13TH APRIL 2018
First Practice session: 1:34.668 Position: 5, Laps: 22
Second Practice Session: 1:33.823 Position: 5, Laps: 26
“We spent a bit of time during the first session today working on the setup of the car in order to understand it better. By the end of the day the pace was looking good and I think we can be happy with the car’s performance, it’s always good to finish a day’s running with no major problems and we don’t look too far off. We just managed to fit in a longer stint before the rain came towards the end of the second session so we didn’t feel the need to stay out. The long runs were once again very positive and I felt pretty comfortable. A little bit of fine tuning on the short runs to get the balance better and we should be alright. This track is good for overtaking anyway so I think we can have a good race judging by our pace.”
First Practice Session: 1:34.537 Position: 4, Laps: 22
Second Practice Session: 1:34.557 Position: 9, Laps: 26
“Half of the morning and half of the afternoon were good. Generally with the harder compounds I was more comfortable, but once we put the ultrasoft on we didn’t have as much speed so we need to find a bit of time there and understand where we are losing. I obviously know what doesn’t feel right in the car, but now we need to find the answers and change that for tomorrow. The long runs were much better and I’m confident we can find the speed. Overall, we aren’t looking too bad and I hope we can be in the fight with Ferrari and Mercedes.”
Hot lap etiquette
Here in China (and in Bahrain) you might have noticed that F1, with the help of Aston Martin, Pirelli and others have launched a programme to give fans Hot Laps with some F1 stars in some very, very fast cars. That’s a wonderful idea and we applaud the notion of bringing fans
closer to the racing experience. However, we’re just a little concerned that in the heat of the moment some F1 drivers might revert to type a little too much. So for all racers who might get involved, here’s our Handy 5-point Guide to Hot Lap Etiquette.
 1. The Race Director isn’t listening – You are not wired for sound, Charlie can’t hear you, and calling for the driver of the service vehicle sweeping the track to be given a three-race ban for blocking your flying lap will fall on deaf ears.
2. Making up technical gibberish – It’s OK to admit that you don’t have a deep technical understanding of Bernoulli’s Theorem. After all, you’re a Formula 1 racing driver and everyone knows that means you have the attention span of a restless guppy. Therefore, resist the urge to make up technical terms in a bid to impress your passenger. They will find out there’s no such thing as a bi-directional flange adjuster.
3. Exploring the limits – Crashing is right out. It’s supposed to be a joy ride not a rigorous test of man and machine on one of the world’s most challenging race circuits. In short, that corner isn’t easy flat, you muppet.
4. Making excuses – When you inevitably do reach beyond the limits of grip (and talent) under no circumstances is it OK to tell your passenger that you couldn’t get the tyres into the right working range or that you suffered a sudden catastrophic failure of the snozzbracket (which you have just made up). Also, in the event that your passenger has not been thrilled by the sheer blinding force of your face-melting pace, it really isn’t the done thing to claim that you had a lap-long 330kW de-rate – especially if you are visibly driving a car without hybrid power.
5. Using the facilities – In times past it has been known for drivers who pay very close attention to maxing their pre-race hydration levels to…. er, heed the call of nature while at the wheel. For God’s sake stop now!! Apart from the mental trauma you’ll cause to your passenger, do you know how tough it is to get that kind of thing out of alcantara?