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Friday analysis - Schumacher’s smile among widest 07 May 2010

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 7 May 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 6 May 2010 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 7 May 2010 The damaged Williams FW32 of Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams is pushed away.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 7 May 2010 Bruno Senna (BRA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 7 May 2010

The teams spent the day doing their usual evaluation of the prime and option Bridgestone tyres, and handling on low and high fuel loads, with the added edge that it might be the only dry running they get this weekend. All had major changes on their cars too. It’s a little early to say whose are most effective, but suffice to say some drivers were happier than others. We take a team-by-team look at progress in Spain…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 22.026s, P5/1m 19.965s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 22.011s, P4/1m 20.175s, P2

Vettel kept his thoughts to himself, other than to offer that he pays no attention to Friday lap times and that he thinks McLaren are quick here. Webber said he had a good day, and agreed about McLaren.

Mercedes GP
Michael Schumacher, 1m 21.716s, P3/1m 20.757s, P3
Nico Rosberg, 1m 22.070s, P6/1m 21.271s, P7

Schumacher reported that he felt much better in his new chassis now that the car is handling more consistently, and said the changes, which include a longer wheelbase and revised aerodynamics, represented a step forward. Rosberg, by contrast, had a less convincing day than he’s had so far this season, and felt they’d gone the wrong way on set-up.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 22.258s, P8/1m 20.819s, P4
Felipe Massa, 1m 22.975s, P12/1m 21.302s, P8

A busy day for the Scuderia, with a lot of modifications - among them the ‘blown rear wing’ version of McLaren’s ‘F-duct’. Alonso said he was reasonably happy with his day, and that a decision will be taken overnight about using the rear wing device for qualifying. Massa said the updates were a step forward in performance, but that the balance of the F10 wasn’t as good as it was here during the final pre-season test.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 21.134s, P1/1m 21.191s, P5
Jenson Button, 1m 21.672s, P2/1m 21.364s, P9

Hamilton and Button were pleased in the morning (though Button lost a little time with bargeboard damage after hitting debris exiting the pits), less so in the afternoon. Neither felt they got the best out of their MP4-25s on the softer tyre.

Renault
Robert Kubica, 1m 22.202s, P7/1m 21.202s, P6
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 22.397s, P9/1m 22.435s, P16

Kubica complained of oversteer in the afternoon, which was unusual as the R30 generally understeers. Petrov ran well in the morning and pushed the Pole, but ran off the track in the afternoon as the increased wind affected his car’s balance.

Force India
Adrian Sutil (pm) 1m 21.518s, P10
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 23.284s, P15/1m 21.904s, P12
Paul di Resta (am) 1m 23.030s, P13

Sutil said his car was pretty good, having given it up in the morning to Di Resta, who felt he’d got up to speed with it quickly. Liuzzi had a new chassis (the test car) and reported flat spotting a front tyre on his first run in the morning which affected his second run too, as the team only use one set of tyres then. In the afternoon he complained of understeer and lack of traction.

BMW Sauber
Pedro de la Rosa, No time/1m 21.672s, P11
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 22.492s, P10/1m 21.931s, P13

De la Rosa had immediate problems in the morning when his car stopped just before he began his first flying lap with a gearbox problem. He got going well in the afternoon, and felt BMW Sauber’s new aero pack and ‘F-duct’ was working well. Kobayashi said he was happy with a trouble-free run.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 22.588s, P11/1m 22.184s, P14
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 23.110s, P14/1m 22.449s, P17

Buemi was relieved to have a trouble-free day and made the most of it, though he wasn’t completely happy with his STR5’s performance. Alguersuari said things went quite well, that the tyres didn’t degrade much, and that they haven’t yet identified the problem that caused him to spin off close to the end of the afternoon session.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 1m 23.312s, P16/1m 22.192s, P15
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 23.471s, P17/1m 23.765s, P18

Barrichello thought the FW32 felt stronger here, but traditionally the team do set-up work on Fridays rather than seeking lap times, so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to get a better idea of its true pace. Hulkenberg said the morning session was fine but that his accident in the afternoon prevented him from drawing many conclusions about some modifications. He ran wide, went over a kerb and the car bottomed out and spun before contacting a wall and wiping off its nose.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, 1m 26.244, P19/1m 24.209s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 25.329s, P18/1m 24.894s, P20

Both drivers said that they could immediately feel the benefits of the enhanced aero package, especially in terms of high-speed stability, and Trulli described the changes to the T127 as ‘a major step forward.’ This was a very happy camp.

Virgin
Lucas di Grassi, 1m 26.694s, P21/1m 25.066s, P21
Timo Glock, 1m 26.340s, P20/1m 26.596s, P24

Virgin had one VR-01 with a revised chassis and a resized fuel tank, for Glock, who said he had problems in both sessions, but overall work on the fuel systems seems to have paid off. As Glock worked to balance his longer car, Di Grassi said he had a good day devoid of mechanical and hydraulic issues.

HRT
Karun Chandhok (pm), 1m 25.972s, P22
Bruno Senna, 1m 27.752s, P23/1m 26.152s, P23
Christian Klien (am), 1m 27.250s, P22

Chandhok was pleased with the speed at which he settled in during the afternoon, having surrendered his car to Klien in the morning. The Austrian only got his superlicence 10 minutes before the morning session began and was happy to go fast and set consistent times as he assisted the team with his experienced feedback. Senna said he fulfilled his programme.