2018 SPANISH GRAND PRIX – FRIDAY 11/05/2018
Pierre Gasly (STR13-04, Car 10)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:20.508, pos. 10th, 29 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:20.373, pos. 14th, 32 laps
“Today was quite an interesting first day in Barcelona. I think this morning was a really good beginning in FP1 as we had the 10th fastest time. In the afternoon session we struggled with the car – it’s really hot and windy and it looks like we suffer a bit in these kinds of conditions. It’s still very tight between everyone, so we need to find some more performance for tomorrow when it’s going to be even closer between the midfield. I think that If we find a few tenths we can be in the fight around P10, so we’ll work hard tonight to try and get there.”

Brendon Hartley (STR13-03, Car 28)
First Practice Session
Best lap: 1:21.373, pos. 18th, 28 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap: 1:21.265, pos. 18th, 34 laps
“It was a pretty clean day, even if I lost some time in the first session after I had a trip to the gravel. For the second session we made some big changes which didn’t really work, but sometimes you just have to try different thigs to figure out the right direction. We weren’t very quick in the afternoon but let’s keep positive, I’m sure we can pick up the pace tomorrow.”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer):
“We had fairly tricky conditions today, which was the same for everyone, as you could see there was lots of cars going off the track. A lot was due to the wind which was quite variable and gusty, and this is a track where even a small amount of wind can have quite a big effect because the corners are high-speed and quite open. In the morning with Brendon, he went off track in the first 40-minutes. It didn’t really damage the car but he got a lot of stones in the cockpit, so for safety you don’t want stones getting under the brake pedal, this meant we couldn’t get back out within the 40 minutes which was a shame. In FP1 we focussed on setup works and mechanical setup items and some further developments on things that we tried here in winter testing. It’s a very smooth track – the smoothest of the year – so you can try different setups here that wouldn’t work at many other circuits, which we explored this morning. It was a fairly straight forward session for Pierre in FP1, again, it was just going through the setup work to understand more going into this afternoon. The conditions were tricky again in the second practice session. For Pierre, he ran wide at Turn 9 and damaged the floor quite heavily so we had to put a complete new floor on his car. On Brendon’s first run, there was some damage to his floor which we were able to repair in the session. The mechanics did a great job to get the cars prepared so quickly but the problem was, to do all the repairs and to change the floor as well, we were late out for our supersoft qualifying run, which meant we ran into other cars that had started their long runs. We were unable to do nice, clean qualifying simulations, so I think the timesheets aren’t a fair reflection of where the car is. Having said that, we’re still not 100% happy with the balance of the car so there’s still quite a lot of work to do overnight for tomorrow. On the long runs, both cars completed slightly shorter simulations than we had of liked because of the issues we had, but we’ve gathered the information and the soft tyre looks like it’s behaving pretty well, we just need to go through everything and choose the best strategy for Sunday.”

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):
“In general, our overall package appears to be improving compared to the last two difficult races. We have learned from the data acquired at the previous couple of Grands Prix and applied those ideas here.
“Although there was a slightly long stop in the afternoon for both cars, we ran without major issue and we went through the usual Friday programme. However, it was a shame that our qualifying simulation runs were spoilt by traffic, while gusty winds also made the session a bit more complicated.
“In tomorrow’s final practice, we will focus a bit more on engine settings suitable for quick single laps, because qualifying well is very important here, as overtaking is difficult on this track.”