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Friday analysis - Ferrari looking quietly confident 27 Aug 2010

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 27 August 2010 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 27 August 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 27 August 2010 Renault R30 rear wing detail. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 27 August 2010 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Friday, 27 August 2010

Many teams were cautious in reading too much into their performance, since the rain in the morning disrupted things so significantly and with more bad weather possible, they wanted to preserve their three sets of full wet Bridgestone tyres and four sets of intermediates. And as expected, for once Red Bull were not among the pacesetters. We take a team-by-team look at Friday progress at Spa…

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 2m 00.797s, P1/1m 49.032s, P1
Felipe Massa, 2m 03.601s, P11/1m 49.588s, P5

Alonso as usual cautioned care when interpreting a Friday result, but did admit that it had been a positive day - not surprisingly because he was fastest in both sessions. Massa said he loved being back at Spa after missing last year’s race, and that his car seemed “reasonably competitive”.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 2m 02.646s, P5/1m 49.157s, P2
Tonio Liuzzi, 2m 04.145s, P15s/ 1m 51.520s, P16

Sutil looked hooked up all day on a circuit that he loves, and dominated the afternoon session until Alonso pipped him literally in the dying moments. He said his VJM03’s balance was good from the start and that the car just picked up grip all the time as track conditions improved. Liuzzi had a tough day as he was running a different programme to Sutil as he tested new parts such as the blown diffuser. That worked okay and the car had good speed into corners, but other things still needed honing.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 2m 01.567s, P2/1m 49.248s, P3
Jenson Button, 2m 02.913s, P6/1m 49.755s, P7

McLaren need a good result here, and second place for Hamilton in the wet and third in the dry was reason for satisfaction even though he played it down. It was at least clear that the track suited the MP4-25 a lot better than the Hungaroring did, and he said they had made some small steps. Button said that the day - and his car - were reasonable, but he said it in a positive manner.

Renault
Robert Kubica, 2m 02.081s, P3/1m 49.282s, P4
Vitaly Petrov, 2m 04.690s, P17/1m 50.251s, P11

Kubica was happier with his Renault than of late and said he’d had a good day as they checked out their new F-duct. He looks forward to a better balance tomorrow. Petrov echoed his sentiments about understanding the F-duct and said he could feel the difference in performance with it activated and de-activated.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 2m 02.450, P4/1m 49.689s, P6
Mark Webber, 2m 02.926s, P7/1m 51.636s, P18

As expected, Red Bull lost their advantage here, but Vettel looked strong all day. Webber reported no problems, despite being only 18th in the afternoon.

BMW Sauber
Pedro de la Rosa, 2m 03.851s, P14/1m 50.081s, P8
Kamui Kobayashi, 2m 03.401s, P8/1m 50.200s, P10

BMW Sauber looked very strong, with eighth place in each session. De la Rosa was very happy with the way his day went, and concluded that the only place where the C29 was weak was Sector Two, the slower, high-downforce section. Kobayashi said he had no technical problems.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 2m 03.424s, P9/1m 50.128s, P9
Nico Hulkenberg, 2m 03.649s, P12/1m 50.831s, P15

Barrichello celebrated his 300th GP with ninth place in the afternoon’s session, but said that limited running left some unanswered questions. Hulkenberg was happy too.

Mercedes GP
Michael Schumacher, 2m 03.489s, P10/1m 50.341s, P12
Nico Rosberg, 2m 03.654s, P13/1m 50.382s, P13

Schumacher had nothing meaningful to say but Rosberg admitted that he’d been plagued by understeer all day as they spent their time trying to get new parts to work properly.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari 2m 04.250s, P16/1m 50.682s, P14
Sebastien Buemi, 2m 05.680s, P18/1m 51.523s, P17

Alguersuari said he had fun driving all through the day and that he hopes for a wet race. Buemi had a gearbox problem in the morning, and didn’t perfect his STR05’s set-up in the afternoon.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, 2m 07.189s, P21/1m 53.639s, P20
Heikki Kovalainen, 2m 07.955s, P23/1m 53.480s, P19

Neither driver reported any significant problems, but Trulli said he was baulked on his last quick run in the second session.

Virgin
Lucas di Grassi, 2m 06.695s, P20/1m 54.325s, P21
Timo Glock, 2m 05.697s, P19/2m 03.179s, P24

While Di Grassi reported a very productive day, Glock was disgruntled when his VR01 got away from him in the second after he touched a white line and hit the tyre barriers hard.

HRT
Bruno Senna, 2m 07.737s, P22/1m 55.751s, P22
Sakon Yamamoto, 2m 10.507s, P24/1m 56.039s, P23

Neither HRT driver had any problems to report, with both just happy to accumulate mileage and data in the varying conditions.