|Lewis ghosts past empty stands at Free Practice|
Courtesy Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
FP1 1m40.480s (+1.332s) 21 laps 10th
FP2 1m39.219s (+0.387s) 19 laps 4th
“It’s so tricky to get a good set-up around here. We’re still not quite quick enough, but we’re heading in the right direction. We’ve been making progress all day, although this morning’s session was more about testing new parts and making sure everything worked correctly and less about choosing the right set-up.
“At the moment, it doesn’t look like we’re quite as quick as the Red Bulls – who’ll probably be quite difficult to beat in qualifying – but our race lap-times and consistency both look good.
“I think the track has done most of its evolution already today – it’s not going to re-set tomorrow – so the adjustments we’ve been making are looking positive. And there’s still more to come.”
FP1 1m39.148s 23 laps 1st
FP2 1m39.717s (+0.885s) 25 laps 8th
“I struggled a little bit with set-up today. There was quite a big difference in feeling between FP1 and FP2, which we don’t fully understand yet. This morning’s session was fine, but I made some changes for the afternoon and wasn’t quite able to get a good time out of either the Prime or the Option [tyres].
“So now we’ll work hard to figure out what direction we want to take. The Red Bulls look pretty quick, but Jenson wasn’t that far off their pace this afternoon. So that’s good. We’ll make some changes to the balance overnight, and hopefully we’ll be in better shape for tomorrow.
“As I say, this afternoon Jenson showed that our car has pace; all we need to do is fully extract it. If we can improve the balance overnight, I think we can be competitive.”
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Finding the perfect set-up for this circuit is a somewhat tricky balancing act – and it’s not made any easier by the ‘green’ track surface and the changing wind direction between sessions.
“Nevertheless, I think we’ve made a solid start to the weekend. We evaluated a number of new solutions and made decent progress towards cracking the balance needed for both the Soft and the Supersoft tyres.
“As always, the sharp end of the field looks extremely competitive, so the remainder of the weekend will be all about trying to maximise the slightest competitive advantage. There’s still work to be done, but our engineers and mechanics will doubtless rise to the challenge.
“We’re in the thick of it, and we’re very much looking forward to qualifying tomorrow.”