Felipe Massa was best of the rest in Friday's practice at the Sochi circuit, finishing ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.
Felipe Massa: "It was a good day for us. The car felt good on track, in the morning and the afternoon, on short runs and long runs, on old tyres and new tyres. So I would say I am quite happy with the balance and the way the tyres are working, and the degradation is very low, much lower than other tracks and was quite good for our long run. I was happy with the day. I really hope we can have a strong weekend, but we will see."
Lance Stroll: "It is a bit strange here as it is not one timed lap and then the tyre goes away, it builds up a lot. So we need to figure out how to deliver the lap time when the tyre is at its best. There is still improvement to come, and that is generally from my side, as it is my first time here and I am just getting the car set up the way I want. And I didn't use the ultra softs as I am saving them for tomorrow. That will give me a much better feeling and I will try to get in some good runs. We have not decided our strategy for the race yet, but it is low grip here and the degradation doesn't look high, so we will have to see what approach is best."
Nico Hulkenberg: "It was a pretty straightforward FP2 for me after a short FP1 with the headset on whilst Sergey was in the car. We were up to speed pretty quickly and I don’t think there’s anything to fear from the weekend ahead. We completed a decent amount of laps so there is enough info to digest in the quest to making us faster tomorrow and on race day."
Jolyon Palmer: "The car felt pretty good straight out of the box and I was able to push it without any particular issues. The front end felt good and there was good traction too. I think we’ve made some nice progress with understanding the car. I’m feeling positive for the rest of the weekend."
Kevin Magnussen: “I’m quite happy. We got through the day without any problems on the car. We got the whole program done, so that’s very satisfying. The early feeling is good with the car. We need to look at a few issues on the balance, normal stuff like that, but the baseline is quite good. The balance of the track is evolving in each session, but the balance in the car is similar, so that’s a good sign. We’ll keep working and try and iron out the small balance issues that we have. As I said, the baseline is good in the car, so it’s just details we need to work on.”
Romain Grosjean: “We’ve got very little grip. We’re really struggling with the balance. We had some issues, as well, with the brakes over the long runs. We need to look at what we can do better with them. Generally, it’s just been a very difficult Friday. The car didn’t perform well – very low grip on low fuel and high fuel. Hopefully, we can find some performance and get closer to where Kevin is and get back in the top-10 tomorrow.”
Sergio Perez: “Finding the balance around this track is not easy, but I think we’re in a good place and I felt happy in the car. We completed a lot of laps using all the tyre compounds and there’s a lot of data to analyse, but I am confident we can be competitive tomorrow. It’s going to be an exciting battle in the midfield and I believe we will be strong.”
Esteban Ocon: “A pretty solid day overall. I feel we’ve got to a point where we understand how the car is working around this track and we know where we can make improvements. I felt very confident with the car all day, but especially in the second session, and I was able to get the tyres to work, which is not easy on a track like this. There’s still a lot to discuss tonight, but I am satisfied with what we’ve achieved today and I hope the rest of the weekend continues like this.”
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