Friday analysis - Buddh International proves a big hit 28 Oct 2011
To a man the drivers seemed to love the possibilities offered up by the Buddh International Circuit, which was surprisingly grippy given the wind that blew soft dust over it for much of the day. The focus was, as usual, to complete the pre-event simulations using real data to finalise the picture of set-up, and to assess tyre performance and wear. Many thought that Pirelli could have got away with their medium and soft tyres rather than their hard and soft, and were surprised that the track developed as quickly as it did
Felipe Massa, 1m 28.644s, P7/1m 25.706s, P1
Fernando Alonso, 1m 35.899s, P24/1m 25.930s, P3
Both drivers said they felt quite good about their day, but in Alonsos case there was an eventually tacked on to the comment as his engine broke in the morning and lost him a lot of time. Massa was on his best form since his accident at Hungaroring two years ago.
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 27.416s, P2/1m 25.794s, P2
Mark Webber, 1m 27.428s, P3/1m 26.500s, P5
Vettel was happy, and said his long runs went well. Webber said his car was better in the morning than in the afternoon, but that hed get the better set-up back for FP3.
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 26.836s, P1/1m 26.454s, P4
Jenson Button, 1m 28.394s, P4/1m 26.714s, P6
McLaren looked very strong in FP1, but dropped the ball when nobody warned Hamilton against his quick lap at the end of the sessions when marshals were still moving Maldonados stricken Williams just before the final corner. As a result he gets a three-place grid penalty on Sunday. In the afternoon he was quick again until a driveshaft problem curtailed his running. Button had no problems, did good race work, and said that while the tyres were difficult to warm up, once they were in their correct temperature range the high-speed grip was phenomenal.
Adrian Sutil, 1m 28.705s, P8/1m 27.316s, P7
Paul di Resta, 1m 29.700s, P11/1m 27.853s, P9
Sutil said he could feel the enhanced stability straight away from a new aero package, and was quick all day. Di Resta said he still needed to find a little bit of speed, but was not unhappy with his day.
Bruno Senna, 1m 29.799s, P13/1m 27.498s, P8
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 29.705s, P12/1m 27.890s, P11
Both drivers had a number of off-track moments as they crossed the limit, but Senna said he was happy with eighth which is where they had expected to be. Petrov said he completed his full programme without problem, and was optimistic about his set-up.
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 29.219s, P9/1m 27.868s, P10
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 30.566s, P16/1m 28.552s, P14
Buemi said he was really happy with the way the latest upgrade on the car, from Japan/Korea, worked here, but Alguersuari said his car was hard to hang on to all day and crashed in the morning when it got away from him.
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 29.355s, P10/1m 28.050s, P12
Sergio Perez 1m 30.132s, P14/1m 28.289s, P13
Neither driver felt that the hard tyre worked here, and Perez hurt his chances by getting the same three-place grid penalty as Hamilton for going too fast under the Maldonado yellows in FP1.
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 30.367s, P15/1m 28.691s, P15
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 30.699s, P17/1m 28.708s, P16
No problems for Barrichello, but Maldonado had a few offs and a broken engine in FP1.
Jarno Trulli, 1m 30.818s, P18/1m 29.332s, P17
Heikki Kovalainen (pm only), 1m 30.241s, P18
Karun Chandhok (am only), 1m 32.487s, P19
Trulli said he had a really smooth day, while Chandhok was stoked to drive the morning session in his homeland. Kovalainen said he was happy, but felt he lost out after having to give Chandhok his car in the morning.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 28.542s, P6/1m 31.098s, P19
Michael Schumacher, 1m 28.531s, P5/1m 31.804s, P21
No real problems for either driver as they acclimatised in the morning and did race set-up work in the afternoon, but Schumacher said he didnt like the balance of his MGP W02 yet.
Timo Glock, 1m 32.771s, P20/1m 31.469s, P20
Jerome D'Ambrosio, 1m 35.796s, P23/1m 32.593s, P22
No problems for Glock, who said he loved driving here. DAmbrosio, however, got it wrong exiting Turn 12 in the afternoon and crashed quite heavily, damaging the rear wing and suspension.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 33.928s, P21/1m 32.768s, P23
Narain Kathikeyan 1m 34.113s, P22/1m 32.824s, P24
Ricciardo thought he went backwards on set-up in the afternoon, while Karthikeyan did a good job to shadow him closely. He thought FP2 was better for him than FP1, and that it provided him with plenty of things to try in FP3.
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