2012 MONACO GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE
“It feels incredible driving this track”
Circuit de Monaco, Thursday May 24
P1 1m17.190s (+0.925s) 13 laps 13th
P2 1m15.746s 17 laps 1st
“The most important job today was to try and get a decent high-fuel long-run on the Supersoft tyre – which I don’t think anyone managed. We’ve got to see how the tyre works because its performance will play a considerable role in the race.
“Still, it was nice to briefly stick that tyre on and see how much grip it has – that gives you a bit of information to look over before Saturday, even though we’ll still get to run that compound again before qualifying.
“I definitely feel like the car improved from P1 to P2. We tried something different for this afternoon’s session and I was happier with how the car felt. There’s still room for improvement, but we know what direction we want to take.”
P1 1m16.747s (+0.482s) 12 laps 4th
P2 1m17.375s (+1.629s) 19 laps 11th
“We didn’t get to learn quite as much as we’d perhaps wanted to today. The weather was clear in the morning, but was quite difficult to dial-in the car because of the changing weather conditions we got this afternoon, compounded by the traffic as usual here. It’s an incredibly tough circuit, very technical, so every little scrap of information helps you understand where to go with the set-up.
“The less running you get, the tougher it becomes to understand the behaviour of the tyres. Today, neither of us got to do a long-run, so we’ll be going into the race slightly unsure about how the tyres will behave. But everyone is in the same boat so I guess it’ll be a bit of a surprise for all the teams.
“Nonetheless, it’s still mega-fun out there; it feels incredible driving this track.”
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Hearing the roar of Formula 1 engines resonating around the harbour front vividly reminds you that no other circuit in the world can match the taut, visceral thrill of Monte-Carlo.
“Unfortunately, the changeable weather conditions – a dry morning followed by an increasingly damp and greasy afternoon – have caused us to be a little less well prepared for the remainder of the weekend than we’d ideally like. But it’s the same for everyone. It’s just another of the unique challenges posed by this most formidable of street circuits.
“I think we’re yet to see what either Jenson or Lewis can achieve when they push the car to its fullest extent around here, but I know that both our drivers relish the challenge of this circuit and that they’ll hit the ground running again on Saturday.
“At the moment, the sharp end of the grid looks extremely close – and it’ll be all to play for in what’s likely to be an absolutely thrilling qualifying session. Bring it on!”