Friday analysis - the calm before the storm? 08 Oct 2010
A track that was still relatively green, and a drop in its temperature in the second session, gave teams plenty to think about on the first day of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. Red Bull team mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber came out on top, but Renaults Robert Kubica displayed some impressive speed behind the RB6s. However, with the weather forecast suggesting that heavy rain might enliven proceedings on Saturday, theres still everything to play for. We take a team-by-team look at the early progress at Suzuka
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 32.585s, P1/1m 31.465s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 32.633s, P2/1m 31.860s, P2
Red Bull had the perfect start to a race weekend, a fast and trouble-free day. Vettel said he had good pace and that he had a good feeling in the RB6, and Webber agreed that he couldnt have asked for more as both amassed a lot of mileage. Both commented favourably on the balance of their cars.
Robert Kubica, 1m 33.129s, P3/1m 32.200s, P3
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 34.373s, P15/1m 32.703s, P7
Kubica was happy to be third in both sessions but was cautious about being able to stay there on Saturday, while Petrov impressed again in the afternoon once hed found a good balance.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 34.169s, P13/1m 32.362s, P4
Felipe Massa, 1m 33.929s, P11/1m 32.519s, P5
Alonso reminded everyone that Red Bull were beatable in Singapore, and was cautious about drawing too many conclusions from the times. He admitted that he didnt put a perfect lap together. Massa said he thought that Red Bull were even stronger than hed expected.
Jenson Button, 1m 34.042s, P12/1m 32.533s, P6
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 33.643s, P5/1m 33.481s, P13
McLaren had a horrible start to the day when Hamilton crashed shortly after setting the fastest time in the first session. He went off at the second Degner Curve and took off the left front wheel. He also damaged some new aero components. Later Button almost did the same but just got away with it, damaging the undertray as it was pounded over the kerb in Degner One. He was able to run all through the afternoon session, but Hamilton only did the last six and a half minutes.
Michael Schumacher, 1m 33.739s, P8/1m 32.831s, P8
Nico Rosberg, 1m 33.831s, P10/1m 32.880s, P11
Schumacher said he was pretty happy with the way his day went and that his MGP W01 went better than hes expected. Rosberg lost time with a gearbox problem in the morning, and then struggled with excessive understeer in the afternoon.
Adrian Sutil, 1m 33.639s, P4/1m 32.842s, P9
Vitantonio Liuzzi, 1m 34.379s, P16/1m 34.310s, P18
Sutil said his day went well apart from a minor technical problem that delayed his morning running, and was optimistic for the rest of the weekend. Liuzzi had yet another disappointing day, this time because of an engine-mapping problem and poor balance.
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 33.707s, P9/1m 32.851s, P10
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 33.677s, P6/1m 33.564s, P14
Hulkenbergs progress was hampered by some electrical problems, and Barrichellos engine developed a pneumatic leak towards the end of the afternoon session. Both drivers said they were happy with their cars balance, however.
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 34.271s, P14/1m 33.471s, P12
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 33.791s, P9/1m 33.697s, P15
Both drivers tried new front wings in the morning and Kobayashi complained of understeer all day which quickly destroyed both the hard and soft Bridgestone tyres very quickly. Heidfeld said his C29 was okay on the primes, but went no faster on the options.
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 34.991s, P17/1m 34.005s, P16
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 35.684s, P18/1m 34.055s, P17
Both drivers agreed that the STR05 had lost performance since Singapore. Alguersuari tried some new parts in the morning but spent more time than most off the road, while Buemi had a big spin in the afternoon. Neither reported any other problems, however.
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 36.949s, P19/1m 36.095s, P19
Jarno Trulli, 1m 37.388s, P21/1m 36.333s, P20
Lotus had a sound day with Kovalainen and Trulli setting the new teams pace, but both complained of a general lack of grip.
Lucas di Grassi (afternoon only), 1m 36.630s, P21
Timo Glock, 1m 37.329s, P20/1m 36.834s, P22
Jerome dAmbrosio (morning only), 1m 37.778s, P22
Di Grassi and Glock said they were reasonably happy, but their VR-01s lost pace on the softer tyre, so more set-up work is needed for Saturday. DAmbrosio once again did a strong job in his mornings runs as he learned the track and ended up respectably close to Glock.
Bruno Senna, 1m 38.814s, P23/1m 37.352s, P23
Sakon Yamamoto, 1m 39.443s, P24/1m 37.831s, P24
The F110s were once again reliable, which meant Senna and Yamamoto could focus on getting the best from their set-ups. Neither had any complaints.
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