Kevin Magnussen made his debut with the upgraded VF-22 package in FP1 while Mick Schumacher – on the non-evolved chassis – rode the same tires in this session for comparison.
Both cars started with hard Pirelli tyres. Then the drivers switched to soft tires and Magnussen completed a lap in 1:20.921 (P17) while Schumacher clocked 1:21.027 (P18). To wrap up the session, the two drivers then switched back to hard tires and drove with a large quantity of petrol.
This afternoon, the two drivers first took to the track with medium tires – each driver completed a nine-lap stint. A qualifying simulation followed with a return to soft rubber for six laps. Magnussen set the fastest time in 1:19.818 (P16) while Schumacher placed just behind his teammate in 1:19.985 (P17). With 15 minutes remaining, the two cars set off one last time for a long stint on medium tires and with plenty of fuel.
« It wasn’t a bad session for us today, says Magnussen. “We’re just trying to figure out the new package on my car and there’s still work to be done – but at the moment it looks promising. We need to work a bit more on the balance, we haven’t really figured out where to go with that. »
“The new parts seem to work well, we had no problems with that and the feeling in the car was quite good. It was basically more or less what we expected, so I’m happy. As I said, there is still a lot of work to do to extract more and that will happen over time, but so far everything is going well. We hope to go higher on the grid tomorrow. We are announcing rain and so we will see,” adds the Dane.
“It was quite tricky,” says Schumacher. “I had a problem with my front wing in TH2 so it didn’t give the downforce it should have. We’ll look into that, but overall it wasn’t a bad session. It’s just a matter of getting used to this track with these new cars. We are looking at where the bumps are on the track at the moment and also trying to adapt the car setup to what we need here. We still need to work a bit on the high and low fuel levels, but our main focus at the moment is to run on plenty of gas. Usually in the wet our car is quite competitive so we are hoping for rain tomorrow. If we do everything perfectly, we should be reasonably competitive. »