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Steady Progress

Despite Monza being a challenging track for us, we ended Friday more positively than we perhaps envisaged

2012 Italian Grand Prix
Free Practice 1 & 2

Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy
7 September 2012

It was a busy first day of running for us in Monza today as the first of the free practice sessions got underway. In contrast to the last Friday, the weather remained perfectly dry and sunny which in turn enabled the team to maximise the full three hours of running. This was crucial, as the low downforce characteristics of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza do not lend themselves so well to the MR01 and there was a great deal of back to back evaluation work to be conducted before the drivers were able to arrive at a good direction for the remainder of the weekend.

The team and drivers worked calmly and methodically through their set-up and tyre programme and ultimately made good progress towards Sunday’s race. Timo Glock ended the session in 21st position and Charles Pic in 22nd.

Timo Glock #24

“First of all it’s good to have stable weather conditions in Monza because this track is quite unique and we needed to do a lot of preparation work. We got through the programme quite well and evaluated the aero level of our rear wing options for here. We did a lot of back to back work with our Canada specification and our latest components seem the clear way to go, which again proves out our development direction. Overall the car felt okay and no problems with the long runs so far; the times were quite consistent. I’m happy with FP1 and FP2. A bit of fine-tuning perhaps but, in general, a good start and we will see what we can do from here now.”

Charles Pic #25

“A very busy day for us today, perhaps even more so than usual as we had to follow a very comprehensive programme across the two cars to arrive at a good way to proceed from here. We tried lots of different things this morning so that in the break we could analyse the information and decide on a direction. This track is not easy to set the car up for and it involves a few compromises, but I think we have worked well to establish a good starting point. There is still more work to be done based on what we have learned here this afternoon and some things we can do to continue to improve the car.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“A very different Friday to the last one, as the weather has remained consistently hot and sunny and we have forged our way through quite a comprehensive programme designed to give us as many answers as possible to the numerous set-up questions posed by this track. It’s a little bit of a conundrum for us, bearing in mind that we have struggled in low downforce trim before. Nonetheless, we are pleased with the start we have made and cautiously optimistic that we have ended Friday here in a more favourable position than we perhaps envisaged. That is down to the steps we have taken to try to overcome our low downforce woes since Montreal and also the very calm and disciplined approach of our engineers and their drivers. Fingers crossed we can continue this positive start.”