Driver reaction: Jerez day one
What the main men said after returning to work
Last Updated: February 8, 2012 7:44am
Your one-stop destination for driver reaction to the first day of testing...
Red Bull's Mark Webber: "It was good. I felt quite comfortable in the car quite quickly. It's very early days, but so far so good. We had a small delay this morning with a part due to fog at the airport. It's never part of the plan to give up running time, but you can't control mother nature. However, we made a good recovery, got 54 laps done this afternoon and we'll aim for a better day tomorrow."
McLaren's Jenson Button: "It's been a good day: this morning, we ran through our installation and systems checks and the running was good. We've been gathering data on aerodynamics, downforce levels, temperatures and the feeling inside the cockpit. We did a 15-lap timed run this afternoon, which is a good starting point for us - and the consistency was okay. It's been a positive day: there are no niggly areas with the car, which is nice. Overall, today was just a starting point, and was all about putting miles on the car. There are some promising signs, so I'm happy. It's now important for us to get a clean day of running tomorrow, put some miles on the car and find a direction that we like. Today's a very good basis for the next few days."
Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen: "It was a positive first day of testing and everything went almost to plan. We had no major issues and I got a good feel for the car and the tyres. The tyres were more of a challenge in the afternoon when we ran with a scrubbed set, but overall it was a positive day. The lap times don't matter today. I'm happy with the balance of the car, which feels good, and the fact that we didn't have any major issues. Also, I did more than a race distance today and did not have any physical problems at all, which is good. I'm looking forward to making further progress with the car tomorrow."
Force India's Paul di Resta: "A good start to our winter test programme with 101 laps completed, which allowed us to get through all our objectives and a bit more. The baseline balance felt pretty good and the car performed consistently over the longer runs, which was useful for collecting the data we need. So I think we can be positive heading into tomorrow and the next three days will be interesting as we have more test items to evaluate. On a personal level it's also nice to spend such a busy day in the car to shake off the rust and assess my fitness level."
Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo: "It was really nice to be back in the cockpit for the first time since the Brazilian Grand Prix in November and being the first person to drive the STR7 was a little bonus. It was great to experience taking a completely new car out of the garage. We had a very productive morning, doing over 40 laps and we made good progress with our programme. Then in the afternoon, we did a couple of longer runs, but had to cut it short, although we only lost an hour. I was using the Medium tyre on that last run, having used Hard tyres for the rest of the day. So, overall, a good start and I'm looking forward to another productive day tomorrow, because this car is very enjoyable to drive. It was a good feeling going fast again. It's too early to give a true assessment of the car, but out of the box this morning, it seemed balanced and quite stable. It gave me a good feeling when I put the power down."
Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen: "It's good to be back at work after the winter break and great to see how up for the season ahead the whole team are. We were first out on track this morning and the early feeling I had from the car was good. It's far too early to tell how much we've progressed but it already feels like we're going in the right direction. We obviously didn't want to end early today but we couldn't sort out the starter shaft issue in time to get back on track, but I'm reasonably pleased with what we have achieved today and I know the team will put in the work tonight to get us back out on track tomorrow and pick up where we left off today."
Williams' Pastor Maldonado: "It feels great to be back with the team and to start putting some mileage on the FW34. The car felt good and the systems were all working well this morning. I like the feel of the new Renault engine as well. It's still too early to make any predictions, but we are pushing hard and working to understand the car better."
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg: "We made a very good start to our testing programme today and completed 56 laps this morning. I was driving the 2011 car, so it felt comfortable straightaway. We tested some different things in perfect weather conditions and started learning about the 2012 Pirelli tyres and how they work. I was really happy to be out on track in my Mercedes and I know that, back at the factory, our development of the new car is running according to our plan."
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher: "After a long break, it feels terrific being back in the car and hitting the circuit again. Our main job was to get a first impression of the tyres for 2012 and to start understanding them. They feel like a step forward, more consistent and comfortable to drive, and the biggest difference is with the rear tyre. Thanks to everybody at Pirelli for their good job this winter. Let's see what we can learn tomorrow."
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi: "I'm happy. The new car feels fine. We managed good mileage today despite a small problem in the morning session. Running today wasn't about performance but focused on checking systems and reliability. Nevertheless I got the impression the new Pirelli tyres might be good for us. I am looking forward to the next tests and to further work on the car."
HRT's Pedro de la Rosa: "I really enjoyed myself today to be honest. I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous at the beginning of the day, because I barely knew anyone in the team or the car itself, but I'm very satisfied with how it went. Today the main thing was to do some mileage, not try things out, simply to get to know each other and I think the team did a great job. I felt very well surrounded, both by the mechanics and the engineers who worked with me. They all did a fantastic job. I want to insist on the work everyone did today because we were all new to the team. I think the sensations were positive for everyone".