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Friday analysis - drivers forced to kerb their enthusiasm 11 Sep 2009

Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 11 September 2009 Bridgestone engineers.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 11 September 2009 Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 11 September 2009 Timo Glock (GER) Toyota TF109.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 11 September 2009 Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR4.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 11 September 2009

It came as a surprise to all of the teams to learn of the new, high kerbs in the first two Monza chicanes, so much focus on Friday went on making cars ride them as best they could, while also honing downforce levels and making the usual tyre comparisons. The softer tyre was naturally the faster, but drivers reported it was also very consistent. We take a team-by-team look at day one’s progress…

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 24.471s, P3/1m 23.924s, P1
Tonio Liuzzi 1m 25.689s, P16/1m 24.921s, P12

Sutil said his car worked perfectly and that he was very happy with it, as he was third in the morning and fastest in the afternoon. Liuzzi said running in practice was much better than straight-line testing and focused on relatively long runs as he played himself back in getting used to the tyres and brakes. He said there was at least another half second to come, as he had traffic on his final, best lap, which he aborted after improving in both the first and second sectors in the afternoon.

Renault
Romain Grosjean, 1m 25.612s, P15/1m 24.163s, P2
Fernando Alonso, 1m 24.477s, P4/1m 24.297s, P3

Both Grosjean and Alonso said they had normal Fridays and were quite content with the way things went for them.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 23.936s, P1/1m 24.902s, P11
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 24.332s, P2/1m 24.482s, P4

Both drivers were very happy, especially with their KERS which they believe will be worth up to four-tenths of a second in qualifying. Kovalainen said he made good progress all day and that things had gone better than expected, while Hamilton echoed his sentiments but ran a heavy fuel load all afternoon.

BMW Sauber
Robert Kubica, 1m 24.813s, P11/1m 24.622s, P5
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 24.683s, P5/1m 24.693s, P7

Kubica lost a lot of time with a brake problem in the morning but got going nicely in the afternoon despite one very gravelly moment exiting Parabolica. Heidfeld was happy and said his best lap came early in the afternoon, and in traffic.

Toyota
Timo Glock, 1m 26.325s, P20/1m 24.634s, P6
Jarno Trulli, 1m 26.020, P19/1m 24.967s, P13

Well down the order in the morning, the Toyota gained pace in the afternoon. Glock had a spin in the first chicane in the first session, then a problem-free second. He and Trulli both praised improvements made to the cars during the lunch break. The Italian was still working on his TF109’s balance.

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 24.761s, P10/1m 24.796s, P8
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 24.732s, P8/1m 25.543s, P20

Raikkonen said he was pleased with the way things went overall, but that there is room for improvement in the F60’s handling. Fisichella said his first day as a Ferrari driver was tough and that his major difficulties were in adapting to the different control positions and gaining confidence deploying KERS. He flat-spotted the front left tyre at Ascari in the morning and had to run the soft tyres sooner than planned, hence his speed.

Williams
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 25.150s, P14/1m 24.799s, P9
Nico Rosberg, 1m 24.927s, P13/1m 25.125s, P17

Williams struggled initially to find the right aero balance, but Rosberg reported a good solution by the afternoon. However, he suggested that repeating Spa’s top 10 qualifying performance would require ‘one helluva lap!’ Nakajima was happy with his afternoon runs.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 24.703s, P6/1m 24.884s, P10
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 25.742s, P17/1m 25.003s, P15

Buemi had a good, trouble-free day and was happy. He’ll have a new engine on Saturday, as part of a routine change. Alguersuari found it tough driving for the first time with very low downforce.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 24.759s, P9/1m 24.979s, P14
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 25.951s, P18/1m 25.386s, P18

Webber had a mixed day, as an electrical problem in the second session lost him a chunk of track time. Vettel is down to his last new engine and thus conserved it in the morning, and said the times were a surprise as nothing went wrong.

Brawn
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 24.826s, P12/1m 15.140s, P16
Jenson Button, 1m 24.706s, P7/1m 25.424s, P19

Barrichello focused on long-run set-up work and said he was happy as the performance reached expected levels. Button said he had a couple of undisclosed ‘issues’ which cost him valuable time, but was reasonably happy.