Japanese Grand Prix Practice
Objectives: Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: Overall we have to be happy with the day; the car has proved to be quite quick. The programme incorporated the new aero features that we have brought to Japan and we completed the tests we needed to do. The car is where we expected it to be and we should be competitive so it’s a good start. The cars tried different directions and our focus overnight is to ensure we get the maximum potential out of both tomorrow.
Valtteri Bottas: From the first lap the car balance was good so we have made a good step forward. The upgrades we have brought have worked well, which is positive to see. It will be interesting to see where we are tomorrow when people start to squeeze a little more from their cars. Although the Mercedes still look strong, there will be a good fight between us, the Ferraris and the Red Bulls.
Felipe Massa: The car looks very competitive as Valtteri was close to the top. I had some issues today and just couldn’t get any grip; it has nothing to do with the new aero parts as those seem to have worked well. Once we can fix the issues, I think we can be competitive tomorrow. Today’s work was aimed at qualifying performance, as the race looks like it will be wet, so that is another consideration we must take when setting up the car. Our race pace looks strong from what Valtteri has shown, so we will work hard to get my car working the same tomorrow.