Malaysian Grand Prix Practice – Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“WE FOUND A POSITIVE DIRECTION – HOPEFULLY THERE’LL BE MORE TO COME”
Sepang, Friday April 8
P1 programme 16 laps 1m40.927s (+3.276s) 15th
P2 programme 30 laps 1m36.881s (+0.005s) 2nd
“This afternoon’s session was much better than this morning’s. We found things a little difficult during P1; after Melbourne, we chose to head in a certain direction in order to resolve the issues we had in the first race, but the track is very different here. So we went back on a few of those changes, and everything is performing better now.
“But, actually, everyone appears to have been struggling with rear grip today. The tyres feel very different from those we had in Melbourne. It’s very tricky, but that’s what we saw in winter testing, so we have good experience with that.
“We don’t know what fuel loads the other teams were running, of course. What’s important, though, is that we changed a lot of things on the car and they were all positive steps. We feel like we’ve found a good direction – and hopefully there’ll be more to come.”
P1 programme 16 laps 1m39.316s (+1.665s) 2nd
P2 programme 23 laps 1m37.010s (+0.134s) 3rd
“Today has been interesting. We seem reasonably close to the top of the time-sheets – and I think we’ve made some positive steps with the set-up of the car. We’ve still got time to find, but it’s been a constructive day.
“The track conditions are massively different compared with the cold conditions we experienced in Australia, so the tyres don’t last as long. Maybe Sunday will see a three-stop race.
“I think the bunch of teams at the front is tightening, so it could be a good race. I hope we’re also closer to the front than we were in the last race, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Today we made good progress – especially when you consider that we were conducting our first high-temperature runs on the new Pirelli tyres.
“In this morning’s session both Lewis and Jenson expressed the view that our car was somewhat lacking in balance, but by this afternoon our engineers had worked hard to make the relevant improvements and the result was that both drivers were much happier with the ‘feel’ of their cars. As a consequence, both of them achieved good pace over both short runs and long runs.
“However, we still believe there’s a bit more pace in the cars to ‘unlock’ this weekend, and we fully intend to work as hard as possible to do just that over the next two days.”