Friday analysis - Ferrari the dark horses in Abu Dhabi? 11 Nov 2011
It was a normal Friday by F1 standards, as teams focused on tyre evaluation, and short- and long-run work, with the difference that Pirelli gave each driver two extra sets of developmental soft tyres to try. McLaren used them to good effect to dominate the times, but it was Ferrari who surprised by out-pacing Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 40.403s, P3/1m 39.586s, P1
Jenson Button, 1m 40.263s, P1/1m 39.785s, P2
Hamilton said he was happy with everything today and that he just kept chipping away improving his McLaren. Button said he wasnt totally happy with his cars balance but was confident that the shortcoming can be rectified. Interestingly, however, he suggests that overtaking will be tricky even with two DRS zones, and that qualifying will thus be super critical.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 40.801s, P5/1m 39.971s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 41.260s, P6/1m 39.980s, P4
Alonso was angry with himself for the mistake that cost him a chunk of time in FP2 after he, like Vettel, used too much kerb in Turn One and reversed into the wall. Massa said he had two good sessions, and that despite appearances, he couldnt feel any vibrations from the 150° Italias distinctively wobbly front wing.
Mark Webber, 1m 40.389s, P2/1m 40.104s, P5
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 40.755s, P4/1m 40.132s, P6
Webber said he had a pretty good day, and that he was happy with the way things went. Vettel was not amused with himself for the mistake which put him (quite gently) into the wall in Turn One after he took too much kerb, but the only damage was to the front wing and he was able to get out with 10 minutes remaining. Both feel they will be there or thereabouts tomorrow.
Michael Schumacher, 1m 43.389s, P15/1m 40.553s, P7
Nico Rosberg, 1m 42.130s, P8/1m 44.265s, P20
Schumacher said he maximised what his car had to offer, even though that entailed a lot of running into the painted run-off areas rather than on the grey stuff, while Rosberg focused on race set-up work and evaluation of new parts.
Adrian Sutil, 1m 41.340s, P7/1m 40.951s, P8
Paul di Resta, 1m 42.151s, P9/1m 41.021s, P9
Sutil reported low grip from the track surface initially, but said that Force India got the set-up nicely honed as the day progressed and they were able to improve low-speed traction. Di Resta was also happy with his days work after the lack of rear-end grip he experienced in the morning had been sorted by FP2.
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 44.484, P17/1m 41.490s, P10
Sergio Perez 1m 44.412s, P16/1m 41.565s, P11
Kobayashi said more work was needed on his cars slow-corner behaviour and stability under braking, while Perez wants to improve his C30s long-run balance.
Sebastien Buemi (pm only), 1m 41.680s, P12
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 42.377s, P10/1m 41.983s, P14
Jean-Eric Vergne (am only), 1m 42.633s, P11
Neither Buemi nor Alguersuari had anything untoward to report and both said they were satisfied with the way their days panned out. Vergnes only regret was not pushing hard enough on his first lap on soft tyres, but in his first real F1 run on a dry track he made a big impression with 11th fastest time in FP1.
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 43.118s, P13/1m 41.947s, P13
Bruno Senna (pm only), 1m 42.369s, P15
Romain Grosjean (am only), 1m 42.685s, P12
Petrov said he struggled for traction all day, hence laps times which he described as well off the pace. Senna only got half a day, but said he identified ways to improve the R31. Grosjean felt like Christmas had come early on his official return to F1, and did the best job of all three.
Rubens Barrichello, No time, P24/1m 42.798s, P16
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 43.255s, P14/1m 42.910s, P17
Barrichello lost all of FP1 after an engine failure, but things ran relatively smoothly in the afternoon.
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 44.565s, P18/1m 43.562s, P18
Jarno Trulli, 1m 44.898s, P19/1m 44.050s, P19
Both drivers were happy with their cars performance after another solid and trouble-free Friday for the team soon to be Caterham.
Timo Glock, 1m 48.024s, P22/1m 45.486s, P21
Jerome D'Ambrosio (pm only), 1m 46.142s, P22
Rob Wickens (am only), 1m 48.551s, P23
Virgin didnt use their extra sets of soft Pirellis in the morning, when Wickens did an excellent job to get within half a second of Glock on his first official outing at a Grand Prix, as the German struggled to get his MVR-02 to his liking. Given the fact that he had to give up FP1 to Wickens, DAmbrosio said he was happy with the way things turned out for him in FP2.
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 46.385s, P20/1m 46.249s, P23
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 46.532s, P21/1m 46.328s, P24
Liuzzi was happier with his car in the morning, but lost an hour in the afternoon with electronic problems. Ricciardo was unhappy with his car in the morning, and no more satisfied in the afternoon when the changes made appeared to have had little effect.
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