we have a wet qualifying and race!"
"It was quite a satisfying day today looking at our positions. Obviously it was very difficult for everybody with these weather conditions and the forecast for tomorrow looks even worse. We did a few outings but stopped before the end because it simply got too wet and we would not have been able to assess the changes correctly."
"I think it went great as it was my first time ever driving a Formula One car in the wet and I had to learn the circuit as well. If I compare how to drive F1 in the rain with F3000, the difference is unbelievable. The Bridgestone tyres gave an amazing amount of grip. I really enjoyed it and found the pace right away. I did a good job and I'm looking forward to more laps in Brazil."
James Robinson, Head of race and test engineering:
"That was one of the wettest practice sessions we have seen in F1 for a long time. Perhaps qualifying at Magny Cours in 1999 was worse but today the rain was very heavy indeed. We thought it might be driest at the start so we went out early in the session and, perhaps by luck, it turned out as we expected. The drivers did a good job today although unfortunately for Robert he wasn't out with his preferred settings when the track was at its best so he wasn't able to maximise his and the car's potential."
"On a separate note, we have organised the race engineering group a little bit differently for this race to offer our younger engineers an opportunity to get involved in the direct operations and running of the cars. Oliver Knighton (test and third car engineer) is Timo's race engineer this weekend and Peter Bonnington (data and assistant race engineer) ran the third car, driven by Robert Doornbos, today. Dominic Harlow (race engineer, Giorgio Pantano and Timo Glock in Canada and China) is taking a more senior role over the operation."
Practice session 1: 5th, 1:51.438, 7 laps
Practice session 2: 7th, 1:49.286, 6 laps
Practice session 1: 7th, 1:52.602, 8 laps
Practice session 2: 6th, 1:49.277, 4 laps
Practice session 1: 9th, 1:53.603, 10 laps
Practice session 2: 16th, 1:51.007, 11 laps