The last two weeks have been very busy as we have got through so much work. The result of it is that, here in Valencia, our two F10s have rolled out on track packed with new components, the most obvious of which is the new exhaust system, now positioned lower than the previous version.
Given the impossibility of testing during the season and the fact that simulation and bench testing can never give a complete picture, there is always a small question mark over the actual effectiveness of new developments, especially when they involve such extreme changes in a very critical area, given the high temperatures involved in the rear end of the car. The truth can only come out after trial by track. And on this occasion, the verdict proved to be exactly as predicted by our engineers, which means to say it’s positive.
That doesn’t mean development of our car stops here. To fight it out with the frontrunners, we need to keep pushing on as hard as we can. And today’s qualifying showed that we probably lack something compared to those who were quickest in pure performance terms.
Fernando is fourth on the grid and Felipe is right behind him. Tomorrow’s race will be tough and difficult, but unlikely to be as incident packed as the Canadian GP, where the difference in performance between the two types of tyre compound supplied by Bridgestone led to tyre strategies that had never been seen so far this season. That doesn’t mean it will be a stroll in the park. On our side, we have a car that gives its best on the hard tyres, so now it’s a case of waiting to see how the 57 lap race pans out.
Felipe and Fernando’s main aim is clear: to get through the first corner without incident and to keep out of trouble. From what we saw in this afternoon’s GP2 race, which had more than its fair share of first lap accidents, getting through the first lap in one piece will play a crucial role in terms of its effect on the final result.