FRIDAY PRACTICE – 2018 Italian Grand Prix (Driver Interviews & Report)

Friday practice Italian Grand Prix

FRIDAY PRACTICE – 2018 Italian Grand Prix (Driver Interviews & Report)

Race Weekend: 2018 Italian Grand Prix

Circuit: Monza

Hooray! It’s another race weekend and this time, it’s the Italian Grand Prix which is a big favourite for many drivers on the grid and extremely special for the Scuderia Ferrari team as it’s a home Grand Prix for them.

If a Ferrari gets on the podium, it’s something special.

In this post, we’re kicking things off with Friday Practice, taking place today and as many of us saw – the weather conditions weren’t great throughout the first session including an accident for Marcus Ericsson who was thankfully OK and able to walk away fine.

FERRARI – Friday Practice – 2018 Italian Grand Prix 

Sebastian Vettel

sebastian vetee 2018 Italian grand prix

Sebastian Vettel: “Today it’s been a mixed day, as the morning session didn’t go smoothly, but in the afternoon it got better.”

“The balance of the car is not perfect yet, but I believe we can work on it for tomorrow as the car seems to be working well. This morning we had a little problem with the car; I wanted to run, but we had to check the gearbox first. However, it was good we could run in the afternoon.”

“In P2 I slid off at Parabolica, but I managed to avoid touching the barrier, but I had just one slight nudge and came away with minor damage to the rear wing which had to be replaced.”

“Apart from that, the car was fine. I am not entirely happy yet, but I know we can still improve because our car has big potential.”

“I think we can do better tomorrow as the package is good, so we’ll see. We’ll keep doing our homework!”

Kimi Raikkonen

kimi raikkonen 2018 Italian grand prix

Kimi Raikkonen: “This morning the session was held in the wet and we could only do a little running, but in the second practice, track conditions were back to normal.”

“The conditions were the same for everybody, we cannot change the weather; I think that in the end we were quite lucky to have at least one session in the dry.”

“Both compounds were ok, but obviously we did not do much mileage today. We are on yet another different track, so we obviously had some things to fine tune today, but it was not too bad for the first laps.”

“Now we need to go through things and try to improve a bit for tomorrow.”

MERCEDES – Friday Practice – 2018 Italian Grand Prix 

Lewis Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton: “We woke up to torrential rain this morning, which meant it was a less busy first session than normal.”

“We did a few laps but after that it was like having a day in the office when you don’t have too much work to do – I was even snoozing in the car at one point! But we did plenty of laps this afternoon in the dry and we could see that, like in Spa, we had a small gap to Ferrari on both the short and the long runs.”

“My laps felt pretty good, but Ferrari was a little bit quicker today. We’re all working flat out right now in every part of the team, and we have work to do tonight as well – but there are some areas where we can see deficits, so I hope we can make a little step for qualifying.”

“It has been a big battle for a number of races now, and they have had a small advantage since the middle of the summer, but we are pushing as hard as we can to overcome that.”

“Although we are on Ferrari’s home turf, we have some great support out there and it’s always a boost to see that in the grandstands.”

“It will be a very close fight tomorrow and, like every race weekend, we will be giving it everything we’ve got.”

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas: “The conditions out there were quite mixed today with heavy rain in the morning and a dry afternoon. We did only one run in the morning on the Intermediate tyres; Monza is a tricky place in the wet as it is difficult to find the right braking points.”

“We seemed competitive in the wet compared to the cars who were out in similar conditions. Luckily the afternoon was dry and we could get some proper running in; the long runs were especially important as the race is expected to be dry.”

“As expected, Ferrari seemed very quick in the dry. It’s not going to be easy, but we still have a few things we can improve for qualifying.”

“Compared to Spa, the car felt better in the slow corners which is a good step in the right direction.”

“The weather forecast for tomorrow is not entirely conclusive, so we need to be prepared for everything and get a lot of running done in FP3 no matter if it’s wet or dry.”

MCLAREN – Friday Practice – 2018 Italian Grand Prix

During FP1, Lando Norris sat in for Vandoorne however in FP2 – both Alonso and Vandoorne were out on track.

Fernando Alonso


Fernando Alonso: “It was a strange day today, with the rain in the first session and Marcus’ (Ericsson) accident in the second – thank God he’s okay – so, like everyone else, we lost some track time.”

“We missed a couple of runs that we had programmed, including some long runs, so we will try to make up for this tomorrow and get that information.”

“I think we more or less confirmed today that it’s going to be a tough weekend for us as a team in terms of performance, and we’ll try to do a better job tomorrow.”

“After Sunday’s accident, I still sometimes feel some pain in my hand and my back in some corners, so when I’m out of the car I try not to stress them too much. I think on Sunday it’s going to be perfectly okay.”

“Last, but not least, a big well done to the FIA, who have done an amazing job over the years to improve safety.”

Stoffel Vandoorne


Stoffel Vandoorne: “Even though I didn’t do FP1 I don’t think I missed a huge amount with the weather conditions. FP2 was dry and a much more normal session than the morning apart from Marcus’ (Ericsson) crash at the start.”

” I don’t think there will be any miracles for us here this weekend, we’ve expected it to be difficult and I think practice has already confirmed that it’s going to be tough for us. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

“I like this track, I have some good history here in different series that I’ve raced in before, so I usually enjoy coming here and racing.”

Lando Norris

lando norris

Lando Norris: “I had some fun today of course, although I didn’t get as much running as I would’ve liked. That happens sometimes and in the end, I was happy anyway.”

“I saw what to experience on a race weekend and again what it’s like to compare to Fernando, which is something pretty good for me.”

“It would have been nice to get a dry track – or for it to be completely wet for longer, to get used to driving this car in the wet, which I enjoy quite a bit.”

“It was still a good session for us, although there weren’t many laps completed. We did some aero tests – some for his year, some for next.”

“We tried as many things as we could without compromising anything for this weekend.The team learned quite a bit of stuff today, and of course I learned a lot too.”

RED BULL RACING – Friday Practice – 2018 Italian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen


Max Verstappen: “It was alright today, the same conditions for everyone. Luckily we had a dry second practice where we could try a few things.”

“In Qualifying with dry conditions, I think we are too slow, but on the long runs it looks more positive. If it’s going to be enough to really fight, I don’t think so.”

“From the car perspective the behaviour was good so of course I’m happy with that. But this is definitely the worst track for us, I don’t expect any miracles and we will try to make the best of it.”

“I don’t think it’s necessary to go with a different tyre strategy tomorrow as both compounds behaved really well. I don’t expect any problems there and we will just have to try to have the best Qualifying possible.”

“I don’t know yet whether we will use the C-Spec engine tomorrow, we will decide that overnight when we have looked at the data.”

“We just have to keep pushing and try to improve our car and then we will see where we are….”

Daniel Ricciardo


Daniel Ricciardo: “We looked more competitive on the long runs this afternoon but on the short runs Ferrari were really fast and we also still have a big gap to Mercedes.”

“We definitely closed the gap on the long runs which is promising for the race, but there is still a bit to find. I used the new C-Spec engine for the first time which seemed to run ok.”

“We won’t really know how well it performed until we look at the data but this afternoon we did some decent running with it and hopefully it shows some good numbers.”

“Tomorrow I probably won’t do much running and it’s possible I will skip Qualifying as I’m going to be starting at the back anyway.”

“I think on Sunday we will have a good enough car to come through the field and then work on the best position in the top five.”

“To be honest, it’s just good to see that Marcus is ok because that was a big one and a worry for us all. He had a far tougher day than me!”

FORCE INDA – Friday Practice – 2018 Italian Grand Prix

Esteban Ocon

esteban ocon

Esteban Ocon: “It’s been a pretty solid day with good preparation for the weekend. Seventh and eighth in the second session shows we have strong dry pace, as well as in the wet, and I feel optimistic for tomorrow.”

“The car has been quick all day, but there are some areas where we can improve and I think there is more to come.”

“The second session was shorter than usual because of the red flag, but it’s the same for everybody and I think we are as well prepared as anybody.”

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez: “It was a good day and I am fairly confident about our performance level. Friday times don’t mean much but it’s still nice to finish the morning session as the fastest driver.”

“In the afternoon we worked on our race set-up and we found a very good baseline.”

“I am definitely looking forward to qualifying because we have a good chance to be the best of the rest no matter what the weather does.”

“We were able to run on all compounds and in all conditions, so we are well prepared.”

SAUBER – Friday Practice – 2018 Italian Grand Prix

Marcus Ericsson


Marcus Ericsson: “The accident I had in FP2 was a big impact – thanks to the strength of the car I am alright.”

“The team is already working hard to repair the car so that I can be back on track tomorrow. I look forward to driving again.”

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc: “The day was OK. On one hand, we had quite a few issues – on the other hand, our performance was quite good if you take the challenges we faced into consideration.”

“We have some work ahead of us now, and will do everything we can to make the necessary steps forward before we head into the next sessions.”

“The main thing is that Marcus is well after his crash, and we will push to have a good result tomorrow.”

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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