Ferrari team and drivers report from the first day of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend – FP1 and FP2 – at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile Notre Dame in Montreal.
It was an untypical Friday, affected by the extremely changeable weather. We didn’t manage to complete our programme because the track was wet in the morning and so only tomorrow will we find out if the updates we tested here produce a real performance evolution. It was very important that we try them just as it was also important to try the new Pirelli tyres. Felipe and I made different choices for the long runs and this is another reason why we will have to wait for the outcome of qualifying to understand more. The only certainty is that we must ensure we make the right decisions, because today we saw how getting a clean lap depends a lot on the time you make the decision and what track conditions are like at that moment. We can expect a very complicated weekend, because the weather is due to remain changeable right up to Sunday and judging the grip level will be difficult, both in qualifying and in the race.
Today, it was a case of working for just half a day, because in the morning, the rain meant we could only do a small number of laps. Therefore, the bulk of the work, given over to evaluating the tyres and new parts brought for this race, had all to be squeezed into the afternoon session. Now we will have a busy time analysing all the data we gathered to try and understand which of the updates could be used in the next couple of days. If it does not rain tomorrow, then the track conditions will be completely different and that means we must be ready to tackle whatever situation could arise.
As every Friday, today too we had a particularly busy day’s work in prospect, as it is now a tradition on the first day to reconcile working on developing the car with the usual race weekend programme of comparing tyres and finding the best set-up. Given the forecast, we were ready for any eventuality the rain could have thrown at us. At one point in FP1, it wasn’t wet enough to use the Intermediate, nor dry enough for the Medium and at that moment we therefore preferred to wait for conditions to improve: in the final minutes we managed to go out on the experimental tyres Pirelli brought here in preparation for the British Grand Prix and we also ended the session with a few laps on the Medium. We knew we wouldn’t get a clear enough comparison in terms of pure performance and therefore we worked mainly on different aerodynamic configurations. In the afternoon, the rain eased off and we managed to exploit the fact the track was dry and with the prototype tyres, we ran some evaluations on the two cars, using different aerodynamic configurations. Making the most of the time available we did a comparison for the two nominated tyres for this race, the Medium and the Supersoft and gathered important data which we will now use to find the best balance on the car for Sunday’s race. (Ferrari)