Friday analysis - close weather and even closer times 24 Jul 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 weekends Hungarian Grand Prix. But with the times so tight, Saturdays qualifying is set to be a scorcher. We take a team-by-team look at progress
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.
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.
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 wasnt 100 percent happy with his cars balance.
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 teams 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.
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.
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 didnt like the balance of his car, either on single lap runs or in distance simulations. Kubica was happier with his in the morning.
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 wasnt 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.
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.
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.
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 cars new behaviour. New boy Alguersuari kept himself to himself, didnt get in anyones way and did a fine job in his first experience of lapping a Formula One car as opposed to doing straight-line aero tests.