2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)


2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Location: Spain

Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Race: 2018 Spanish Grand Prix

It was a productive day for teams and drivers at today’s Free Practice session – in FP1 we had Robert Kubica taking to the track, replacing Sergey Sirotkin, along with the circuit catching a few drivers out including Daniel Ricciardo who went into the wall at Turn 4.

Here, you can see a roundup of all the action from the day including team and driver interviews ahead of the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.

MERCEDES – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Lewis Hamilton

Free Practice 1: 1:18.997 – P2

Free Practice 2: 1:18.259 – P1


Lewis Hamilton: “The day was pretty good, but it was a tricky one because it was so windy out there. Every driver was struggling with the changing direction of the wind. You’re constantly arriving at each corner and the wind direction is never the same, so we saw lots of drivers going off.”

“These conditions make it very difficult to define where the set-up needs to go. We got through all our running and were quite fast compared to previous years.”

“We’ve got some work to do overnight, I’m hoping that it’s cooler and calmer tomorrow. I think it is going to be relatively close between the top three teams but I can’t really say who is quickest at the moment.”

Valtteri Bottas

 Free Practice 1: 1:18.148 – P1

Free Practice 2: 1:18.611 – P5


Valtteri Bottas: “It’s been a good day overall. FP1 was especially promising, the car felt good from the start. We made some changes for FP2, which didn’t improve the car, so we reverted back to the original set-up.”

“Today has been a good start to the weekend, but things can change quickly from Friday to Saturday especially since Ferrari and Red Bull looked quick today.”

“I didn’t really feel any gain of grip with the supersoft compared to the other tyres, so we will have to work on this area for tomorrow.”

Andrew Shovlin – Trackside Engineering Director

“It’s been a productive day with both cars running reliably and completing their respective programmes. Conditions haven’t been especially easy, the wind has been strong and unpredictable which caught out both our drivers on their SuperSoft laps but we weren’t the only ones who seemed to be struggling to get all the sectors together.”

“It was difficult to know quite what to expect with the tyres here as the conditions in the winter were so cold, and it is the first time we have run the thinner tread Pirelli tyres. For this reason we spent more time than usual trying to understand how all three compounds compared to make sure we carry good information into the race.”

“Our car worked very well here in the winter but we’ve seen in the early races that both Red Bull and Ferrari have added a lot of performance and that was also evident today in their performance today.”

“We do need to find a bit of pace, especially on the SuperSoft tyre given that qualifying is so important here, but the car wasn’t perfect today so hopefully we can make a bit of progress overnight and give Red Bull and Ferrari a tough time tomorrow.”

FERRARI – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Sebastian Vettel

Free Practice 1: 1:19.098 –  P3

Free Practice 2: 1:18.585 – P4


Sebastian Vettel: “Everything we put on the car seems to work and that’s important. I think the biggest change that has been made is on the tyres, which seem to be quite different.”

“I don’t think they are better than before. As for the changes you saw with the rearview mirrors, it is no big deal. Before, it was quite difficult for us to look at the cars behind.”

“Now they are in a better position and I can see a little bit better below the rear wing. If you trust your car, there is no reason to try to push over the limit at this stage.”

“Let’s hope we have the same trust as in Baku where I could get everything out of the car when I had to. Today it was quite slippery and gusty and it was a mixed day.”

“We can still work on the car and I think we should be stronger tomorrow.”

Kimi Raikkonen

Free Practice 1: 1:19.499 – P5

Free Practice 2: 1:18.829 – P6


Kimi Raikkonen: “Today the session was a bit messy but overall I think it was not too bad. The wind made it a bit tricky, but we know that, at this time of year, it can be like that.”

“The tarmac was the same as we had in testing, but obviously the weather conditions are different. We all know this track very well but every time we come here it’s like starting from zero. We tried different things and learned from them and it was pretty ok most of the times.”

“Maybe it was not the most straightforward Friday, but I think that more or less we know what we should do. At one point we had some issues and I was told by the team to stop the car.”

“We still don’t know what happened, but we’ll figure it out. In the evening we’ll have some work to do; we’ll go through everything and understand.”

“Tomorrow morning we might get a better idea and know where everybody is. I’m sure it is going to be close.”

RED BULL RACING – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Daniel Ricciardo

Free Practice 1: 1:19.871 – P7

Free Practice 2: 1:18.392 – P2


Daniel Ricciardo: “It was a day of two halves. The car felt pretty different this afternoon and I think that showed. The mistake in to Turn 4 this morning was a costly one and I missed the final hour of the session because of it.”

“Tail winds are a big thing in F1 and in any corners with a tail wind you lose a lot of rear grip. Turn 4 is a bad corner to have a tail wind and it caught me and a few others out. Of course you don’t want to crash but if I’m trying to find a silver lining, then FP1 is probably the best time to do it.”

“FP2 is the one where you do your Race and Qualifying simulations. We got our heads down and put the laps in this afternoon, which was important with the updates to the car, there are quite a few aerodynamicists here today so we needed the laps to give them as much feedback as possible.”

“On the soft tyre we were quite fast, we didn’t really get the supersoft working which I don’t think many people did and it looks like it will be a tricky tyre this weekend.”

“At the end with high fuel I think we were ok but I’m sure we can still be better. We have found some pace, there is still a bit more to find, but overall a pretty good end to a Friday.”

Max Verstappen

Free Practice 1: 1:19.187 – P4

Free Practice 2: 1:18.533 – P3


Max Verstappen: “You always want to improve but I think the car has been handling pretty well today. We didn’t experience too many issues and it looked competitive in the long runs. FP2 and FP3 looks good for us on paper but it is only Friday so we’ll keep pushing tonight to make some steps forward for tomorrow.”

“The updates we brought here seem to be working so we will have to wait and see how much of an impact they have on Qualifying. The supersoft tyre doesn’t seem to be particularly quick and is hard to get working, that might change tomorrow but the soft seemed a better compound today.”

“The new surface created a few moments for a lot of drivers, myself included. A few corners are now flat out which means we lose a bit more time as it effectively makes the straights longer, but we looked competitive in the last sector so we can make up for it a bit there and play to our strengths.”

“Short runs were decent and long runs looked good so come Sunday I feel we can perform well and have good pace. It is tricky to overtake here so hopefully we can put ourselves in a good position for Qualifying tomorrow.”

MCLAREN – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Fernando Alonso

Free Practice 1: 1:19.858 – P6

Free Practice 2: 1:20.035 – P12


Fernando Alonso: “Seen from the inside, the upgrades we brought here are a step forward. There is more performance in the car – it felt better and there was more grip.”

“Conditions were tricky today with the hot temperatures and especially the wind; we saw a lot of people going off track and I think it’s going to be the same tomorrow.”

“It has been a positive Friday and we’ve tested everything we brought here. There’s still some debate about some of the parts, but we seem to be a little bit more competitive here than any of the other Fridays this season.”

“We’ll have a clear reference tomorrow about how much we have really improved compared to everyone else. It’s going to be cooler and there’s even a threat of rain forecast for Sunday and we possibly have a chance to make it into Q3 tomorrow, so let’s try and maximise that.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

 Free Practice 1: 1:20.083 – P9

Free Practice 2: 1:19.722 – P9


Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s been a pretty good Friday for us. We had a very busy schedule in both sessions, with a lot of things to figure out across both cars, so it was pretty intense for the team but everything was very well-managed.”

“The first feeling was positive today – it’s still too early to read anything as the midfield still looks really tight, but I think tomorrow will be the day that counts. The tyre compound selection also won’t be an easy decision to make.”

“The conditions were very tricky out there and we saw a lot of mistakes on track, but we all had to deal with the same things and I felt okay in the car.”

“Tomorrow, every tenth and every little bit of performance we can squeeze out of the car will be important for qualifying. It will be up to us to put everything together.”

“The results today looked quite promising, but until we’ve pushed everything to the limit we won’t know exactly where we are.”

“We need to understand everything we’ve learned today, put the car in the best specification possible and see what result it brings. I hope this is the start of continuous progression, and that we can build our season from here.”

Eric Boullier – Racing Director

“Today’s practice sessions were always going to be about spending solid time testing the various new components we have brought to Spain this weekend – and that’s exactly what we did.”

“We completed a lot of useful mileage and conducted a number of comparison and correlation tests to evaluate their performance and send the data back to the factory.”

“Overall, we’re satisfied with today’s work. Naturally, the more you test, the more data you have, and therefore the more number crunching there is to do.”

“So, we’ll be busy this evening analysing the information – not only to determine the programme for tomorrow, but also to help inform our development plans for the coming races.”

RENAULT – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Nico Hulkenberg

Free Practice 1: 1:21.159 – P17

Free Practice 2: 1:20.183 – P13


Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a difficult quest towards balance and harmony with the car today but we definitely made progress by the end of FP2. Track conditions weren’t too favourable, especially with quite a bit of wind out there.”

“The competition is pretty tough here so we need to find a bit more pace from the car looking to qualifying and the race.”

Carlos Sainz

 Free Practice 1: 1:21.053 – P15

Free Practice 2: 1:20.672 – P17


Carlos Sainz: “It was definitely a challenging day, but we knew this could happen as in winter testing we weren’t particularly comfortable in the car here. We know it’s a track which requires a bit of extra work from us as a team.”

“We have a big margin of improvement for tomorrow, especially as my FP2 fast run on the supersoft tyres was affected by a mechanical issue, so we have some things to analyse tonight.”

Williams – 2018 Spanish Grand Prix – FREE PRACTICE (Team and Driver Interviews)

Robert Kubica

Free Practice 1: 1.21.510 – P19


Robert Kubica: “It is a good feeling – not so much from being in the car but from before that, because I’m back driving in an official session, even if it’s only FP1.”

“It’s the first time since the end of 2010 so there’s some emotion, but this disappeared very soon as we have quite a difficult car to drive. The balance was quite off, but somehow we have to stick to what we’ve got to complete our aero tests and evaluations.”

“It wasn’t an easy session, but we managed in difficult conditions and I was able to give some good feedback. When you’re struggling so much it’s difficult to enjoy it, but still I’m happy because I think the most difficult car we’ve had was in this session and I managed to stay cool, and somehow extract what I thought was a reasonable level of performance.”

“I think I can be happy as I did what I was asked to do.”

Sergey Sirotkin

Free Practice 2: 1:22.060 – P20

Sergey Sirotkin: “The car is difficult to drive, and mentally it makes you concentrate 200% on everything because it’s so tricky. You saw this morning how difficult it was with cars going off.”

“It takes a lot of energy from you just to drive. We didn’t expect it to be easy and I’m waiting for the chance to test most of the new bits on our car.”

“Yes, that was a bad session, but we have a long-term plan with a lot of effort from all of us, so I don’t want one bad session or event to affect it. Everyone is working flat out and it will take time, but we will get there.”

Lance Stroll

 Free Practice 1: 1:22.756 – P20

Free Practice 2: 1:21.556 – P19


Lance Stroll: “I didn’t really run this morning, as I went off on my second push lap so it was not the morning I was hoping for.”

“It was very difficult to understand the balance as it’s definitely not the balance a racing driver wants to feel. This afternoon we tried to sort out a few things and the car improved a little bit, but still there is so much to understand and figure out. There is a lot of work to be done tonight and we have got to understand what to do so we can be better.”

There’s lots more on the way ahead of the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix this weekend so make sure you keep checking back for all the latest!

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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