19 Nov 2021
2021 QATAR GRAND PRIX PRACTICE
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Learning another new track was an enjoyable experience and the Losail International Circuit lived up to expectations. The flowing high-speed corners are demanding but interesting and are liked by the drivers.
The evening FP2 session was very useful for getting the car ready for tomorrow’s Qualifying session. We are reasonably happy with where we got to with the car balance and tyre performance, and although there are a few things to get on top of tonight, we are fairly pleased with our start to the weekend.
The FP3 session tomorrow will be hot and probably not very representative of the conditions in Qualifying. We will use the session to finalise a few parts of the car specification, but the key areas will be fixed based on today’s experience. There will still be some uncertainty going into Qualifying and the race and so we are looking forward to adapting to the situation as it unfolds and making the very most of the circumstances.
George Russell: I enjoyed it out there today. It’s a really fun circuit to drive and it’s very fast, probably faster than we expected. The tyre degradation seems relatively low which allowed us to push pretty hard, which is what we all want as drivers from a track. What that means for actual racing on Sunday I’m not too sure as it didn’t seem the easiest to overtake out there. However, the conditions look like they will change tomorrow which will hopefully be favourable but even if they don’t, we will adapt to the situation. The kerbs here are also pretty brutal given the speeds we are doing so there is going to have to be an element of compromise and resistance to going over the limit, as it is not only slower but could possibly damage the car. Overall though, it was a fun day.
Nicholas Latifi: I was expecting Losail International Circuit to be fun after driving it on the simulator and it did not disappoint! It’s really fast and flowing with not many tight corners, which is great for these current Formula One cars and I think it suits our own car’s characteristics well. It did feel like we were going well out there, however that wasn’t reflected on the timing screens, so we’ll look at the data we collected tonight and find the areas in which we can make a step up for tomorrow. A brand new circuit brings plenty of variables as we head into Qualifying, but every team will be in the same position, so we’ll do our best to navigate those challenges.