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Friday analysis - McLaren upbeat as Mercedes close in 06 May 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 The Red Bull Racing RB7 of Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing is recovered back to the pits.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia is pushed back into the pits. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Photographers shoot Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Rosso STR6 Test and Reserve Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing MVR-02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT). 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011

After rain spoiled Friday’s morning session but at least gave some teams experience of running on Pirelli’s wets, it dried out at Istanbul Park in the afternoon so that they could all focus on the tricky question of setting up their cars, especially to cope with the bucking-bronco bumps on the 190 mph entry to Turn 12…

McLaren
Jenson Button, 2m 00.666, P23/1m 26.456s, P1
Lewis Hamilton, No time/1m 27.033s, P3

McLaren deliberately did not bother going for times in the rain in the morning, preferring to conserve tyres just in case. In the afternoon both Button and Hamilton were happy with their cars, apart from an horrendous tendency to porpoise under hard braking for Turn 12.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, 1m 40.072s, P2/1m 26.521s, P2
Michael Schumacher, 1m 40.132s, P3/1m 27.063s, P4

Both drivers said they were cautiously happy with their cars, but Schumacher had three spins in Turn 11 during the course of an adventurous day.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 41.564s, P11/1m 27.149s, P5
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 44.954s, P17/No time

Vettel’s crash in the morning, exiting Turn Eight, did so much damage to his RB7 that he was unable to run in the afternoon. Webber was fifth fastest in the second session, but focused on other aspects rather than vying for fastest time. He said his KERS worked quite well, and reported that everything went smoothly.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 40.697s, P7/1m 27.340s, P6
Fernando Alonso, 1m 38.670s, P1/1m 28.069s, P11

Alonso was fastest in the wet in a slightly revised Ferrari which had different bodywork and brake ducts, but had a hydraulic problem in the afternoon before a spin when he admitted to being too adventurous with the DRS wing. Massa felt they had made a step forward in performance, but that Ferrari were not yet in a position to challenge their main rivals.

Renault
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 40.401s, P5/1m 27.517s, P7
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 40.338s, P4/1m 28.475s, P13

Renault had an encouraging start to their weekend. Heidfeld got experience on the Pirelli wets in the morning, and Petrov was fast in the afternoon, making them optimistic for the rest of the meeting.

Force India
Paul di Resta, 1m 43.525s, P13/1m 27.725s, P8
Adrian Sutil (pm only), 1m 28.052s, P10
Nico Hulkenberg (am only), 1m 41.347s, P10

Once again Di Resta was Force India’s star, and the Scot said things had been relatively straightforward all day. Sutil tried the new front wing in the afternoon and said it was interesting but that he needed to dial out understeer.

Sauber
Sergio Perez, 1m 55.791s, P22/1m 27.844s, P9
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 40.421s, P6/1m 29.637s, P18

Perez focused only on aero work in the morning, but was very happy with his C30 in the afternoon. Kobayashi ran some new mechanical parts in the morning, and was delayed by a hydraulic leak in the afternoon.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 41.178s, P9/1m 28.153s, P12
Jaime Alguersuari (pm only), 1m 28.765s, P14
Daniel Ricciardo (am only) 1m 41.094s, P8

Ricciardo did another excellent job in the morning, when Buemi was right on his tail. Alguersuari got going in the afternoon but said that he didn’t develop a good feeling for his STR6 and thus had plenty of overnight work to do.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 41.597s, P12/1m 28.828s, P15
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 43.913s, P14/1m 28.946s, P16

Maldonado spent a lot of time off track, culminating in an afternoon shunt exiting Turn Eight, but was ahead of Barrichello in both sessions. Both tried new front and rear wings and brake ducts, but Maldonado will have to use the old front wing after damaging his new one in the crash. He didn’t run KERS due to a voltage problem, while Barrichello had to investigate a problem on his system in the afternoon because of the safety implications.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, 1m 43.986s, P15/1m 29.409s, P17
Heikki Kovalainen (pm only), 1m 30.281s, P19
Karun Chandhok (am only) 1m 51.676s, P21

Trulli was very happy after a trouble-free day, but Kovalainen lost time in the afternoon with a DRS wing problem.

Virgin
Jerome D'Ambrosio, 1m 45.237s, P19/1m 31.035s, P20
Timo Glock, 1m 45.183s, P18/1m 31.221s, P21

Virgin ended the day with mixed feelings after D’Ambrosio in the semi-standard MVR-02 was fractionally faster than Glock in the heavily revised car from which a much better performance had been expected. The new package includes a blown diffuser, however, on which more sorting work is required, especially concerning management of the heat from the exhausts. On top of that, D'Ambrosio was hit with a five-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags in the afternoon session, meaning he will almost certainly start Sunday's race from the back of the grid.

HRT
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m 48.461s, P20/1m 31.320s, P22
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 44.787s, P16/1m 31.989s, P23

Liuzzi was very strong in the wet in the morning, but Karthikeyan was consistently the fastest driver in the dry. Both ran further updates, but the Italian said he didn’t get the laps he needed in the afternoon to re-balance his car to his liking because of the interruption of yellow flags.

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