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Driver Talk

  • Singapore GP Friday Driver Quotes

    The first day in Singapore saw a couple of embarrassing moments with first Romain Grosjean making a mistake and crashing at turn 17 - yep Piquet corner - oh the irony! Mark Webber had a bigger moment in the second session hitting the wall quite hard on the start-finish straight, despite missing half the session he still set the 6th fastest time, so not is all lost for the Australian.

    Rubens Barrichello topped the times in the first session just ahead of his teammate and Vettel in the Red Bull.

    And it was Sebastian - I'm saving my engines - Vettel who set the pace in the second practice. So much for reducing his practice track time to save engine-wear, he completed 31 laps, only Button and the two Williams' did more.

    Red Bull

    Sebastian Vettel - P2 : 1st 1:48.650 - P1 : 5th 1:50.614

    "We can see from the times that the track is a little bit slower here than it was last year, which is a shame because some of the faster corners are now not so quick, but overall the character has remained the same. It’s a challenging track - quite stop and go - you don’t experience as much G-force here as on other circuits, but there are a lot of bumps, which don’t make your life easy, but I like the circuit a lot. Overall, it was a good day for us and we look better here than we did in Monza."

    Mark Webber - P2 : 6th 1:49.317 - P1 : 3rd 1:50.416

    "I was pushing a little bit too hard in the second practice, it was a bit slippery off line and I went off in the last corner and into the pit wall, which ended my session. The car was going well up until then; I was quick and both Sebastian and I had pretty good practice sessions. I would have liked to have done a bit more mileage, but in the end we still learned quite a bit and we’ll be back tomorrow. I think it should be a good race for us, it will be interesting as the tyres are not massively easy to handle here, so we’ll have to work on that tonight. But, overall, not too bad."


    Fernando Alonso - P2 : 2nd 1:48.924 - P1 : 4th 1:50.567

    "Today we completed a normal Friday programme for a street circuit. The track was very dirty and slippery in both the sessions, which always makes it difficult to learn about the car and improve the balance and I had a lot of oversteer. However, I think we made the most of the track time available and we are in reasonable shape for tomorrow."

    Romain Grosjean - P2 : 19th - 1:50.972 - P1 : 20th 1:53.458

    "Today was my first experience of the Singapore circuit. Unfortunately I made a small error in the first session which cost me a lot of time. Then in the afternoon we had several mechanical problems, which limited my running.

    Despite all this, I tried to learn the circuit, which is particularly difficult. We still have a lot of work to do but it will be possible to find some more speed for tomorrow. I also hope that the practice starts we did today will help us for the race."


    Heikki Kovalainen - P2 : 3rd 1:48.952 - P1 : 6nd 1:50.699

    "I’m very happy. I didn’t have any problems today and I think we made some good progress between the sessions. Both tyre compounds seem to work okay, so that’s another reason to be optimistic.

    I’m confident we can find a bit more time overnight, too. However, the other teams are also looking quick here, so it’s not going to be easy.

    The main difference to the track this year is the change to the Turn 10 chicane: it’s slower and tighter, and the kerbs are bigger so you cannot attack there because you can’t afford to risk damaging the car."

    Lewis Hamilton - P2 : 9th 1:49.358 - P1 : 7th 1:50.715

    "I’m still lacking some speed in certain areas, so I need to work on that. The sessions were a little up and down for me today - I didn’t have any major problems, but I wasn’t as fast as I’d hoped to be. Today’s not the important day though, and when the track gets a bit cleaner tomorrow, we’ll have a better understanding of the tyres.

    The track’s still very bumpy and all the traffic makes it quite difficult to get a clear lap, and the Turn 10 chicane is also worse than last year - a bit more dangerous - but nobody’s had any problems there so it should be okay. The main thing for us is to analyse the data, try and improve the car and find some more time for tomorrow."

    BMW Sauber

    Nick Heidfeld - P2 : 4th 1:49.098 - P1 : 14th 1:51.656

    "I really enjoy the track, it is great fun driving here, although it is still bumpy and was extremely dusty. I think our performance doesn't look too bad, although we had several types of problems in the first session. Besides having to change the gearbox, there was also trouble with the floor and tyre pressures. But for the second session we got several things right.

    I did my fastest lap quite early on new tyres, and was leading for a long time until some of the other drivers did their runs on new tyres towards the end of the session."

    Robert Kubica - P2 : 10th 1:49.609 - P1 : 8th 1:50.815

    "The track today was very dirty and the grip was poor. There was a lot of dust off the racing line especially at the start of the day, but it was also the same in the second session. The track surface is better than last year but it is still quite bumpy. We had a small problem in the beginning of the second session with a gearbox sensor, but it was fixed quickly and we were able to finish our programme."

    Brawn GP

    Jenson Button - P2 : 5th 1:49.311 - P1 : 2nd 1:50.356

    "It's great to be back in Singapore this weekend and everyone is really enjoying the challenge of the night race and adjusting to our different working hours. We had a pretty full-on evening with a busy programme of set-up evaluations and tyre testing. This venue is a tough one with the heat and humidity to contend with and the nature of the circuit and the closeness of the barriers demand your total concentration. The key is achieving consistently quick laps and that's what we've been working on today. The car feels reasonable and with some more work later tonight, we should be ready for a good weekend."

    Rubens Barrichello - P2 : 11th 1:49.616 - P1 : 1st 1:50.179

    "The car is feeling pretty good here after the first practice sessions and we're pleased with the work that we achieved. It was really busy out there today with traffic affecting our programme a little, particularly in the second session, but that was the same for everyone really. We've been focusing on our pace for Sunday and that's the most important consideration as we need the car well balanced to be quick in the race. I'm feeling positive and we should be able to achieve the right set-up ready for the weekend. It's so different to the rest of the year to be racing here at night and it's been a lot of fun so far."


    Nico Rosberg - P2 : 7th 1:49.333 - P1 : 11th 1:51.427

    "The first session started off pretty poorly but we made some changes and began to find some direction. Although we knew we’d be back on the pace here, by the end of the day we had concluded a good tyre test and found some improved performance from set-up changes, so I am pleased that we had a good day.

    I had a bit of a moment towards the end of the second session and touched the wall a little bit but didn't damage the car - just scratched the front wing a bit - but as Frank says, ‘If you don’t touch the wall, you are not going fast enough!"

    Kazuki Nakajima - P2 : 15th 1:50.023 - P1 : 10th 1:51.089

    "It is physically very tough out there and they were two hard sessions today. However, I believe I have prepared well and the conditions should not be too much of a problem. We still have some work to do on the tyres, but our long run pace was positive today and hopefully we continue our engineering progress tomorrow."


    Timo Glock - P2 : 8th 1:49.342 - P1 : 15th 1:52.083

    "I am pretty pleased with how things have turned out today. The first practice session was a bit difficult to really analyse the car and I don't think the track conditions helped. The car didn't feel bad but the lap time just didn't seem to be there. But in second practice it was much better overall. The car felt more together, the track conditions improved a lot and we ran through our whole programme.

    I am quite happy with the car at the moment but obviously we want to get more performance out of it before qualifying and the race. We have to analyse some set-up changes to understand which direction to take then we will see how things go tomorrow."

    Jarno Trulli - P2 : 13th 1:49.795 - P1 : 16th 1:52.135

    "It was a standard Friday session for me where I worked to evaluate the tyres and set-up. We still have to improve the handling and the set-up because the car didn't feel perfect for me. There was very little grip from the track, especially in the first session when the surface was extremely dusty. That made it hard to get good traction and I had some oversteering. But the conditions will improve as the weekend goes on and we have to make changes to get the most out of our car here. We will study all the information and try to make the right adjustments."

    Force India

    Adrian Sutil - P2 : 12th 1:49.710 - P1 : 12th 1:51.544

    "I was quite pleased with the car but it is difficult to judge the rear grip as we are still having some problems with graining, particularly on the soft tyre compound. We still have a lot of work to do but it's only Friday. I think we can do much better and get a bit closer to the front.

    I feel I could definitely have done a quicker lap time as the traffic was really bad and I always lost my first and second laps. I still believe we can get into the points and we would still like to be in the top 10 in qualifying; that's obviously our goal for the weekend."

    Vitantonio Liuzzi - P2 : 18th 1:50.605 - P1 : 18th 1:52.905

    "It was quite okay today. The most important thing for me was to learn the circuit and get used to the track, the bumps and the kerbs and I think we are going in the right direction. We struggled a little with the balance, which didn't help, but we did a lot of tests and tried to understand the tyres. I think we were on a good learning curve and tomorrow will be much, much better. We have a lot of work to do as we are not spot on with the balance just yet, but we have all night to think about it!"


    Kimi Raikkonen - P2 : 14th 1:49.941 - P1 : 9th 1:50.865

    "It was a Friday like any other. We had a number of little problems with the car, but overall, we were able to get through the programme we had set ourselves. As for the times, there is always a question mark over the various fuel loads: we will see tomorrow what we can do in qualifying.

    Today is too soon to say if we can be in a position to fight for a podium finish as we have done in recent races. The softer tyres degrade more quickly, at least from what we could see today. It’s hardly surprising and usually, bit by bit, as the track rubbers in, the situation improves."

    Giancarlo Fisichella - P2 : 16th 1:50.253 - P1 : 17th 1:52.390

    "It was a rather difficult day. The car is very nervous and I have yet to find the ideal set-up. Now, I must sit down with the team to try and prepare as well as possible for qualifying and the race. My aim is to improve on my result from Monza, but I know that won’t be easy.

    The track was very slippery and sometimes I had a bit of graining on the tyres. Unfortunately, I never managed to do a long run with the soft tyres, because of the red flags following Webber’s accident: this compound is definitely quicker by three to four tenths, but there is a question mark over the consistency of its performance."

    Toro Rosso

    Sebastien Buemi - P2 : 17th 1:50.527 - P1 : 13th 1:51.643

    "It has been more or less what I expected from my first time driving here at night, with no problems in terms of visibility, although you have to be very careful in judging your braking points. The track is more like Monaco than Valencia, with some bumps and tight corners. It is a difficult circuit, made more complicated by the heat.

    The track offered very little grip today, but it will improve as it rubbers in. I felt more comfortable in the second session, having learned the track in the morning. The last few races have not been too good for us, so I hope we can make a step forward here."

    Jaime Alguersuari - P2 : 20th 1:51.423 - P1 : 19th 1:53.232

    "Today was doubly difficult for me, as this is a street circuit and it is also new to me. Tyre degradation was my main problem, caused by the high temperatures, so I would find myself going from understeer to oversteer. It’s been tough, as the easiest thing to do here is to crash and I’ve worked hard to stay on the track. Every run I get a bit better, so I hope I can make good progress before the race. As for it being my first time driving under floodlights, it was no problem."

Tagged with...
  • Singapore GP 2009
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Mark Webber
  • Red Bull
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Romain Grosjean
  • Renault
  • Heikki Kovalainen
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • McLaren
  • Nick Heidfeld
  • Robert Kubica
  • BMW Sauber
  • Jenson Button
  • Rubens Barrichello
  • Brawn
  • Nico Rosberg
  • Kazuki Nakajima
  • Williams
  • Timo Glock
  • Jarno Trulli
  • Toyota
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  • Vitantonio Liuzzi
  • Force India
  • Kimi Raikkonen
  • Giancarlo Fisichella
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  • Sebastien Buemi
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  • Toro Rosso
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Sebastian Vettel crossing the Anderson Bridge in practice for the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix - © Red Bull/Getty

Vettel topped second practice © Red Bull/Getty

Position Driver Team Time
1 F Alonso Renault 1:57:16.304
2 N Rosberg Williams +2.9 secs
3 L Hamilton McLaren +5.9 secs
4 T Glock Toyota +8.1 secs
5 S Vettel Toro Rosso +10.2 secs
6 N Heidfeld BMW Sauber +11.1 secs
7 D Coulthard Red Bull +16.3 secs
8 K Nakajima Williams +18.4 secs
9 J Button Honda +19.8 secs
10 H Kovalainen McLaren +26.9 secs
11 R Kubica BMW Sauber +27.9 secs
12 S Bourdais Toro Rosso +29.4 secs
13 F Massa Ferrari +35.1 secs
14 G Fisichella Force India +43.5 secs
DNF K Raikkonen Ferrari +4 Laps
DNF J Trulli Toyota +11 Laps
DNF A Sutil Force India +12 Laps
DNF M Webber Red Bull +32 Laps
DNF R Barrichello Honda +47 Laps
DNF N Piquet Jnr Renault +48 Laps