Fri: FIndia, Caterham, Marussia, HRT

Friday 16th November 2012

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Fri: FIndia, Caterham, Marussia, HRT

Fri: FIndia, Caterham, Marussia, HRT

Force India made a slow start to Friday's practice in America, joining Caterham, Marussia and HRT at the bottom of the timesheets...

Force India:
Nico Hulkenberg: "I think the organisers have given us an awesome circuit. It's good fun to drive and there is a nice variation of corners, which gives a nice rhythm to the track. In terms of the new generation of tracks, I'd say it's one of my favourites. The day was pretty smooth and we had to make sure we collected lots of data because we don't have any historic information to draw upon. We looked competitive this morning and seemed to struggle more in the afternoon, so we need to try and find some more grip overnight."

Paul di Resta: "I said yesterday that getting the tyres working was going to be difficult - and so it proved today. The track surface is very smooth and the temperatures were not especially high, which probably didn't help us. We've identified some issues and haven't found the best direction with the set-up yet, so we need to work hard to make the car easier to drive. In terms of the layout of the track it's very open and there are some nice corners, especially the first sector which has a great flow. A lot of the corners are off-camber, which also adds another challenge."

Caterham:
Heikki Kovalainen: "The first lap we did in FP1 was on a track that probably had less grip than anywhere else I've ever driven! As we're at a new circuit that was to be expected but the track layout lived up to expectations - it's a proper driver's track and as it keeps evolving it's going to get even faster which will give us a chance to really find out what it's all about. In the morning session we were mainly focussed on the normal P1 program, running through baseline setups and aero work and then in the afternoon we went onto more tyre work and longer runs on both compounds. We need to work on improving the grip levels but I'm ok with where we ended up and with the amount of information we have from both sessions I think we can find more time tomorrow."

Vitaly Petrov: "I'm really enjoying my time in the US! It's my first time in America and as soon as I arrived I spent some time walking around Austin and found it's a great city, really cool. In P1 We had to make a couple of minor changes to the floor but it didn't hold up the program too much and we found an OK balance relatively early on. In the afternoon we had the first runs on the medium tyres and then put in a lot of laps on the long runs. We definitely need to do some work on how we can get more heat into the tyres and how to improve the rear of the car but we'll work on that tonight and hopefully have a better day tomorrow."

Marussia:
Timo Glock: "A very difficult start to the weekend - for everyone I think! The track was very dirty this morning and in FP1 we just had to wait until it got into reasonable shape. In the end the car was quite okay but there was traffic in the last few laps and when you lose the temperature in the tyres because of that, with it being so cold at the start of the day it's difficult to recover the time. FP2 was a little confusing as the car was just very difficult to drive in the first 15 minutes and then at the end we got a reasonable balance into the car. It's quite difficult to get the lap together here and find the grip though; we saw a few cars going off track because of this. We ended the day with quite a bit more confidence in the car, but we need to look at the data and the new developments and see how we can move things forward for tomorrow. In light of the challenges we experienced, I'm quite happy with where we ended the session."

Charles Pic: "It has been a very interesting day, driving here at the Circuit of The Americas for the first time. It was very close to the simulation work we have done, which is always very encouraging. I like it a lot; the first sector in particular is quite exciting to drive. This morning the track was so slippery that we just had to focus on getting to know the layout and finding more grip, as both were key to improving the lap time. We made steady improvement and it was pleasing to finish the session ahead of both Caterhams. This afternoon we had a lot of work to do to get the tyres working and this was our focus with different fuel levels. Tomorrow will provide us with a clearer picture, but I'm quite happy with the first day here."

HRT:
Pedro de la Rosa: "This is a beautiful and technical circuit. There are all sorts of corners and you have to drive with confidence, as there are quite a few blind turns. The asphalt is brand new and the car slides a lot but it improved immensely throughout the day. Our main issue is that we struggle to get the tyres up to temperature, which doesn't make driving easy. However, the cars' basic set up is good and we only need to cover as many kilometres as possible to improve on that tomorrow."

Narain Karthikeyan: "The circuit is quite nice. It has a lot of fast corners, like the first S's, and it is very technical and demanding. It is not easy to learn but I did my best with the limited number of laps we had. Grip level was quite low over the first laps and I couldn't manage to keep the tyres' temperature high enough, which made driving quite challenging. But, as laps went by, it got better and going out with options also helped. We still have a lot to improve but I'm confident for tomorrow."

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