On the one hand, Esteban has been pounding out the mileage during his first day of running at Interlagos and there are positive signs for the weekend ahead. Pascal, meanwhile, has had a frustrating day, after two significantly compromised sessions.
Free Practice 1 & 2, Formula 1 Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2016
Friday 11 November
Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo
Esteban MRT05-02 FP1 P18 1:14.827 30 laps / FP2 P18 1:14.317 46 laps
Pascal MRT05-01 FP1 P20 1:14.948 32 laps / FP2 P22 1:14.958 22 laps
Esteban, first time out at Interlagos, but that looked like a really solid day’s work?
“Yes, really good. I’m loving the track; it’s a circuit that has a lot of character and is short but really interesting. With the car, it feels like a much better start to the weekend than Mexico and I think we’ve done a good job to get up to speed quite quickly. There’s more to come as we build towards qualifying and the race, but with how things look so far, I think we can have a nice fight with the cars around us.”
That sounds good. You seem much happier with the car here than Mexico. All sorted?
“I think we found the problem and my car feels ‘back to normal’ after the problems we had in Mexico. I’m much happier with the way the car is handling and the pace looks good – ahead of a Renault and a Sauber. So far so good.”
Pascal, the opposite start to the weekend for you from the one you had in Mexico. A frustrating day.
“I’ve been struggling with some car issues today. We looked at it between FP1 and FP2, but FP2 ended up being massively compromised. I had to stay in the garage for most of the session. It’s not ideal, but Fridays can be like that, and now we just need to get to the bottom of the problem and fix it before tomorrow.”
Notwithstanding the challenges of today, are you optimistic for the weekend?
“Always. Challenges are there to be overcome and they simply make you fight harder. I was able to get out on track for the end of the session and even though I had half the laps of some people out there, I was pleased with where we ended up, considering. I’ll come back tomorrow and see what we’ve got for qualifying.”
A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
“Not the best start to the weekend on Pascal’s side of the garage. We’ve experienced a few problems in both sessions, some of which we identified and got on top of and some of which require further investigation. That lost him quite a bit of time confined to the garage and his programme was significantly impacted. However, he did a good job to come back from that and had a positive end to what has been a pretty poor couple of sessions. We need to sort those problems out for him. With Esteban, he had a straightforward day and was able to demonstrate that our one-lap pace is looking good versus our immediate competitors, but there’s still a lot of work to do to prepare for the race.”