Objectives: Tyre runs and aero evaluations
FP1: Felipe Massa, 1:39.533 (11th), Felipe Nasr, 1:40.078 (13th)
FP2: Felipe Massa, 1:35.442 (5th), Valtteri Bottas, 1:35.920 (11th)
Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance: Today went to plan which is good. This morning was about testing aero components alongside some mechanical tests which all went well. We came here with a lot of reliable information and data that we collected from testing. This afternoon our focus was on areas that we hadn’t been able to look at during winter testing, one of which was the tyres and how they would perform in the cooler temperatures. We managed to complete our programme and are very happy with how the drivers and team worked today.
Felipe Massa: It has been a good day for us even though we didn’t do much running. We covered some good miles during pre-season testing, so today wasn’t about learning, but fine tuning. Luckily the car hasn’t changed too much since we were last here, but some other cars have definitely caught up. The car feels ok and I think we can be competitive, hopefully more so than in Malaysia. We still have some work to do tomorrow but we are feeling positive.
Valtteri Bottas: Today has been a short day for me after sitting out of the first free practice, but Nasr did a good job and handed the car over in one piece and he managed to complete his programme. Today we opted for short stints as we have had plenty of time running throughout winter testing. The aim of these stints was to fine tune the set-up and we can still improve it for tomorrow. Overall though the feeling is positive from my side and after so few laps today I still have quite a bit of work to do tomorrow.
Felipe Nasr: It was a really enjoyable session; it’s been a long time since I was in the car here in testing so it took time for me to get back into the F1 mode. It’s also new for me to have all the cars on the track at the same time. The track is still improving so we were struggling for grip but that’s something everybody else would have experienced, it was quite different from testing. The track conditions also limited my time out there as there is little we can learn, the track will change so much before the race. I learnt a lot about the process, how the session works, what to expect and I also practiced a start and a pit stop so that was a great experience for me. I am looking forward for the next one.