Robert Kubica, R30-02
Free Practice 1: P4, 1:24.120, 25 laps
Free Practice 2: P8, 1:23.709, 32 laps
Robert: Monza is an unusual circuit because of the aero levels we run and also the feeling for the drivers. We have to get used to the car with low downforce - although
using the f-duct means that the change is not as extreme as in the past, because we can run with more wing. It's still difficult to get the braking points and also to use the kerbs in the right way, especially because they have been changed so we are not able to jump over them as much as before. Overall, we seem to be in our normal position, but we need to analyse the data tonight to see the areas in which we can improve.
Vitaly Petrov, R30-04
Free Practice 1: P13, 1.25.292, 25 laps
Free Practice 2: P13, 1:24.407, 21 laps
Vitaly: Today went okay for me, but it was a learning day to get used to the lower downforce levels we use here in Monza, which make the car quite interesting to drive. You can feel the car moving a lot more, so you have to be very precise with your driving and not make any small mistakes. Unfortunately, I lost the final part of the second session because of a problem with the brakes, but overall the car was running well. We still need to find a few tenths to get inside the top ten because the gaps are very small here, but I am sure we can make some good improvements overnight.
Technical Debrief with Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer:
The team tested the f-duct on both cars today. What did you conclude?
We ran the f-duct on both cars in both sessions today. On Robert's car this afternoon, we also tried using different downforce levels, and we must evaluate the results before making our decision on the ultimate configuration we will run tomorrow. We also monitored what other teams were doing, and saw some running with and without the f-duct, which is something that we will have to take into account. But the decision will be driven by our own data.
This afternoon was significantly warmer than the morning. Did that have an impact on the programme?
The circuit temperatures were much higher for the second session, and the wind had picked up a bit, too, but it didn't have a huge effect. The lap times were pretty similar to this morning, which probably means that the circuit had rubbered in more, but also that it lost some grip with the higher temperatures. Although we have seen rain here in the past few days, no more is forecast for the rest of the weekend.
Did the day run smoothly for both drivers?
We took a fairly typical approach for Monza. We have to keep an eye on our top speeds much more here than at other circuits, to ensure we are competitive with the quickest cars on the straights, and we also did tyre comparisons as well as running with both low and high fuel loads. In terms of performance, Vitaly lost running time because of a brake problem at the end of the session, while Robert had traffic on his fastest laps. I am confident that there's more performance to come tomorrow.