Robert Kubica (4th): It was quite a good Friday for us. The conditions in first practice were pretty bad, but our main aim was to check how the F-duct system was functioning on our car. We focused on getting experience of the system, for the engineers and for myself, and to get everything working properly – and we managed to do this in spite of running in the wet. In the second session, I ran every type of tyre: extremes, intermediates and both compounds of the slicks. The car felt reasonable in all conditions, but I think we can make further improvements to the balance tomorrow.
Vitaly Petrov (11th): The first target today was to find out how the F-duct was working, and it looks pretty good. You can feel a good difference on the straights when the system is operating, and we are even driving with one hand in some of the corners. It gives the drivers a bit more work to do in the cockpit, but it’s nothing difficult to handle. This afternoon, we started to do some set-up work, but the conditions were changing all the time. Hopefully we can make more progress tomorrow, in order to get really comfortable with the car ahead of qualifying.
Alan Permane, chief race engineer: This is the first time that we have brought our F-duct to the track, so we spent the morning learning about it in the wet conditions, completing lots of single-lap runs to gather data. It appears to be working very well, but we will need to go through the data thoroughly tonight, and check the installation on the car to be sure everything is functioning as expected.
It’s always difficult to judge performance on Friday because you don’t know the fuel loads that other teams are running. Robert seems happy with the car, although he is still suffering from a little understeer. Vitaly is running exactly the same system as Robert, but he was less happy with the balance and complained of more understeer. We still have some work to do get the car balance to his liking.
In terms of the weather, it’s been a pretty normal day at Spa. The conditions for the rest of the weekend look unsettled: on Saturday, there’s a chance of rain in the morning, and a higher probability in the afternoon; and it’s the same for Sunday. As usual, we’re expecting a mixture of everything for the rest of the weekend.
We ran both types of tyre this afternoon and didn’t encounter any difficulties with either compound. Although we didn’t do a great deal of running, I don’t think cool conditions would pose a problem.