GETTING TO KNOW YOU
A good day’s work for Pascal and Esteban, as they get their first taste of the super-technical Suzuka International Racing Course. They end the day P20 and P21 – and hungry for more!
Free Practice 1 & 2, 2016 Formula 1 Emirates Japanese Grand Prix
Friday 7 October
Suzuka International Racing Course
Pascal MRT05-03 FP1 P21 1:37.966 24 laps / FP2 P20 1:35.292 30 laps
Esteban MRT05-02 FP1 P20 1:37.797 29 laps / FP2 P21 1:35.400 37 laps
First experience of Suzuka under your belt. How do you like it?
“I’ve been really looking forward to getting out on track here. It’s not an easy circuit to master but I’m quite happy so far and I have a much better feeling with the car than the last race. We seem to have made some progress, which is good. It’s an awesome track to drive; a fantastic challenge and some fun corners. I’m feeling pretty positive about it, even though it’s not one of the most well-suited for our car.”
“It’s only Friday”, as the saying goes, but what has gone well and what areas do you need to improve on?
“The most important thing is that we’ve found a good set-up and we’ve improved step-by-step through the two sessions. I’m also certain that we can squeeze a few drops more from the car in FP3 and be better for qualifying. So with a good run at tomorrow morning, it can go well for us here, I hope.”
Esteban, you seemed to be lapping up the atmosphere and the support of the Japanese fans yesterday. Are you loving Suzuka?
“I love everything about the fans, the track and Japan in general. I thought I might, but now I’m here I can’t get enough of the place. I really enjoyed my first day of practice here; it’s a really technical and demanding track. I love chicanes in general and these are pretty quick, so I’m really enjoying driving them.”
Where do we go from here?
“We’ve tried a few different things on set-up and I think we’ve ended up in a good place as far as direction for tomorrow goes. Our long pace looks promising. There’s still some work to do on our qualifying pace, but I’m optimistic that we can have a good fight on Sunday.”
A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
“A reasonably good start to our weekend here in Suzuka. Pascal and Esteban seem to have got to grips with this track quite well and are enjoying it, plus they’re responding well to the steps we’ve taken to improve the car since Sepang. It wasn’t all plain sailing today; there are a few things we need to work on. But looking at the big picture, we seem to have made some progress since Malaysia and that’s good to see.”