The first day of practice for this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix started wetter than expected when a rain shower soaked the track before the first session, but it soon began to dry as the hot sunshine returned.
Lucas and Timo did their installation laps on Extreme Wet tyres
to evaluate the conditions but the track was too damp for slicks, and too dry for Intermediates, so the team opted to carry out a back to back aero comparison on Timo's car while most teams waited for the sun to dry the surface. Consequently the session itself was very quiet, until the track was dry enough to set representative times in the last half hour. Timo finished the session 19th, fastest of the new teams, Lucas was 21st.
This afternoon's session was a lot more useful, and the team was able to work through a programme of setup changes on both cars, and were able to evaluate both types of slick tyre.. Timo finished the day classified 20th, splitting the Lotus pair, with Lucas 22nd. The team looks forward to tomorrow in a positive frame of mind, with the engineers pleased with the basic setup and having a variety of changes to try during the last hour of free practice.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"Today we had a very straightforward Friday practice session. I was quite happy with the car and did some positive fine tuning. In general it looks like the Prime and Soft tyres are quite difficult to handle over one run. Generally a good start to the weekend."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"A very good day, my first here at Abu Dhabi. It's quite an amazing track that they have built in the middle of the desert with all the infrastructure. The circuit itself is mainly low speed corners with a couple of long straights, and we were able to do a lot of running and a lot of setup work. We reached a few conclusions so we will put the best on the car tomorrow and are quite confident that we can go well and we will fight to the end of the race to be the best new team - that's our spirit."
John Booth, Team Principal
"An encouraging first day. Both drivers were quickly up to speed, despite never having driven here before, and both cars ran very reliably allowing us to do plenty of laps and evaluate a number of setup options. Tyre management will clearly be an issue over the weekend but we look to be in quite good shape so far and are looking forward to the rest of the event in this spectacular."