Friday analysis - calm and collected first day in China 17 Oct 2008
By and large this was a normal Friday at the Shanghai International Circuit, with all of the drivers working through varying programmes of tyre evaluation and chassis set-up for the Chinese Grand Prix. McLarens Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to break the 1m 36s barrier
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 35.630s, P1/1m 35.750s, P1
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 36.103s, P4/1m 36.797s, P13
Hamilton was delighted that his MP4-23 was well balanced from the start and that no matter what changes they made to it, it just kept getting better. He also reported that he felt very confident as a result. Kovalainen spent both sessions working on balance, and was satisfied with the way his day went.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 36.661s, P6/1m 36.024s, P2
Nelson Piquet, 1m 37.180s, P9/1m 36.094s, P3
Alonso and Piquet were understandably pleased with the R28s performance and neither reported any problems.
Jarno Trulli, 1m 38.219s, P18/1m 36.159s, P4
Timo Glock, 1m 37.664s, P16/1m 36.615s, P11
After a slow start the TF108s proved quite quick. Trulli said his was behaving well and that he made good progress with the set-up. Glock, however, reported that his was tricky to drive and that he hadnt yet found the right direction on set-up.
Mark Webber, 1m 37.491s, P11/1m 36.375s, P5
David Coulthard, 1m 37.638s, P14/1m 36.808s, P14
Webber was quite happy with his cars faultless running all day, while Coulthard said that traction was his main issue.
Felipe Massa, 1m 36.020s, P2/1m 36.480s, P6
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 36.052s, P3/1m 36.542s, P8
Massa and birthday boy Raikkonen both said they were quite happy with the way their days had gone. The Brazilian said his F2008 was a bit twitchy in the morning but that the handling improved in the second part of the afternoon session. The Finn had a couple of spins but said that his car wasnt too bad.
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 37.070s, P8/1m 36.529s, P7
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 37.278s, P10/1m 36.925s, P15
Bourdais once again had the upper hand here, even though his day ended prematurely when he spun off in the first corner toward the end of the afternoon session. Vettel ran into some graining problems with his tyres and said he still needed to massage his STR3s balance.
Robert Kubica, 1m 36.507s, P5/1m 36.775s, P12
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 37.040s, P7/1m 36.553s, P9
As usual, BMW Sauber did not go for outright lap times as Heidfeld and Kubica conducted their normal Friday programmes. The former reported that not every step they took was in the right direction, while the latter said his F1.08 still lacked balance and that the level of grip was again poor.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 37.638s, P15/1m 36.556s, P10
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 37.630s, P13/1m 36.975s, P16
Rosberg said he was broadly happy with his day, especially as his FW30s tyres were working much better than did the FW29s here last year. Changes in weight distribution helped as the day progressed. Nakajima said his car also got better through the day.
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 38.479s, P20/1m 37.473s, P17
Adrian Sutil, 1m 38.285s, P19/1m 37.617s, P18
Fisichella felt that he made a step forward with the set-up in the afternoon, when his VJM01s balance and grip were better, and Sutil echoed his sentiments.
Jenson Button, 1m 37.619s, P12/1m 37.800s, P19
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 37.827s, P17/1m 37.904s, P20
Button had a frustrating day vainly pursuing a decent balance on his RA108, a problem that also afflicted Barrichello.