Mar 15

Formula One teams Australian Grand Prix free practice report (udpated)

Australian Grand Prix Formula One free practice report

Melbourne - Albert Park - Australian Grand PrixToday’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Melbourne.




Formula One teams Australian Grand Prix free practice results

Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
Driver / Team
02 17 1:27.289 + 0.078
03 16 1:27.547 + 0.336
04 18 1:27.552 + 0.341
05 18 1:27.668 + 0.457
06 17 1:27.877 + 0.666
07 17 1:28.013 + 0.802
08 19 1:28.426 + 1.215
09 19 1:28.440 + 1.229
10 15 1:28.520 + 1.309
11 19 1:28.597 + 1.386
12 19 1:28.786 + 1.575
13 18 1:28.910 + 1.699
14 20 1:29.443 + 2.232
15 19 1:29.928 + 2.717
16 17 1:30.203 + 2.992
17 17 1:30.729 + 3.518
18 19 1:30.969 + 3.758
19 24 1:31.263 + 4.052
20 23 1:32.176 + 4.965
21 21 1:32.274 + 5.063
22 18 1:32.388 + 5.177


 Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
Driver / Team
02 31 1:26.172 + 0.264
03 26 1:26.322 + 0.414
04 38 1:26.361 + 0.453
05 32 1:26.680 + 0.772
06 35 1:26.748 + 0.840
07 28 1:26.772 + 0.864
08 32 1:26.855 + 0.947
09 35 1:27.435 + 1.527
10 34 1:28.187 + 2.279
11 30 1:28.294 + 2.386
12 37 1:28.311 + 2.403
13 33 1:28.566 + 2.658
14 31 1:28.627 + 2.719
15 33 1:28.772 + 2.864
16 36 1:28.852 + 2.944
17 36 1:28.968 + 3.060
18 39 1:29.386 + 3.478
19 32 1:29.696 + 3.788
20 37 1:30.165 + 4.257
21 36 1:30.600 + 4.692
22 11 1:32.450 + 6.542

source: ToileF1.com



Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing



  • First Practice Session: Position: 1, Best Time: 1:27.211, Laps: 16
  • Second Practice Session: Position: 1, Best Time: 1:25.908, Laps: 33

“Overall it was a good day for us. It was pretty seamless and there was no trouble with the car. After all the mileage of testing, it was fun to be out there – this circuit doesn’t get easier, it’s a good challenge. The soft tyre doesn’t last too long, but the harder tyre is a decent race tyre. The weather should be quite changeable tomorrow and, as we can’t predict how much that will impact the tyres and car balance, we need to be ready to change things. Today was a good day and the balance was good, but we need to be ready for what’s coming up.”


  • First Practice Session: Position: 5, Best Time: 1:27.668, Laps: 18
  • Second Practice Session: Position: 2, Best Time: 1:26.172, Laps: 31

“It was not a bad day and we got through plenty of information. It was nice to have a bit of sun on the circuit after Barcelona, where we had pretty overcast conditions. We had to correlate a lot of information from Europe and that went pretty well. We still have a huge amount to go through tonight and we’re expecting a bit of overcast stuff tomorrow, so we need to be ready for that. Overall, it was pretty positive for us, but there are still areas to improve on.”



After all the serious business of the day, here are five fast facts from Mark:

MARK WEBBER’S TOP FIVE… Five things to do before the start of a race

How long before the start? That’s the question. If it’s a while before then…

1. I need sleep. Always a good thing!

2. I need fuel, so something to eat. That means the usual things, a bit of pasta or chicken, something easy to digest.

3. Get a briefing from the engineers.

4. Put my race kit on and go to the toilet!

5. Get in the car, which I always do from the left-hand side and do the belts up.

That’s it really. It’s not a big process, just getting yourself mentally ready, being prepared. I don’t have any big rituals really, aside from the left-hand side of the car thing.

source: Red Bull Racing, redbullracing.com

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Australian Grand Prix

Australian Grand Prix – 100 laps in sunny Melbourne

Melbourne, 15th March 2013
First session Second session
Driver Pos. Time Laps Pos. Time Laps Chassis
F. Massa 2nd 1.27.289 17 8th 1.26.855 32 300
F. Alonso 3rd 1.27.547 16 6th 1.26.748 35 299
First session: air 21°C, track 32/34 °C. Sunny
Second session: air 21/22 °C, track 37/31 °C. Sunny.

The 2013 Formula 1 World Championship got off to a busy first day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari and the ten other teams at Melbourne’s Albert Park Circuit. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa completed a total of 100 laps, 51 for the Spaniard and 49 for the Brazilian. Over the three hours of track action for the 22 drivers, the Ferrari men concentrated mainly on evaluating the Pirelli Medium and Supersoft tyres, as well as trying different set-ups aimed at getting the right balance on the F138.

Fernando Alonso: “Overall, this was a very productive Friday, as we did a lot of laps and got through an important initial analysis of the behaviour of the two types of Pirelli tyres available for this race. Our efforts were helped by particularly favourable weather with sunshine and summery temperatures. However, the weather is expected to change completely from tomorrow, with wind, rain and a significant drop in temperature, which could influence Sunday’s race. I’m not expecting any major surprises here, we already knew we were not the quickest and that was confirmed today. The car responds well, but we know there is still much to do if we want to fight with the very best”.

Felipe Massa: “All aspects of both sessions were positive, even if we are aware that much work still awaits us both this weekend and for the whole season ahead of us. In the second session, when I went out on the Supersofts, something did not work properly on the KERS and that cost me time, denying me the chance of doing a better lap. I am not surprised by the performance of our opponents and I expected Red Bull to be competitive right from the start”.

Pat Fry: “This morning we evaluated various aerodynamic configurations and worked on the set-up, while in the afternoon, we worked mainly on comparing the two compounds, which will be a key factor over the rest of the weekend. The degradation appeared to be particularly marked and in fact, it fell in line with our expectations and those of Pirelli. We got through today’s planned programme with both drivers, despite suffering a KERS failure on Felipe’s car during his run on the Supersofts, in the second free practice session. Now we need to analyse the data we have gathered very carefully, especially from the longer runs. We have much to do and a long evening ahead of us to be as well prepared as possible for tomorrow’s qualifying”.

source: Scuderia Ferrari, ferrari.com

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes


“We believe the potential is there”

Albert Park, Melbourne, Friday March 15


  • MP4-28A-05
  • FP1 1m28.440s (+1.229s) 19 laps 9th
  • FP2 1m28.294s (+2.386s) 30 laps 11th

“Clearly, we’re not as quick as we’d like to be, so our task now is to work hard to find out why our car is like it is, particularly in terms of ride and downforce.

“Our short runs weren’t particularly encouraging, to be honest. We’re a couple of seconds off the pace, by the looks of things, and that’s always going to be disappointing for a team as successful as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

“But, in a situation like this one, all you can say is that there’s a hell of a lot of work for us to do – and that we’re well up for it. This team is incredibly good at turning things around, performance-wise, when that’s what’s required.

“So we’ll now spend the next few hours working hard, studying our data, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to find some improvements for tomorrow.

“Qualifying won’t be easy, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do a better job on Saturday than we’ve done today.”


  • MP4-28A-06
  • FP1 1m28.597s (+1.386s) 19 laps 11th
  • FP2 1m28.566s (+2.658s) 33 laps 13th

“We’re struggling a bit, to be honest. We aren’t as competitive here as we’d wanted to be. But we’re working on it – and, as Jenson says, we should be able to find some improvements for tomorrow.

“But, going forward, I know exactly how good Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ technical guys are – I’ve seen it from the outside before and I’m seeing it from the inside now – and there’s no doubt that they can close the gap to the cars ahead better and faster than anyone else.

“We have an incredible team spirit too, which is fantastic to be a part of.

“Lastly, it’s important to remember that the Australian Grand Prix is only the first race of the season, and that there’s a long road ahead of us. We knew before we came here that we wouldn’t be as quick as some of the other teams, but our task is still to score as many World Championship points as we can. The competition in Formula 1 is incredibly intense, and every World Championship point counts.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Well, today has been a very challenging day.

 “Our car appears to be lacking in grip and consistency, and is suffering from significant understeer and poor ride.

“Try as we might, we didn’t move forward in performance terms during the course of the day, either.

“But, having said that, we’ve collected a lot of data, and we’ll be working extremely hard this evening and tonight in an effort to utilise that data in order to do whatever we can to effect improvements.

“Moreover, you don’t win World Championships in the first Grand Prix of the year; you win World Championships by managing the progressive development of your car from its baseline in Australia in March all the way through its development journey towards its final destination: Brazil in November.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, our car is complex. Perhaps we haven’t yet worked out how best to harness its potential, but we believe that potential is there.”

source: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, mclaren.com

05 - Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team


Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean enjoyed successful 2013 season debuts in the E21 during the first day of the Australian Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park. Kimi ended the second of two afternoon sessions with the fourth fastest time, whilst Romain was fifth quickest. The team evaluated a new front wing and floor as well as running through its familiar Friday programme of evaluations over the course of 102 trouble-free laps.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes

– We evaluated a new front wing on both cars

– Kimi ran with a new floor in both sessions

– Pirelli’s medium (white) compound tyre was used in the first session, the medium and supersoft (red) in the afternoon

– The second session saw long runs on both tyre compounds

– We evaluated revised exhaust outlets on both cars

What we learned today:

– The E21 ran reliably, providing good data for determining our set-up for tomorrow.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03

  • Free practice 1: P6, 1:27.877, 17 laps
  • Free practice 2: P4, 1:26.361, 38 laps

Kimi: “It’s good for the season to start and the car felt pretty strong out there. I don’t think we’re the fastest but it’s a good start. It was nice to have a reliable day after spending some time in the garage during testing. The track was as I remembered it and there were no surprises from it or the car. We’ll have to see what happens tomorrow with qualifying as maybe it will be a bit cooler. I’m happy so far this weekend.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-01

  • Free practice 1: P10, 1:28.520 15 laps
  • Free practice 2: P5, 1:26.680, 32 laps

Romain: “It feels great to be out on circuit and on such a lovely day too. The track felt good and the car felt better. It took a while for the grip to come to us, but you expect that on a street circuit. We made good progress with set-up on the car over both sessions and I think there’s more to come which is promising.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “It’s been a steady start so far. The car has run reliably and reasonably quickly, but we feel there’s more to come from it. Broadly it’s been a successful day in terms of the programme we had in mind for these opening sessions, with both tyre compounds, our latest aero package and a few setup tweaks all given sufficient time for assessment. There’s still work to be done, but we’re certainly running with the leading group which bodes well for the rest of the weekend.”

source: Lotus F1 Team, lotusrenaultgp.com

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Melbourne – 15/03/2013


The 2013 Formula One season got underway today with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton completing the first two practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park in Melbourne.

Lewis and Nico completed a total of 89 laps during today’s two practice sessions

The technical programme focused on basic set-up work and learning about tyre behaviour on a range of fuel loads

Lewis was unable to complete his final run after running into the gravel at turn three due to damage to the floor of the car

Nico began P2 with a gearbox issue but the team chose to run, with the problem only stopping the car on his final run

  • Drivers No. Chassis No. Practice 1 Practice 2
  • Nico Rosberg 9 F1 W04 / 03 17 laps 1:28.013 P7 26 laps 1:26.322 P3
  • Lewis Hamilton 10 F1 W04 / 04 18 laps 1:27.552 P4 28 laps 1:26.772 P7
  • Weather Warm and sunny
  • Temperatures Air: 22-23°C Track: 28-39°C

Nico Rosberg

That was an interesting day for us. There are a lot of new things to learn with the car and we made some good progress over the day. We can certainly be happy with our testing programme when you compare where we came from last year. My car had a gearbox problem at the end of the second session but these things happen and it doesn’t affect us for tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton

Overall it was a good day, if perhaps not the smoothest. I’m happy with where we are and to see Nico in third place on the timesheets shows that we’re pretty competitive. That’s a reflection of a great job that everyone has done at the factory and here at the track. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.

Ross Brawn

We had a very good day today until the last five minutes of the second session. Nico’s car had a gearbox issue which we were aware of during the session but decided to continue running to maximise our track time as far as possible. With Lewis, there was some damage to the floor of the car from an earlier run which caused him to go off. Overall it was a very reasonable first day and we were able to get a good picture of the tyres and the balance of the car. There will be the inevitable late night in the engineering office as we look over today’s data and work out how to optimise the car for tomorrow.

Toto Wolff

Apart from the few laps we lost with each driver at the end of second practice, it was a useful and busy test day for the team. We completed most of our programme on a range of fuel loads and collected our first impressions of the tyre behaviour here in Melbourne. It was a solid start to the weekend and another milestone passed for us. Now we need to continue improving the car overnight and see what tomorrow brings in qualifying.

source: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, mercedes-gp.com

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

Australian Grand Prix – Practice

Rolex Australian Grand Prix – Practice – Friday, 15.03.2013

Weather: sunny and dry, 21-23 °C air, 29-38° track

After all the talking during winter testing, the season finally started with the first two free practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne. The two Sauber F1 Team drivers, Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez, finished tenth and 15th respectively. While Esteban was quite happy with the day, Nico feels there is still quite a bit of work left to do.

The Sauber F1 Team is celebrating 20 years in Formula One. Debuting at the South African Grand Prix in Kyalami in March 1993, JJ Lehto finished fifth. During these 20 years the team claimed 27 podiums, including a one-two with Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld at the Canadian Grand Prix in 2008. This weekend the nose cone of the Sauber C32-Ferrari carries a special anniversary decal.

Nico Hülkenberg:

Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari 056)

1st Practice: 12. / 1:28.786 min (19 laps) / 2nd Practice 10. / 1:28.187 min (34 laps)

“Overall it was a challenging day. On the first day there are always a few things you need to work on and improve. I think we still have some homework to do. Free Practice two was quite difficult for me because of traffic. I think we can still improve our time. We collected a lot of data for the tyres and if we do our homework well we should be able to aim at the top ten qualifying tomorrow.”

Esteban Gutiérrez:

Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)

1st Practice: 16. / 1: 30.203 min (17 laps) / 2nd Practice 15. / 1:28.772 min (33 laps)

“It was a very productive day. The tyres are getting better, and not as critical as in Barcelona. As a team we need to find more speed, and that means me as a driver as well. I’ve improved from free practice one to free practice two. Now I will focus on improving for qualifying tomorrow.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:

“The weather was good to us today, which allowed us to evaluate both tyre specifications as well as some development parts on the car. We had a small problem on Esteban’s car in P1 which cost us a few laps, but we got out back on track. Overall, we have some work to do on the car’s balance, but we are reasonably happy how it performed. We now need to go and look at our data and make the most of it for qualifying and the race.”

source: Sauber F1 Team, sauberf1team.com

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2013 Australian Grand Prix Free Practice Report

Sahara Force India enjoyed a positive start to the season as Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta completed their free practice programmes today in Albert Park.

Paul Di Resta (VJM06/04)

  • FP1: P13 1:28.910 18 laps
  • FP2: P12 1:28.311 37 laps

Paul: “It wasn’t the easiest of days because I had a balance issue with the car in the second session. It looks like I picked up some damage, so it was not easy to gauge exactly where we are. Given that it’s likely to be wet tomorrow, it was crucial to get all the tyre information we needed today. There is a noticeable difference between the two compounds, but it’s difficult to say much more until we have been over all the data.”

Adrian Sutil (VJM06/03)

  • FP1: P8 1:28.426 19 laps
  • FP2: P9 1:27.435 35 laps

Adrian: “It was a very good day and I feel satisfied. The baseline set-up was not too far away from what we needed and the car felt very similar to the way it performed in Barcelona at the final test. I had a good feeling all day and enjoyed working with my engineers, who I already know very well. The track is obviously evolving and improving, but we got a good feel for the tyres. The main focus tonight is to work on improving the balance on the super-softs.”

Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer

“A typical day of Friday practice to start the season. The cars are working well and we were able to pick up where we left off in the Barcelona test. Adrian settled back into the routine seamlessly and worked his way steadily through the programme. The only issue of the day was some damage to the floor of Paul’s car, which we were unable to fix, so that compromised his car’s performance this afternoon. Overall we’re well prepared going into the weekend and possibly anticipating some wet weather tomorrow.”

source: Sahara Force India F1 Team, forceindiaf1.com

09 - Williams F1

Williams F1

Australian GP Practice

  • Objectives: Aero evaluations, tyre testing and long runs.

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: We did some aero evaluations this morning comparing the two packages that we brought to Melbourne. We’ll be running our FW35 launch aero package for the remainder of the weekend as it has proven better around the Albert Park circuit and in the conditions we have here. This afternoon we ran through a fuel level and tyre programme. We’ll now look at the data and be ready for tomorrow.

Pastor Maldonado: We ran some different tests today on the car and the tyres, so we haven’t got the maximum pace out of the car yet. We have a lot of work to do before tomorrow, but we have another practice session to focus on the set-up needed for qualifying and we’ll be analysing all today’s data this evening.

Valtteri Bottas: It felt good to be back on track today. It’s a new circuit for me so it took a few laps in the first practice to get to know it a little better. The track improved a lot going into the second session with much more grip, so I felt like the car could still improve further. We will analyse all the data tonight and keep working on the car in FP3 to get everything ready for qualifying.

source: Williams F1, williamsf1.com

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso


Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01)

  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:30.969, pos. 18th, 19 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:28.627, pos. 14th, 31 laps

“In FP1 it was soon clear that in terms of balance and set-up we were not where we wanted to be so we made some changes and they helped. I definitely feel we made progress from morning to afternoon, but not enough, so there is more to do overnight to find more pace. It’s nice to be racing at home in Australia again, which is an added incentive to work really hard to get the car to go quicker and give the fans something to cheer about on Sunday.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)

  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:30.729, pos. 17th, 17 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:28.968, pos. 17th, 36 laps

“It’s really nice to be back on track for the first Grand Prix, the first day of practice and I’m happy to be back in the car. The most obvious change from winter testing has been the higher temperatures and this meant the tyres have worked much better today than they did in Spain. We have quite a bit of work to do to get closer to those ahead and I feel we currently lack some speed. However, our long runs looked pretty good and the balance of the car was okay.”

Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “A busy day for everyone, finally being here in Melbourne after a series of cold and wet winter tests. This meant it was a case of discovering how our car behaves in these conditions for the first time. This was also the first day of running for us on the Supersoft tyres. We tried to complete as many laps as possible, splitting the tyre investigation for the race between the two drivers. We have a lot to do tonight to adapt the car to these new conditions, trying to ensure we get the car in the best possible performance window. As expected, the competition is very tight in our part of the grid. Our work is therefore aimed not only at finding the best possible set-up for the rest of the weekend, but also to start moving it forward for the season. In Melbourne, we can usually expect the unexpected and there is a chance of a wet qualifying, while the race here always throws up some surprises. So we must ensure we are ready for whatever circumstances we encounter.”

source: Scuderia Toro Rosso, tororosso.com

Team Caterham logo

Team Caterham

2013 Australian Grand Prix – FP1 and FP2

Melbourne, Australia – Friday 15th March 2013

Caterham F1 Team Partner information
Aircraft engines from GE and its partners carry 3.5 million commercial passengers every day

FP1: Dry, sunny, min / max track temp 29° – 39°, air temp 22° – 23°
FP2: Dry, sunny, min / max track temp 37° – 27°, air temp 23° – 22°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP1: PIC 1.32.274, 21st / VDG 1.32.388, 22nd
FP2: PIC 1.30.165, 20th / VDG 1.32.450, 22nd

Total laps:
FP1: PIC 21 / VDG 18
FP2: PIC 37 / VDG 11

Charles Pic, car #20, chassis CT03-06
1231 – 1233: Run 1, installation lap, 1 lap (medium tyres)
Changes: front / rear brake duct blanking
1306 – 1326: Run 2, 9 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front ride height, front torsion bar, front anti-roll bar, front / rear brake duct blanking
1343 – 1402: Run 3, 11 laps (medium tyres)
1632 – 1646: Run 1, 8 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1655 – 1715: Run 2, 12 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front / rear brake duct blanking, front torsion bar
1722 – 1732: Run 3, 5 laps (supersoft tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1737 – 1758: Run 4, 12 laps (supersoft tyres)
Giedo van der Garde, car #21, chassis CT03-05
1231 – 1233: Run 1, installation lap, 1 lap (medium tyres)
Changes: front / rear brake duct blanking
1307 – 1324: Run 2, 7 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: brake balance
1345 – 1402: Run 3, 10 laps (medium tyres)
1632 – 1645: Run 1, 7 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: n/a
1655 – 1701: Run 2, 4 laps (medium tyres)
Incident at turn 3 ends sessionDriver quotes

Charles Pic: “For our first full day of running that was ok. We definitely have work to do to get where we want to be and we knew where we’d be relative to the cars around us for the early part of the season, so there’s been no real surprises today.

“In FP1 we ran through a pretty normal program on the medium tyres but we have some work to do to extract the maximum performance from them so we’ll look at that tonight and do more work on that in FP3. In FP2 we did a couple of longer runs on that compound before switching to the supersofts and found that deg levels on those was good, especially on the long runs, and the times were consistent. Now we need to make sure we can get the same performance level out of the mediums as we did on the supersofts and that will set us up ok for Sunday.“

Giedo van der Garde: “First I want to say how good it was to start my first full F1 weekend. I’ve worked very hard for a long time to get here and a lot of people have helped make my dream come true, so I want to thank them for helping make it happen.

“On track FP1 was good – we got through a decent number of laps and focused mainly on tyre evaluation, running on the mediums for the whole session so we could have a detailed look at degradation levels on that compound. FP2 started ok – on the first run I had some understeer that we dialled out for the second run but unfortunately I have a bit of rear locking as I went into T3 and went into the gravel. The anti-stall kicked in before I could get the car back out and that was the end of my afternoon.

“Despite that we have a lot of data to work through tonight and we’ll come back fighting tomorrow. We’ll have to make the most of FP3 but I’m looking forward to it and it’s all part of the learning process for me.”

source: Team Caterham, caterhamf1.com

Marussia F1 Team logo

Marussia F1 Team


2013 Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 & 2

Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia

BIANCHI MR02-02 FP1 P19 1:31.263 24 laps FP2 P19 1:29.696 32 laps

CHILTON MR02-03 FP1 P20 1:32.176 23 laps FP2 P21 1:30.600 36 laps

The Marussia F1 Team got straight into its stride on the opening day of action at the Australian Grand Prix, completing two positive Free Practice sessions at the Albert Park Circuit. The Team’s new recruits Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi did a stellar job on their first time out at the track, putting their respective MR02 race cars into P19 and P21 and underlining the fact that, although new to the Formula 1 grid this season, they are anything but racing rookies.

Jules Bianchi #22

“It has been a very good first practice for the Team and for me, so I am quite happy given that it is only my third day in the car. I have been looking forward to this day for quite a long time and it really worked out well I think. I’m sure it’s the case for other teams as well, because this is only day one, but it is very encouraging to know that while we have a good basis today, there is a lot more to come. We completed a detailed programme and put some good mileage on the car, so we have a lot of information to look through and see the direction for tomorrow. The car is performing well but we have quite a lot of understeer and we need to improve this. As for the track, I like it a lot. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, but once you are up to speed it’s an amazing lap and now I can’t wait to do some more tomorrow.”

Max Chilton #23

“Our objective today was to learn the Albert Park track as quickly as possible and then start to gather plenty of information with the car and the tyres, so I’m pretty happy with what we’ve achieved in terms of the programme. Now we can start to piece that together a little more to focus on outright performance and I think tomorrow we will have a clearer idea of where we stand versus the cars around us. Even at this early stage though I’m sure we can feel positive about where we are in relation to our immediate competitors and the car has shown some real promise. Though its early in the season, that’s a nice reward for all the hard work we’ve been doing over the winter and in testing, so well done to the Team here and back at home. So, a late night tonight looking at the data and then we’ll aim to push forward again tomorrow. Albert Park is an amazing circuit and I’ve loved every second of driving it so far. Tomorrow will be another big milestone in my debut weekend with my first Formula 1 qualifying and I’m very excited about that.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“We’re very pleased with our opening day here in Melbourne and it really couldn’t have gone any better for us with our new car, two new drivers and some good signs in terms of performance and reliability. We came here with a few concerns about how things were going to play out with the tyres, but we also knew that the less abrasive track surface and high ambient temperatures would mitigate many of the issues we experienced in testing. Degradation will remain a challenge though and we can expect to see some interesting racing as a consequence of that, which is of course a good thing. We’re feeling positive but at this stage we’re not treating this as anything other than a good first day and we won’t have a true picture until we’ve completed our first qualifying and then have a race distance under our belts. What I will say though is that the Team have got us off to a good start here and the drivers have done a very solid job, so there’s a nice feeling as we head into our first Grand Prix of the new season. We’ve done all our homework today and put the drivers in a good situation to make the most of their first Grand Prix weekend, so we will see what tomorrow brings now.”

source: Marussia F1 Team, marussiavirginracing.com

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2013 Australian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions


Finally the waiting is over, with the teams getting to sample Pirelli’s new 2013-specification compounds for the first time in competition during the opening two free practice sessions in Melbourne. The P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft tyres are nominated this weekend, with all the compounds softer and faster than their 2012 equivalents. The fastest times in the first and second free practice sessions comfortably exceeded the benchmarks established last year, underlining the significant steps forward made with the latest P Zero tyres. Ambient temperatures peaked at 28 degrees centigrade (during the first session) with Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel setting fastest time of the day towards the end of free practice two on the supersoft compound.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The teams were able to try out our tyres within their proper working range for the first time, so as usual they made the most of the opportunity to assess the behaviour of their cars in representative conditions on different fuel loads. The medium tyre showed plenty of consistency, just as we expected, while the drivers also benefited from the rapid warm-up of the supersoft. With Albert Park not being a permanent facility, the track started off ‘green’ but lap times rapidly improved as more rubber was laid down. From what we can see of the degradation so far, we’d expect the majority of the teams to stop twice during the race, with some of the faster cars maybe trying three stops. As anticipated, we saw a performance gap of around a second between the two compounds here, which leaves the door open for plenty of strategy.”

Fastest tyre of the day

FP1:                                                                        FP2:

  1. S. Vettel   1.27.211        Medium Used                1. S. Vettel        1.25.908            Supersoft New
  2. F. Massa  1.27.289        Medium Used                2. M. Webber    1.26.172            Supersoft New
  3. F. Alonso 1.27.547        Medium Used                3. N. Rosberg   1.26.322            Supersoft New

Tyre statistics of the day:

  Supersoft Medium Intermediate Wet
Kms driven * 1,612 4,242 N/C N/C
Sets used overall ** 26 49 N/C N/C
Highest number of laps ** 18 26 N/C N/C

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.

** Per compound, all drivers combined.

May the Force be with you:

Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force):  Turn 3 @ -4.5 g
Max. g-force cornering (lateral force):  Turn 11 @ 4.1g

Pirelli fact of the day:

Melbourne has the shortest pit lane of the year at 280 metres, but the layout of it means that it isn’t the shortest time loss in the pits. Instead, it ranks seventh, with a 21-second time loss compared to a normal lap. When it comes to the race, the durability of the supersoft compounds should be between 10 and 12 laps on average, while the medium tyres should last between 22 and 24 laps.

source: Pirelli, pirelli.com

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Renault Sport F1

coming soon

source: renault.com

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coming soon

source: Cosworth, www.cosworth.com/f1