Our maiden day of running at the Miami International Autodrome is complete, with both drivers and the team gaining a vital understanding of the conditions that lay ahead throughout the weekend.
The circuit rubbered in throughout FP1, with Alex Albon putting in a lap that had momentarily placed him P2 in the standings, eventually finishing in P7 with Nicholas Latifi in P20.
As the track sped up during FP2, so did the field and despite both drivers improving upon their earlier times, they ended Friday’s final session in P17 and P18 respectively, with an issue bringing Nicky’s afternoon to a slightly premature end.
“It was an interesting first day here in Miami,” said the Canadian, adding: “It was nice to finally get out on track and experience the circuit in real life.
“It is a tricky and technical layout, especially the slower section around Turns 13 to 16.
“We are definitely going to be fine-tuning our approach overnight to try to find some more lap time in that section in particular.
“The other challenge we faced today was the heat; it’s very hot here and that will make it difficult for both us as drivers and the tyres across the weekend.
“Overall though, I think it’s been a great event for the sport so far and hopefully we will have more of the same over the next two days.”
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Across the other side of the garage, Alex was happy with the knowledge gained, saying: “I think today has been our best Friday of the season so far.
“It may not look like it, especially as my final runs in FP2 were a bit scrappy and we didn't get a representative lap in, but I'm happy with how the car is feeling and performing.
“We'll do a bit more fine-tuning tonight now that we have some data from the practice sessions, and hopefully things will be looking positive heading into FP3 and Qualifying tomorrow.”
Dave Robson wrapped up the day by guiding us through what has been one of the most important Fridays of the season.
“It has been a slightly frustrating day with several disruptions in each session,” suggested our Head of Vehicle Performance, who continued: “As a result, we haven’t collected as much information as we would’ve liked.
“However, we made a positive start in FP1 and immediately found a good setup direction with Alex.
“As the track improved in FP2, the car balance shifted a little and we will need to make some minor adjustments to the setup overnight to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving track.
“Alex’s main performance run in FP2 was hampered by some traffic and he couldn’t extract quite as much from the car and tyres as he had done in FP1.
“However, we don’t expect this to be an issue tomorrow and we are looking forward to a competitive Q1 session.
“Nicholas wasn’t quite as happy with his car balance today but with some time to work on it tonight, he can find a good improvement tomorrow.
“He stopped on track at the end of FP2 when he lost drive. We are still investigating the issue but don’t think that it is serious, and we don’t expect it to affect the rest of his weekend.”
The W Series returned for 2022 today and Williams Driver Academy member Jamie Chadwick placed her car in P3 in Friday practice, just two-tenths of a second off the fastest time.
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