First Practice Session: Position: 17, Best Time: 1:42.598, Laps: 5
Second Practice Session: Position: 4, Best Time: 1:40.390, Laps: 30
“It was tricky out there today, the wind makes it difficult; it’s quite an open circuit, so any form of cross wind or tail wind upsets the car a lot – we saw a few spins in FP2 from a few guys. We got the car in a good window to work with and hopefully tomorrow we can find a bit more speed. We didn’t run much this morning but in FP2 we ended up in the top five and the long run looked reasonable, so I think we had a pretty good afternoon.”
First Practice Session: Position: 7, Best Time: 1:41.463, Laps: 20
Second Practice Session: Position: 18, Best Time: 1:43.980, Laps: 19
“It was a different practice today, as we focused on Sunday preparation. We had an issue with the gearbox this morning so we lost some time, but overall it was okay. It’s not great knowing that you can’t go out and fully go for it in qualifying tomorrow, but we knew it from the start of this weekend, so we focus on the race and hopefully we will have a good come back from the pit lane on Sunday.”
Measured in 10ths: Slow Burners
In our latest look at the 10s that make up our decade of F1 action, this time around we look at how some of our main players fared in their 10th grand prix and discover that even stellar careers sometimes take a while to ignite…
My 10th Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel: Cast your mind back to 2008 and, rightly, all anyone can remember of Seb’s first full F1 season was his stunning maiden win in Monza with Toro Rosso. However, earlier that season, Seb’s 10th race at the Malaysian GP, saw him qualify in P15 before being beset by all sorts of issues in the race. “I started to have difficulty shifting gear and with the power steering,” he said. “And then the back end caught fire as I pulled over to stop. Up to that point I was having a reasonable race.”
Daniel Ricciardo: The 2011 Abu Dhabi GP was Dan’s penultimate race with HRT after he had been loaned to them from Red Bull. At Yas Marina he qualified in P20, and in the race an electrical issue ended his race after 48 laps. As ever though, Dan was upbeat about the team’s progress. “Three laps from the end my car stopped but, overall, the pace was good and I was setting some good times, so that’s something to take into the next race.” A month later he did better than that and got something to take into the following season – confirmation that he would race for Scudeira Toro Rosso in 2012.
Christian Horner: After the controversies of the 2005 US Grand Prix and its six-car grid, the French Grand Prix should have been a welcome return to the form that had seen the team bag a double-points finish in Canada a month earlier. It wasn’t to be. Christian Klien lost time on Friday through a crash, missed FP3, qualified 16th and then exited the race after just one lap with a fuel pressure problem. David Coulthard fared slightly better, qualifying in P15 and racing to P10.