With the weather holding up steady, teams had little to gamble on. The track conditions though were constantly evolving and teams had to be on their toes adapting the vehicle setup to suit the track. Red Bull Racing proved its tech prowess with both drivers placing on top of the competition. Most teams have pointed out that tyre performance is something they will not have to worry about this time.
“Friday’s are always difficult with so many things changing. The track improvement was quite big today, it was dusty to start and improved lap by lap, so I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow the order is different, but we’ve had worse Fridays, so I am happy. We need to keep working and improve a little bit overnight.” said Sebastian Vettel, winner of last year’s Indian Grand Prix.
Mark Webber said “That went pretty well. I had a lock-up in Turn 1, which I could have done without, but it wasn’t the end of the world. We got on with the important stuff, which is understanding the soft tyre on short and long runs. We’ll have a look where we can improve the car, you can always improve. The team is incredibly motivated and the drivers also.”
Fernando Alonso posted the third fastest time, in his Ferrari, while Felipe Massa who placed seventh in FP1 was down in fifteenth place in FP2. While Alonso was on a roll and worked on the usual comparison of the hard and soft tyres over short and long runs, Felipe had a more troubled time due to small glitch on his car which upset the balance causing him to spin and damage his tyres.
Massa said “It was a rather difficult day, especially in the afternoon. The first session went well and we were able to do everything we had planned. But in the second one, when we switched from the Hard to the Soft, the balance of the car was no longer the best and it was becoming very difficult to drive, to such an extent that I ended up spinning. Unfortunately, that damaged a tyre and so I was unable to do the work over a long run which had been one of our priorities. In the final half hour, I therefore concentrated on pit stop practice, the only thing possible with the tyres in that condition.”
Fernando Alonso: “This is an interesting circuit: after the longest straight, there’s a combination of high speed corners which are very nice to drive. Today the track was still very dirty, which is usually the case at new tracks that aren’t used very often. Tomorrow, when it will deliver more grip, it will be even more fun. The track conditions, which change rapidly lap after lap, make it even more complicated to understand the situation relating to the hierarchy down the pit lane. We must study the data carefully to make the right choices for the rest of the weekend. Nothing much to say about tyre performance: from what we’ve seen today, we can hope there’s one less problem to take into consideration.”
Nico Rosberg posted the fourth fastest time. His fastest times in P1 and P2 that were respectively 0.8s and 0.5s slower than in the same sessions last year at BIC. Michael Schumacher, who posted the 8th fastest in FP1 managed only a 13th in FP2.
Nico Rosberg said “We learned a lot in the two practice sessions today and found some good set-up directions, so it was a decent day. Fourth place is not our realistic position at the moment but I am confident that we’re looking a little better here than at the previous two races.”
Michael Schumacher said “We had two sessions today where we worked mainly on long runs and the performance was reasonable by the end of the day. The car balance was ok, particularly in the first sector with the slower corners, and as such confirmed the performance that we expected from the circuit characteristics. With the soft tyres, I didn’t really get a lap together, but we managed to build a basis to work on for the rest of the weekend.”
Developing Story.. More from the Lotus F1 Team and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes coming up soon