2011, September 23

Singapore GP, Friday

Bruno and Vitaly got their race weekend campaigns underway in hot and humid conditions today at the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore.

James Allison, Technical Director - Technical programme notes

- We ran a fairly regular programme today; we got a feel for the track and car set-up in FP1 before preparing more specifically for the race in FP2.

- There was disappointment with Vitaly’s car in first practice because the bodywork upgrade package had a problem with its water radiator. Without time to diagnose the problem we had to make a swift decision to revert to the original package for the remainder of the weekend. We will figure out what went wrong ahead of the next race.

- As with Monaco and Hungary, here in Singapore we are seeing again that high downforce, very low speed corners expose the relative weakness of the R31 under traction. We expect the situation to improve a little as the track rubbers in over the remainder of the weekend, but this weekend is going to be a fight. Tomorrow’s task will be to try to settle down the rear end of the car to give the drivers more confidence around this challenging, technical track.

What we learned today:
- The car was not quick enough today, which has been a recurring problem this season at slow corner tracks. After relatively promising runs in Spa and Monza, our work is cut out to demonstrate the pace we need under the lights in Singapore.

Bruno Senna, R31-04
Free practice 1: P16, 1:53.765, 17 laps
Free practice 2: P12, 1:50.241, 31 laps

Bruno: “It was quite something to experience the night time driving here; it really was very special. It was also a productive evening for us. We made a step forward with the balance over the two sessions but there is still some work to be done to get the car race-ready. We have a long night ahead of us to figure out what we are going to do. On the upside, I managed to complete a good number of laps and there were no incidents nor was there damage to the car. We managed to steer clear of any major difficulty and this was the main objective of today. We need to work hard before we get to FP3 tomorrow in order to understand what we can do to improve our pace and consistency, as there’s more to come from the car this weekend.”

Vitaly Petrov, R31-06
Free practice 1: P18, 1:54.736, 8 laps
Free practice 2: P14, 1:50.399, 29 laps

Vitaly: “Unfortunately we lost FP1 because the engine overheated a little, so we had to revert to older specification bodywork. My mechanics did a fantastic job to prepare my car for FP2 – a big thanks to them. It is difficult to catch up in the second session when you’ve lost a great deal of time in the first, but we know what we have to do for tomorrow and we know which way to move to get the most out of the car this weekend.”

Did you know?
Vitaly was the fourth fastest driver recorded in sector one today, after reaching a maximum speed of 297.6kph.