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Friday analysis - McLaren maintain momentum 29 Jul 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes GP Team Principal and Stefano Domenicali (ITA) Ferrari General Director. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing MVR-02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) HRT Formula One Team HRT F111.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 29 July 2011

Against expectations the Hungaroring remained dry all day, but a seven degree rise - from 24 to 31 degrees Celsius - in its temperature caused times to drop off after an hour of the second session. The really good news was that McLaren appear to have maintained their German momentum, with Ferrari and Red Bull still very close behind. We take a team-by-team look at day one in Budapest…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 23.350s, P1/1m 21.018s, P1
Jenson Button, 1m 23.772s, P5/1m 21.322s, P3

McLaren were very happy with the way their day went, with Hamilton fastest in both sessions and Button third in the second. The former said he thought the MP4-26A looked competitive given its balance and fuel load, while the latter was very happy with the direction he’d taken with his car. He set the best first sector time, with Hamilton setting the pace in the second and third, so the team are looking in good shape for tomorrow.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 23.642s, P3/1m 21.259s, P2
Felipe Massa, 1m 24.115s, P6/1m 22.099s, P6

Alonso celebrated his 30th birthday with some quick times. He said the track was still very dirty, as usual on a Friday, but that he completed his planned programme and had a direction in which to go to improve performance in the third sector. Massa agreed with him that tyre degradation was significant, and said his time in the afternoon wasn’t representative as he ran wide in Turn Nine on his good lap on the Pirelli super softs.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 23.666s, P4/1m 21.508s, P4
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 23.564s, P2/1m 21.549s, P5

Webber put his hands up to the mistake in the morning which saw him spin in Turn Nine and take off his RB7’s front wing, after getting a wheel on the damp kerb. But he said he recovered pretty well in the afternoon and was relatively happy. Vettel said he felt a little better in his car but that it wasn’t like it was here last year, and that tyre management will be crucial in the race. He also made light of a bandaged wrist.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, 1m 24.250s, P7/1m 22.121s, P7
Michael Schumacher, 1m 24.369s, P8/1m 22.440s, P8

Rosberg and Schumacher worked on honing their Nurburgring package, but said the cars simply weren’t fast enough to challenge the top six.

Force India
Paul di Resta, 1m 25.336s, P12/1m 22.835s, P9
Adrian Sutil (pm only), 1m 22.981s, P10
Nico Hulkenberg (am only) 1m 25.357s, P13

Di Resta was happy with the way both of his sessions went and felt they gave him a good steer on a still unfamiliar track. Sutil struggled for grip a little and had to fight the car at first, but put that down mostly to the track still being green. Hulkenberg tried a new front wing in the morning before settling down to establish baselines with the car in the same spec as Di Resta’s.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 25.113s, P11/1m 23.030s, P11
Sergio Perez 1m 24.620s, P9/1m 23.399s, P12

No real problems for Kobayashi and Perez, who were relieved that the Hungaroring suited their C30s much more than did the Nurburgring.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 25.836s, P14/1m 23.679s, P13
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 26.124s, P18/1m 24.181s, P15

Williams tried different diffusers and a new rear wing on Barrichello’s car and new bodywork and a revised suspension system on Maldonado’s. The former had to run without KERS in the morning because of a small problem but it was reinstated for the afternoon. The latter also tried a revised cooling system and has an updated rear wing coming tomorrow.

Renault
Nick Heidfeld (pm only), 1m 23.861s, P14
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 25.093s, P10/1m 24.546s, P17
Bruno Senna (am only), 1m 25.855s, P15

Heidfeld spent his afternoon working on a solution to oversteer, while Petrov said his R31’s floor and rear wing weren’t working properly and was unhappy with his set-up. Senna did a solid job in the morning, without any dramas.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 26.099s, P17/1m 24.182s, P16
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 25.890s, P16/1m 24.878s, P18

Alguersuari did more laps than anyone in the morning, focusing on set-up, while Buemi worked to a different strategy and ran the super softs straight away while experimenting with some quite drastic set-up changes.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli, 1m 27.352s, P20/1m 24.994s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 26.878s, P19/1m 25.447s, P20

Trulli said he was delighted with a revised power steering set-up that really enabled him to feel the T128, but Kovalainen said that while upgrades seemed to work he still wasn’t happy with the set-up of his car.

Virgin
Timo Glock, 1m 28.533s, P21/1m 26.823s, P21
Jerome D'Ambrosio, 1m 28.903s, P22/1m 27.261s, P22

Glock did a lot of aerodynamic work in the morning, then focused on set-up in the afternoon. D’Ambrosio did likewise. Both felt their days had been productive.

HRT
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 29.904s, P24/1m 27.730s, P23
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 29.059s, P23/1m 28.255s, P24

Liuzzi said he was very happy with his F111 in the morning but changes to the set-up spoiled that for the afternoon. After the team reverted to the former set-up, however, the Italian struggled with oversteer. Ricciardo was faster in the afternoon, and said he was happier with his car’s balance then but still not totally satisfied.

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