The first two sessions of free practice signalled the start of a special weekend for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, as here in Turkey, it celebrates its 800th Grand Prix in 61 years of taking part in the Formula 1 World Championship. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso completed a total of 98 laps: 48 for the Brazilian and two more for the Spaniard.
“As is always the case on the first day of a race weekend, it is difficult to draw any conclusions as to the hierarchy among the teams,” said Stefano Domenicali. “We worked on race preparation and on finding performance and we are reasonably happy with what we have seen. One has to be very careful when assessing the level of competitiveness, given we are up against very strong opposition: all the same, it did not strike me we were seeing anything very different to the previous six races of this championship.”
Fernando Alonso: “Compared to the Spanish Grand Prix, I think the situation is a bit better, down to the fact the track characteristics are different and do not require the maximum aerodynamic downforce, but rather an intermediate level which is better suited to our car. However, it would be a surprise if the Red Bulls were not ahead of everyone. We are thereabouts, behind them along with McLaren: that is my prediction. We tried some solutions for finding the best way to manage the blown rear wing system and have made some progress, even if it is not yet perfect: we will work on it for the upcoming races.”
Felipe Massa: “I was not able to do a time on the soft tyres because I ended up spinning on my first timed lap at turn 8. This was the most inconvenient factor today, as that set of tyres was no longer useable and I had to do almost the entire second session on just one set of the harder compound tyres. The track improved from the morning, bit by bit as the cars did more laps, which is something to bear in mind for the rest of the weekend. We have to improve the car still further to be competitive: McLaren and Red Bull seem very strong here. Having said that, I think we can manage to find the right way to progress to take the fight to them.”
Chris Dyer: “A reasonably positive day overall. We had a very busy work programme and we got through it without any particular problems, with the sole exception relative to Felipe’s performance on the softer tyre, because of his spin at Turn 8 on his first timed lap. The F10 seems to be okay, even if there are some details that we still need to fine tune and we believe we can do well in tomorrow’s qualifying and in Sunday’s race.”