Nick Heidfeld had an eventful Friday in China, going off the track in both the morning and afternoon practice sessions, but recovered to finished the day as the eighth fastest driver, one place ahead of his Renault team-mate Vitaly Petrov.
“Today obviously wasn't what we wanted, after I spun off in the first session and then again in the second which were both my fault,” said the German. “I hope it's a good omen because in Malaysia we also didn't have many laps on the Friday and then we had a good result.
“Given that I only had five laps in the first session, it was surprising how fast I was, we were both in the top 10. There's still some more in the car but the gap is a bit bigger than we would have hoped for. As expected, we achieved quicker lap times when using the softs over the hards, and it was good that we managed to use both.”
In contrast, Petrov managed to stay on the track for both sessions, and he agrees that there is more speed to find from the car before qualifying tomorrow.
“We managed to run the whole way through both sessions, and then we were able to work on some directions for set-up so we're quite happy with that,” said the Russian. “I think we need to be happy with today, of course not on the pace and the lap time as we can be quite a bit quicker. What is good is that we don't have any mechanical problems, we can still continue to work and push hard. The option tyres were a big improvement, as usual, with much more grip.”