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Friday analysis - all systems normal (for now) 05 Nov 2010

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 5 November 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 5 November 2010 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 5 November 2010 Robert Kubica (POL) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 5 November 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 5 November 2010

The first day of practice in Brazil confirmed expected form as everyone got used to track conditions and set up their cars around Bridgestone’s medium and super-soft tyres, though with rain expected, Saturday could be a different story. We take a team-by-team look at progress so far…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 12.328s, P1/1m 11.968s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 12.810s, P2/1m 12.072s, P2

Vettel wasn’t getting too carried away with his day’s performance and said the balance needed work, but he was happy enough. Webber was also pleased to complete his programme without anything untoward happening and felt the RB6 worked well in the conditions.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 14.246s, P13/1m 12.328s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 14.267s, P14/1m 12.677s, P5

Alonso lost an engine in the morning but got going well in the afternoon and will clearly be a strong threat to the Red Bulls tomorrow and in the race. He said his engine would have been changed between sessions in any case. Massa was also fast, but in session two hit the Turn Two kerb pretty hard. That was enough to activate one of the Ferrari’s electronic systems which stopped the clutch working, so he lost the rest of the session. It was a problem that the team had never previously encountered.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 12.845s, P3/1m 12.656s, P4
Jenson Button, 1m 13.267s, P4/1m 13.206s, P7

Hamilton was happy with the way his McLaren went and had a problem-free day, though he felt that the MP4-25 still lacks ultimate aero grunt. Button played around all day with the balance as he tried new components, and reported good behaviour in the high-speed stuff but poor grip in the lower-speed corners.

Renault
Robert Kubica, 1m 13.370s, P5/1m 12.882s, P6
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 14.370, P15/1m 13.818s, P15

Kubica had a reasonable day and completed his programme, but said he wasn’t happy with the Renault R30’s balance as he struggled with inconsistent handling and lack of grip. Petrov blotted his copybook for the third race in a row by crashing heavily in the morning, and was subdued in the afternoon.

Mercedes GP
Nico Rosberg, 1m 13.516s, P6/1m 13.333s, P9
Michael Schumacher, 1m 13.643s, P8/1m 13.346s, P10

The two Mercedes drivers were more evenly matched that at any other time this year, but while Rosberg said he was happy with the day’s progress, Schumacher said he was disappointed by the gap to the front runners.

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 14.000s, P10/1m 13.222,s P8
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 14.004s, P11/1m 13.610s, P12

BMW Sauber looked quite strong again, and Heidfeld said that was an unexpected surprise as he wasn’t yet on the edge. Kobayashi had some wayward moments in both sessions and said he wasn’t happy with his C29’s balance.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 13.546s, P7/1m 13.520s, P11
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 14.155s, P12/1m 13.725s, P13

No problems for Williams, as Barrichello completed his programme and Hulkenberg quickly learned the track.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 13.918s, P9/1m 13.741s, P14
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 14.487s, P16/1m 14.045s, P16

Sutil and Liuzzi again looked pretty evenly matched until the German found a few tenths at the end of the second session. He reported his VJM03 to be well balanced and consistent. Liuzzi had yet another problem with his car’s F-duct in the morning, but said it was okay in the afternoon, when the balance wasn’t good enough.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 14.734s, P18/1m 14.304s, P17
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 14.618s, P17/1m 14.578s, P18

Buemi had a problem with a long brake pedal early in the afternoon but once that was sorted he was quite happy. Alguersuari had a difficult day with both understeer and oversteer plaguing his STR05. He also had a minor brush with Schumacher in Turn One.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, 1m 15.603s, P19/1m 14.984s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 16.057s, P21/1m 15.101s, P20

Lotus enjoyed the most trouble-free day of their year and both drivers were very happy with the way the T127s handled and their speed as they easily led the newcomers’ race.

Virgin
Lucas di Grassi (afternoon only), 1m 15.433s, P21
Timo Glock, 1m 15.860s, P20/1m 16.150s, P24
Jerome d’Ambrosio (morning only), 1m 16.707s, P22

D’Ambrosio was happy with the aero evaluation programme he conducted during his morning run, while di Grassi was really excited to drive an F1 car at Interlagos for the first time and was quicker than Glock, who struggled on the option tyre.

HRT
Bruno Senna, 1m 17.360s, P24/1m 16.070s, P22
Christian Klien 1m 16.839s, P23/1m 16.082s, P23

The two HRT drivers proved very evenly matched. Senna was really happy racing at home in F1 for the first time and said he made good progress with set-up in the afternoon. Klien quickly reacclimatised to the F110, but lost some running time in both sessions after second gear broke towards the end of the first.

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