by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Chinese F1 Grand Prix 2012: Friday's Free Practice Report (VMM)

- MP4-27A-03
 - P1 programme: 7 laps, 1m37.106s, 1st
 - P2 programme: 29 laps, 1m36.145s (+0.172s), 2nd

“It’s been a great day – it stayed dry in the afternoon so we successfully got through our run programme. We’re still working away to improve the set-up, but the new bits on the car seem to be working: the guys back at the factory have done a great job.

“We look competitive – and I’ve been particularly focusing on the longer runs for this weekend. We still need to make a few improvements but our car looks good.

“I’ll be changing the gearbox on my car before P3. It’s going to be a close qualifying session tomorrow – it’ll be a good battle and hopefully we can start as high up the grid as possible because I think we’ll still be in the race and among the leading group. I love the challenge of coming through and gaining positions.”


- MP4-27A-02
- P1 programme: 6 laps, 1m39.199s (+2.093s), 8th
- P2 programme: 28 laps, 1m36.711s (+0.738s), 6th

“It’s been a little bit of a difficult day for me. I was trying to find a good set-up but the cold weather made it difficult to understand the car because the tyres weren’t working perfectly.

“Tomorrow should be a bit warmer than today – we don’t quite understand the tyre temperatures and can’t get them quite in the right area. And if we make a set-up change and the tyre temp changes by five or 10 degrees, then that change goes out the window.

“That’s something for us to sort out, but we’ve got a lot of useful information from the low- and high-fuel runs. It’s been a tricky day but there’s a lot of good information to go through – we’ll find a better direction overnight.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Today’s low temperatures meant it was difficult to chase the optimum tyre performance – particularly on Jenson’s side of the garage. However, there were plenty of positives to take away from today: our car looks to be quick, the upgrade package that we brought to this race also seems to be a positive step, and our long-run pace is also promising.

“This evening, we’ll be looking closely at how to best match the set-up to the tyre temperatures, and working further to refine the balance of the car, but this is undoubtedly a good place from which to start.”

~ Official photos and report courtesy of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ~

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