Romain, Bruno and Vitaly all took their turns behind the wheel of the R31 in practice today for the Brazilian Grand Prix at the Interlagos with a solid day of running completed under beautiful blue skies.
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: We ran with Pirelli's 2012 development hard tyre for a stint on both cars in FP1, as well as the medium compound. In FP2 we used Pirelli's new soft and medium compounds.Romain's run in FP1 was cut short by a failure of a developmental clutch part.
Romain did a good job as he did in Abu Dhabi. We struggled on the medium tyres for general grip with both understeer and oversteer. This tendency is much reduced on the soft tyres. We saw a big difference in lap time between the medium and soft compounds. We are struggling on the medium compound as shown by both Bruno and Vitaly going around 1.5 to 2 seconds quicker on the soft tyre. Our pace with the soft tyre is more in line with our expectations.
Bruno Senna: "It's been an interesting day. The performance in the second session was considerably better than that of the first session. Our times this afternoon were much more in line with the other teams than we could say for this morning. For tomorrow, we need to work on the balance of the car. That will be crucial to ensure we have a strong qualifying and give ourselves a good chance come Sunday too."
Vitaly Petrov: "FP1 was interesting for me and it was actually a very good experience to be on the pit wall for a session. It enabled me to understand better what the engineers see and what they require from the driver so I can put this knowledge to practice in future. In FP2 there were no mechanical problems, so I think my crew did a very good job to repair the car after the clutch problem in the morning. We know this is not an easy track for our car as you can see with our times. It will be difficult tomorrow in qualifying, but we work hard to try and get into Q3 but it's not going to be easy. Today we were struggling with rear traction and oversteer so we focused on improving this area as it is certainly hurting our pace."
Romain Grosjean: "I was looking forward to jumping in the car again this morning and the experience did not disappoint. I loved every minute of it. It's a track I particularly like; a fantastic old-style circuit, with lots of fans in the grandstand too. We have seen some interesting data on the technical side, which the team is already looking at for next year. I want to spend as much time as I can in the car, and I really love getting behind the wheel - it's a job I love."
Check out our practice gallery, here.