Daniel Ricciardo: "It's a really nice circuit, I am happy to be back after my first experience here last year and I had fun driving it today. I particularly like the 130R, which is very challenging with the DRS and it's the point on the track where you sometimes hold your breath! This morning we started from our usual baseline and then I felt we could make some changes which we did in between the sessions. I think these improved the car even if it did not seem to help us close the gap to our opponents, which suggests everyone is making some steps forward. However, I am happy we have made progress and, as usual in fact, it seems our long run pace looks more competitive than our qualifying pace, which is important given that the points are only scored on Sunday."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "Another circuit that I had only seen on the simulator until today and I have to say it's really nice. The best part is the first part, the Esses, which is great fun to drive. Apart from that, I would say we had a positive first day of practice, a normal Friday, when the times don't mean much as we don't know what fuel loads everyone else has. I'd say we seem in pretty good shape, even if there are still some areas we can work on to find more performance for the rest of the weekend. As this is my first time here, I am also improving every time I go on track and so there is more to come from me too. I ran both tyres and that side of the package seems reasonably straightforward."
Laurent Mekies (Chief Engineer): "We completed all the programme we had set ourselves for today, which included evaluating a few new parts, as well as comparing different exhaust configurations. The drivers did well in terms of getting into a rhythm at this great track and we also tried a few things in terms of car set-up. We still need to do a bit more for both drivers to be happier with the balance of their cars, but overall the day went well. We also worked on the usual qualifying and race evaluations and we have plenty of data to look at to try and make a step forward for tomorrow and again for Sunday."
Check out our Friday gallery, here.