24 MARCH 2017
AUSTRALIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice Session: 1:24.886, Position: 3, Laps: 19
Second Practice Session: 1:24.650, Position: 5, Laps: 27
“We looked pretty strong this morning and then we tried a few things this afternoon but I don’t think they worked in our favour. I’d like to learn a bit more from this afternoon’s session and then if we could pull all of that together with the strength of this morning I’ll be happy. Mercedes sure is quick but it’s more Lewis at the moment than Valtteri, who looks like he’s more in the group of Ferrari. I think we can be there as well. Pole might be a stretch but I think we can be in that next little group with the right set-up and the right lap in quali. If Lewis does the perfect lap then that’ll be a challenge to take the pole away from him but we’re not too far off. You certainly feel more traction with the new tyres. I thought the times would have been quicker though; this morning I felt a big chunk of grip but I was expecting low twenties. There is still time to improve tomorrow. I think the wind changes so that’ll make a quicker lap time but the traction is nice. It felt awesome to be out on the track this morning, I just felt I was back in my happy place and it was cool to already see so many fans on a Friday. It’s also a circuit I enjoy because it’s a fun layout. I think we can have a very good weekend from here.”
First Practice Session: 1:25.246, Position: 4, Laps: 19
Second Practice Session: 1:25.013, Position: 6, Laps: 8
“Today was about trying to find and improve the balance of the car after getting out on track for the first Friday practice of the year. We are about where I expected us to be, we have some work to do overnight to make sure we are in a good position for tomorrow and can get the best out of the car. It was nice to try the RB13 for the first time here at Albert Park, it definitely felt faster and a bit more enjoyable through the corners, being a street circuit it will improve by qualifying quite a lot which means more fun for us. I ran wide and ended up on the grass which unfortunately damaged the floor and cut short the second session for me. Mercedes seem quick once again so they are the target to beat but we must also do some work overnight to be ahead of Ferrari who also look strong. Hopefully we will have a good start on Sunday, then we are at the front and can make it hard to overtake.”
Unlucky for some?
F1’s a sensible sport, based on sound principles of reason, logic and empiricism. But even though we scorn the superstitious and snort at the supernatural, there are a few new season issues that are just bound to lead to misfortune. Here’s our handy guide to 13 unlucky Melbourne moments…
- It’s unlucky to mock others’ team kit before donning your team’s figure-hugging lycra creations.
- It’s unlucky to hail your rookie driver as a champion in waiting minutes before the start of FP1 at Albert Park.
- It’s unlucky to crow about your new car’s amazing bit of aerodynamic trickery as it’s rolled into scrutineering.
- It’s unlucky to agree to try your first pie floater at the end of a Wednesday night tour of St Kilda hostelries.
- It’s unlucky to tell your colleagues just how much weight you lost over the winter as you tuck into the first bacon sandwich and donut breakfast of the season.
- It’s unlucky to assume that the vital tool you carefully stowed in its flight case in Abu Dhabi is still there in Australia.
- It’s unlucky to constantly calculate exchange rates and realise just unfeasibly and unfathomably expensive this place is.
- It’s very lucky to find a new title sponsor, though often very unlucky when you see their ‘wacky’ branding concepts.
- It’s unlucky to leave your family for the first race of the year, grinning and whistling ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’.
- It’s unlucky to be the roommate of the person who agreed to try his first pie floater after a tour of St Kilda hostelries.
- It’s unlucky to find your local sponsor event requires your drivers to consume raw shellfish.
- It’s unlucky to find yourself in possession of a slow car and a driver whose greatest trait is unstinting honesty.
- It’s unlucky to be a team that has booked all your data analysts and their laptops on certain airlines’ flights back to the UK.