2012 Santander British Grand Prix :: Free Practice
Silverstone Circuit, Friday July 6
FP1 1m57.174s (+0.622s) 6 laps 3rd
FP2 1m56.345s 8 laps 1st
“I had some fun out there today! I got to do a good few laps too, which was good, because I was concerned that the fans wouldn’t get to see much action. There were so many of them out there today. I can’t remember seeing so many people at a racetrack on a Friday before – it was incredible. British Formula 1 fans are the best in the world!
“I would like to have gone out and done even more laps – but we simply didn’t have enough tyres to do that. Perhaps that’s something we can look at for the future.
“There was a lot of standing water out there, and tons of aquaplaning. That’s to be expected when there’s heavy rain, of course, but I have to say that there doesn’t seem to be that much drainage around the circuit. You’re aquaplaning almost all the time, to be honest, so you need to be very in tune with your senses or you’re very likely to lose control.
“I think the drivers can probably make more of a difference in the wet than we can in the dry, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of the weekend, which looks likely to stay chilly and wet.”
FP1 2m01.834s (+5.282s) 6 laps 17th
FP2 1m57.948s (+1.603s) 9 laps 6th
“We learned a few things today – but mainly that it’s often wet at Silverstone and the fans always come out in force even when it’s chucking it down! Seriously, though, I’m glad we were finally able to do some running as it hasn’t been the nicest of days for them.
“It was very tricky out there – there was lots of standing water. You wouldn’t want to be racing wheel-to-wheel in those conditions, as you wouldn’t see the puddles until it was too late.
“I think we learned throughout the day where the biggest rivers on the circuit were situated – one of the biggest is along the Hangar Straight just before Stowe. You’re travelling at 290km/h [180mph] and you hit a river that gives you wheelspin – at that speed – and when that happens your car can snap out of control very easily.
“When you’re driving alone, it’s not so bad, because you can pick your way around and lift off whenever necessary, but in the race you can’t do that. So, pretty obviously, I hope there won’t be as much standing water around on Sunday.”
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“At the end of a free practice day on which it barely stopped raining even for a minute, it’s a relief to be able to point to two fully intact Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 cars, with all their wings and appendages still attached!
“It was extremely slippery out there today; nonetheless, despite our having to limit our running in order to conserve enough wet-weather tyres for the rest of the weekend, both our drivers did an excellent job in the appalling conditions, getting through some useful wet-weather development work without mishap.
“Moreover, with wet weather forecast for much of tomorrow and Sunday, today’s successful research represents an important baseline from which we can focus our developmental strategy with a view to competing for ultimate honours in the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix.”