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Friday analysis - can BMW pull a fast one on Ferrari? 12 Sep 2008

(L to R): Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1 with team mate Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 12 September 2008 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.08.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 12 September 2008 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4/23 .
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 12 September 2008 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 12 September 2008 David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing RB4.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 12 September 2008

After the monsoon morning at Monza it came as a relief to everyone that conditions improved significantly on Friday afternoon, and that lap times began to approach those from 2007. However, the interruption to the morning session left teams on their back foot as far as tyre evaluation and set-ups were concerned, and nobody completed their intended programmes for the day. We take a team-by-team look at the early progress - or lack of - in Italy…

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 37.392s, P9/1m 23.861s, P1
Felipe Massa, 1m 40.233s, P14/1m 24.247s, P6

Raikkonen, celebrating a new two-year deal with Ferrari, said he was very happy with the way his afternoon went as, step by step, his car responded to changes and worked the way he likes it to. Massa, meanwhile, said he was not 100 percent content as he struggled for grip on his first timed lap. Others did not, so the Brazilian was left puzzled and frustrated. Both drivers, however, believe they can be very competitive this weekend.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, No time/1m 23.931s, P2
Nick Heidfeld, No time/1m 23.947s, P3

Kubica was fairly non-committal about his day, despite being second fastest in the afternoon, but Heidfeld seemed quite happy, though he said that the balance of his F1.08 could be improved further.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, No time/1m 23.983s, P4
Heikki Kovalainen, No time/1m 24.365s, P7

Hamilton and Kovalainen did the minimum amount of running in the morning’s wet conditions. The Englishman said he deliberately delayed going out in the afternoon, but eventually gained some useful mileage. The Finn said he was happy with the progress he made on a similar programme.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 36.900s, P5/1m 24.110s, P5
Kazuki Nakajima, No time/1m 25.330s, P16

Nakajima fell off the road before achieving a time in the morning, and struggled in the afternoon, but Rosberg ran comfortably in the top 10 in both sessions and praised his FW30’s balance in low-downforce trim.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, No time/1m 24.521s, P8
David Coulthard, 1m 38.303s, P12/1m 25.100s, P11

Webber said he got something out of the day in terms of set-up and some tyre evaluation data, but Coulthard did not think his situation had been ideal.

Force India
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 33.695s, P3/1m 25.204s, P13
Adrian Sutil, 1m 33.842s, P1/1m 24.669s, P9

This was a good day for Vijay Mallya’s team, with first and third (Sutil and Fisichella) fastest times in the morning rain and ninth and 13th (ditto) in the afternoon. Both had off-course adventures, and the Italian reported bad graining on his medium tyre runs in the afternoon.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 37.142s, P7/1m 25.192s, P12
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 37.754s, P10/1m 24.773s, P10

Vettel said it was a usual Friday, getting a feel for the tyres and the circuit. Bourdais said they looked quite competitive in the morning but that he felt less comfortable in his STR3 in the afternoon’s changing conditions as the rear end of the car moved around a lot.

Honda
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 33.428s, P2/1m 25.296s, P14
Jenson Button, 1m 39.062s, P13/1m 25.309s, P15

Barrichello was fast in the rain this morning, and said the balance was much better in the afternoon than it had been after the recent test here, following dramatic set-up changes. Button said the same changes had given him a lot more confidence in the RA108 and were thus a step in the right direction.

Toyota
Timo Glock, 1m 36.800s, P4/1m 25.397s, P17
Jarno Trulli, 1m 37.214s, P8/1m 25.753s, P19

Both drivers reported that the weather conditions made their days difficult. Both planned a big programme of work after the problems in Spa, and instead found themselves frustrated and down the bottom of the timesheets.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 36.965s, P6/1m 25.481s, P18
Nelson Piquet, 1m 38.057s, P11/1m 26.195s, P20

This was not Renault’s greatest day, even though Alonso was sixth fastest in the morning. Piquet had off-track excursions in both sessions, and with the Spaniard only 18th in the afternoon the atmosphere was glum.