F1 Istanbul 2011 - FRI - Free Practice (VMM)


Istanbul, Turkey, May 06, 2011

- MP4-26A-04
- P1 programme: 4 laps, 2m00.666s (+21.996s), 23rd
- P2 programme: 26 laps, 1m26.456s, 1st

“I’m pretty happy with how today went. The car’s been working reasonably well – there are always things you want to improve, but we’ve made some good progress and have a lot of useful data to go through.

“Trying to get the car to ride the bumps well into Turn 12 has been difficult, but we improved it through the session. Turn 12 is really bumpy – it’s like they put a motocross jump in there!

“And Turn Eight’s quite tough too because, depending on your balance, it can damage the front and rear tyres. It’s about getting the balance right, which we concentrated on today.

“We haven’t put everything on the car that we wanted to this weekend, which is disappointing, but we still have some useful upgrades so it’s nice to keep moving forwards.”

- MP4-26A-03
- P1 programme: 1 lap, No time, 24th
- P2 programme: 22 laps, 1m27.033s (+0.577s), 3rd

“We saved tyres during this morning’s session. In the afternoon, despite the limited running in P1, we got quite a lot of our run-plan completed, which was very satisfying.

“I initially struggled a little bit with set-up, which we can look at and fix overnight, but I was really pleased with my long-run pace – I think it was probably one of the best practice long-runs I’ve ever had.

“Generally, our car has a pretty good baseline. We’re still in the fight: the most important factor this weekend is to continue with our consistency – getting on the podium is my target, and if we can win that’ll be even better!”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“This morning’s uncharacteristic heavy rain meant that we opted to conserve our supply of Wet and Intermediate Pirelli tyres by sitting out the majority of the session. With cold and unpredictable weather predicted for the remainder of the weekend, and with relatively little to learn from running on a wet track, we felt it was more prudent to save the rubber for Saturday and Sunday.

“Happily, this afternoon’s session turned out drier than we’d imagined, and we were able to pack the majority of our day’s run-programme into P2. Indeed, both drivers’ long-run pace looks extremely promising.

“Lewis and Jenson felt happy with the balance of their cars, although both said that the bumps upon entry to Turn 12 were fairly severe and unsettled the car.

“It’s too early to read anything into this afternoon’s times, but we’re happy that we’ve found a good baseline for the set-up and that we can build upon it for the rest of the weekend.”

* Official photos and report courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

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