Williams had a sluggish start to their Austrian GP weekend while McLaren struggled and Manor were slowest of all…
Valtteri Bottas: "Our main aim today was to put the new parts we have through their paces and they all seem to be working as expected, which is encouraging. We have high targets for this weekend and we are still on course to meet these. The long run looks really positive and seem to be closer to the front than we have been previously."
Felipe Massa: "We have had a good day with a lot going on in terms of changes to the set-up. We had a slight issue when we went out to set our fastest laps, but we have corrected these and feel comfortable moving forward. The long run looks strong but we have two very quick cars in front so it still won’t be an easy weekend."
Fernando Alonso: "We had a couple of problems during the sessions today – fortunately, we understand them all, but we lost quite a lot of time on the track while we fixed them. I had an electrical connection issue in FP1, then some software issues with the gearbox. Then, in FP2, we stopped as a precaution after Jenson had a problem with an ignition plug. We have new engine components fitted in the car, so it’s better to run safely today and then fully investigate the problems in order not to have any issues tomorrow. That meant we lost some time, and we needed some mileage to get a handle on the new aero package and optimise the performance of the car. Tomorrow, hopefully, we can recover that time."
Jenson Button: "We had an ignition plug issue which stopped us running this afternoon, which was a shame. Having said that, although we didn’t get a lot of running under our belts, we were still able to improve the car quite a bit between the sessions, which was positive. It would have been nice to run the car on high fuel to see where we stand though. Tomorrow will be tricky, because it’s likely that I’ll get some grid penalties. When that happens, you need a Safety Car in the race to bring you back into the game, so hopefully that’ll be the case. It’s all about improving, getting the best from what you have, and learning for the next grand prix."
Will Stevens: "Overall it’s been a good start to the weekend and I’m feeling quite positive. We’ve done some good work with our programme today and our long and short run pace seems good here versus the cars around us. We’re in a good place compared to the McLarens ahead. The weather looks a little unpredictable, and if we manage to miss the rain, it will certainly be cool and cloudy for the next couple of days. I think we can do a good job here so we’ll have our heads down tonight to look at what we need to do from here."
Roberto Merhi: "I lost a bit of track time today with a small issue, so I haven’t had a completely smooth day and I think this is reflected in the lap time. The afternoon was a bit more straightforward and the pace was starting to come towards the end of the session, so I’m sure we can continue to improve tomorrow morning in preparation for qualifying. It’s a great lap here; really enjoyable to drive and quite challenging. We saw that today, up and down the field, so it’s a circuit that could bring some opportunities for the race."