Saturday 22 September 2012
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: 3rd, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:47.947)
“It’s hard to say what happened. I was happy until the end of Q2, but then in Q3 we weren’t able to go with the track and improve. In Q3 I couldn’t feel the grip so well and convert it to the lap time. The most important day is tomorrow and we have got pace in the car. We have been competitive this weekend and our target is to have a good race tomorrow; P3 is still a good place to start from.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 7th, (3rd Practice – P11, 1:50.110)
“We expected to be higher than that. It was a tricky session and on every run the car felt a bit different. We didn’t have the rear-grip that we had in the other sessions; normally the super soft tyres give us a certain balance, but it was difficult to chase it in that session. It’s disappointing to be seventh, but it’s a long race tomorrow and we have a chance to get something from it.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “After being competitive in FP1, 2 and 3, third and seventh is a strong result here, but perhaps not as strong as we would have hoped for. Our rhythm in Q3 seemed to be slightly interrupted, but it’s still close and it’s a long and hot race tomorrow. I’m sure we can race well from third and seventh on the grid.”
(Renault) CYRIL DUMONT: “It was surprise today; we were expecting to be higher than P3 and P7 looking at our pace in the previous sessions. I think tomorrow will be long, but there are many corners, so we will try to regain our pace and see what we can do from there.”
A Formula One team is all about the people, but away from the racing what makes our team members tick? This race, Team Manager Jonathan Wheatley tackles time schedules, triplets and track days…
We’re night-racing this weekend, which means strange hours, curfews and staying on European time. What’s the most difficult thing about co-ordinating all of that?
The trickiest thing is that on the early set-up days you do actually have to adapt to Singapore time. There’s no point in having a fork lift truck that’s packed up at 2am as there’ll be nobody here from the circuit to help with it, so end up having to work normal hours. Then from Wednesday you have to get back to European time, which is a tough thing. It’s about managing that transition and helping the guys do it without knocking the life out of them.
Once the team is on European time, is it difficult to keep everyone to that schedule?
Surprisingly, it’s not. I think this is the perfect place for it. Singapore’s an incredible, vibrant city, so it’s still going at 4am. Essentially, the guys can come in, do their work, leave and still have a drink, something to eat and a bit of relaxation time, even at four in the morning. Arguably, you might even get more sleep here than you do at a regular race.
What’s the best thing about you job as team manager?
Getting to compete against the very best in the world every two weeks. It’s not the Olympics. Here, you come away with a measurement of how you’ve performed every two weeks.
And the worst thing?
I can never think of many downsides. This job can be frustrating, it can make you angry at times but I’ve never been bored and I don’t think many people can say that about their job.
How do you relax outside of Formula One? What’s a perfect day off?
I’m very much a family man. We’ve got triplet boys, 10-year-olds, so motorsport’s a snack by comparison to dealing with that! So, when I’m not racing, I tend to catch up with friends and spend a lot of time with family and my children. I also like to do the odd track day. I’ve still got this urge to be a racing driver. So the perfect day would involve doing something at a race track with my kids