PRACTICE – 2018 United States Grand Prix (Driver Interviews & Report)

united-states-grand-prix-2018

PRACTICE – 2018 United States Grand Prix (Driver Interviews & Report)

Location: Austin, Texas

Race Weekend: 2018 United States Grand Prix

It’s another race weekend and as we’re getting ready for Qualifying later this evening, here’s a recap on all that’s happened over the weekend.

The US Grand Prix has been an unreliable one in terms of weather and during yesterday’s FP2 – we had A LOT of rain, so much so that drivers were relaxing with their engineers and enjoying a cup of coffee, as you can see in the picture below with Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris.

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With more talk of rain this weekend and perhaps even for the race – it could all be going on Lewis Hamilton’s favour however Sebastian Vettel has said “I’m not afraid of the rain” (check out this post here) who’s looking extremely confident and upbeat for the United States Grand Prix this weekend despite their lack of wins for the past few races.

MERCEDES AMG-PETRONAS – United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton: “It’s not really been an eventful day – which is a shame because a lot of people came out today…the weather was miserable this morning; it looked like it was going to dry up going into FP2 but then all of a sudden the heavens opened again.”

In FP1 I only did a few laps because we need the tyres to last until FP3 and there’s very little to learn in the rain. In FP2 I waited to the end before I went out to see if the track had changed or the tyres had dropped off a little bit for the next run from my previous laps. The car still felt good, but the track seemed a bit bumpier than in the past.”

The Intermediate tyres provided pretty good grip for the wet conditions, but I don’t think they will last very long. You can actually drive with quite a lot of standing water on the Inters, so finding the cross-over between the Extreme Wets and the Inters is going to be crucial as you can lose a lot if you get it wrong.”

“Overall, I still enjoyed it – I love driving this track and it’s great in the wet as well, so I got a little bit of excitement today.”

VALTTERI BOTTAS

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Valtteri Bottas: “It was a pretty boring day, just waiting for the rain to go away – the more tyres we use today, the less tyres we have for a potentially wet Qualifying session; so we’d rather run tomorrow than today given the tyre allocation that we have.”

“But even in the limited running that I was able to do this morning the car felt really good, despite the poor conditions. It seems to be a strong car in both the wet and the dry.”

“The set-up for tomorrow and Sunday will be tricky given that no one was able to run the dry tyres yet, but I guess that’s when we will see how good our simulations are as our entire set-up will have to be based on simulations and all the hard work back at the factory, but not on on-track running.”

“We have different tyres compared to last year, the asphalt changed as well, so there are many question marks that will make finding the right race set-up and strategy difficult.”

“So even if we get a good qualifying, there are no guarantees for Sunday – which makes the weekend really interesting….”

SCUDERIA FERRARI – United States Grand Prix

SEBASTIAN VETTEL

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Sebastian Vettel: “There’s not much you can learn from a session like the one we had today and it’s been the same for everyone. We didn’t do many quality laps but it was clear that on the wet we were not quick enough.”

“As for the three-place grid penalty, I think that the stewards today were very specific in saying that my slowing down time was 27.7 seconds; I saw the red flag, had a look around to see whether there was any car stuck in the wall between turn 9 and 10, and slowed down to comply with the rules.”

“They found it was too long a time, but I can’t do much about that. The rules are clear and we know them, but I think a situation like this happened just this time, in these weather conditions, and on the wet you would go slower anyway…”

KIMI RAIKKONEN

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Kimi Raikkonen: “Today not much happened; the conditions were quite tricky, but we tried to run as much as we could. We had one set that we could basically use without penalising ourselves, because it’s the extra set that we must give back.”

“The remaining ones can be used for qualifying and the race, so we were limited in availability. I did not pay much attention to lap times, because towards the end of the afternoon session, after I had set my best time on the Full wet tyres, the Intermediates we had at that time were quite worn.”

“Through the sessions we made some progress, all in all it was OK, but it’s not easy to have a clear picture. We had some new solutions to test but given the conditions, there was not much to learn from them.”

“Now we’ll try to make the best of it in the sessions that follow…”

RED BULL RACING – United States Grand Prix

MAX VERSTAPPEN

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Max Verstappen: “These wet days are a bit boring – it was important to get out in order to understand our car better in these types of conditions, even if it was only a handful of laps.”

“We tried a few things and collected some date but it’s always hard in the rain to tell how well the car responds to these changes – it felt pretty good at the end of the session so if it’s wet tomorrow or during the race, we will hopefully be in good shape.”

“I think after a day like this, there are still a lot of unknowns – we just have to do our best tomorrow, whatever the weather and put ourselves in the best position for tomorrow.”

DANIEL RICCIARDO

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Daniel Ricciardo: “We would obviously have liked to run a bit more today but I had a puncture in my first set of intermediates and couldn’t use the set again – if another set had been used that could have taken a set away for qualifying which is obviously more important!”

“We have definitely felt an improvement from Monza – for sure, the wet is exciting to drive in and it could change things up for the race, if it’s dry – we have a pretty good car so I don’t really mind what happens in Qualifying….”

“The race could be more of a lottery for if it’s the first dry running we get – I’m not sure if Ferrari had a few struggles but we looked to be OK. A podium would be good – in fact, a podium with a bit of brisket on the side with a cold beverage would be even better!”

MCLAREN – United States Grand Prix

FERNANDO ALONSO

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Fernando Alonso: “It was an odd day with very wet track conditions and not much running – it always feels good here though, the high-speeds section especially is quite impressive with these cars.”

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to put in more laps and we’re always missing a couple of sets of tyres from Friday and it’s a pity – especially for the people who come and watch us from the grandstands as we don’t do as much running with the weather conditions throughout the weekend.”

STOFFEL VANDOORNE

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Stoffel Vandoorne: “My Friday wasn’t very busy – I missed our on FP1 as Lando was in my car and then in FP2 because of the bad weather conditions, we only managed a couple of laps.”

“For me, it was still good to get back to grips with everything after Formula E testing – hopefully, if the weather conditions are OK I can get more laps in.”

“This, the US GP, should be one of our better circuits – we’ve got a few new bits on our car but with these weather conditions, it’s difficult to prove them out.”

“When it’s tricky this generally offers a few more opportunities for us so we’ll see how it all goes.”

LANDO NORRIS

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Lando Norris: “Today was good and it’s my first time here – the second time ever in America and this is a really cool track, really enjoyable.”

“I think it’ll be very different in the dry, it’s very dry – it’s a very bumpy track and you don’t feel the bumps as much in the wet as you’re using different lines.”

“It was tricky overall as the circuit is slippery in the wet so I think there was a lot of people making mistakes here and there – it wasn’t easy but everything I did felt pretty good. I know in myself that I have a lot more time to improve and there are things for me to work on.”

“I feel more comfortable, especially in the rain, as it’s only my second time driving in the wet – it’s difficult to adjust to all these different things – a new track, new conditions and trying new things in changing conditions but overall, it was a good session.”

“When I’m not driving, I’m now becoming a professional Barista – making coffee and tea for all the guys to pass a bit of time…. (laughs)…”

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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