Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2020 – Practice
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: An interesting day during which we got a final chance to look at next year’s Pirelli tyres. It was good to welcome George back and he was able to spend some time in FP1 refamiliarising himself with the FW43. We spent the warmer afternoon session conducting some background work before we moved on to the weekend preparation work in FP2. As usual our main focus was on tyres as we worked on preparing the C5 compound for a qualifying lap and then managing the degradation on the harder compounds at high fuel. Finding a car balance to achieve both will not be easy, but we will work on it tonight.
George’s FP2 session finished early with a suspected MGU-K issue, which we are currently investigating.
George Russell: It was nice to be back, to see all of the team as this is where I have been for the last 18 months. We are all working hard to try and end the season strong. Throughout the sessions we struggled on pace, and Kimi (Räikkönen) and Kevin (Magnussen) looked really fast out there. We still have a lot of work to do for tomorrow to improve the car to fight for Q2, especially after having FP2 cut short. Our focus is to set the car up for Sunday so that we can go out there and give it our all.
Nicholas Latifi: It was quite a busy last FP1 of the year with a lot of important data for us to gather. Our programme today was focused on next year, rather than optimising performance for this weekend. However, we were expecting a bit of a challenge coming into this weekend from the nature of this track. We know the kind of corners that it has, and the layout is not ideal for our cars’ characteristics. We can make it better as we have an idea on the things that we need to improve, it’s just about getting them into place and seeing what we can achieve tomorrow.