Changeable weather and lots of parts to evaluate
This Friday was affected by changeable weather conditions, with rain in the morning, while drivers were able to run in the dry this afternoon. This meant that in the morning, it was possible to check the balance of the car in the wet, while in the afternoon, the team could go into a deeper evaluation of the new aerodynamic components brought to this track. Between them, the two Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers completed 91 laps, 40 for Fernando and 51 for Felipe.
“These two sessions were very different one to the other, because of the change in the weather. It was useful to do some running in the wet because there is a chance that it might rain again at some point tomorrow. We tried various new solutions and now we have to evaluate them carefully to see what worked and what did not. I had a hydraulic problem which cost me some time in the pits at the start of the second session. That contributed to the fact it’s difficult for me to give a precise evaluation of tyre behaviour. Then, I also had a spin, when I was being too optimistic in my use of the moveable rear wing. For sure this track puts a heavy load on the tyres: it will be interesting to see what happens in the race. I think we have made progress, but there are various teams that are quicker than us. We have to try and do our best, putting together the best package made up of new components and those we have used before to try and get all the potential out of the car.”
“From what I could see, we have made a step forward in terms of performance, but we are not yet close enough to the best. It is always difficult to say how much progress one has made after just two free practice sessions: we will have to wait for qualifying to get a clearer picture. We are working very hard to catch up and I think we are on the right road, but the others are definitely not standing still. For example, Mercedes seems to have made a significant step forward here. Would I prefer a wet race? Sure, if it turns out we are not competitive then the rain would open up more possibilities, but it could also go well in the dry and it does seem as though the weather is improving. This is a very demanding circuit, but I really like driving here because there are so many different types of corner.”
“It’s always difficult to say what the real order is after Friday’s free practice sessions and that is even more the case when one of them takes place in the wet, as was the case today. At least this morning we were able to get a first impression of the balance and handling of our car on both types of rain tyre.
We have to try and manage the few sets of tyres available to us as well as possible
However, we didn’t do that many laps because the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend is still uncertain, therefore we have to try and manage the few sets of tyres available to us as well as possible. In the afternoon, we concentrated mainly on evaluating new aerodynamic components and, as usual, comparing the two types of dry tyre. Unfortunately, we lost at least half an hour with Fernando, because of an hydraulic problem and so the Spaniard was not exactly in the best of shape to get the most out of the soft tyres. As for Felipe, he managed to get through the entire planned programme. Some of the new elements, like the rear wing for example, immediately showed good results, while others, such as the floor and the front wing, still need further careful evaluation.”