by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

German F1 Grand Prix 2012 - Hockenheim: Friday's Free Practice Report (VMM)

- MP4-27A-02
- FP1: 1m16.595s, 27 laps, 1st
- FP2: 1m28.516s (+1.040s), 16 laps, 8th

“We got some good running under our belts today. Conditions weren’t perfect, but the forecast looks the same for tomorrow; so it was a very useful session for us and I think we gathered some useful data in terms of comparative tyre and set-up work.

“For us, trying to get the tyres working is one of our main issues, so we spent a lot of time focusing on that – it wasn’t all successful, but when things came together, our pace was good. We’ve still got some more work to do to be quick in the wet, but FP2 was a useful session in terms of telling us where we need to be heading.

“I think we should be happy with most of the parts we’ve put on today – most of them worked correctly – so it’s nice to see the improvement. I want to say a big ‘well done’ to the guys at the factory, they’ve done a great job. Hopefully we’ll be able to see the improvement in performance throughout the rest of the weekend.”

- MP4-27A-03
- FP1: 1m17.093s (+0.498s), 22 laps, 2nd
- FP2: 1m30.617s (+3.141s), 16 laps, 19th

“The men and women back at the factory did an incredible job to get all the upgrades to the track this weekend – they all deserve a big pat on the back for that. It’s quite a positive step: it’s still difficult to accurately predict was sort of a step we’ve taken as we couldn’t back-to-back between the old and new components, but it’s definitely a step forward.

“Hopefully, we’ll get more of an indication as the weekend progresses – although, with more wet weather predicted for tomorrow, it might not be until Sunday that we can tell what we’ve got. Still, the car doesn’t feel bad at all.

“It’s tough in the wet out there; like driving around on an ice-rink – with puddles! – but I feel positive that we can do something good this weekend.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Another tricky dry-wet first day of practice at a grand prix. The changeable weather makes it harder to establish an effective baseline of sorts, but we were able to get some decent mileage under our belts today – and that’s been important. Firstly, it’s allowed us to ascertain the effectiveness of the upgrades we’ve brought to this race. Secondly, it’s helped deepen our understanding of the car’s behaviour in wet weather on both the Intermediate and Full-Wet Pirelli tyres. So it’s been a positive day – certainly from a data-gathering point of view.

“Nonetheless, there have been some encouraging signs – we implemented a number of measures to improve wet-weather performance and I’m pleased to say that we appear to have made progress in that area. More pleasingly, our planned series of upgrades delivered without issue and have given us confidence for the remainder of the weekend.

“The weather still looks unpredictable for tomorrow, with brighter weather beckoning for Sunday’s race. For the engineers, tonight will be a question of finessing the car as best they can to cope with the fickle northern European climate – the only thing we seem to be able to predict with any certainty these days is the weather’s sheer unpredictability!”

~ Official photos and report courtesy of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ~

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