Day one is done and the pilots of the Red Bull Air Race have had their first taste of the 2017 Lausitzring racetrack. It's also the first race over land. Here's what they thought of the first day of competition...
"The track has been changed a little bit from last year, with a few pylons moved slightly. The wind has calmed down, which also makes the times a little bit quicker and of course the raceplanes are always getting faster. The important day is Sunday. Tonight of course we'll be studying and analysing all the data, trying to find where we can take off some time and cut corners more without losing energy. It's not easy."
"It's nice to be back here. I like the track, there's a few changes from last year that makes it a little less technical, but it's a good track and it's got a good flow. We're just getting used to things, but the time is good and I'm feeling good. There's always a lot of talk between the differences of land and water, for me it doesn't make much of a difference. You do get some elevation changes, even if it looks flat, so you have to be careful you don't fly too high or too low. It's nice to be back in the stadium tracks, they're typically more my style."
"It felt pretty good in the track today. I don't think we're all that fast, but I'm not too far off the pace. We need to tweak some things and then come back and see where we're at. I need to win this race, we were really close in Porto. If we hadn't have got the penalty we would've won, so we can only do what we can do. I'm going to try and fly fast, I'll be on the edge and if I fly fast I might win this thing."
"It's a really interesting track, I like it. It's technical and speedy, it's a great track setup. We needed to do some more work on the raceplane, but then we had time for a little bit of training. We're in a much better situation so we're looking forward to it."
"The track is pretty simple. It's faster than last year because the gates are more condensed. We like this track and we can be at the front if everything works. We just flew the raceplane a lot between here and Porto, we didn't change anything."
"It was fun in the track today, I wasn't comfortable and didn't find the right line – which was disappointing. Tomorrow is a new day, so we'll see what it brings. I'm still learning the lines and looking at my sector times – I'm losing out in the VTM. In FP2 my second lap was faster than Martin's, so it can't be that bad. I also didn't lean the engine properly, so if I lean properly I should be even faster."
"I really enjoyed flying in the track. It's a fun track and I think every pilot will say it's fun. I'm also feeling pretty good in the plane. In Porto we finally got it set up and I was enjoying flying it. I'm having more fun in the plane now than I did in Porto. We know the winning line, because we flew it last year and I'm happy in the plane, so it's all good."
"This is a track you have to work really hard in to fly. In Portugal it was about being consistent and fast without making too many movements in the raceplane. Whereas here in Lausitz you have to be on top of the plane the whole time and always moving it. It's never straight and level, it's always under G-force somewhere. It's good to fly, but it's strenuous on the body."
"It was very good today. There's no better way to start a race weekend than being top of the first timesheet, that will give us a lot of hope for the rest of the race. But it's only the beginning, the race isn't until Sunday. However, it's a very good start to the weekend. We were very sad in Porto, we were doing good times and the expectation was high. We thought it was a good chance to be on the podium, so we were disappointed. But we were also really motivated to come here and race again."
"It's great to be at the Lausitzring, I love the setup. I'm looking forward to seeing all the fans in front of the hangar. We have a lot of room for improvement and I'm eager to get back in the track and find a better line. The aircraft is exactly the same as Porto and we will just work on our lines and prepare that way. It's the first land track of the season and we had to make adjustment for the reference points around the track to make sure we're on the right lines."
"I just wanted to get reintroduced to the track here and I will go back and look over my data. Our next run will be much better and much more precise. The track is not easy and with a tailwind is even more difficult, but it's a good track and we will push harder in the next sessions."
"We had a lot of problems with the radio and we had to fly last, which wasn't great preparation before going into the track. I have to check everything with my lines, because you can lose a lot of time even if you go a little bit wide."
François Le Vot
"The track isn't that difficult, I was prepared and I found exactly what I expected. Maybe I have to start pushing that little bit harder as flying clean isn't enough. The best way of gaining time, is not losing it. The best demonstration of that was in Porto, when I had a really good time and I hit the final gate in stupid circumstances. I'm happy here when I can fly the track without penalties, but my plan for tomorrow is to fly that little bit more on the edge."
"It's nice and the weather is improving so there wasn't too much wind actually. It was very smooth, very nice and a nice track as usual, but the VTM is tricky. Overall I am happy. It's a very compact track. Every time we come back to speedway tracks they have the tendency to be tight. Gate 3 to Gate 4 and the VTM is the key to this race."
The Master Class pilots will be back in action tomorrow for FP3 and Qualifying. Follow every moment HERE.