“Not a bad place from which to start”
Marina Bay circuit, Friday September 21
FP1 1m51.459s (+0.893s) 17 laps 3rd
FP2 1m48.651s (+0.311s) 24 laps 2nd
“I don’t feel like I’ve found my flow yet – the track surface wasn’t very grippy in either session because of the morning’s rain.
“I’m not entirely happy with the balance either – not everything we tried changing today was successful – but we’ve still got a few ideas for tomorrow and that’s a positive.
“There’s still a lot of work to do – but, if we can fine-tune the balance, we should be competitive.”
FP1 1m50.566s (+0.049s) 15 laps 2nd
FP2 1m49.086s (+0.746s) 28 laps 5th
“Our car has quite a nice balance but we still need to make some further set-up changes. It’s tough in these temperatures, especially on the long runs, but to be honest I think everyone’s struggling a bit too.
“In FP2, I ran a bit wide at the final corner on my fastest lap and probably lost about half a second. Still, it’s great to be able to throw the car around on a high-downforce circuit.
“My race pace didn’t feel great from inside the cockpit, but my engineers tell me it was quite promising. The track should also rubber-in by tomorrow, so tyre degradation should be less of an issue.
“We’re in the top five, but it’ll be a very tight battle for pole position tomorrow. We’re looking at set-up and balance to improve our long-run pace, but today’s performance isn’t a bad place from which to start.”
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Despite extensive resurfacing, the Marina Bay circuit is still an extremely tough challenge for any Formula 1 driver. While it’s pleasing to see both our drivers routinely running towards the top of the timesheets in both free practice sessions, there’s still a considerable amount of work to do to finesse our car’s set-up for the remainder of the weekend.
“Like all street circuits, however, the track will rubber-in overnight, and we should find ourselves in a better position for what’s likely to be an extremely closely matched qualifying session.
“This is a good starting position for the rest of the weekend – let’s hope we can maintain our momentum.”