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Friday analysis - changing conditions reward flexibility 16 Oct 2009

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 16 October 2009 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1 VJM02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 16 October 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 16 October 2009 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Toyota TF109.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 16 October 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F60.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 16 October 2009

A little bit of inter-session dampness held things up a little today, but otherwise it was business as usual as teams focused on dialling in their cars, resolving set-up issues and making the evaluation between Bridgestone’s medium and super soft tyres. A general lack of grip did not make things easy, especially for the drivers having their first experience of the remarkable Interlagos track…

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 13.787s, P16/1m 12.314s, P1
Romain Grosjean, 1m 14.173s, P20/1m 12.806s, P11

Alonso said that the changing conditions and lack of grip made for a less than straightforward day, and that the key to the weekend will be to remain flexible enough to keep abreast of the weather. Grosjean junked a polystyrene advertising hoarding in the morning, but did a good job in the afternoon as he got used to another new track.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 12.503s, P13/1m 12.357s, P2
Jaime Alguersuari1m 14.040s, P19/1m 13.041s, P19

First time out at Interlagos, Buemi was in strong form all day, his suspension-damaging accident behind Liuzzi in the morning notwithstanding. He felt he achieved a sound foundation for Saturday. Alguersuari said he enjoyed his first experience of Interlagos, but that there is room for improvement with the set-up.

Brawn
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 12.874s, P2/1m 12.459s, P3
Jenson Button, 1m 13.141s, P7/1m 12.523s, P5

Barrichello said his BGP001 felt better on the softer Bridgestone and that he was happy with his best lap in the afternoon. Button said he was able to get more laps in than expected, with fewer showers than forecast, and conversely felt that his car was better on the prime tyre as he struggled slightly with the balance on the option.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 12.463s, P1/1m 12.514s, P4
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 12.932s, P3/1m 12.611s, P7

Webber said he didn’t think he could have got much more out of his RB5 today, while Vettel was similarly happy, especially as he did not encounter any engine problems.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 13.1326s, P11/1m 12.605s, P6
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 14.029s, P18/1m 12.869s, P13

Trulli was quite happy with his day, and that the TF109 was dialled in early in the weekend. Kobayashi did an excellent job in changeable conditions which might easily have caught out a rookie.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 13.147s, P8/1m 12.633s, P8
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 13.067s, P6/1m 12.929s, P14

Rosberg said Williams were pretty sure which direction to pursue after their data gathering, but that the situation wasn’t yet totally clear. Among the many variables, they are still undecided on the right level of downforce. Nakajima said he didn’t manage to get a decent lap on the soft tyre because of the intermittent rain.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 13.232s, P9/1m 12.720s, P9
Tonio Liuzzi 1m 13.829s, P17/1m 12.950s, P16

Sutil said he was pleased with his VJM02’s balance, and the progress he was able to make through the day. Liuzzi said his car wasn’t so well balanced, and that he ran into traffic when he was trying for his fast laps late in the afternoon session.

McLaren
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 12.989s, P4/1m 12.992s, P17
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 13.048s, P5/1m 12.749s, P10

Kovalainen said he had a productive day with good long-run pace and little tyre degradation. Hamilton said that while the McLaren was not as quick as the Red Bull, it was quick by the team’s recent Interlagos standards and that the long-run pace was consistent. He also reckoned KERS will be worth four tenths a lap here in qualifying.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 13.563s, P14/1m 12.862s, P12
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 13.464s, P12/1m 12.948s, P15

Kubica experimented with downforce levels all through the day and focused on long runs. Heidfeld changed his car a lot after the first session, when he said it really wasn’t very good. It was better in the afternoon, but he said there was still room for improvement in the balance.

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 13.321s, P10/1m 13.026s, P18
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 13.619s, P15/1m 13.275s, P20

Ferrari had a tough day, though Raikkonen thought it wasn’t that different to others this season! He had some graining problems, which particularly manifested itself in the second sector. Fisichella also struggled there, where downforce really counts, but stopped in the exit to the pit lane partway through the second session when his car went into stall mode and he could not reset it.