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Brazil GP: Practice notes - McLaren

NEWS STORY
31/10/2008

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen finished Friday's second free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo in ninth and 15th positions respectively. Lewis completed 33 laps with a best time of 1m12.827. Heikki did 37 laps and posted a best lap of 1m13.213. In the morning session, Lewis was second fastest with a 1m12.495 (23 laps) whilst Heikki ended up fifth with a 1m12.925 (20 laps).

Lewis Hamilton: "Our car was blindingly quick this morning despite the cold weather, which made the track feel quite slippery. This afternoon we focused on our race pace - but we were interrupted by the threat of rain and the changeable wind direction. I flat-spotted my tyres on a couple of runs, but I'm positive that the changes we've made will put us in a good position for tomorrow."

Heikki Kovalainen: "A decent Friday practice session and we now have a good understanding of tyre performance following our comparison work and evaluation. We were fine-tuning the balance of the car all the time and the outcome makes me happy, although this isn't reflected in the fastest lap times. So we've found a good baseline to work on for the rest of the weekend."

Ron Dennis: "Today was a slightly tricky day for many of the teams - with graining, particularly of the option tyre, a particular problem with the less-than-optimal track temperatures caused by the inclement weather conditions. In fact, we suspect that some teams may have dropped their fuel loads in an effort to nullify that problem, but we didn't. Instead we adhered to a disciplined programme, all the while assessing our raceable options. We made steady progress with our understanding of the available downforce levels, tyre choices and brake materials, and we feel confident that the lessons we learned today will pay dividends on Sunday."

Norbert Haug: "This were certainly not one of the better 2008 Friday's rankings for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. But I doubt whether today's order represents Sunday's competitive situation. We had a conservative approach to the afternoon session to simulate extremes that can take place during the race on Sunday. But of course we still have to optimise both cars. I am confident we can qualify tomorrow in positions that enable us to score the necessary points on Sunday."

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