Friday analysis - whos better, and whose best is yet to come? 08 May 2009
Rather than merely go through the usual chassis set-up work and tyre evaluation, all of the teams had the added incentive to do some quick laps in Fridays Spanish practice sessions to assess the benefits (or otherwise) of their various upgraded aerodynamic packages. Most struggled for grip on the hard Bridgestone prime tyre, but were pleasantly surprised by the durability on the soft option, which naturally provided greater roadholding...
Nico Rosberg, 1m 22.667s, P6/1m 21.588s P1
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 22.659s, P5/1m 21.740s, P2
Rosberg said he liked Williams latest aero configuration, which seemed to work well. Nakajima concurred but struggled, like many, to find grip on Bridgestones harder tyre.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 23.157s, P17/1m 21.781s, P3
Nelson Piquet, 1m 22.753s, P7/1, 22.349s, P8
Alonso admitted that he struggled for grip in the morning but then found something that took the team in a much better direction in the afternoon. Piquet had two off-track moments in the second session, but backed his team mate well as they tried lots of new aerodynamic components.
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 22.859s, P10/1m 21.843s, P4
Jenson Button, 1m 21.799s, P1/1m 22.052s, P6
Button set the fastest time comfortably in the morning but said that his upgraded Brawn BGP001s grip and balance still werent quite right. Barrichello, however, gathered a lot of data in his running and the team think they know what they need to do to improve the car for tomorrow.
Mark Webber, 1m 22.934s, P12/1m 22.027s, P5
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 22.959s, P13/1m 22.082s, P7
Webber was happier with his afternoon runs than the mornings and said he got a better feel for the RB5. He alluded to a little problem in the second session that the team knew about, but did not expand upon it. Vettel said he had a normal Friday apart from a radio problem that sounded like Spanish taxi drivers talking to him.
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 23.185s, P18/1m 22.571s, P9
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 23.088s, P15/1m 22.615s, P11
Buemi lost time in the afternoon with a rear brake problem, but said the latest version of the STR4 felt better while it was running. Bourdais complained of problems with his car but chose not to elucidate.
Felipe Massa, 1m 22.855s, P9/1m 22.878s, P15
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 22.873s, P11/1m 22.599s, P10
Raikkonen said Ferrari have definitely made a step forward with their F60, which had greater downforce and stability. Massa agreed, but both want to wait for qualifying before they get too excited.
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 23.089s, P16/1m 22.670s, P12
Adrian Sutil, 1m 23.536s, P20/No time
Fisichella liked his Force Indias new adjustable front wing, but still struggled with understeer in slow corners. Sutil lost all of the afternoon running because of a problem with his VJM02s fuel cell.
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 23.077s, P14/1m 22.809s, P13
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 23.522s, P19/1m 22.876s, P14
Hamilton said that he had wrung everything out of his MP4-24 that it had to give today, and that he is expecting a tough race. Kovalainen echoed his sentiments. Having upgraded their car in all of the races to date, McLaren had less to offer in the way of improvement here.
Robert Kubica, 1m 22.221s, P3/1m 22.948s, P16
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 22.658s, P4/1m 23.173s, P17
Both BMW drivers were late improvers in the morning, jumping up to third and fourth places right at the end of the session. The main task of the day was to evaluate the new aero package, which did not include a two-tier diffuser. Neither ran KERS. Heidfeld lost time with a brake problem in the morning.
Jarno Trulli, 1m 22.154s, P2/1m 23.623s, P19
Timo Glock, 1m 22.828s, P8/1m 23.360s, P18
New engine covers differentiated the TF109s this weekend, as part of their aerodynamic revisions. Trulli was very quick in the morning and focused on race work in the afternoon, as did Glock who was eighth in the first session. Trulli wasnt totally happy with his cars balance, and Glock struggled even more than the Italian.