The weather conditions were not too welcoming at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday as it was rather chilly, misty and damp. The first free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix didn’t see too much running as there wasn’t a lot to learn on a slippery track.
Sergio Pérez was fourth fastest in the morning, Kamui Kobayashi followed in fifth place. In the second of the two 90-minutes sessions the conditions clearly allowed for dry tyres, and both drivers continued to work on the car’s set-up. Kamui was seventh in the afternoon, Sergio 11th.
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 5th / 1:38.911 min (12 laps) / 2nd Practice: 7th / 1:36.956 min (28 laps)
“We had a few minor issues to fix, but overall today’s practice sessions went smoothly. Sometimes the visibility was a bit poor and this didn’t help to predict where the track was and wasn’t slippery. My car definitely felt better balanced in the afternoon’s practice session than it did in the morning, and I believe we look okay here on this track. Of course there is still room for improvement in regard to the set-up. When we make our decisions for tomorrow we will not focus too much on today’s track conditions, as we expect the temperatures to be a bit higher then.“
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 4th / 1:38.584 min (13 laps) / 2nd Practice: 11th / 1:37.417 min (22 laps)
“The balance of my car had actually been better in the first free practice session compared to the afternoon. I wasn’t too happy in the second free practice. I had problems with the brakes, which didn’t work the way they should, and I lost too much front tyre temperature on the back straight. It was too easy to lock the front. We need to improve the car’s overall balance for qualifying. We have a bit of homework now, but we have gathered quite a good amount of data.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “Our first day here at the Shanghai International Circuit went okay, despite the fact we had to adapt the programme a bit due to the drizzle in the morning, and also the brake problems in the afternoon on Sergio’s car cost us a set of tyres. But nevertheless we got a lot of work done today. So, from the engineering side, it was a positive day. Tomorrow we will get to know more about where we are performance wise.“