Quotes from Williams team members at the conclusion of Friday free practice sessions at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We are pleasantly surprised at how good our pace was today. We’ve done a lot of set-up and development work in the simulator, and then subsequently on the track here, and the drivers are happy with the results. We knew we had to take a slightly different approach for a track like this, with the low-speed corners, so that’s what we’ve been concentrating on. Both the low and high fuel runs looked good, we could run the soft tyre easily as long as we need to, and it was good on the medium tyre as well. There was a lot of degradation on the high fuel, but the degradation was high today so the aim is to have relatively less than other people. Felipe suffered a flat spot on his long run that knocked his pace back a little bit, but overall we’re in good shape.
Valtteri Bottas: For a Friday, it was good. The balance was quite good in the first run, so it has just been fine tuning after that. The long runs were consistent, the car feels ok and the pace seems promising. But it’s only Friday so, like every weekend, we will need to find a lot more for tomorrow because everyone else will improve as well. I’m happy with today, but it’s tomorrow and Sunday that count. I think we can be more competitive than we were in the last race, but it’s difficult to say in detail after practice because everyone is trying different things.
Felipe Massa: It’s definitely been a good day. It’s always nice to see your name near the top of the leaderboard. I’m really looking for that competitiveness tomorrow and especially on Sunday. This is a track that I love and the people here really support me, which gives me so much more confidence. I hope we can stay up there this weekend. It won’t be easy but I will definitely try!