First Practice Session: Position: 4, Best Time: 1:49.874, Laps: 27
Second Practice Session: Position: 5, Best Time: 1:48.041, Laps: 5
“Was today unlucky? I don’t believe in good luck and bad luck. I think we did a lot in the last few years that was right and we weren’t just lucky then; this year it’s a bit different and we have had some problems, but that’s part of life. We have overcome the troubles that we have had and it’s progressively getting better. In terms of pace it’s looking good this weekend. It was important to get a good feel on the supersoft tyre. The mechanics were pushing hard and changed the engine in less than three hours after FP1, which is a massive job, so thanks to them that I was able to get out in the second session.”
First Practice Session: Position: 5, Best Time: 1:50.122, Laps: 21
Second Practice Session: Position: 3, Best Time: 1:47.790, Laps: 28
“I’ve got a feeling Mercedes probably have a bit more in the bag. I saw Hamilton is about three tenths up the road and Rosberg was improving and then he caught the red flag or the yellow flag so I don’t know, I think they’ve got a bit more in the tank. I think we do too, but probably not enough to get on par with them yet, but hopefully a good night of homework will pay off tomorrow. I wasn’t expecting such a big difference between the tyres, it just doesn’t seem the prime is working as well, the supersoft seems normal but the prime is tricky to turn on so that’s making it a bit hard. The tyres are going to make a big difference in the race – to be quick on the tyre is one thing, but to make it last more laps is another and that could save you doing an extra pit stop in the race.”
TEN SEASONS AGO WE WERE:
Continuing our theme of celebrating our 10th season in F1, this race we thought we’d take a look back to see what was happening on this day 10 seasons ago. So, engage time travel machine and let’s ahead all the way back to the 19th of September 2005 when we were…
1. Analysing – our performance at the Belgian GP, which was mixed. The race was won by Kimi Raikkonen, while for us Christian Klien started 16th and finished ninth and David Coulthard started from 11th place but retired after 18 laps, bemoaning a “first engine failure since last December”.
2. Preparing for – the Brazilian GP. Yep, seasons seemed a bit shorter in those days. Back in ’05 the Interlagos race was on 25 September! The Japanese GP followed on 9 October and our debut season was done and dusted a week later with the Chinese GP. If memory serves we threw a massive party opposite the Bund to celebrate a pretty decent start to life on the F1 grid.
3. Listening to – the UK number one on this day in 2005 was ‘Don’t Cha’ by the Pussycat Dolls, a group of course featured a certain Nicole Scherzinger who has since become quite the F1 fan, or so we’re told. In the US, the top spot of the charts was occupied by Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx singing Gold Digger.
4. Watching – most likely we were watching Tim Burton’s weird and wonderful, stop-motion animated film The Corpse Bride starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, which was released on 16 September or Good Night, and Good Luck with George Clooney.
5. Reading – what was making the headlines on 19 September, ’05? The city of New Orleans was recovering from Hurricane Katrina and Bill Clinton was lambasting George Bush for inaction on the disaster, the war in Iraq was worsening (again), German elections had failed to reveal a clear winner, with Angela Merkel bidding to form a coalition (she did), NASA was insisting that it would put men on the moon again by 2018 and in France black truffles were fetching €1,000 euro per kilo mark after an exceptionally poor harvest.