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Friday analysis - big three teams all promising more 07 Jun 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 6 June 2008 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 6 June 2008 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 6 June 2008 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 6 June 2008 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 6 June 2008

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was in confident mood after topping the times in Friday practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. The championship leader finished a quarter of a second clear of his opposition as he seeks his second successive victory at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. However, second-placed Robert Kubica believes there is plenty more to come from BMW Sauber, and Kimi Raikkonen looked like a man with little to worry about after he ended the day in third for Ferrari…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 18.303s, P6/1m 15.752s, P1
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 18.133s, P3/1m 16.331s, P4

Hamilton saved wet tyres by not running much in the morning session, and went on to improve his car with every run in the afternoon. He said he was very comfortable with the set-up on both the soft and super-soft Bridgestones, and is feeling quietly confident on the track that yielded him his maiden victory last year. Kovalainen said he didn’t find a ‘truly perfect!’ balance all day, and that unlike Hamilton he has not yet started to attack the track.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 17.809s, P2/1m 16.023s, P2
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 18.182s, P4/ 1m 16.589s, P6

Kubica was happy with the work he got done in the afternoon, which was necessary to make up for time lost to the wet track in the morning. His F1.08 was still nervous because of the general lack of grip, but he felt he established a decent baseline for Saturday. Second place in each session was hardly anything to grumble about. Heidfeld’s performance picked up again after Monaco, but though he was happy with set-up changes suggested by his few dry runs in the morning, he complained of yellow flags on his fastest efforts in the afternoon.

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 18.292s, P5/1m 16.093s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 17.553s, P1/1m 16.413s, P5

Though he was ‘only’ third fastest in the faster session, Raikkonen said he was happy with his day. He found a decent balance almost straight away, and built on it throughout the afternoon. Massa was happy in the morning but a lot less so in the afternoon after his F2008 suffered ‘some sort of blackout’ as all of its systems gradually shut down. The team have yet to confirm the cause.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 18.712s, P7/1m 16.604s, P7
David Coulthard, 1m 18.809s, P8/1m 17.334s, P12

Webber was quite happy with what he achieved in a ‘reasonable’ day which included a brief spin that did no damage. Coulthard said he preserved tyres after running out of time in the afternoon, and was also quite content with the way things had gone.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 19.093s, P11/1m 16.767s, P8
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 18.971s, P9/1m 17.242s, P11

Rosberg got a lot of set-up work done in both sessions and felt that Williams found a solid direction for Saturday. He left the track feeling confident. Nakajima enjoyed the advantage of driving here last year and was happy with what he achieved.

Toro Rosso
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 19.228s, P12/1m 17.019s, P9
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 20.541s, P19/1m 17.559s, P16

On his first acquaintance with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Vettel was happy with the way things went in the STR3’s first outing on a road course. He felt the team were in better shape than they had been on the first day in Monaco, which means progress. Bourdais had a difficult day, starting with a different set-up to his team mate’s and struggling throughout as he looked for better balance and grip.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 19.568s, P14/1m 17.068s, P10
Timo Glock, 1m 19.346s, P13/1m 17.549s, P15

Trulli had a normal Friday, complicated by the circuit’s ‘green’ nature at this early stage. Glock had a tougher time after clobbering the wall near Turn Six in the afternoon and damaging his right-hand suspension badly enough to render his RF108 out of action for the remainder of the session.

Honda
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 20.173s, P18/1m 17.462s, P13
Jenson Button, 1m 21.542s, P20/1m 17.842s, P19

A difficult day here, as Barrichello struggled to hone the low downforce set-up of his RA108, but at least he felt he made progress in the afternoon. Button stayed unhappy, complaining all day of snap oversteer that made his car particularly unforgiving.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 19.005s, P10/1m 17.644s, P17
Nelson Piquet, 1m 120.091s, P17/1m 18.076s, P20

Renault had a difficult time, especially in the afternoon. Alonso went well enough in the morning but spun to a halt exiting Turn One in the afternoon and was unable to restart. He was thus unable to complete some crucial set-up work, but said he remains confident of making it through to Q3. Piquet’s unhappy time continued as he struggled to learn much about the track in the continually changing conditions.

Force India
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 19.815s, P15/1m 17.508s, P14
Adrian Sutil, 1m 19.888s, P16/1m 17.813s, P18

Fisichella called for more set-up changes after graining his tyres this afternoon, but had an otherwise problem-free day. Sutil was not 100 percent happy with his VJM01’s balance, but thought that might also be down to graining.