OPEN FOR BUSINESS
A busy day in Austin, with Esteban, Jordan and Pascal at the wheel of the MRT05s, all getting their first taste of the fantastic racetrack that is the Circuit of The Americas. Jordan impressed in his first ever F1 FP1, ending the morning P20 on the timesheet.
Free Practice 1 & 2, 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Friday 21 October
Circuit of The Americas, Austin
Esteban MRT05-02 FP1 P22 1:43.874 27 laps / FP2 P19 1:40.086 27 laps
Jordan MRT05-01 FP1 P20 1:42.012 29 laps
Pascal MRT05-01 FP2 P22 1:41.131 31 laps
Esteban, by the second session you seemed to be looking pretty comfortable here at the Circuit of The Americas?
“Yes, I really like it here. This morning we worked through the usual programme of circuit familiarisation and setup work, then this afternoon it felt like we were really up to speed, which I think came through in my lap time. I made a small mistake and spun, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with how things are going here. I’m looking forward to rolling everything we’ve learned today into qualifying now. It’s looking good so far.”
Pascal, busy afternoon for you, cramming a full day’s programme into a single FP2 session. How did that go?
“It was a pretty condensed and fast-moving session but on the whole, the afternoon went well. We made good progress up to my Supersoft run, then on the out lap the red flag came out and on the second run my tyres were not up to temperature and I ran into traffic. So, not the best, but as I say, the rest of the programme was good.”
What do you think of COTA so far?”
“Really good. I like it a lot. The track is really interesting – quite technical and fast-moving and some really exciting features. I particularly like the section of slow corners towards the end of the lap that are similar to Hockenheim. I’m looking forward to more track time tomorrow to see how we’re looking here.”
So, Jordan, how does it feel to have graduated from the test track to a Grand Prix practice session?
“Today has been one of the best days of my life. I had a massive smile on my face as I drove out of the garage, let me tell you. On the one hand, 90 minutes just flies by. On the other, I’ll probably remember each of my 29 laps for the rest of my life. It really has been a dream come true.”
AND it went really well for you!
“Really well. I’d done a lot of preparation with my engineering team and when the time came I was feeling very confident and comfortable in the car. I’ve always said that the biggest test of my own performance here would be providing data and feedback that makes a positive impact on the team’s performance. But at the same time, I’m incredibly happy with my pace, given that I was on the same programme and tyres as everyone else. I had two long runs on the Medium tyre and then a brief shot in between on the Soft, which was pretty typical of the rest of the field.”
Not a bad circuit to make your debut at, either?
“It’s an incredible circuit. Really exhilarating to drive, with all the elevation and camber changes. Plus, the section from 3-9 reminded me of home – it’s a lot like the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex at Silverstone. When I put the Soft tyres on, it was a pretty special feeling. So, yeah, an incredible day for me and difficult to hand the keys back. I want to thank the team for giving me this opportunity and the work they put in to help me make the most of it.”
A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
“First of all, congratulations to Jordan on a really good morning’s work in his first Formula 1 Free Practice session. He did a great job and provided us with really useful data and feedback to help with the rest of our weekend here. Pascal had a pretty condensed programme this afternoon but got on top of things very quickly, so no real issue with missing the first session, it’s just a shame that the red flag situation compromised both of his attempts at a Supersoft run. Esteban has also had a very good day, so all things considered, we are in a very good place going into tomorrow.”