Friday analysis - Red Bull playing the long game? 07 Oct 2011
McLaren may have headed the timesheets at Suzuka, but many in the paddock were more in awe of Red Bulls apparent long-run pace, when presumably the champions were running relatively heavy fuel loads. Of course, no rival can know their programme for sure, which is all part of the fascination of Fridays
Jenson Button, 1m 33.634s, P1/1m 31.901s, P1
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 33.725s, P2/1m 33.245s, P8
Button was pretty happy with his cars balance in both sessions, but said that they needed to find more speed overnight. He was also concerned that the Red Bulls were faster on longer runs. Hamilton didnt really get going in the afternoon as track conditions militated against improvements soon after Button had gone fastest again, but said he was guardedly optimistic.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 34.372s, P4/1m 32.075s, P2
Felipe Massa, 1m 35.585s, P7/1m 32.448s, P5
Alonso admitted that the cars werent in that much better shape than they had been in Singapore, despite a strong second-place performance in the afternoon. The Spaniard believes his best hope is of a podium finish, but doesnt feel he can compete with Red Bull and McLaren. Massa said he felt it had been a more positive day than usual Fridays of late.
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 34.090s, P3/1m 32.095s, P3
Mark Webber, 1m 34.426s, P5/1m 32.147s, P4
No real problems here, apart from Vettels small alarm clock mistake in the Degners this morning. Damage to his car was minimal. Webber had a good day, and was right behind Vettel in the afternoon. Red Bull again look strong, especially over longer distances.
Michael Schumacher, 1m 36.033s, P9/1m 32.710s, P6
Nico Rosberg, 1m 38.197s, P16/1m 32.982, P7
No major problems here, once Rosberg had completed his diligent work with high and low fuel loads.
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 36.370s, P10/1m 33.446s, P9
Bruno Senna, 1m 36.487s, P11/1m 34.557s, P14
Petrov had a steering rack problem in the morning, while Senna flat-spotted a set of medium tyres with a part-spin in the afternoon. That aside, however, the team were happy with an experiment to run modified Singapore rear bodywork on Sennas car, and spoke of progress once more.
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 35.590s, P8/1m 33.681s, P10
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 34.937s, P6/1m 33.705s, P11
Neither driver had any problems, and both spoke warmly of their STR06s performance in fast corners.
Adrian Sutil (pm only), 1m 33.790s, P12
Paul di Resta, 1m 36.949s, P14/1m 34.601s, P15
Nico Hulkenberg (am only), 1m 36.700s, P12
Sutil worked on balancing his car when he took it back from Hulkenberg for the afternoon. Di Resta played himself into running Suzuka, and said there was more to be done to hone it fully.
Sergio Perez 1m 37.103s, P15/1m 34.393s, P13
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 36.948s, P13/1m 36.038s, P16
Sauber had a very busy day as Perez and Kobayashi worked to sort out a new aero package. Perez said it was an improvement and that he was happy. Kobayashi just caught a half spin in 130R, but flat-spotted a set of tyres in the process.
Heikki Kovalainen (pm only), 1m 36.225s, P17
Jarno Trulli, 1m 39.168s, P19/1m 39.800s, P23
Karun Chandhok (am only), 1m 39.946s, P20
Kovalainen said he was a little on his back foot after missing out to Chandhok in the morning, but otherwise reported no problems. Trulli had to acclimatise to another new power steering problem, then electrical trouble in the afternoon.
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 38.331s, P17/1m 37.123s, P18
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 38.446s, P18/1m 38.387s, P21
Williams first outing for ages without Sam Michael proved to be disastrous. Barrichello had a puncture in the morning then went off in the afternoon. Maldonado had an off in the morning and an engine problem in the afternoon.
Timo Glock, 1m 40.872s, P21/1m 37.440s, P19
Jerome d'Ambrosio, 1m 41.019s, P22/1m 38.093s, P20
Glock lost time this morning with a water leak, but got going properly in the afternoon. DAmbrosio had an uneventful two sessions.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 41.106s, P23/1m 38.763s, P22
Tonio Liuzzi (pm only), 1m 42.480s, P24
Narain Kathikeyan (am only), 1m 41.775s, P24
No problems for Ricciardo or Karthikeyan today, but only four laps after taking his F111 back for the afternoon Liuzzi ground to a halt with a water pressure problem which stranded him out at the Spoon Curve.
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