Friday analysis - anyones a winner? 12 Mar 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 Bridgestones 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
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.
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 MP4-25s balance still required work.
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 mornings green track, and in the afternoon Vettels RB6 required a change of brakes. At that time Webber was also in trouble with a gearbox problem.
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.
Felipe Massa, 1m 57.055s, P4/1m 56.555s, P7
Fernando Alonso, 1m 56.766s, P2/1m 57.140s, P9
Alonsos 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 cars balance and said he was quite happy with what he had achieved by the end of the day.
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.
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 C29s balance still needed a lot of work, while Kobayashi lost time in the morning with a puncture and also struggled later with his cars balance.
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 mornings 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.
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 hed done plenty of time in the teams simulator as he did no laps in the afternoon due to an undisclosed technical problem.
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.
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 Glocks car.
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 Sennas in the garage and ran it through the gears on Thursday night. Unfortunately, Chandhoks 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.