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Friday analysis - the calm before the storm 31 Oct 2008

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 31 October 2008 Jenson Button (GBR) Honda.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 31 October 2008 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF108.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 31 October 2008 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 31 October 2008 Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault R28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 31 October 2008

By and large this was a normal Friday, with all of the drivers working through varying programmes of tyre evaluation and chassis set-up. The sprinkling of rain in the afternoon affected some drivers’ chances of setting fast times.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 13.061, P6/1m 12.296s, P1
Nelson Piquet, 1m 13.378s, P8/1m 12.703s, P7

Alonso’s day went well, and was problem-free. Piquet did many laps, which helped him to find the limits. Both men said they were encouraged by the R28’s performance here.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 12.305s, P1/1m 12.353s, P2
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 12.507s, P3/1m 12.600s, P4

Massa reported good balance in both sessions and was happy with his day. Raikkonen also had a positive day and got through all his planned work without any problems.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 13.600s, P11/1m 12.435s, P3
Timo Glock, 1m 13.466s, P10/1m 13.041s, P14

Trulli shook off the previous day’s flu and said he was happy not just with his TF108’s balance but also the way his day had gone. Glock, however, had a difficult time as his car was handling oddly.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 13.298s, P7/1m 12.650s, P5
David Coulthard, 1m 13.861s, P18/1m 12.896s, P11

Webber got a good balance early on and was happy with his RB4 all day. In his distinctively liveried version, Coulthard struggled in the morning but reported good progress in the afternoon despite the slightly tricky weather.

Toro Rosso
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 13.836s, P17/1m 12.687s, P6
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 13.649s, P13/1m 13.273s, P17

Vettel talked of a big step which improved his car between sessions, but said it was tricky to get the tyres working properly on long runs. Bourdais wasn’t happy with his STR3’s balance on the softer tyre.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 13.621s, P12/1m 12.761s, P8
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 13.806s, P16/1m 12.886s, P10

Rosberg was happy with productive set-up work, and Nakajima echoed his sentiments.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 12.495s, P2/1m 12.827s, P9
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 12.925s, P5/1m 13.213s, P15

Hamilton was very competitive in the morning session before switching to race work in the afternoon. Flat spotting tyres on a couple of runs didn’t help, but he ended the day feeling very positive for Saturday. Kovalainen was also quite quick in the morning, before likewise doing race work in the second session.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 12.874s, P4/1m 12.971s, P12
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 13.426s, P9/1m 13.038s, P13

BMW Sauber had their usual Friday, which meant going fast in the morning then doing race work in the afternoon. Kubica seemed happy, but Heidfeld had all sorts of handling balance problems in the morning before some full-scale changes effected a slight improvement.

Honda
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 13.676s, P14/1m 13.221s, P16
Jenson Button, 1m 13.766s, P15/1m 13.341s, P18

Barrichello reported two straightforward sessions, hampered only by the Honda RA108’s lack of performance. Button lost time in the morning with an electrical problem.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 14.704s, P19/1m 13.428s, P19
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 14.821s, P20/1m 13.691s, P20

No problems for Sutil as he worked through his planned programme, but Fisichella complained of poor grip and lack of straight-line speed.