Driver quotes after Valencia testing day one
1 February, 2011
Feb.1 (PVM) Driver quotes after the first day of Formula 1 preseason testing at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.
Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Racing RB7
said: “It was good today and I felt comfortable in the car, I enjoyed it. It was day one for most of us and there’s a long way to go with testing ahead of the season and a very long racing season after that – with 20 races – so things can change! We’ve only made the first step today, but we had a reliable day and can be very proud of what we have achieved so far.
Fernando Alonso – Ferrari F150
After so many weeks of waiting I had a great desire to return to the car. It’s always a great feeling to be the first to drive a new car and I’m honoured that this was my job. I’m satisfied with how this first day has gone, in particular regarding reliability. We haven’t had any kind of problem – just as we haven’t had any in the factory before arriving here. We don’t have a huge amount of sets of tyres available and there is significant tyre wear. That probably also stems from the track conditions that were not at their best after the rain of recent days. But we are all in the same situation and we just have to work to adapt in the best way. It’s impossible to have an idea of how the different teams line up after just a few hundred kilometres and I don’t think that we will have a clear picture before the Bahrain Grand Prix. I remember that last year at the last test in Barcelona we were sixth fastest with Sauber and Force India ahead of us. At Sakhir we lapped them. I think that this question mark will remain right up to the first race.
Gary Paffett – McLaren MP4-25
The car we ran today ought to allow us to get the right loadings on the Pirellis to understand how they behave. The tyres have changed since we last ran them in Abu Dhabi last year, and they’ll change again before the start of the season. Today was about trying to understand the tyres – we established a good baseline and then did some long runs. Happily, the wear issues we experienced in Abu Dhabi have definitely improved; we saw better wear patterns and fewer problems with the tyres. It’s useful to understand how the tyres go off, and how the balance changes once they do. The Medium seems to last the longest and the Super-soft the shortest, but that’s exactly what you want from a tyre – and it should lead to different strategies once we start racing.
Nico Rosberg – Mercedes MGPW01
The good thing is that I felt completely at home and comfortable in the cockpit straight away this morning. Initial impressions are very difficult to make as we’ve now changed to the Pirelli tyres but the feeling was very good. It just feels like a better car in general and it will be good to have a full day to really make progress tomorrow.
Michael Schumacher – Mercedes MGPW01
It has always been and is still very special to go out in a new car for the first time, and I very much enjoyed today even if it was just a few laps that we could do. Maybe you could sum it up with: interesting but short! It was mainly about doing a few system checks today and I am looking forward to the laps to come. All in all, I am very happy after today’s launch of our new baby, and I can’t wait for the season to start.
Vitaly Petrov – Renault R31
It’s great to come back for the new season and try the R31 for the first time. It was not the perfect day because we had some mechanical problems and we lost a little bit of time, so we did not do many laps. But we did manage to check a lot of systems on the car, which was important for us and it looks like everything is working well. I tried KERS for the first time and it will take me a while to get used to it because it’s clear the driver will be quite busy in the cockpit this year. I also tried out the Pirellis, but it was difficult for me to learn too much because we were not pushing too hard and we mostly did in and out laps.
Rubens Barrichello – Williams FW33
I couldn’t wait to get back in the car. Unfortunately we lost a lot of time in the morning so we were trying to play catch up in the afternoon. We did some good laps and some long runs in the car. It is too early to say how we are performing but we will now spend time to try and understand the car a little better.
Nico Hulkenberg – Force India VJM03
Generally a very productive and promising first day with the team. The main goal was principally for me to get used to the team, the car and the new Pirelli tyres and my impressions of all were pretty positive. It was great to be back in an F1 car and I got back up to speed quicker than I thought. Programme-wise I worked through the different set-ups on the car and was able to complete a lot of laps, which gave me a good first understanding of how the Pirelli tyres worked as I was not able to do any running at the tyre test last year. I really enjoyed the day and am looking forward to working with the team over the coming weeks as we prepare for the start of the season.
Paul di Resta – Force India VJM03
A short outing for me today, but good to get back in the car and out on track again after a couple of months off. And great to be back in the team environment knowing that this is all building up to the start of my first season in F1. We completed just under 30 laps to get ready for the full day tomorrow. I think we’re in good shape to get through the full programme and get the information we need to feed into the development of the new car.
Jerome D’Ambrosio – Virgin Racing VR01
Today was an excellent day and I was really looking forward to driving the car for the first time as a Formula One driver. It really is an amazing feeling and I’m really excited for the season ahead. I think today was a good start. I’m getting used to the Pirelli tyres and working really well with the team, who are doing a great job. Now I can’t wait for my next day in the car, which will be in Jerez and driving the new MVR-02 car.
Narain Karthikeyan – Hispania Racing HRTF1
It did not seem to be easy to drive the new car after all this time but finally it was not that difficult. I got into it quite quickly and yes, we could have done some more laps but we have some minor problems, but all and all I am very happy to be back, and I think the body and the mind did pretty well, so I am looking forwards for the next two days.