Japanese Grand Prix 2018 – Practice

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: We started this morning working through some rake running and testing some high-exhaust aero parts on the car. We also did some rear-wing testing between both cars, but predominantly FP1 was all about familiarising ourselves with the track. We’ve got two young drivers, so we tried to get as much running around here as possible as Suzuka is one of the trickier circuits to learn. We had a fairly standard programme for FP2 with Lance running the soft compound and Sergey the harder medium tyre. We elected to change the rear wing-level during the session on Lance’s car for a trial that meant we altered our run plan to accommodate. Overall, we got a lot of good running done, both drivers are reasonably happy with the balance and the pace is around about where we expected it to be.

Lance Stroll: It was good today. It is always fun driving here, as the track is just mega and in my top three. As regards pleasure in the car, this track is up there as one of the best and you can really feel the car working. We will see what tomorrow brings, there may be a bit of rain, but we have to sort out a few things to be a bit more competitive. I think getting into Q2 will be challenging, but we will try as you never know. For sure rain would be nice just to mix things up.

Sergey Sirotkin: Today was my first time in an F1 car around Suzuka and it was mega. I know there’s a lot of speculation about how good it is, but it really is pretty amazing. It’s a mega experience for me and I really enjoyed it as it’s a very demanding track. To do a qualifying lap requires all your physical and mental energy, and unfortunately, I think this is what we sometimes miss a lot from modern F1 tracks. It’s a pleasure to face this challenge here. I think we need to look a bit closer at today’s performance. I ran on supersofts during FP1 and as you can imagine, there was not much left from the tyre at the end, it’s the softest tyre in the range. I think we’re in a reasonable position, so if we do everything right, and the conditions suit us, we’ll be on the edge of the Q1 cut-off. It will be a mega job if we do it, but that’s the target.

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