11 April 2015
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 7, 1:38.534 (3rd Practice – P5, 1:39.020)
“P7 is what we expected for today. I think we are always trying to find a compromise, us and drivers and the engineers, and they have done the best job they can with the settings we are running. With quali we seem to find more pace as the session goes on and that’s important. Driveability has improved and our long-run pace is better, I think we should be closer to Williams tomorrow and I am optimistic we can have a good fight for top five.”
DANIIL KVYAT, Position: 12, 1:39.051 (3rd Practice – P6, 1:39.106)
“I was losing some power today and the team is investigating the reason for this. I am disappointed but we have to keep our heads up. We are working hard to keep moving forward, at this track we have a straight-line speed disadvantage and we are trying to find a solution for that.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “We got everything out of the car there was today, and unfortunately P7 over a single lap is where we currently are. Daniil, after a few issues at the beginning of Q2, which we managed to rectify before his last run, just missed out by less than a tenth of a second for Q3 to line up P12. We saw yesterday our long-run pace was respectable, so hopefully we can use that to good effect tomorrow.”
Getting a Formula One car from drawing board to grid involves a huge amount of expertise. In this series we’ll talk to some of the highly skilled people whose unique talents help the team to go racing. This race, Chris Gent, No. 1 mechanic on Daniel’s car explains how when it comes to completing the jigsaw puzzle that is building the RB11 for a race weekend, it has got to be right first time, every time.
My main responsibilities are to make sure the car is built to the right specification, working with the other mechanics on the car and making sure they have the correct information to build the car as it should be and making sure it’s reliable for the whole weekend. On a flyway the car travels as a bare chassis, so it’s a complete build. That process, on a flyaway, starts on a Wednesday and we’d hope to get it done by Thursday evening. However, there are invariably little things you have to investigate, so we are generally here in the garage until quite late. Plus, there are sometimes new bits arriving that have to be factored into the equation. That’s the nature of the game, though, and we’re constantly pushing to make it better. In terms of how the car works across the weekend, Simon [Rennie, Daniel’s race engineer] will work on set-up with Daniel and it’s then our job to make sure it’s built to the way they want it, when they want. Working with Daniel is great. He’s a fantastic character. We have some good times with him out of the car and he always gets in the car and delivers. We have very tight turnarounds and there are always last-minute decisions but that’s a part of the job I really like. I love the pressure. I love having a lot of work to do. It’s a good feeling.
I think that in terms of what I do and what all the guys who work on the do is staying calm under that pressure. For me, I have to make sure everyone is calm and in control and that the car is built to the highest quality. The responsibility is big and if there’s a problem it falls back on me, so it’s got to be right first time. You have to be a perfectionist – it has got to be right and that’s the way I like it. The best bit about the job? The pressure and seeing all the work end in a good result. You work to incredibly tight deadlines and then to see it happen on track, especially when you’re getting good results is really worthwhile.