23 March 2018
First Practice Session: 1:24.771, Position: 3, Laps: 31
Second Practice Session: 1:24.058 Position: 2, Laps: 34
“For me this has been a positive start to the weekend so I am really happy about that. The car has behaved well on this track which is always pleasing after only running in Barcelona to date. Of course we have only done two practice sessions so it is still hard to see who is strongest and how we will finish come race day. It is a bit of a guess when you come to the first circuit of the season. It takes at least two or three Grand Prix to understand what is going on, it then also depends on everyone’s development rate throughout the year. Race pace looks good, I think there is definitely some room for improvement and Mercedes look pretty strong, but I’m not concerned with how it looks at the moment. A little bit of rain over the rest of the weekend would help us out. Being wet means performance is less engine dependent and makes the power tricky to control. Our car is usually strong in the wet and I enjoy myself so fingers crossed we get some rain.”
First Practice Session: 1:25.063 Position: 6, Laps: 25
Second Practice Session: 1:24.721 Position: 6, Laps: 28
The car was ok today but I was definitely happier with the long runs than the short. My low fuel run got cut short by the red flag, but to be honest, after doing about nine turns on that lap I wasn’t fully happy with the balance. I think I would have been a bit quicker than on the soft tyre and moved up from where we are but I still don’t think it would have been a P1 lap time. We still have a bit of work to do but generally it’s not been a bad day. I got a good feel for the car and I think tomorrow is going to be wet so I don’t know how relevant today will be. Looking at the times it’s nice to see that everyone seems to be pretty close and hopefully that’s the reality. It would be great if the top three teams and even Haas can be close as it would be a pretty nice start to the new season.”
A small issue the team is looking into…
It’s day one of a new season, the cars have fired up in anger for the first time and that means only one thing – obfuscation, clarification and investigation. Here are a handful of the most common phrases you’re likely to hear this evening and their real meanings.
1. ‘The car is at a very early stage of development’ = ‘We have built a terrible, terrible car and have no idea how to fix it’.
2. ‘We suffered a small technical issue that temporarily interrupted running’ = Fire! Fire! Fire! Run for cover.
3. ‘The problems we had didn’t affect our weekend preparations’ = It really isn’t going to get any better than this.
4. ‘Friday times aren’t representative’ = Friday times are totally representative and we will be eliminated in Q1 all season.
5. ‘Rookie Driver X’s feedback was excellent’ = Oh God, this one is not only slow, he’s stupid as well. It’s a good job he’s rich.
6. ‘It takes time to build a new relationship’ = We cannot bolt the gearbox to the engine.
7. ‘Obviously there is always room for improvement’ = There is no way of improving this.
8. ‘We are still trying to understand the tyres’ = We don’t understand the tyres and we probably never will.
9. ‘It’s incredibly tight in the midfield’ = We are going to finish 9th this season.
10. ‘The Albert Park Circuit is not representative’ = It’s going to be even worse when we get to Barcelona.