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Friday analysis - more in reserve at McLaren? 10 Sep 2010

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/25. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing.. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010 Ferrari F10 detail. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010 (L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Williams with Sam Michael (AUS) Williams Technical Director.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Renault R30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 10 September 2010

McLaren’s MP4-25 was tipped to be the fastest car around Monza, and it may yet prove so. However, as the British team experimented with F-duct/non F-duct configurations on Friday afternoon, Hamilton and Button found themselves outpaced by arch rivals Red Bull and Ferrari. We take a team-by-team look at early progress in Italy…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 23.790s, P2/1m 22.839s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 24.446s, P6/1m 23.415s, P6

Vettel was very confident after a fast day that brought him second and fastest times respectively, but noted the speed of the McLarens and Ferraris. Webber was less happy after a water pressure problem in the afternoon, but said otherwise that the RB6 was “performing”.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 24.543s, P8/1m 22.915s, P2
Felipe Massa, 1m 24.648s, P9/1m 23.061s, P3

Alonso admitted to being pleased with his day’s work as he tried different aero configurations, and with the way lunchtime changes to the set-up proved beneficial. Massa was also quite satisfied, though he admitted that he was lucky to get away with his rallycrossing act at Parabolica in the afternoon.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 23.967s, P3/1m 23.154s, P4
Jenson Button, 1m 23.693s, P1/ 1m 23.210s, P5

Button and Hamilton were fastest in the morning, but lost some relative pace in the afternoon as they experimented with lower downforce settings and Hamilton tried the MP4-25 sans F-duct. Overall, there is a lot of quiet optimism in the camp this evening as they decide which set-up to pursue for the rest of the weekend.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 28.516s, P23/1m 23.708s, P7
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 24.841s, P11/1m 23.852s, P9

Barrichello lost a lot of track time this morning when his gearbox input shaft broke, but made up for it with a very strong run to seventh in the afternoon. Hulkenberg had no problems and the team are confident of qualifying in the top 10 again.

Renault
Robert Kubica, 1m 24.120s, P4/1m 23.709s, P8
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 25.292s, P13/1m 24.407s, P13

Kubica said that using the F-duct meant that the change to low-downforce mode was less pronounced than usual. He was one of many who said he was having to adjust all over again to the kerbs, as drivers can no longer use as much of them as they could in the past. Petrov spent his day acclimatising to the low-downforce set-up.

Mercedes GP
Nico Rosberg, 1m 24.129s, P5/ 1m 23.857s, P10
Michael Schumacher, 1m 24.756s, P10/1m 24.448s, P14

Rosberg reported that his WGP01 was working reasonably well and had good speed, while Schumacher said he was happy with the performance of the F-duct.

Force India
Adrian Sutil (pm), 1m 24.181, P11
Vitantonio Liuzzi, 1m 24.512s, P7/1m 24.380s, P12
Paul di Resta (am), 1m 24.923s, P12

Sutil only drove in the afternoon but was happy with his car’s balance straight away. Di Resta was also happy with the VJM03 in the morning on his first acquaintance with Monza, apart from lack of stability under braking. Liuzzi drove in both sessions and said he had a very good day with no F-duct issues, but hoped for better balance than he achieved.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 25.318s, P14/1m 24.517s, P15
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 25.897s, P17/1m 25.106s, P18

Toro Rosso experimented with a blown diffuser and an F-duct in the morning, then went back to standard configuration for the rest of the day. Buemi reported a productive day as he and Alguersuari split the workload between them.

BMW Sauber
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 25.320s, P15/1m 24.547s, P16
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 25.334s, P16/1m 24.785s, P17

Downforce levels and tyre running was the standard fare for BMW Sauber today, and De la Rosa came away happy with his understanding of the C29. Kobayashi had a bit of a moment in the Lesmos in the afternoon as he struggled with low levels of grip.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, 1m 28.898s, P19/1m 26.204, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 27.374s, P21/1m 26.306s, P20

Both drivers lost time in P1 when a small hydraulic problem on their T127s necessitated precautionary changes, but that work paid off as Trulli and Kovalainen wound up the fastest new team drivers in the afternoon.

Virgin
Lucas di Grassi, 1m 26.956s, P20/1m 26.631s, P21
Timo Glock, 1m 26.772s, P18/1m 26.676s, P22

Both drivers were happy with their work, especially in the first session when they were the fastest new team, but Glock admitted that an extremely low-downforce setting in the afternoon was not the way to go.

HRT
Sakon Yamamoto, 1m 29.870s, P24/1m 29.948s, P23
Bruno Senna, 1m 28.256s, P22/No time, P24

HRT had a tough day as Yamamoto suffered a gearbox failure in the morning, and Senna had fuel system bothers which stopped him in both sessions.

To watch an onboard lap of Monza, click here.
To watch Formula1.com's 2009 Italian Grand Prix race edit, click here.