Friday analysis - adapting fast to life on the streets 25 Sep 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 Bridgestones soft and supersoft rubber. We take a team-by-team look at progress
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.
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 Grosjeans 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 hed made the best of things. Grosjean had undisclosed mechanical problems in the afternoon to compound his earlier loss of track time.
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.
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.
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.
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 âjust scratched the front wing a bit. Nakajima was happy with his long-run pace.
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.
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 cars 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.
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.
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.