McLaren-Mercedes reacts to the opening day of running for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Lewis Hamilton – 1st:
"We've still got a long way to go but, most importantly, these new upgrades are pushing us in the right direction. It's a work in progress, but the guys back at the factory have done an incredible job to get these parts to the circuit – I've even heard of one guy working a 36-hour non-stop shift to build these parts, which is incredible. Hopefully we'll now do our job at the track and try to keep everything moving forward. It's still early days, and we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves, but I'm hopeful of being able to get into Q3 tomorrow and look at scoring a couple of points on Sunday afternoon."
Heikki Kovalainen - 17th:
"Clearly, there were differences between the two cars today as we pushed hard to bring the new parts to the track as quickly as possible. Without the upgrades, we didn't have a good basic package and had some trouble getting heat into the tyres. But the lack of parts is simply an indication on how hard we are working – and, of course, I understand that. There have been people working night and day to get these new parts out to the track and it's just unfortunate that we don't yet have two complete sets for both cars. Still, it's really encouraging for the whole team that the upgrades appear to be working on the car. For my engineers and myself, the most important thing we can do is to keep our heads down, focus on the rest of the weekend and keep on pushing because any improvements we find will still benefit the whole team."
Martin Whitmarsh - team principal:
"An encouraging afternoon for Lewis, who used the full new aerodynamic package for P2. Although it is still early days, and I'm sure we've yet to see the strongest efforts from Red Bull Racing and Brawn GP, I think there are good signs of an improvement. It was a more difficult day for Heikki, who regrettably didn't have the new aerodynamic package upgrade, encountered traffic on his laps and generally had a much tougher afternoon. But he is a fighter, and I'm sure he'll have a strong weekend nonetheless."
Norbert Haug - vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"This looked quite encouraging, I have to say, and definitely better than I'd anticipated before the sessions today. We certainly did not post 'show times' four our home race; our speed was genuine and quite a bit better than in the last races. I certainly don't expect us to be fastest tomorrow, but if everything comes together we probably will be in a position to deliver a solid job on race day. Heikki's car today was not on the same technical level as Lewis's, which had new pieces that only arrived last night and which are not yet available in sufficient numbers. Our KERS hybrid is a good help around this circuit and gives us more than three tenths of a second per lap."