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Friday analysis - adapting fast to life on the streets 25 Sep 2009

Damaged Red Bull Racing RB5 of Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing is pushed through the pits.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 25 September 2009 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Renault heads back to the pits after crashing out of the opening practice session.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 25 September 2009 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 25 September 2009 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 25 September 2009 Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix BGP 001 viewed from the Swiss?tel The Stamford, Singapore.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 25 September 2009

A dusty, slippery track and the various bumps of the Marina Bay Circuit kept the teams fully occupied under the floodlights on Friday evening, as they worked through their chassis set-up and tyre evaluation work with Bridgestone’s soft and supersoft rubber. We take a team-by-team look at progress…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 50.614s, P5/1m 48.650s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 50.416s, P3/1m 49.317s, P6

Red Bull were happy until Webber hit the wall after setting the afternoon pace. The Australian admitted that he was pushing a bit too hard in the slippery conditions. Vettel ran limited mileage because of his engine situation, but said he had a good day after setting the fastest time overall.

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 50.567s, P4/1m 48.924s, P2
Romain Grosjean, 1m 53.458s, P20/1m 50.972s, P19

Renault had their moment of embarrassment with Grosjean’s spin at Turn 17 in the first session, but ended the day with Alonso a competitive second fastest. The Spaniard said he had loads of oversteer, but that he’d made the best of things. Grosjean had undisclosed mechanical problems in the afternoon to compound his earlier loss of track time.

Brawn
Jenson Button, 1m 50.356s, P2/1m 49.311s, P5
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 50.179s, P1/1m 49.616s, P11

Brawn dominated the first session, with Barrichello just ahead of Button. Then the order was reversed in the second. Button said his car felt reasonable and that he was ready for a good weekend pending overnight work. Barrichello echoed his sentiments.

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 51.656s, P14/1m 49.098s, P4
Robert Kubica, 1m 50.815s, P8/1m 49.609s, P10

BMW Sauber were happy with a major rear-end update with a revised double diffuser and more compact gearbox and other aero changes which included new wings and deeply undercut sidepods. Heidfeld had a problem straight away with his gearbox, which was changed early in the first session, while Kubica needed a gearbox sensor change at the start of the second. Nevertheless, the revised F1.09s looked competitive and there is cautious optimism in the camp.

McLaren
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 50.699s, P6/1m 48.952s, P3
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 50.715s, P7/1m 49.358s, P9

Kovalainen was very happy after a problem-free day in which he said McLaren made very good progress with their latest aerodynamic configuration. Hamilton said he had an up and down day in which the revised MP4-24 was not entirely to his liking.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 51.427s, P11/1m 49.333s, P7
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 51.089s, P10/1m 50.023s, P15

Rosberg began to find set-up direction towards the end of the first session, and was going well in the second until he touched a wall and ‘just scratched the front wing a bit’. Nakajima was happy with his long-run pace.

Toyota
Timo Glock, 1m 52.083s, P15/1m 49.342s, P8
Jarno Trulli, 1m 52.135s, P16/1m 49.795s, P13

Glock said he was happy with the way things went in the second session, after a tricky time in the first when the track was really green. Trulli said he had a standard Friday, but that his car was not yet perfect.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 51.544s, P12/1m 49.710s, P12
Tonio Liuzzi 1m 52.905s, P18/1m 50.605s, P18

Sutil said it was hard to quantify his car’s true level of grip as the rear tyres were graining, especially on the soft compound. He also felt he could have gone quicker but for traffic. Liuzzi played himself in as he did at Monza, learning the circuit and getting used in particular to the bumps and the kerbs. He struggled with the balance initially, but felt he was on a good learning curve by the end.

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 50.865s, P9/1m 49.941s, P14
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 52.390s, P17/1m 50.253s, P16

Raikkonen said he had a few little problems without being specific, but there is an air of little expectation at Ferrari as they have elected not to update the F60 amid a welter of changes to their rivals’ cars. Fisichella said he had a difficult day in a nervous car for which he has yet to find the ideal set-up.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 51.643s, P13/1m 50.527s, P17
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 53.232s, P19/1m 51.423s, P20

Both drivers were having their first time here in F1 cars, Buemi likening the track to Monaco and Valencia. He felt more comfortable in the second session, while Alguersuari suffered tyre degradation and thus found himself going from understeer to oversteer and back as he acclimatised to the track.