Saturday, July 11, 2009

McLaren, Ferrari pragmatic about practice pace

Friday 10th July 2009

Lewis Hamilton has downplayed his blistering pace in Friday's German practice while Ferrari have done exactly the same about their low-key start.

Hamilton's weekend at the Nurburgring got off to a slow start as the McLaren driver finished 13th in the opening practice session. But a sharp turn around in form saw him conclude the day quickest overall, having posted a 1:32.149 during the afternoon running.

The 24-year-old, though, has downplayed his pace, insisting McLaren are not yet on top of their early season problems.

"We haven't fixed our problems," said the 2008 World Champion. "Not yet. We're working on it.

"We've got some small upgrades which are definitely working in the right direction but we still have a long way to go.

"The car is not perfect yet. But I think the guys at the factory have done a fantastic job."

Asked for his goals for Saturday's qualifying, the Brit said: "Try to get in the top ten.

"For us this will be a big step. If we're able to challenge for the points every weekend, that would be a huge boost for us."

Meanwhile, Ferrari went from registering near the top of the timesheets to lagging in the lower half of the pack.

While Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were third and sixth in Practice One, the Scuderia pairing dropped to 12th and 16th in the latter.

But Raikkonen believes Ferrari can turn their fortunes around in time for Saturday's qualifying.

"The car was quite difficult to handle today, but I'm pretty sure we can find a solution for that," said the 2007 World Champion.

"If you look at the Fridays we are not usually very fast, but it all depends on how much fuel everybody is running. We'll see what we can do tomorrow.

"Hopefully it's going to be a bit better but like I said I think we are more or less where we were in the last race.

"As I said the car was difficult to drive today, so it's no surprise the lap times are not so good. I'm sure we can find some solution for the set-up."

Source : Planet F1

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