Team and drivers report from day one of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, Round 2 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship, at Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur.
Jenson Button: MP4-28A-05
“Today we got through a decent amount of satisfactory work, and we duly gathered some more useful info about MP4-28. On a dry track it feels better than it did in Melbourne, but even then its pace still isn’t there compared with that of the front-running cars. We’ve identified some further improvements that we can make before tomorrow, though, which is encouraging, and it’s been a good day in terms of learning. Back at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking [Surrey, UK] the guys are working as hard as they possibly can to find extra performance – and here in Sepang, too, every single member of our race team is doing a truly awesome job. It’s a lot easier to work on a car that’s winning races than it is to work on a car that’s not fully competitive, so fair play to everyone for getting their heads down and battling through.”
Sergio Perez: MP4-28A-06
“Today was a very busy day, during which both Jenson and I tried a number of options in an effort to decide which spec to go with tomorrow and Sunday. Our car has improved since Melbourne – which is quite cheering when you consider that we raced there only four days ago – and it felt better in both dry and wet conditions today. Having said that, although as I say it felt better on a dry track today than it did in Melbourne, it would still probably qualify and race a bit better on a wet track than on a dry track, relative to our opposition, so we won’t be upset if it rains quite a bit over the next couple of days.”
Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Today we ran through our planned FP1/FP2 programme, successfully applying the upgrades we’d developed for this weekend, and continuing our investigative work with a view to improving our understanding of MP4-28. FP1 was dry, but there was quite a bit of rain towards the end of FP2, in which conditions we were reasonably competitive. Overall, then, it’s been a satisfactory day, and we’ve acquired quite a bit more data which we’ll now number-crunch in an effort to optimise our car’s spec for the rest of the race weekend. Everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is working incredibly hard, in very challenging circumstances, and I’m both grateful for and impressed by my colleagues’ indefatigable esprit de corps.”