30 OCTOBER 2016
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 3rd, 1:33.420 (Practice 3 – P2 1:34.879)
“I thought it was going to be a tough race for us before we came here. Now it seems like the balance of the car is there, the long runs seem good and we have improved our short run pace a lot. We were pretty close to the Mercedes on the front row and I’m really enjoying the new surface here, the car is working very well on it. For both of us to be on the second row, in front of Ferrari, means we can be very pleased with today’s work. Out of the past three or four races this has been my best long run pace on a Friday, we haven’t changed much on the car so it should be similar tomorrow. After Singapore I talked with the team and we changed some things on the car and it seems to have worked, hopefully we can keep improving in this way. We have made some changes to the clutch so we shall see if it has improved tomorrow, so far everything looks positive. The set up feels really good here and we will no doubt check everything tonight to make sure we are in the best position possible on race day.
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 4th, 1:33.467 (Practice 3 – P6 1:35.461)
“It was quite an exciting quali session and my lap was pretty clean. I pushed quite a bit in the first two sectors; I think I got more out of the tyres compared to the last sector where I struggled for traction and lost a little bit of time. From where we were yesterday, I am pretty happy. We made quite a few changes overnight and they definitely helped me out today, so I was feeling a lot more comfortable in the car. Our race pace is looking good too as we saw from Max’s sessions yesterday. We should have a nice battle for the podium tomorrow and we’ll try to stay ahead of the Ferraris. They are normally pretty good on their tyres here but we have an extra set of soft tyres for the race which should work well for us. As a team we are pumped to lock out the second row at this circuit and we should have a good race on our hands for tomorrow.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A great performance from both of our drivers in qualifying, extracting everything possible out of the car to lock out the second row of the grid. Max absolutely nailed his first run in Q3 and there was very little to choose between the guys today. To be ahead of both Ferraris and to get as close as we actually managed to get to Mercedes is a positive to take into tomorrow’s race.”
Road and Track
We ask some of the people who make our team tick to pick out their favourite moments and machines in motorsport and on the road. This time it’s our Chief Engineer, Aerodynamics Dan Fallows.
1. What was the first race you ever attended?
It was 1983 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, I was 10 years old and my dad took me. He got me into F1. I had seen it on the TV before, but this one had everything: there were crashes, fires, red flags, everything. I was completely hooked from the moment they came past on the first lap.
2. What’s the most beautiful road car ever made?
The Aston Martin DB4 Zagato. I don’t think they made many of them and it is completely different to a standard DB4, I don’t know how they did it, but the proportions of it are just absolutely spot on. It’s stunning.
3. What’s the most beautiful race car ever made?
I think it’s probably the 1986 Williams FW11. If you had to draw a Formula One car, especially when I was 15 years old, that’s what it would look like. Big wings, big wheels, 1000hp; it just looked fantastic.
4. What was the first road car you owned and was it any good?
My parents bought me a Mini when I was 18, in about 1992. Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of the cool old ones; it was one of the ones done when Rover started remaking them. So it was not particularly cool, not particularly fast, but I liked it because it got me around. That was about it! It had bigger, after-market alloy wheels and they rubbed on the wheel arches and the water pump failed every week. It would break down a lot and it really makes you appreciate modern cars.
5. What car do you own now and why did you buy it?
I have a BMW M4. I have a reasonable commute to work, about 35 miles each way, so the M4 is comfortable and when you put your foot down it’s nice and quick. Plus, you can get the kids in the back. That was the criteria laid down by my wife: we had to get the kids in the back!
6. When you were first getting into motorsport who were you a fan of?
We used to watch F1 whenever it was on TV but I liked the cars more than the people to be honest! But I got a Scalextric set and it had the Brabham, which was the faster of the two cars, so I started following Nelson Piquet who had won the championship in 1983. He had everything for me. He was a bit of a playboy. He was completely focused on what he was doing in the car but when he got out he was living the life and doing that James Hunt thing. Plus, he had the fastest Scalextric car; what more could you ask for?
7. What’s your favourite circuit, in F1 or outside the sport?
I worked in Champ Car for a while and Elkhart Lake I really liked, but I have to say Spa is just wonderful. It beats anywhere else hands down. It’s got everything: weather changes, elevation changes… everybody goes on about Eau Rouge but the rest of the circuit is amazing, so technical, such a great variety of corners. From a design point of view, if you go well at Spa you know you have a good car. For whatever reason there always seems to be a good race there, too, with loads of overtaking and crashes. You know you’ll get a good race there.
8. What’s the thing in motorsport that you’d most like to achieve but haven’t?
I think it’s really difficult with the rules now because they are so restrictive but I would genuinely love us to come up with an aerodynamic innovation that is game changing, one that everybody has to adopt or they’ll be nowhere. Something that we could put on the car that would make us two or three seconds a lap quicker. I have to believe that there is something out there we can do. I think 2017 does allow for more of that and someone will find something. We have to believe that it will be us.
9. What’s the one that got away throughout your career?
So… double diffusers, 2009 – it still hurts to this day! I still have no idea how Brawn managed to get that through. Whatever the reason, they did. It was a lovely story for Brawn that season, a good thing for motorsport, and we did get on top of the whole double diffuser thing very quickly and we did have the better car by mid-season, but it just still hurts!
10. What would be your race number and why?
It would be 42, because I’m a Douglas Adams fan. I read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when I was kid and I loved it. I re-read the series a while ago and it’s even better than I remembered.
11. If you had an Aston Martin for a day where would you take it and who would you be with?
I think I would take my wife to Silverstone. She’s not a speed freak at all; she finds the whole thing completely alien. I’d love to take her out for a couple of laps, scare the wits out of her, and either she would come out of it resolute in her hatred of speed or she would think ‘do you know what, there’s something in this’.