Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Friday analysis - anyone’s a winner? 12 Mar 2010

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010 Rob Smedley (GBR) Ferrari Race Engineer with Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010 Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010 Bruno Senna (BRA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010

An initially sandy track and surface temperatures that reached 43 degrees Celsius created an interesting backdrop for the first practice sessions on Friday in Bahrain. Teams chased not just speed but high fuel-load running to assess Bridgestone’s prime and option tyres and the degree of degradation that can be expected in the first Grand Prix to be run since Adelaide 1993 without refuelling stops…

Mercedes GP
Nico Rosberg, 1m 57.199s, P8/1m 55.409s, P1
Michael Schumacher, 1m 57.662s, P10/1m 55.903s, P3

Rosberg struggled in the morning to balance the MGP W01 but said he was a lot happier with it in the afternoon. Schumacher also had problems with understeer, which he has yet to dial out.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 56.163s, P6/1m 55.854s, P2
Jenson Button, 1m 57.068s, P5/1m 56.076s, P4

Hamilton noted that tyre degradation will be very high in the high temperatures, and said, like many, that slowing his car on a full tank was tricky. Overall he said he was happy, as did Button, who said that preserving the rear tyres will be difficult, and that his MP4-25’s balance still required work.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 57.943s, P13/1m 56.459s, P5
Mark Webber, 1m 57.255s, P9/2m 00.444s, P17

Red Bull had a troubled day. Neither driver got a lot of running on the morning’s green track, and in the afternoon Vettel’s RB6 required a change of brakes. At that time Webber was also in trouble with a gearbox problem.

Williams
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 57.894s, P12/1m 56.501s, P6
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 58.782s, P15/1m 57.452s, P13

Hulkenberg was satisfied that he managed to complete everything he set out to do, while Barrichello reported minor problems in the garage that delayed his running time.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 57.055s, P4/1m 56.555s, P7
Fernando Alonso, 1m 56.766s, P2/1m 57.140s, P9

Alonso’s main focus was getting his F10 to perform as consistently as possible on long runs on both tyre options, and complained that the track was bumpier than he had expected. Massa did a lot of work on honing his car’s balance and said he was quite happy with what he had achieved by the end of the day.

Renault
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 58.880s, P16/1m 56.750s, P8
Robert Kubica, 1m 57.041s, P3/1m 58.155s, P15

Petrov reported a few minor problems to begin with, which slightly delayed a busy programme, while Kubica spent most of his time working on tyre comparisons.

BMW Sauber
Pedro de la Rosa, 2m 00.250s, P17/1m 57.255s, P10
Kamui Kobayashi, 2m 01.388s, P18/1m 57.352s, P11

Sauber looked off the pace in the morning after the drivers focused on tyre comparison work, but in the afternoon they both improved. De la Rosa said his C29’s balance still needed a lot of work, while Kobayashi lost time in the morning with a puncture and also struggled later with his car’s balance.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 56.583s, P1/1m 57.361s, P12
Vitantonio Liuzzi, 1m 57.194s, P7/1m 57.833s, P14

Sutil and Liuzzi were both very happy with their morning’s work, on differing fuel loads. They then picked up a lot of data in the afternoon and are in better shape than most for Saturday.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 57.722s, P11/1m 59.799s, P16
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 58.399s, P14/No time, P23

Alguersuari was lucky not to damage his STR5 with a spin in Turn 13 in the afternoon. Buemi said he was glad he’d done plenty of time in the team’s simulator as he did no laps in the afternoon due to an undisclosed technical problem.

Lotus
Heikki Kovalainen, 2m 03.848s, P20/2m 00.873s, P18
Jarno Trulli, 2m 03.970s, P21/2m 00.990s, P19

The famed Lotus name made its official return to racing, with Kovalainen just acing Trulli in each session. They completed their planned morning programmes, and tested aero upgrades which enhanced performance in the afternoon. Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne reported that it had been a good day, especially as they were the fastest newcomers.

Virgin
Timo Glock, 2m 03.680s, P19/2m 02.037s, 20th
Lucas di Grassi, no time, P22/2m02.188, 21st

Virgin, like Lotus, were relieved finally to be in action at a race meeting, after all their months of effort. But both cars were affected by technical problems, as might be expected. These included engine set-up issues which created handling problems, the high ambient temperatures which caused off-car electronics to overheat, and a gearbox problem on Glock’s car.

HRT
Bruno Senna, No time, P23/2m 06.968s, P22
Karun Chandhok, No time, P24/No time, P24

HRT worked wonders to get their cars to Bahrain in the first place, and test fired Senna’s in the garage and ran it through the gears on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Chandhok’s developed a hydraulic problem at 4am Friday morning, which meant a strip down that kept it in the garage all day. Senna managed three laps in the morning, but 17 in the afternoon.