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Friday analysis - close weather and even closer times 24 Jul 2009

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Williams detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2009 and Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009

After enduring the cool conditions at Silverstone and the Nurburgring, the teams found themselves enjoying warm ambient and track temperatures once again at the Hungaroring on Friday. Leaders McLaren and the other runners carried out their usual set-up work and tyre evaluations in Budapest, ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. But with the times so tight, Saturday’s qualifying is set to be a scorcher. We take a team-by-team look at progress…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 22.554s P3/1m 22.079s P1
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 22.278s P1/1m 22.126s P2

Nobody here really expects to challenge for victory on Sunday, but the performance of the aerodynamically improved MP4-24 brought big smiles to McLaren faces as Kovalainen headed the morning practice session and Hamilton the afternoon's. The car is better, for sure, but Hamilton said it still does not get out of corners as well as the Red Bulls and Brawns.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 22.337s P2/1m 22.154s P3
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 22.619s P5/1m 22.426s P5

Both drivers were models of consistency, with Rosberg second and third fastest in the two sessions and Nakajima fifth in each. The latter was quite happy, but the former said he still wanted to do some more work before he would be completely satisfied with his FW31.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 22.615s P4/1m 22.369s P4
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 23.283s P15/1m 22.550s P6

Webber was quite happy with his RB5, apart from a hydraulic problem at the end of the day. Vettel wasn’t 100 percent happy with his car’s balance.

Brawn
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 23.209s P13/1m 22.641s P7
Jenson Button, 1m 23.130s P10/1m 22.806s P13

Button said this was a better Friday for Brawn than the last two and seemed content with the team’s aerodynamic improvements. Barrichello spent most of his time evaluating the prime tyre. No doubt they have kept some of their powder dry here for Saturday.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 22.703s P6/1m 22.663s P8
Timo Glock, 1m 23.234s P14/1m 22.731s P10

Trulli was quick when he could get going, but he lost valuable time in the afternoon when his TF109 was delayed by an electrical glitch. Glock reported that his car felt better in the afternoon as the grip level rose when the track rubbered in.

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 23.164s P12/1m 22.690s P9
Robert Kubica, 1m 23.146s P11/1m 22.870s P14

Modifications helped to make the F1.09s look more respectable in Hungary and Heidfeld said they had made progress. But he didn’t like the balance of his car, either on single lap runs or in distance simulations. Kubica was happier with his in the morning.

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 22.796s P7/1m 22.763s P11
Felipe Massa, 1m 22.855s P8/1m 23.156s P18

Raikkonen reported that his F60 wasn’t bad, and that managing the Bridgestone super soft tyre was easier here than it has been thus far this season. Massa was unhappy, struggling for grip on the prime tyres and then damaging the rear suspension after a bumpy off in the afternoon.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 23.001 P9/1m 22.793s P12
Nelson Piquet, 1m 23.678s P17/1m 22.927s P15

Alonso said he had a normal day, but that it was tough keeping abreast of changing track conditions. Piquet spent time getting used to the effect of the new parts that Alonso already used in Germany.

Force €ndia
Adrian Sutil, 1m 23.845s P18/1m 22.978s P16
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 23.484s P16/1m 23.029s P17

Sutil said he had a tough day with low grip that was a mixture of oversteer and understeer depending on the characteristic of the corner. Fisichella said his programme went reasonably well, apart from flat-spotting a tyre in traffic.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 23.998s P19/1m 23.176s P19
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 24.228 P20/1m 23.942s P20

Buemi found that the aero updates to his STR4 did not perform a magic trick and spent his day honing the balance as he learned more about the car’s new behaviour. New boy Alguersuari kept himself to himself, didn’t get in anyone’s way and did a fine job in his first experience of lapping a Formula One car as opposed to doing straight-line aero tests.