“This is a circuit we love”
Autodromo di Monza, Friday September 4
A difficult pair of free practice sessions for the team today.
Jenson was sidelined for the majority of the afternoon after his car suffered a coolant leak, which could not be fixed before the end of the session. This meant that the bulk of the evaluative work was conducted from Fernando’s side of the garage.
The engineers will pool data tonight ahead of tomorrow’s free practice and qualifying. However, the afternoon session will be tricky since both cars have grid penalties (Fernando, 10; Jenson, five) for fitting a ninth ICE this weekend.
#14 Fernando Alonso
FP1 1m28.023s (+3.353s) 11 laps 17th
FP2 1m26.966s (+2.687s) 31 laps 16th
“We knew this circuit would be tough for us – but we tried some changes with the car in order to learn things, so let’s see how things go on Saturday.
“If it rains tomorrow, that ought to mix things up, particularly for the cars at the front. For us, it shouldn’t make too much of a difference, as we both have grid penalties for making an engine change, so we’ll start towards the back.
“We’ll do minimal laps tomorrow in order to save the engine, and, hopefully, recover some places in the race.”
#22 Jenson Button
FP1 1m28.423s (+3.753s) 12 laps 18th
FP2 1m28.471s (+4.192s) 3 laps 19th
“It’s always nice coming to Monza. This is a circuit we love, and the fans are so passionate – and, as racing drivers, it’s fantastic to go racing with that sort of atmosphere around you.
“It’s been a tricky day for us. My car lost coolant at the start of FP2, and we couldn’t change the ERS pack with enough time to get out for the end of the afternoon session. So I did one timed lap – which isn’t great – but at least we can learn something from Fernando’s data.
“We knew this was going to be a tough weekend for us, and this just makes it more difficult, but hopefully we won’t have any problems tomorrow.”
Racing director, McLaren-Honda
“We knew that both here and Spa would present a steep challenge for us, but Formula 1 is not supposed to be easy, and we’ll come away from these two character-building weekends feeling stronger and more unified than before.
“Today has been tricky for the team, particularly for Jenson, who didn’t get too many laps under his belt in this afternoon’s session owing to a leak on his car.
“Last but not least, I want to say a big thank-you to our hard-working mechanics: they made planned engine changes on both cars between FP1 and FP2, and will change them both again ahead of FP3 tomorrow. Their industriousness, commitment and positivity are to be applauded.”
Chief engineer, Honda R&D Europe
“FP1 proceeded according to today’s run-plan, setting both cars up with new ICEs. After fundamental checks were completed with the aero and power unit data, we finished the session early to start the planned power unit change for this afternoon’s FP2.
“Fernando’s FP2 session ran smoothly, but, unfortunately, Jenson’s data showed signs of a water leak; therefore we were forced to bring the car back into the garage. After investigating, we found that the water hose had been dislodged, which we were able to fix during the session. However, there wasn’t enough time remaining in the session to get the car back out onto the track, but fortunately the incident didn’t affect the ERS, and we’re duly preparing for tomorrow’s sessions.
“We’ll be using all of today’s data, including Fernando’s long-runs in the afternoon, to set up the car for tomorrow.”