Objectives: Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work
FP1: Felipe Massa: 1:20.542 (11th), Susie Wolff: 1:20.769 (15th)
FP2: Felipe Massa: 1:19.024 (6th), Valtteri Bottas: 1:19.385 (10th)
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We are no longer running our interconnected suspension, so one of the main focuses of today was to optimise the car as much as possible around this, as all teams will have had to do. Susie was driving this morning and did a really good job, worked well and drove sensibly. The feedback we got helped us get used to the car without our interconnected suspension which was valuable. Valtteri and Felipe focused more on tyre work during FP2. We have some work to do with tyre conditioning for the first timed lap, but we are certainly not far from getting that right. The set-up and tyre work has helped long run pace a lot. The team have had a tough day as they have been awake since 3am due to a fire in our hotel last night, so well done to them for not letting it affect the work they had to do. It once again shows the true spirit of the team to have both cars working well to complete our planned programmes today.
Felipe Massa: We have had a good day today. We have done a lot of work on the set-up especially after the suspension changes we have had to make. I hope we can carry on the improvements throughout the weekend. We made a good step-up between the first and second sessions which is good. We will have to be cautious about the rain on Sunday and we will be thinking ahead with a view to prepare the car for that.
Valtteri Bottas: The track was very hot today which affected the tyres a lot. It wasn’t easy on the supersoft on the long runs and that’s a point we have highlighted needs more work. It has been interesting to work on the mechanical changes we have made in the suspension, and that has given a lot of data to analyse. We still have room for improvement and will work hard to make sure that improvement happens.
Susie Wolff: The car felt really good today and so I was able to get a good number of laps in. I was able to improve lap on lap and make use of the new set of tyres on the car. I was well prepared and the guys have done a good job for us all to be ready. I knew today was going to be our day and so when we had issues early on I stayed calm and got the car back to the garage. I will be continuing my work in the simulator for the remainder of the season, but I will be looking for the next opportunity to get behind the wheel as I really want to do more.