Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Friday analysis - could this be Williams' weekend? 24 Apr 2009

Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF109.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB5.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009

It was Williams who topped a closely-stacked field at the end of the opening two practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir. The tasks for the day, as usual, were chassis set-up work and tyre evaluation, the latter again being critical with the need to run both Bridgestone’s medium and super soft tyre compounds. We take a team-by-team look at progress…

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 34.227s, P4/1m 33.339s, P1
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 34.880s, P11/1m 33.899s, P10

Rosberg was feeling positive, after getting through a lot of set-up work. Williams had some new parts for the race, which seemed to work well. Nakajima struggled to keep his team mate in sight.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 35.348s, P18/1m 33.530s, P2
Nelson Piquet, 1m 34.974s, P13/1m 34.411s, P15

Alonso had a new version of Renault’s Chinese diffusers on his R29, and Piquet used his discarded component from Shanghai. Both used KERS. Work focused in the morning on brake cooling work, and late in the afternoon the Spaniard posted an encouraging second fastest time. Piquet had a spin then and had to stop for a new front wing after the right-hand section began dragging on the track.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 35.036s, P15/1m 33.616s, P3
Timo Glock, 1m 35.333s, P17/1m 33.764s, P8

Trulli had an uneventful day but said there was work to do on his TF109’s driveability. Glock struggled for decent balance. Both drivers had off-course moments.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 34.938s, P12/1m 1m 33.661s, P4
Mark Webber, 1m 34.827s, P9/1m 33.676s, P5

Vettel said he felt things were back to normal after the Chinese breakthrough. He struggled for balance in the morning, but otherwise had no problems all day. Webber likewise said he had a productive day, and that his RB5 ran faultlessly.

Brawn GP
Jenson Button, 1m 34.434s, P5/1m 33.694s, P6
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 34.531s, P7/1m 33.885s, P9

Button was happy with his day’s work, which he said was ‘pretty standard’. Barrichello worked through several set-ups to compensate for the team’s lack of test time here in the winter.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 35.021s, P14/1m 33.763s, P7
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 35.042s, P16/1m 34.025s, P12

Sutil said his second session was a lot better than the first, when the track was still dirty. The softer tyre compound made his VJM02 feel more stable and he liked its balance. Fisichella said he felt more comfortable in the car and that a package of updates had helped.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 33.647s, P1/1m 33.994s, P11
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 34.502s, P6/1m 34.764s, P19

Hamilton liked a newer version of the front wing and said the team made progress as he set the fastest time in the morning. He was also quite happy with his car’s performance, corrected for fuel load, when he was 11th in the afternoon. Kovalainen still liked the older version of the front wing. Stoppage of his KERS system towards the end of the afternoon accounted for his lowly 19th in that session.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 35.369s, P20/1m 34.127s, P13
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 35.353s, P19/1m 34.366s, P14

Buemi lost time in the morning with an unidentified technical problem, and said that subsequently his STR4 lacked traction and suffered occasional front brake locking. Bourdais had a normal Friday.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 34.589s, P8/1m 34.564s, P16
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 34.827s, P10/1m 34.670s, P18

Massa said this was not a good day for Ferrari after struggling with the handling of his KERS-equipped F60. In particular he found the medium Bridgestone very difficult to get the best from. He felt that his car was definitely quicker with KERS back on it, having run without in China. Raikkonen echoed his sentiments on handling, but did not run KERS.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 33.398s, P3/1m 34.605s, P17
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 33.907s, P2/1m 34.790s, P20

Both F1.09s were fitted with KERS, and went well in the morning session. Heidfeld said there was a big difference in performance between the two tyre compounds, which made setting up the car tricky, and also complained of a brake stability problem. Kubica felt that running KERS was a challenge in the high ambient temperatures.