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F1 TESTS: Day One Driver Quotes

by on February 7, 2012

Here are some quotes from some of the drivers that participated in the first day of testing in Jerez.  It was a relatively uneventful day with minor disturbances.  Not everything went to plan for all but for the most part, teams and drivers were able to run through their programs.

May I just say, I’ve missed the F1 action.  The winter break really helps re-ignite the passion come the first tests.

Pastor Maldonado: It feels great to be back with the team and to start putting some mileage on the FW34. The car felt good and the systems were all working well this morning. I like the feel of the new Renault engine as well. It’s still too early to make any predictions, but we are pushing hard and working to understand the car better.
Kamui Kobayashi: “I’m happy. The new car feels fine. We managed good mileage today despite a small problem in the morning session. Running today wasn’t about performance but focused on checking systems and reliability. Nevertheless I got the impression the new Pirelli tyres might be good for us. I am looking forward to the next tests and to further work on the car.”
Heikki Kovalainen: “It’s good to be back at work after the winter break and great to see how up for the season ahead the whole team are. We were first out on track this morning and the early feeling I had from the car was good. It’s far too early to tell how much we’ve progressed but it already feels like we’re going in the right direction. We obviously didn’t want to end early today but we couldn’t sort out the starter shaft issue in time to get back on track, but I’m reasonably pleased with what we have achieved today and I know the team will put in the work tonight to get us back out on track tomorrow and pick up where we left off today.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “It was really nice to be back in the cockpit for the first time since the Brazilian Grand Prix in November and being the first person to drive the STR7 was a little bonus. It was great to experience taking a completely new car out of the garage. We had a very productive morning, doing over 40 laps and we made good progress with our programme. Then in the afternoon, we did a couple of longer runs, but had to cut it short, although we only lost an hour. I was using the Medium tyre on that last run, having used Hard tyres for the rest of the day. So, overall, a good start and I’m looking forward to another productive day tomorrow, because this car is very enjoyable to drive. It was a good feeling going fast again. It’s too early to give a true assessment of the car, but out of the box this morning, it seemed balanced and quite stable. It gave me a good feeling when I put the power down.”

Nico Rosberg: “We made a very good start to our testing programme today and completed 56 laps this morning. I was driving the 2011 car, so it felt comfortable straightaway. We tested some different things in perfect weather conditions and started learning about the 2012 Pirelli tyres and how they work. I was really happy to be out on track in my Mercedes and I know that, back at the factory, our development of the new car is running according to our plan.”

Michael Schumacher: “After a long break, it feels terrific being back in the car and hitting the circuit again. Our main job was to get a first impression of the tyres for 2012 and to start understanding them. They feel like a step forward, more consistent and comfortable to drive, and the biggest difference is with the rear tyre. Thanks to everybody at Pirelli for their good job this winter. Let’s see what we can learn tomorrow.”

 

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