Friday analysis - can BMW pull a fast one on Ferrari? 12 Sep 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
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.
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.
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 mornings 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.
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 FW30s balance in low-downforce trim.
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.
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 Mallyas 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.
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 afternoons changing conditions as the rear end of the car moved around a lot.
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.
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.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 36.965s, P6/1m 25.481s, P18
Nelson Piquet, 1m 38.057s, P11/1m 26.195s, P20
This was not Renaults 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.