F1 Melbourne – FRI – Free Practice (VMM)


Melbourne, Australia, Mar 26, 2010

We finish one-two in second free practice session

- MP4-25-02
P1 programme
- 22 laps
- 1m27.793s (+.866s) 7th

P2 programme
- 13 laps
- 1m25.801s 1st

“It’s great to be back in Melbourne – I love this place. The track was very dirty this morning – everybody usually waits for some of the cars to clean the line, but I just wanted to get out there and have some fun!

“I definitely think we’ve made some improvements to our pace compared with Bahrain. And the feeling over one lap is better for us. That’s what we’ve been trying to work on since the first race, and I feel more confident that, going into qualifying, we’ll be able to attack the guys who were at the front two weeks ago.

“Despite this afternoon’s wet weather, we went out early in the second session when it was still dry and got some good running under our belts in order to see how some of the changes we’d made between the sessions felt.

“We’re feeling positive. We’d hoped to evaluate some further changes at the end of P2, but the track still wasn’t up to full speed. Nevertheless, we feel quite comfortable with the balance of the car. I actually feel very relaxed: I’ve got a car that probably feels better than I’ve ever had at this track, so that’s a major positive.”

- MP4-25-03
P1 programme
- 22 laps
- 1m27.482s (+.555s) 3rd

P2 programme
- 16 laps
- 1m26.076s (+.275s) 2nd

“I’m reasonably pleased with the balance, and it’s just got better throughout the day. I’ve been happy since lap one this morning.

“It’s only Friday, and we may be lighter than some of the quick cars out there, but tomorrow we’ll see where we actually stand. Nevertheless, it’s important for us to find a good balance and get a good feeling with the car.

“We’ve just been trying to continually tweak the balance of the car, but it’s been tough because of the conditions and the traffic out on the circuit. Every time I’ve tried to put a good lap in on a new set of tyres, I’ve hit traffic. But we’ll make the best of it for tomorrow.

“For qualifying, the car should feel better than it did in Bahrain: it feels like we have the correct downforce level for this circuit. Both tyre compounds are working well too, so it’s all positive.

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“All the teams would probably have had an easier time of it if today’s sessions had been completely dry, because the rain made things rather challenging in terms of optimising learning potential. That being the case, we chose not to go out in the rain, to conserve tyres. Instead, we did heavy fuel runs to gauge tyre wear, plus a little light running too.

“We’re not about to get carried away by Jenson’s and Lewis’s positions on today’s time sheet, although of course it’s always gratifying to see your two drivers finish first and second on any day in any conditions.

“Having said that, we’re pretty confident that we’ll be more competitive here in Australia than we were in Bahrain.”

* Official photos and info courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

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