15 April 2011
Friday press conference - Chinese GP - Pt.1
Technical directors: Aldo Costa (Ferrari), James Key (Sauber), Paddy Lowe (McLaren), Naoki Takunaga (Renault) and Geoff Willis (HRT)
A question to you all. Can you give us some idea as to how things went today for you. James, could you start?
It was okay today. For us it was a normal programme of running tyres, set-up work and so on. We had some test items in the morning. FP1 was a bit slippy to be honest
so there is not too much you can read into the first session but we got some useful data. It was a normal programme and it seems to be alright. It was a bit like Malaysia for us as we have got a bit of work to do overnight with the balance of the car, in sector one particularly, but otherwise it all went okay..
Geoff, a bit of drama at the end there.
Yes, little bit of a mixed day. The morning was pretty good. Again with poor track conditions and the amount the track improved we were concentrating more on car aero work. We had some aero test pieces and just understanding the car as we play catch-up not having done any pre-season testing. The morning went well. In the afternoon it went well with Narain (Karthikeyan's) car but we had some problems which lost us most of the session with Tonio (Liuzzi) so not so successful. Having said that I think we are a lot happier with the car today and we still have got some more work to do tomorrow.
Tonio mentioned it was perhaps an hydraulics problem at the end of the morning that stopped him. Was that what kept him out of the session in the afternoon?
Yes and no. It was a hydraulics installation problem. We damaged a high pressure supply. In the afternoon it was a little difficult to get to the bottom of the problem. We had what we think is a software controls problem, corrupted files into the car, but eventually got it sorted and got it out so no more mechanical problems this afternoon.
Naoki, poor old Nick Heidfeld. He seemed to have a bit of a dramatic day?
Yeah, but overall I have to say it is a productive day. It is quite unfortunate Heidfeld having to go off twice, one in each of the sessions, but the damage is limited. We lost the two noses which is quite unfortunate but overall it is a productive day. The balance is different in the morning and the afternoon so it is a mixture of everything but I think we have got good data.
It was mentioned you had quite a lot of understeer in this morning's session. Did that continue in the afternoon or did you manage to iron that out?
No the balance is quite different in the afternoon from the morning. We suffered a lack of grip basically, all day, and at the end of P2 the biggest problem was lack of traction so it is a bit of a mixture really.
Aldo, maybe you weren't here all day, I don't know?
It was not a very clean practice session both this morning and this afternoon, mainly with Fernando (Alonso). Felipe (Massa) did his programme with no big issues. With Fernando we experienced two hydraulic leakages on the same detail, zero kilometre component, so there must be some let's say quality or finger problem so we have to see and solve for tomorrow. About the performance, we did with Fernando quite a lot of test this morning in terms of aero tests I mean. Quite a lot of constant speed so not a lot of real running to test new pieces and test different configurations so quite interesting to us. We concentrated with Felipe on tyres, to try to understand better the tyres in this not very hot environment.
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