The McLaren Mercedes F1 team saw both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen have good Friday’s in Singapore, with the Dane just having the edge over the Briton in the second free practice session, reversing the roles seen in the first session.
After admitting his eagerness to get onto the Marina Bay track before the weekend began, Magnussen felt happy once driving, and finished sixth in FP2 after just missing out on the top ten in FP1. He feels there is still more pace to find from his McLaren, and will be working with his mechanics to find those extra tenths of a second that are crucial in any Formula 1 weekend.
“It’s a nice track,” said Magnussen. “It’s very warm and humid out there, and it gets extremely hot inside the cockpit, but it’s a good feeling to drive around this place.
“It’s still difficult to say where we are right now, pace-wise, but I think we ought to be okay. We’re still trying to evaluate and get the best from the new package – but we’ll study it carefully tonight and see if we can get any more out of it for tomorrow.
“Today’s runs showed us that the Option tyre wears out very quickly; the Prime lasts longer and is more consistent, but we’ll look more closely tonight so that we can get a better idea for tomorrow. Hopefully, we can improve and find a bit more pace.”
Team-mate Button feels the weekend is looking bright for the team, especially after working out where McLaren were going wrong with set-up early, and he believes the time difference seen between the Soft and Supersoft compounds of Pirelli tyre have the potential to help them have a good race on Sunday.
“It’s always good getting to grips with this place – it’s so different from most of the circuits we visit, and it’s such fun,” said Button. “We tried a few things on the set-up this afternoon that didn’t work so well for us; but at least we know what to do tomorrow, and, all things considered, it’s not looking too bad, particularly compared with some of the others around us.
“The difference between the two tyre compounds is particularly apparent around here – it’s around 2.5s per lap – and I can’t see that changing over the course of the weekend. We normally don’t profit from that, as we’re usually very good on the Prime tyre, but this looks like being a decent opportunity for us, particularly as qualifying is so important here.
“In terms of radio traffic, I think the situation has ended up without much being taken away. They’ve stopped the engineers from coaching the drivers, but I’ve never been coached around a lap to go quicker, so not much has changed for me personally.”