18 April 2015
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 7, (3rd Practice – 8, 1:36.335)
“It was pretty good today, I think seventh is respectable for where we are, so we’re looking alright for tomorrow. I was really happy with my first sector, it felt strong, I lost a little in the second sector, but in general I’m happy with how quali went. The start is going to be important and I believe we can have a good one. It’s important to stay with the Williams and within DRS and striking range.”
DANIIL KVYAT, Position: 17, (3rd Practice – 12, 1:36.548)
“I’m not sure what was going on, it was a strange session for me. The team will investigate why I am so far down the order so we can understand. Everything can turn around very quickly. I’ll stay motivated and try my best.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “I think we got everything out of the car today and for Daniel to set two laps within a tenth of each other in Q3 demonstrates that. It was frustrating to lose Dany in Q1 and we’re not sure why so we’ll have a look at the data to understand what happened there.”
Pursuit of Performance
No.2: Guillaume Rocquelin
Our Head of Race Engineering explains how the team develops the RB11 for each race weekend, aiming to extract the maximum every time the car leaves the garage.
“Building up the performance over a race weekend starts well before we arrive, with a baseline established from information we’ve gathered from past events. That establishes basic targets for the weekend. So for this race basic set-up is split between what we know from last year and what we've learnt so far this season.
“Once we've done that, then we take it to the simulator with both drivers and there we’ll pursue further avenues, development ideas. We're also working with Renault in terms of energy management and suchlike.
“In that way everything converges. Then on a Thursday at the circuit we get everybody together and it’s basically a process of establishing where we are, what are the updates and what are the new targets.
“In terms of running over the weekend, Friday’s underlying plan is always the same because we only have so many tyres at a given time. Barring unforeseen events it's a pretty set plan. We’ll have a budget in terms of mileage and match that to what we're trying to achieve and we’ll work through the run plan, which is decided on Thursday.
“Because we’re limited in how we can work those sessions it becomes a pretty digital process – it either works or doesn’t and you move on from there. There are very finite steps. That’s where the offline work at the factory, becomes more important, with a steady flow of information and updates coming from there.
“Everybody has a different way of working; to me it's about being able to build something using the tools at your disposal. You have good days and bad days, but just reacting and throwing something at the problem that might work is a very short-term approach. It's not going to get you where you want to be. It's about having a systemic approach: we tried that and it didn't work, next time we'll try this. Eventually you start to see patterns forming and you start to refine your approach.
“For the job I do now, it's not about the here and now. It's not about the next run, the next five minutes, which is what it's all about when you're a race engineer, which is how that task has to be. It's more about the next session, the next event. You're standing back and saying, ‘okay, I can see a pattern developing here; how are we going to bring it back together?’ It's more pressure, which is what it needs to be, but that’s what I like. That’s the job.”