Friday analysis - the answers are blowing in the wind 19 Jun 2009
Fridays opening practice sessions for the British Grand Prix saw Red Bull lead the way by a comfortable margin as teams conducted their usual chassis set-up work and evaluated Bridgestones hard and soft rubber, while coping with wind which caused several engineers some head-scratching moments. We take a team-by-team look at progress
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 19.400s, P1/1m 19.456s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 19.682s, P2/1m 19.597s, P2
Insiders say the RB5s have a very serious aerodynamic upgrade here, and certainly both drivers seemed happy with the machines. Vettel said he had smooth runs and that the new parts worked well. Webber was happy too, but stopped at Stowe in the afternoon after he hit a kerb in Chapel which in turn caused the electronics to cut out.
Jenson Button, 1m 20.227s, P3/1m 20.767s, P14
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 20.242s, P4/1m 20.244s, P6
Button tried some different aero evaluations and struggled initially to find grip in either the high- or low-speed corners as the wind affected the BGP001s behaviour. He reported an improvement in the afternoon. Barrichello said he had a reasonable day and made some good progress on the balance in the afternoon.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 20.458s, P5/1m 20.237s, P5
Nelson Piquet, 1m 21.525s, P18/1m 20.608s, P10
Alonso was fifth in both sessions, and though he said he was happy he also called upon Renault to improve the R29 further. Piquet said he got as lot done in a busy day, which included trying a revised front wing.
Felipe Massa, 1m 20.471s, P6/1m 21.005s, P17
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 21.179s, P14/1m 21.132s, P18
Massa said he was unhappy with both sessions in his lighter Ferrari with its revised aerodynamics. From hoping to win he has revised has aspirations for Saturday to qualifying in the top 10. Raikkonen said his balance was okay but that the F60 just didnt seem quick enough.
Jarno Trulli, 1m 20.585s, P7/1m 20.458s, P8
Timo Glock, 1m 21.386s, P16/1m 20.762s, P13
Trulli reported trouble-free sessions and that his TF109 felt pretty good despite the wind. Glock reported no problems on a normal Friday.
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 20.650s, P8/1m 20.417s, P7
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 21.029s, P12/1m 20.733s, P12
Hamilton ran his car without KERS, which is deemed less beneficial here, and spent time getting the balance right without it. The team also back-to-backed revised front hubs and sidepod strakes. In the afternoon he said his MP4-24 seemed consistent but lacked speed in the fast sections. Kovalainen said he felt his KERS helped his lap times, and that it was a fruitful day for him.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 20.815s, P9/1m 20.468s, P9
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 21.489s, P17/1m 20.209s, P4
Rosberg said Williams learned a lot aerodynamically during the course of the day, but that the wind changes created problems. Nakajima complained about traffic and tried several set-ups, going quickly in the afternoon.
Adrian Sutil, 1m 20.913s, P11/1m 20.141s, P3
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 20.838s, P10/1m 21.413s, P19
Sutil said he was happy with his VJM02 all day on the teams home track, and surprised to be so fast in the afternoon. He remains confident about getting into Q2 tomorrow. Fisichella suffered oversteer in the afternoon, and changes and new tyres sent him into understeer.
Robert Kubica, 1m 21.801s, P20/1m 20.622s, P11
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 21.103s, P13/1m 20.932s, P15
Kubica had a difficult day with electronic problems in the morning which prevented him doing a single proper lap. His engine then lost power in the afternoon. Heidfeld said his was a normal day on a busy and dirtier than usual track.
Sebastien Bourdais, 1m 21.384s, P15/1m 20.945s, P16
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 21.590s, P19/1m 21.668s, P20
Bourdais and Buemi tried different set-ups. The Frenchman was fairly happy with his, but the Swiss was not satisfied and said hell end up going in a similar direction to Bourdais on Saturday.