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Fri: Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton ended Friday’s running at Austin on top of the timesheest, edging Nico Rosberg while Fernando Alonso was third…

Mercedes:
Lewis Hamilton: “The car felt good today and we were able to improve consistently over the two sessions. I only got a couple of laps of my long run which was unfortunate as we lost a bit of track time but Nico got the data for the team so we should be ok. I’m not sure exactly what the problem was and we had to stop as a precaution but I’m sure they will identify and fix it overnight. These small glitches happen and I’m confident that we won’t have problems moving forward. It’s better that it happened today rather than later in the weekend, of course. It looks very close with Nico out there and I’m expecting a very tough battle this weekend. I love being here and it’s great to see so many fans around the circuit already, so I’m excited for the rest of the weekend and feeling ready to put on a show for them.”

Nico Rosberg: “Our Silver Arrow feels very quick around this circuit which is very impressive to see. Between Lewis and myself, the times were very tight as usual. But it was worrying to see that Lewis had a problem with his car as it shows that our car is still not 100% robust at the moment. We need to work on that but overall I’m really looking forward to the weekend. It looks like it will be a close battle between my teammate and I, so let’s hope we can put on a great show for the fans here in Texas.”

Ferrari:
Fernando Alonso: “Today we did some good testing, helped by the track conditions, which were definitely different to previous years. It’s possible the races they had here a few weeks ago helped to clean the track and as far as grip levels were concerned, we didn’t have too many problems. In the second session, the situation was slightly worse because of the strong wind, but that was expected over the weekend and did not affect our work too much. The Soft compound seems to last less than expected, but we are well aware how much tyre performance can change as the track evolves. Certainly the race looks like it will be different to past editions, because the likelihood of two stops opens up different strategic possibilities. Today we tried the Virtual Safety Car system and I think that, for a first try it went well, although there is still much to do. All us drivers agree it’s a very worthwhile idea, we just need to get used to it.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “The day began with a few difficulties in the first free practice session, in which we concentrated on analysing various aerodynamic components. I did not feel comfortable with the set-up we had and controlling the car wasn’t easy. In the afternoon, we made some changes and the handling of the car was definitely better. On the Medium compound, I managed to do a good lap and I think if I had not been held up in traffic, I could have done even better. We still have a lot of work to do before tomorrow’s qualifying, but the improvement we saw from one session to the next seems to indicate we are going in the right direction. We just have to continue doing our best.”

Red Bull:
Daniel Ricciardo: “It was tricky out there today, the wind makes it difficult; it’s quite an open circuit, so any form of cross wind or tail wind upsets the car a lot – we saw a few spins in FP2 from a few guys. We got the car in a good window to work with and hopefully tomorrow we can find a bit more speed. We didn’t run much this morning but in FP2 we ended up in the top five and the long run looked reasonable, so I think we had a pretty good afternoon.”

Sebastian Vettel: “It was a different practice today, as we focused on Sunday preparation. We had an issue with the gearbox this morning so we lost some time, but overall it was okay. It’s not great knowing that you can’t go out and fully go for it in qualifying tomorrow, but we knew it from the start of this weekend, so we focus on the race and hopefully we will have a good come back from the pit lane on Sunday.”

Related Links
Hamilton Narrowly Pips Rosberg In FP2
Putting In A Practice Run

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