Friday analysis - little to choose between red and silver 04 Jul 2008
As expected in light of last weeks test, Ferrari and McLaren proved to be closely matched during Silverstones first two practice sessions for the British Grand Prix, with nearest rivals BMW Sauber falling some way short of their mark. We take a team-by-team look at the weekends early running
Felipe Massa, 1m 19.575s, P1/1m 20.943, P8
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 19.943s, P4/1m 21.275s, P12
Ferrari had a setback when Massa went off at Stowe in the morning just after setting the days fastest lap, but though the F2008 was damaged he didnt lose too much track time and was as happy as he could be in the circumstances. Raikkonen had a seemingly subdued day, struggling to get a decent set-up as the wind direction changed. Ferrari, nevertheless, look as strong as expected.
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 19.587s, P2/1m 19.989s, P1
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 19.623s, P3/1m 20.543s, P3
Kovalainen was pleased that McLaren got a good balance on their MP4-23s early on and made the most of it to run fastest morning runner Massa close. Hamilton was quote content to be third fastest in each session, and the silver arrows likewise looked ominously quick.
Robert Kubica, 1m 20.367s, P5/1m 21.023s, P11
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 21.107s, P13/1m 21.453s, P13
Kubica reported that he had a normal Friday, testing everything as planned, but Heidfeld said he was not yet happy with the behaviour of his F1.08. Its balance was not as good as it was at the test last week, partly due to the higher wind.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 20.436s, P6/1m 21.511s, P15
Nelson Piquet, 1m 20.653s, P8/1m 21.642s, P18
Once again Renault lost an engine in Alonsos car in the morning, mainly because it was close to its mileage limit. He resumed his programme in the afternoon, and completed most of it. Piquet ran him close in both sessions and he was able to amass a lot of laps.
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 20.588s, P7/1m 20.805s, P6
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 21.166s, P14/1m 21.634s, P17
Vettel revelled in his STR3s behaviour in the fast corners and said he had a very productive day with clear answers to all the usual set-up questions. Whereas he was happy with his cars balance, Bourdais complained of understeer in the high-speed sections but managed to dial most of it out by the afternoon. That progress, however, unsettled the car elsewhere.
David Coulthard, 1m 120.698s, P9/1m 20.589s, P4
Mark Webber, 1m 20.892s, P11/1m 20.520s, P2
Webber had a small electronic glitch in the morning but tried different settings during the two sessions once it had been cured. Coulthard reported a normal Friday, which came as a relief after Red Bull lost track time with problems during the test.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 20.744s, P10/1m 20.748s, P5
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 21.282s, P16/1m 20.985s, P9
Rosberg hailed a productive test last week as the basis for Williams good showing, and said they gathered plenty of positive date on tyre performance which should see an upturn in performance for the rest of the weekend following the dismal run in Magny-Cours. Nakajima said he was going well until his trip into the wall at Abbey cost him track time he could ill afford to squander.
Jarno Trulli, 1m 21.265s, P15/1m 22.196s, P20
Timo Glock, 1m 21.102s, P12/1m 21.472s, P14
It was not a great day for Toyota. Glock had a clutch problem in the afternoon which temporarily stranded him at Club, but of greater concern was the failure of Trullis new rear wing which parted company with the rest of the car at Stowe. The team have gone back to the standard component for the rest of the weekend.
Jenson Button, 1m 21.901s, P17/1m 20.929s, P7
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 24.123s, P20/1m 21.002s, P10
Button was happy with the tyre data he gathered during the day, but wasnt entirely pleased with his RA108s balance. Barrichello had a rear suspension problem which hampered his morning progress, but said his car was well balanced in the afternoon.
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 22.219s, P19/1m 21.520s, P16
Adrian Sutil, 1m 22.169s, P18/1m 21.756s, P19
Fisichella had a normal Friday at the teams home circuit, and felt they had moved a small step forward with their new aero and mechanical package. Sutil banged his car about with his morning off at Becketts, but also felt there had been a two-to three-tenths improvement in performance.