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Friday analysis - McLaren head four-team tussle 25 Nov 2011

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India Formula One Team VJM04. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 (L to R): Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP with Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus Renault GP Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Frid Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6 Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing MVR-02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 2011 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) HRT Formula 1 Team HRT F111.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 25 November 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 sets of developmental 2012 hard tyres to try as well. McLaren led the way, but with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes breathing down their necks…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 13.961s, P3/1m 13.392s, P1
Jenson Button, 1m 13.825s, P2/1m 13.787s, P7

Hamilton said his McLaren felt strong on low- and high-fuel runs and that there was more to come, so he’s looking forward to another very strong weekend. Button said he struggled to balance his car in the afternoon, but that his crew think they know how to alleviate that problem.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 14.025s, P4/1m 13.559s, P2
Mark Webber, 1m 13.811s, P1/1m 13.587s, P3

No problems here, though like everyone else Red Bull’s drivers said the track was pretty slippery for most of the day. Webber, in particular, had great pace on the longer runs.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 14.541s, P6/1m 13.598s, P4
Felipe Massa, 1m 14.507s, P5/1m 13.750s, P6

No difficulties for Massa, but Alonso broke his engine in the morning but said he actually lost less time with the problem than he did in India. His biggest gripe was oversteer, and the Ferrari looked a real handful, especially in the morning.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, 1m 15.162s, P7/1m 13.723s, P5
Nico Rosberg, 1m 15.321s, P10/1m 13.872s, P8

No issues for either driver as they worked through their scheduled programmes.

Force India
Adrian Sutil (pm only), 1m 14.144s, P9
Paul di Resta, 1m 15.241s, P9/1m 14.807s, P10
Nico Hulkenberg (am only), 1m 15.178s, P8

Sutil and di Resta reported productive days, while Hulkenberg did a good job with aero settings and KERS mapping in the morning.

Renault
Vitaly Petrov (am only), 1m 14.856s, P11
Bruno Senna, 1m 15.732s, P14/1m 14.931s, P12
Romain Grosjean (am only), 1m 15.547s, P12

Renault struggled like everyone else with the slippery track but otherwise had a productive day, apart from the clutch problem that brought Grosjean to a halt in the morning.

Sauber
Sergio Perez 1m 15.979s, P17/1m 14.970s, P13
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 15.747s, P15/1m 15.019s, P14

Kobayashi had two trouble-free sessions, but Perez was stopped out on the circuit with a gearbox problem in FP2.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi (pm only), 1m 15.264s, P15
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 15.468s, P11/1m 15.388s, P16
Jean-Eric Vergne (am only), 1m 16.052s, P18

No problems here despite juggling the three drivers. Vergne only got to run mediums and two sets of the new hards in FP1, as he also tried a low-downforce set-up. Alguersuari said his car felt better in FP1 than FP2, while Buemi quickly got down to work after missing the morning runs.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 15.836s, P16/1m 15.679s, P17
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 15.663s, P13/1m 15.903s, P18

No problems for Maldonado, but Barrichello said there is more set-up work to be done as his car felt better in the morning than the afternoon.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli (pm only), 1m 16.298s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 16.514s, P19/1m 16.338s, P20
Luiz Razia (am only), 1m 17.595s, P20

Kovalainen and Trulli were pleased with their days and with the latest update, a new rear wing. Razia was very pleased with a strong job in the morning, when he ran valuable back-to-back tests with the new component.

Virgin
Jerome D'Ambrosio, 1m 18.653s, P22/1m 18.031s, P21
Timo Glock, 1m 18.140s, P21/1m 18.051s, P22

Glock had a normal Friday but said that his MVR-02 seemed to lose pace as the day progressed. Like many, D’Ambrosio complained of oversteer, but was happy with the job he did.

HRT
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 18.952s, P23/1m 18.367s, P23
Tonio Liuzzi (pm only), 1m 18.476s, P24
Jan Charouz (am only), 1m 19.577s, P24

Ricciardo reported a normal day, while Liuzzi struggled in the afternoon with understeer in slow corners and oversteer in the fast ones. Charouz was very excited to have run on the same track as Schumacher and Alonso in the morning and said he was happy with what was a very respectable performance.

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