Saturday 28 March 2015
MALAYSIAN GP – QUALIFYING
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 4th, (3rd Practice – P7, 1:40.590)
“We’ve always gone pretty well in the wet and there are still some things we can improve, but fourth is a good result for the team. The second row is a good starting position and we should hopefully have some battles tomorrow. We’re behind Mercedes and Ferrari, but we are ahead of the Williams and the conditions were tricky, so that’s good, step by step we are improving and heading in the right direction. Tyre degradation will be high, so it will probably be a three-stop race tomorrow. If we can finish in the top four, that will be good.
DANIIL KVYAT, Position: 5th, (3rd Practice – P13, 1:41.776)
“It was a decent qualifying for us, P4 and P5 is good for the team but I think on our lap we maybe went out a little early, it might have been better later on but it’s hard always to know with the conditions. Overall, there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend and we are seeing some improvements, it’s a good start.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “Both the team and drivers got the most out of difficult qualifying sessions today. After the rain arrived in Q2, it was always going to make life tricky and, as we saw, in Malaysia the track dries incredibly quickly; both guys got the maximum out of the car to line up fourth and fifth. Hopefully with strong grid positions we can have a good race tomorrow.”
Getting a Formula One car from drawing board to grid involves a huge amount of expertise. In this series we’ll talk to some of the highly skilled people whose unique talents help the team to go racing. This race, Stuart Jones, Senior Composites Technician for the Race Team, reveals that in his job, where new parts often need a little ‘modification’, it’s all about reaction time.
Our department is the final part of the process in terms of composites. Our primary responsibilities are all composite bodywork parts, ensuring correct specification, legality and structural integrity of components before they reach the car.
New parts arrive on a regular basis and it’s our job to make them work on the car at the track. You’ve got to remember that these parts are the first of their type and are not always perfect. The guys at the factory pre-build all the assemblies in advance to double check everything, but if there is a problem, an update or something that they haven’t had time to rectify we’ll have to then complete at the track.
It might be that there’s been a last minute design change after components have been shipped and on arrival at the track with just a few hours to go before a session we have to build and carry out the design changes, working with the communication we have received from the factory to make the parts complete.
It’s often very last minute, for example sometimes we come in in the morning before a session and the engineers have a new idea about using these parts. That’s the really rewarding part of the job – finding out at short notice. The buzz you get from knowing that the work you have done has enabled the car to go out on time, in the correct and fastest specification is fantastic. The problem is there right in front of you and you have to solve it. You’ve got minutes or seconds to play with otherwise you miss the start of the session or the car doesn’t make the first lap in qualifying.
If I had to sum up what makes the job very specialised I think it’s our ability to react to something very quickly and to be able to work under pressure and still to provide the results – components at the correct spec, legal and with good structural integrity but still at a very high standard even though you only had a very limited time to do it.