Read drivers’ quotes after free practice sessions before 2015 Spanish Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton: It’s been a fairly decent day – mainly working on setup, tweaking the balance bit by bit. It’s often hard to get a good comparison between the sessions with the track and wind conditions changing. The wind was quite strong at times today and really inconsistent around the lap. The car is quite affected by that and it was pretty hot out there in the afternoon too, so I think maybe the temperatures also had an effect on lap times. The priority was understanding the tyres and how they wear because, ultimately, the race is the most important part of the weekend. We’ve not analysed the times yet but our pace felt pretty strong.
Nico Rosberg: It’s great to be back in Europe and back to this track, where we did so many laps in the winter tests. I worked a lot on race pace in the afternoon and was happy with my long run, where we seemed to be quicker than the Ferraris. On one lap I still have a bit of work to do to find some more speed, so I’ll be working hard with the team tonight to find out where I can improve. On track it was quite a difficult day for everyone, I think. The conditions were really strange and the track was very poor. I don’t know really why but hopefully it will be more predictable for qualifying and the race.
Felipe Massa: Today was a normal Friday and we worked through our programme well. The focus was on understanding the tyres and maximising the performance of the package ready for qualifying and the race. We know this track well from testing, but the conditions were very different with a lot of wind and hotter temperatures so the lap times were slower. Mercedes and Ferrari are still looking very strong so we will need to wait and see where we are compared to them.
Valtteri Bottas: Missing the first session meant the second practice became more important so I’m happy we had a good run plan and could do everything we targeted with the tyres, car set-up and testing the updates. Now we need to look through the data and I’m sure there is still some more we can unlock from the package in time for qualifying. It’s too early to say anything about performance and where we stand, so we will have to wait until tomorrow to see where we are compared to our rivals. Having said that we are very much looking forward rather than backwards and looking to close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari.
Sussie Wolff: Overall it was a good session because we managed to complete all of the work we had planned. For me it was slightly frustrating that I made a mistake in Turn 3 on my quickest lap, but apart from that it’s so good to get back in the car because you learn so much every time you take to the wheel. There is always that middle ground of pushing but ensuring that the car comes back in once piece, so it was important for me to not cause any difficulties for Valtteri and set him up well for the sessions ahead. This has been a good basis and I can analyse what I did right, what I need to improve next time, and use that for my next FP1 session which is coming up soon.
Daniel Ricciardo: We expected we would be limited with mileage today, and we also knew that we would have to use the fourth engine for FP2. It would’ve been nice to get some more laps in but we did enough to give us plenty of data to look at. Dany had a cleaner session and we’ll also look at his data and try to learn a few things for tomorrow. There’s a lot of potential with the upgrades and tomorrow’s qualifying is what counts.
Daniil Kvyat: We had a good run in FP2 and there is a lot of data for the team to analyse to find improvements. We have some upgrades here and we’ve been looking closely at how they work. We’ll try to extract the maximum out of the car so we can make the most out of qualifying tomorrow.
Romain Grosjean: It wasn’t the best day for me as I sat out FP1 then we had a dramatic looking bodywork issue during the course of FP2. This means I’ll have quite a lot of work to do in FP3 ahead of qualifying tomorrow. Of course, we all know this circuit very well, but you always want as much track time as possible. On the plus side, we know there’s good potential in the car so if we can have a clean day tomorrow we’re capable of good things this weekend.
Pastor Maldonado: This morning was frustrating as I watched most of the session on the TV screens, but this afternoon was much more productive and we completed a good long run. We know this circuit can work well for our car and the weather is looking good so I think there’s potential for a strong day tomorrow then an even better day come Sunday.
Jolyon Palmer: It was probably my best FP1 so far from a driving perspective. It was helpful knowing the track well and I could push early on but there wasn’t a lot of grip with it being the first session of the weekend. It was quite windy as well but I got down to a good pace and I was in a nice rhythm. I’m certainly comfortable in the car and improving every time I get out on track so another valuable session for me and the team
Nico Hulkenberg: It was one of those days where we ticked off all the jobs without too many issues. I think the long run pace is looking a bit better than our one lap pace, but we still need to find a better balance overnight. There’s a lot of homework to do, but we did a lot of laps today so we have the data we need to make our decisions for tomorrow.”
Sergio Perez: Today was not the easiest of days, although we had anticipated we would struggle here more than on previous circuits. It is clear that we need to find something more tonight if we want to really fight the teams ahead of us. We couldn’t find the right balance and throughout the first two sessions I didn’t feel particularly comfortable, either on the short or the long runs. Tonight’s debrief and the engineers’ work will hopefully give us some solutions so that we can be a bit more competitive tomorrow and, most importantly, in the race.
Marcus Ericsson: It was a good session. Obviously I had to catch up as I did not drive in FP1. Overall we did short and long-runs on which we could gather information on the tyre behaviour. This is especially important for the race. At the end of FP2 we focused on pit stop practice. Overall it was a positive day.
Felipe Nasr: In the morning the grip conditions on the track were quite low. However, I had a good feeling in the car straight away. We had a suitable balance under these conditions. As the track temperatures were much higher than in the morning, I had oversteer on the medium and hard tyres. Thus, it was a bit difficult to extract the maximum out of the car. Overall it was a good day. For tomorrow we need to analyse the collected data especially those from the warmer conditions.
Raffaele Marciello: It was good to be back in the car. Overall I am satisfied with my second FP1 session. I think I did a good all-round job as I could go through the planned programme consisting of aero measurements and some set-up work. The driveability of the car was good, and I could give some valuable feedback.
Paul Hembery: The conditions we had in free practice were quite different to what we experienced during pre-season testing, with much higher track and ambient temperatures today, but we have seen the same basic trends confirmed. The work we carried out on the 2015 rear structure has clearly paid dividends, with much less wear and degradation seen on the rears compared to last year, despite higher energy loads. Consequently, we are probably looking at a two-stop race for the majority of competitors. The teams know this track so well that the competition is incredibly close. So it’s obvious that even the smallest advantage when it comes to tyre management could translate into quite a significant gain on track.”