Belgium Grand Prix Practice
Objectives: Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We managed to complete most of the work we needed to today and overall this has been a positive practice for us. Typically Spa brings a few challenges for teams with the high speeds we run at this track, but the drivers and their crew did a very good job in diligently working their way through the schedules. We focused on aero work this morning and we then moved on to tyre tests on low and high fuel levels, with encouraging results. The objective is to remain fighting for podiums in the second half of the season and from today’s running it looks like we are still in the mix. We have a lot of data to work through and decisions to make tonight, and hopefully we can continue to progress the set-up of the car so that we peak on Sunday.
Felipe Massa: It was a good Friday for us with no issues and we were able to continue learning about the car. We saw some tyre degradation so that will make tyre strategy crucial and it will be important to be on the right tyre at the right time in the race. Mercedes are still looking very strong and seem to have an advantage over everyone else, but we should have a good opportunity to fight for the podium and we need to make sure that we continue improving the car over the course of the weekend.
Valtteri Bottas: We did a lot of set-up tests today with some good results and we will be aiming for a strong result in qualifying and the race because this is a track that is suited to our car. The car balance felt good from the beginning and we managed to improve it as the sessions went on, but there is still more performance I think we can unlock before Sunday. I didn’t have a particularly good lap on the option tyres, but the time I set was still competitive so that is encouraging.