"It was a usual Friday as we worked on trying to get a feel for the different characteristics of the track. We did a couple of runs this morning to understand and improve the balance of the car, and in the afternoon we mainly concentrated on tyre evaluation and
comparison. I had no issues during both sessions so overall it has been a straightforward Friday."
"The overall balance of the car was good today and it certainly feels like we have made an improvement compared with Melbourne. Unfortunately I had a problem with the fuel pump this morning and a water leak this afternoon, which cost me some track time. We still have a lot of work to do overnight and tomorrow morning so that I can get the most from the car and qualify well for the race. For today and Saturday, I am wearing a black armband to show my respect for the people who were killed or wounded at Lubyanka and Park Kultury stations in Russia this week. My thoughts are with everybody affected by this tragedy."
Technical Debrief with Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
Track conditions and evolution: The track was lacking a little bit of grip at the start of P1, but it improved through the session. It was much hotter in P2, but the circuit had more grip.
Tyre performance: We've done a good comparison of the prime and option tyres with Robert on both long and short runs so we have a good understanding of their performance for the race.
Chassis balance: Both drivers were quite happy with the cars straight away and we've worked on the set-up throughout the day. We've got a few issues with braking stability, which we still need to work on, and Vitaly has a bit too much understeer, but the overall balance is not too bad.
Any issues in the session: Unfortunately Vitaly had a fuel leak this morning, which cost him some running time, but the mechanics did a good job to get the car ready for the start of P2. At the end of P2 Vitaly had a water leak. We're sorry these problems cost him time out on track.
Target for the weekend: As with the previous races we'd like to get Robert well into Q3 tomorrow. Although Vitaly has lost some track time, he's had good pace today so hopefully we can get him into Q2 and close to Q3.