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Friday analysis - can Red Bull pull a fast one at Monza? 09 Sep 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 (L to R): Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Karun Chandhok (IND) Team Lotus T128 Reserve Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, Friday, 9 September 2011

McLaren lived up to their pre-race billing, which had pegged them to be the fastest round the very quick Monza track, during the opening practice session in Italy. But in the afternoon Red Bull surprised the field by outpacing the British team. We take a team-by-team look at early progress in Italy…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 23.865s, P1/1m 24.046s, P2
Jenson Button, 1m 24.786s, P2/1m 24.508s, P7

Both McLarens ran more downforce than their rivals yet were very quick, and Hamilton set the best time of the day and was competitive with a heavier fuel load in the afternoon. Both drivers are feeling very optimistic about their chances.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 25.231s, P3/1m 24.010s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 25.459s, P4/1m 24.468s, P6

Vettel said he’d had ‘interesting’ day, and that he was happy with his Red Bull’s speed in low-downforce mode. Webber too was happy and that they have plenty of data to process tonight.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, 1m 26.699s, P11/1m 24.347s, P3
Nico Rosberg, 1m 27.492s, P18/1m 29.184s, P22

No problems for Schumacher as he made the most of Mercedes’ high straight-line speed. But lots of KERS problems for Rosberg, though they did not fully explain the five-second difference in lap time.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 26.676s, P8/1m 24.366s, P4
Fernando Alonso, 1m 26.647s, P7/1m 24.433s, P5

No real problems at Ferrari, apart from the need to improve a little in terms of speed.

Sauber
Sergio Perez 1m 26.694s, P9/1m 25.097s, P8
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 26.996s, P14/1m 25.182s, P9

Perez reported a positive day, better than expected, as Sauber’s low-downforce set-up worked well for the Mexican. Kobayashi wasn’t far behind, but said his car needed more work to sort out.

Renault
Bruno Senna, 1m 27.385s, P16/1m 25.325s, P10
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 26.625s, P6/1m 25.450s, P11

The atmosphere at Renault is a lot more upbeat since Senna came into the fold. There were no real problems, and the Brazilian was grateful for a straightforward day after his dramas in FP1 and FP2 at Spa.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 26.550s, P5/1m 25.496s, P12
Paul di Resta (pm only), 1m 25.683s, P13
Nico Hulkenberg (am only) 1m 26.826s, P12

There were no real problems for Force India, as Sutil and Di Resta indicated that they will be contenders for Q3 tomorrow on a track that suits the VJM04’s characteristics.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 26.696s, P10/1m 25.758s, P14
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 27.433s, P17/1m 28.347s, P17

Alguersuari was in good form once again, despite a minor contretemps with Sutil in the first chicane in the afternoon which the stewards ruled a racing incident. Buemi, however, had a tough day. Things were okay in the morning but in the afternoon he had a heavy off at Parabolica after making a mistake.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 26.836s, P13/1m 26.202s, P15
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 27.365s, P15/1m 26.353s, P16

The Williamses weren’t fast enough, and Barrichello reported some blistering on the option tyres.

Lotus
Jarno Trulli (pm only), 1m 28.559s, P18
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 29.539s, P19/1m 28.605s, P19
Karun Chandhok (am only), 1m 30.148s, P20

Trulli missed out the morning session but got going well in the afternoon, when he was troubled by excessive understeer. Kovalainen lost time with a gearbox sensor problem in the morning and was told to pull off as engine temperatures rose, and said there was room for improvement after his afternoon run.

Virgin
Timo Glock, 1m 31.052s, P23/1m 28.804s, P20
Jerome D'Ambrosio, 1m 31.899s, P24/1m 29.622s, P23

Glock had a heavily revamped Virgin VR-02 - with new sidepods, floor and exhausts - at his disposal but lost valuable time in the morning with sensor and electronic problems. He also had to go through painstaking and slow data-collection laps at the end when everyone else as going for a time. But he going well in the afternoon and was very close to the Lotuses to the team’s delight. D’Ambrosio had an engine problem on his standard car in the morning and lost a lot of time, but at least he had collected the necessary data before he was struck down.

HRT
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 30.619s, P22/1m 29.162s, P21
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 30.609s, P21/1m 29.841s, P24

Liuzzi reported a good day at HRT, but Ricciardo’s afternoon session was interrupted by electrical problems which cost him an hour in the garage.

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