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AUSTRALIAN GP
PRACTICE
DRIVER QUOTES

AUSTRALIAN GP – P1 & P2
FRIDAY MARCH 14, 2014

INFINITI RED BULL RACING

#1 Sebastian Vettel
“In a way it’s a relief today, the fact that we were running, we didn’t have any problems, the balance
was good and the performance looked alright. In the end Friday times are not worth a lot, but it’s
better to be close to the top rather than somewhere towards the back, so I’m very happy with that.
We will do what we can to prepare for tomorrow and Sunday, but let’s see where we are then – the
most important thing is that we finish.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo
“I knew the guys were doing everything they could since testing but still, we didn’t expect to do that
many laps today, so I’m really happy and pleased for them. I think we have to be pretty positive with
where we ended up today. We expected Mercedes to be quickest, but we were within a second of
them today so that’s a lot better than we thought. Let’s see if it’s the same story after qualifying
tomorrow, but for today we’re pleased.”

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

#44 Lewis Hamilton
“It really was a day of two halves today. While it was disappointing to not get any track time this
morning, these little hiccups are going to happen with the new cars and we’ll have to get used to
that. It felt like I was on the back foot from there but then we got up to pace quite quickly in P2 and
found the balance relatively fast. I feel quite comfortable in the car so overall it’s a positive start but
we need to look at the data now and understand where we are. We got a nice foundation for the
weekend in the second session today so hopefully we can build on that in P3 tomorrow afternoon
and then see where we are in qualifying.”

#6 Nico Rosberg
“It was so great to be back in the car today and I’m very pleased with the progress that we made. As
always on a Friday, we don’t really know where we are in terms of pace yet and how much fuel
everyone else was running in comparison to our programme. It’s definitely going to be very tough
on fuel here, as we expected. The screen on my steering wheel shows the fuel target for each lap
and we’re going to have to be very disciplined in the race. It’s a pretty good start for us overall and
I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

SCUDERIA FERRARI

#14 Fernando Alonso
“On the first Friday of the season, there’s always a bit more tension. It’s the start of a new
championship and there is the feeling of general expectation to see how things we worked on
during the winter are functioning. Overall, this was a positive day for us and even if there was an
element of nervousness because of the complexity introduced by the new technical regulations,
everything went well. The team did a super job and we had no problems. The track improved from
the first session to the second, with more grip compared to the morning and there was also more
wind. Running the soft tyre certainly helped, as the extra grip meant the times came down, but it’s
impossible to have a clear idea of how competitive we are, because as usual, Friday results don’t
mean much. To know more, we must wait until everyone is running in the same trim”

#7 Kimi Raikkonen
“That was a pretty demanding day, because although we managed to complete our programme, it
wasn’t trouble-free. In the first session we lost a bit of time, but that didn’t prevent us acquiring
enough data to evaluate the overall handling of the car and the Pirelli compounds. This evening
there will be a lot of work to do, especially to understand what didn’t work and to try and improve
for qualifying and the race”

LOTUS F1 TEAM

#8 Roman Grosjean
“If we take the positives we can say that we’ve completed a few practice starts, and we’ve proven
that Renault have done a good job from the laps we completed. It’s certain that we have a lot of
work ahead and we still need to learn the tyres, the brakes and find a good setup. We’re taking a few
steps every time we go out in the car and for sure we’ll get where we want to be.”

#13 Pastor Maldonado
“I’m feeling really ready for tomorrow. I spent a lot of today waiting to get in the car as we had some
problems, which I think are still normal to have so early in the season with these new cars. It was
clear that we’re not the only ones to suffer on track and we have to work very hard, and maybe
harder than the others, to try to catch up and be ready for tomorrow. We need to sit down with the
engineers and re-plan our strategy for free practice.”

McLAREN MERCEDES

#22 Jenson Button

“I always enjoy this circuit – it’s quite bumpy and there’s no room for error, which always makes it fun!

“In all honesty, these cars work better around here than I’d imagined, but Sunday’s race will be very different. The long runs weren’t as much fun as I’d hoped they’d be, because you need to save a lot of fuel. And that’s such a different way of driving – you’re lifting off very early, and there’s lots of lift-and-coasting around the lap.

“On low fuel, however, it’s really fun to drive.

“Our car balance isn’t quite there yet – we’re still struggling a little in the high-speed corners. In the low-speed corners, we’re looking reasonable, and all our electronics are working well. I don’t think our outright pace is quite as good as it looks on the time sheets, but we’ve got a good understanding of the car and overall I’d say we’re looking okay.”

#20 Kevin Magnussen
“For me, today was about getting used to everything; taking it step by step, and making sure I was moving forwards and learning all the time.

“I’ve watched Formula 1 cars on this circuit on TV for many years, so it’s strange to be driving here at last. But it was a good feeling to be out there on the track – I really enjoyed it.

“There’s definitely an element of learning for me here this weekend, so it’s good to have Jenson alongside me. He’s so experienced, and of course he’s very strong around here. I can learn a lot from him. The rest of the weekend is going to be really interesting.

“Lastly, I’m happy that we’ve got a lot of good data to go through. So now I’ve got to sit down and work hard with my engineers and the rest of the team to develop the car ahead of qualifying tomorrow. We think we know where to take the car from here, but as I say there’s still plenty of work for us to do.”

SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM

#27 Nico Hulkenberg
“I’m feeling quite happy because it was a smooth day with lots to learn. I had a little moment at the
end of FP2 when I put a wheel on the grass under braking, but the conditions were difficult because
the sun was so low in the sky. Otherwise the day went well in terms of reliability and we look quite
competitive so far. It feels like both tyre compounds are working well, but there is still room for
improvement with the balance, which is where we will concentrate this evening.”

#11 Sergio Perez
“It’s been a successful day in terms of the work we’ve done and I think we can feel confident about
the rest of the weekend. There are some areas where we need to improve, but the most important
thing is that we managed to collect some good information. I’m happy with the general balance of
the car so we have moved in the right direction with the set-up. My long run was not ideal because
of the traffic, but we have enough information to make our decisions.””

SAUBER F1 TEAM

#99 Adrian Sutil
“It was a difficult day. However, the afternoon was better than the morning. Unfortunately we
couldn’t do much in FP1, because a lot of things are not quite the way we want them to be at the
moment. I think the tyres are too hard, as it’s a very conservative approach, but I have to deal with
that. We have to gain speed and improve our processes. We need to make sure all the simple things
that were standard last season are in place and perfect.”

#21 Esteban Gutierrez
“Today was not ideal. We had a problem with the gearbox in the morning, but we were able to fix it
for the afternoon. The team did a good job putting the gearbox together. In the afternoon we went
out pretty late and lost time. However, we managed to do the basic programme which we had
planned. But we need to use today’s information in order to keep improving. We are definitely
missing a lot of speed and our pace is not where we want it to be. Regarding braking, the track is
very bumpy and so it is quite hard and unpredictable in that area. Generally, we haven’t had time to
work on the set-up of the car yet, but, considering what we had today, we need to keep working for
FP3 and get ready for qualifying tomorrow.”

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

#25 Jean-Eric Vergne
“It was a really good day today without any problems in either session. Considering how hard the
winter testing was for us, I am really pleased about how we have started this weekend. Everyone in
the team worked very hard in the past weeks and we never lost our focus. The result is that we have
made real progress since the last Bahrain test. But it’s only Friday, so we need to work hard tonight,
looking at all the data that we managed to collect today.”

#26 Daniil Kvyat
“This was for sure a solid start to my first Grand Prix weekend. We didn’t focus too much on
performance but we managed to get quite a lot of laps done, which was really important. I wasn’t
too sure what to expect from the tyres, especially from the Soft. But we collected a lot of information
and we definitely have a better overall picture. There’s plenty to discuss with the engineers tonight.
Hopefully we can put it all together and be strong for the remainder of the weekend.”

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING

#19 Felipe Massa
“It was good to get a strong number of laps on the track today and a chance to understand how the
car is behaving at this particular circuit. The car didn’t show any problems which is very positive as
reliability will be important this weekend. There is a lot for us to work on tonight to improve the setup
of the car, but on the whole this has been a positive day for us and we head in to the weekend
happy with how things have gone so far.”

#77 Valtteri Bottas
“It was a good day for us today. We had no big issues with the car during the two sessions, so the
team has done a great job in putting the car together as it has been fully stripped and analysed since
the last test. We managed to finish our programme, completing different tests on the set-up for both
short and long runs, so we have collected a lot of good data. We managed to improve the balance of
the car from FP1 to FP2 and whilst it’s performing well, there is still work we can do to improve the
car’s performance for qualifying tomorrow.”

MARUSSIA F1 TEAM

#17 Jules Bianchi
“First of all, it’s great to be back racing and at the place where it all began 12 months ago. Things are
quite different this time around though and we expected quite a difficult day today. FP1 was indeed
quite challenging as we worked to resolve some software problems, but this afternoon was a much
better story and we were able to start digging a bit deeper in terms of race preparation and testing
the reliability of the car, the outcome of which was quite promising. We also saw some encouraging
signs from the low fuel simulation that we completed. There is a lot of work to do to try to
understand the progress and also to evaluate the new developments we have for this weekend. Not
a bad start and I’m quite happy.”

#4 Max Chilton
“The first two sessions have been a little like night and day in that we’ve had a really positive FP2
compared to the issues we experienced earlier. The second session was not entirely trouble free and
we had to make some adjustments to get the car to my liking, but at least we got a good rhythm
going and were able to put some proper laps on the car, which we really needed for evaluation. We
are still just scratching the surface and there is a lot we can do to improve the car for here and the
forthcoming races, but it’s a car I feel confident with and that we can develop, so I’m feeling
positive.”

CATERHAM F1 TEAM

#9 Kamui Kobayashi
“One lap in both practice sessions is obviously not a good way to start the season, particularly after
our reliability had been good in the Bahrain tests, but we know what the problems are on side and
we’re all working very hard to fix them for tomorrow. The problem on my car was to do with the fuel
system – it was fine on the installation lap but when I boxed we had a small fire under the engine
cover which came from a fuel system leak. The fire was out immediately but when we’d found the
problem we knew it couldn’t be fixed in time to run in FP2 so made the decision to remove the
Power Unit so we could fix the issue and aim to run properly tomorrow.”
“Despite how the weekend has started I’m still pretty positive about what could happen tomorrow
and on Sunday. We might be a small team but everyone works as hard as anyone else in the pitlane
and if we can get back to the Bahrain test reliability levels I think we can still have a good weekend.”

#10 Marcus Ericsson
“One lap in both practice sessions is obviously not a good way to start the season,
particularly after our reliability had been good in the Bahrain tests, but we know what the
problems are on side and we’re all working very hard to fix them for tomorrow. The
problem on my car was to do with the fuel system – it was fine on the installation lap but
when I boxed we had a small fire under the engine cover which came from a fuel system
leak. The fire was out immediately but when we’d found the problem we knew it
couldn’t be fixed in time to run in FP2 so made the decision to remove the Power Unit so
we could fix the issue and aim to run properly tomorrow.”
“Despite how the weekend has started I’m still pretty positive about what could happen
tomorrow and on Sunday. We might be a small team but everyone works as hard as
anyone else in the pitlane and if we can get back to the Bahrain test reliability levels I
think we can still have a good weekend.”

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Mack

    F1 is well on its way to losing its fanbase. For the reliability issues for a moment. The is a core issue that’s out there for all to hear. The sound, or rather lack of sound, from the engines is just appalling. The cars remind me of the Peugots & Audi diesels that run Le Mans. They are so quiet they wouldn’t wake a baby its sleep. Tragic, a real step back racing.

  • Jiji the cat

    Yep it’s dull, but it’s here to stay.
    I think it was Hamilton Hamster that said he doesn’t even have to wear ear plugs.