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リリース – ボーダフォン・マクラーレン・メルセデス 【日本GP(金)】



Suzuka Circuit, Friday October 1

P1 programme
24 laps 1m40.356s (1st)
P2 programme
0 laps –

The morning’s damp but drying track made it difficult to conduct much meaningfu  work as the circuit conditions were continually moving away from the use of we -weather tyres.
Heikki started his programme on Extreme tyres, completing a single installation lap and a three-lap run (1m49.134s best laptime) before the drying track required a switch to Intermediate tyres for the remainder of the session.
Heikki completed three more runs (four laps/1m43.127s, six laps/1m41.757s and one lap/1m40.356s), always mindful of looking after the delicate Intermediates in the drying conditions. His final run at the very end of the session secured him fastest time of the morning.
Neither Heikki nor his engineers considered it worthwhile to venture out during the afternoon’s monsoon conditions.
Heikki said: “This morning the track was in a better condition than it was in the afternoon so we decided not to go out in second practice. We think tomorrow and Sunday will be dry so we didn’t want to risk any damage to the car in these tricky conditions.
“We also felt that we wouldn’t benefit at all from doing any additional running. In the morning, it was not so bad – it was drying out quite well so we could also use the Intermediate tyre, which worked well. I like this track, it has some very good corners and the grip level is very high. Obviously, the Japanese make very good Tarmac as this was also the case in Fuji!”

P1 programme
15 laps 1m41.443s (6th)
P2 programme
5 laps 1m47.983s (4th)

“This track is awesome!” were Lewis’s first words to his mechanics as he was wheeled back into the garage after his first run around Suzuka this morning.
Starting on Extremes and completing a single run (1m46.974s best), Lewis found the conditions not wet enough to continue and switched to the Intermediate tyre. He conducted an exploratory run (three laps/1m42.642s) before sitting out much of the session in the hope of driving on a dry line. However, the dampness remained and Lewis ran a final three-lap stint (1m41.443s) to finish the morning session in sixth position.
In the afternoon, Lewis left his running until as late as possible, completing just three flying laps in the very wet conditions. His best time of 1m47.983s was fourth fastest.
“This is the best track I’ve ever driven,” Lewis said afterwards. “It’s something very special for me and I had a great time today, even though it was wet. We didn’t do much running – we weren’t supposed to be running this afternoon, but I couldn’t help it: I just had to go out and have a little bit of fun!
“I’ve heard it’s going to be dry for the race, I’m just looking forward to getting out there in the dry and seeing how fast you can push around here.”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Firstly, it feels fantastic to be back at Suzuka for the first time since 2006. It’s such a mighty racetrack and has clearly caught the imaginations of both our drivers. The organisers have done a fantastic job with the facility’s refurbishment, creating a world-class venue without losing any of the unique character that this place has.
“And although the poor weather made it difficult to appraise our speed relative to our rivals, we’re encouraged by our performance today: Lewis was immediately on the pace during every single one of his runs and Heikki finished P1, comfortably quicker than his nearest rivals.
“Nonetheless, with dry weather forecast for Sunday’s race, and mixed conditions still expected tomorrow, we still have a lot of work to complete to fully prepare us for what could be both an unpredictable qualifying session and a tricky and eventful race.”

Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“A typical Suzuka day, really. Tomorrow’s weather should be better, and on Sunday it should be fine according to the forecast. Having said that, the conditions traditionally change very quickly at this circuit.
“Heikki posted the fastest time of the morning session which nobody could improve in the very wet afternoon practice – but this of course does not mean a lot in judging the competitive order of the field after the few laps that have been done by everybody today.
“It is remarkable what the racetrack owners have invested here to improve working conditions for the teams at this great circuit, and the new pit building is absolutely state of the art.”

Session 2

Pos Driver Constructor Time Laps
1 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:47.261 5
2 Sebastien Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:47.923 6
3 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1:47.931 4
4 Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:47.983 5
5 Kazuki Nakajima Williams F1 1:48.058 8
6 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:48.691 9
7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:48.693 5
8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:48.737 6
9 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:48.802 11
10 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:48.861 6
11 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari 1:48.886 4
12 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 1:49.054 7
13 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:49.382 7
14 Romain Grosjean Renault 1:49.405 6
15 Giancarlo Fisichella Scuderia Ferrari 1:49.553 5
16 Nico Rosberg Williams F1 1:49.872 7
17 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:50.179 9
18 Heikki Kovalainen Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
19 Jenson Button Brawn GP
20 Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP

Session 1

Pos Driver Constructor Time Laps
1 Heikki Kovalainen Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:40.356 24
2 Kazuki Nakajima Williams F1 1:40.648 18
3 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:40.806 14
4 Giancarlo Fisichella Scuderia Ferrari 1:40.985 27
5 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:41.421 26
6 Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:41.443 15
7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:41.532 22
8 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari 1:41.577 25
9 Rubens Barrichello Brawn GP 1:41.821 18
10 Nico Rosberg Williams F1 1:42.188 20
11 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:42.332 10
12 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1:42.475 15
13 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:42.657 13
14 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:42.667 27
15 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:42.833 16
16 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:42.977 14
17 Sebastien Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:43.218 11
18 Jenson Button Brawn GP 1:43.318 17
19 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 1:43.407 16
20 Romain Grosjean Renault 1:43.572 22





「今まで走ったコースのなかで一番いい! 僕にとってはなんだか特別な気持ちになったし、雨の中にもかかわらず凄く楽しめたよ。午後のセッションは走る予定ではなかったんだけど、あまりに面白いコースだから単純に楽しむためだけに走らずにいられなかったんだ。決勝はドライになると聞いてるから、このコースで一体どこまで限界を追い求められるか楽しみでならないよ!」。


◆ノルベルト・ハウグ メルセデス・モータースポーツ部門責任者

(翻訳:Noah Sellen / 編集:Moto)

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