Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli on a positive day for Toyota; Honda reserve Christian Klien on his Formula One return; and BMW Saubers Robert Kubica on why missing the recent Silverstone test may affect his performance this weekend. All the drivers report back on their early progress at Silverstone
(Except where noted, all positions and times refer to Practice 2.)
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (1st, 1m 20.639s):
It was a good day. We worked in a different way to usual, covering a high mileage. I would say we have a good base from which we can improve the car for qualifying and the race. We have to do well and we will give it our all. Track conditions were a bit difficult because of the wind, while it seems that, compared to the test two weeks ago, the track surface is a bit slipperier. The tyres seem very similar in terms of performance, give that we I have done almost the same lap time on the hards and the softs. As usual on Friday, there are so many unknowns in terms of the order among the teams. We must wait and see how the weekend develops.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (2nd, +0.499s):
I am very satisfied with the work done in these two free practice sessions. The car worked well in a reasonably similar way to what we had seen in the test here two weeks ago and I can only be happy with that. We worked on long runs and the performance was very consistent. I did not manage to set a fast time on the first lap on soft tyres because first of all, there was a bit of rain halfway round the track and then I made a small mistake. I hope we can come out ahead of our main rivals.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (3rd, +0.742s):
Our day went well. Both sessions were positive and we had no technical problems so we are quite happy with what we have achieved so far. The wind was strong both in the morning and the afternoon so that made it difficult to make accurate comparisons. But we made it through everything that we had planned so it sets us up well for the rest of the weekend. We were quite quick in the afternoon but lets wait and see how we fare tomorrow. We might be lucky with the weather and if it rains then anything can happen. But for now we should aim to qualify both cars in the top ten and then take it from there.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (4th, +0.742):
It is great to be here at my first home Grand Prix and to be driving a McLaren Formula One car in front of all the British supporters. Today has been really positive, and the work we have done seems to be taking us in the right direction. The car feels great to drive around this track, which is one of my favourites, and I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend where I expect us to remain strong. We gathered a lot of useful data which we will look at overnight and then continue our work tomorrow.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (5th, +0.828s):
This is always an interesting weekend because you have to keep a close eye on the weather which can change very quickly. You can never expect consistent conditions and its fair to say we have seen typical English weather so far. That has a major influence on the performance of the car. Even when its not raining the wind can be strong around here and that affects work on set-up. For that reason we concentrated on testing the two compounds of tyres, which went well. We set some encouraging lap times and our package seems to work quite well on this type of circuit because we were competitive in the test here two weeks ago. So things are looking positive for tomorrow and we should hope for a good race.
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (6th, +0.977s):
Today has been quite windy and with Silverstone being such a flat circuit it really can affect the balance of the car; this is why we saw so many people, including myself, going off at some point today. As usual we were working on the set-up of the car and assessing the two Bridgestone Potenza tyre compounds for this weekend and we completed our planed programme. The work has been good, and I am happy with the results so far. We seem to be competitive and the car is working very well here, so hopefully we will have a strong weekend in front of all the people coming from Woking and Brixworth.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (7th, +0.980s):
Generally, I think it went okay today. We spent the sessions concentrating on tyre testing and we have some very interesting results, which is going to help us in qualifying. There's still some work to be done and there's definitely some more performance to get out of the car. I think we can do better tomorrow and make it into the top ten but, with the field so close, it will be very tight.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (8th, +1.011s):
Everyone will tell you how bad the conditions were with the wind, and I'll do the same. It made testing a little bit difficult. Nevertheless, we ran through the programme and learnt how the car is working with the tyres here. There's not a lot you can learn, though, on a day like this but we did a lot of laps, and a long run at the end of the session. There's a bit of fine tuning to do ahead of tomorrow's qualifying, but we're looking okay.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (9th, +1.498s):
The car ran okay today with no reliability problems, which was good. The wind was pretty bad, but it was the same for everyone. We dont seem to be as competitive here as we were at the test, but its always the same on a Friday, you dont know where everyone really is until you go racing.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (10th, +1.504s):
The driving conditions were difficult for everyone out there with the high winds. We combated that with set-up work as much as we could and I'm happy with where we got the car to on a long run. For the short runs it was a bit hard to tell the grip levels due to the wind, but we ran through the whole programme. We had a small problem with the car towards the end of the last session with only 20 minutes to go. The boys did a good job to get the car back out there and get my final new tyre run. I was able to get a good read, so I'm happy with everyone's work today.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (11th, +1.550s):
This was a better start to my weekend than I had in Magny-Cours. The basic car balance felt pretty good today, but the wind always makes life difficult, because the gusts mean every car feels inconsistent from lap to lap, and corner to corner even. There is still work for us to do overnight to find more performance, but already from this morning to this afternoon, it felt like we made a good step forward - even through the positions don't necessarily suggest so. We are definitely working in the right direction, so if we can do the same again before tomorrow, we should be in pretty good shape.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (12th, +1.618s):
The car was quite competitive, and particularly on the long runs when the balance felt pretty good. But I encountered quite a lot of traffic, the circuit is pretty bumpy, and you have head or tailwinds changing all the time which makes it hard to find the right braking points, so there's quite a lot of work to do, in order to understand our basic potential I think. But if we look at our programme, we can be happy with the number of laps we did, and the progress we made. After that, we need to make the most of the conditions, because they will be the same for everybody, and keep on moving forward with the set-up of the car.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (13th, +1.733s):
I would say it was quite an easy day. There is a little bit of set-up work to be done for tomorrow for free practice and qualifying, so we have to analyse todays data, but we had no problems so it was quite good. Although I missed the test on the second lap my times were already good, so this was not a big issue. Maybe I could have prepared for my race set-up a little better if I had run in the last test session here, because the track has changed quite a lot and is now bumpier. Now we have to just look at the data and work on that.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (14th, +1.789s):
It was pretty windy out on track today, which caused a bigger spread between the fastest and slowest cars. Last week in Magny-Cours we had more stable conditions, so it was a tighter grid. In the first practice I had an incident when I suffered over-steer under braking and went off the track, but it wasnt anything serious.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (15th, +1.847s):
In the first session and at the beginning of the second one everything went well. Later my car was not so good, although we didnt change much. It was difficult to drive, so we have to figure out why. Even over the bumps here in Silverstone I dont have any problems even with my back.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (16th, +1.848s):
We had a lot of things to do today as we were not at the last Silverstone test. I believe that we completed quite a lot of things, including the normal tyre comparison. We went through our normal Friday running plus a bit extra and considering the really windy condition which made it really inconsistent corner by corner and difficult to judge the set-up difference, I think it was a positive day.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (17th, +1.872s):
It was a fairly standard Friday today, although the weather conditions were quite windy around the circuit. We worked through the usual set-up and tyre comparisons as well as trying a different brake material during the afternoon session. Overall the car balance felt better by the end of the day, especially on the long runs. We do still have to find some more time on the short runs however.
Christian Klien, Honda (18th, +2.194s):
I am pleased to have had the opportunity to drive the car this afternoon and to help the team complete our planned programme for today. Silverstone is a circuit that I know very well so I was able to feel comfortable in the car straightaway. We had a lot to achieve in the session with the tyres, especially looking at the long run pace for the race on Sunday, so it was good to be able to complete 45 laps.
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (19th, +2.201s):
We were running all the time with a lot of fuel on board, so we should not read too much into the lap times, or at least I think we are better than they make us look. We worked on the usual tyre comparison. We were able to get a lot of laps covered today which is good and a step forward compared to this time last week in France. The track here is good to drive, even if the wind always complicates life.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (20th, +2.466s):
A tough day as we were struggling with the balance on the car. Because of this, the fact that the wind is changing direction in the corners is making life more difficult. We are trying our best to improve the set up, but we still have a lot to do. In France we saw we lacked speed and so we could have predicted it would be another difficult weekend here, as Silverstone is a high downforce circuit, where aero efficiency is even more important than in Magny-Cours.
Christijan Albers, Spyker (21st, +2.474s):
We had a good day today. We could do some long runs to look how the tyres react over longer distances and I was happier with the balance. Although I'm still not really, really satisfied with the set-up there is still another day tomorrow where it's possible to improve. Hopefully it will go okay in qualifying,
Jenson Button, Honda (15th in Practice 1, 1m 23.517s):
"This morning the conditions were very gusty, particularly through Becketts, and we were struggling to find a good balance. Although I had to sit out the afternoon session it looks like we have made some good progress with our planned programme and I will be looking at the data this evening with the engineers in preparation for tomorrow."
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (22nd, +3.081s):
We started off well in the beginning but then we had some problems with the harder tyre compound that really did not seem to work. Then we made some changes to the set-up but the car had a lot of understeer and was very difficult to drive. Then I lost it in Copse and crashed into the barriers, but fortunately it was not a big incident. In the middle of the second session a few drops of rain fell when I went out on the hard tyres but it did not really affect the lap times, maybe by only a couple of tenths. I hope we can improve tomorrow.