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Friday analysis - tired kerbs and tyre wear 23 Sep 2011

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 Jerome d'Ambrosio (BEL) Virgin Racing MVR-02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011 HRT Formula One Team F111.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 23 September 2011

The principal points of concern in the two practice sessions were the way that the new temporary kerbs could be deformed and dislodged by the passage of cars, after damage sustained during the Porsche Carrera Cup sessions which preceded FP1. The kerbs on the exit of Turns 3, 13 and 14 were eventually removed and drivers were allowed to drive over the white lines beneath them. Tyre wear is also an issue, with many teams experiencing oversteer even on the soft prime Pirellis, let alone the option supersofts. We take a team-by-team look at Friday’s progress…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 49.005s, P2/1m 46.374s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 50.066s, P3/1m 47.265s, P5

Vettel was quite happy with the way things went, as well he might have been, but said that Red Bull still need to take a step forward overnight. Webber said he needs to find more pace, and that a brush while trying to pass Glock in FP1, which damaged a front wind endplate, was a result of a misunderstanding when he thought the Virgin driver had seen him.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 50.596s, P4/1m 46.575s, P2
Felipe Massa, 1m 52.043s, P6/1m 47.120s, P4

Alonso didn’t get much done in FP1 but said he was happy with what he saw in FP2, and was trying to be cautious in his optimism in a car he said felt much better than it had in Spa or Monza. Massa looked strong initially but lost a bit of pace after kissing a wall in FP2.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 48.599s, P1/1m 47.115s, P3
Jenson Button, 1m 50.952s, P5/1m 49.751s, P10

Both drivers struggled with oversteer, even on the soft prime Pirellis. That prevented Hamilton from repeating his FP1 speed, and left both drivers worried about tyre longevity in the race. Button went down an escape road in Turn 14 in FP2, and couldn’t back out as reverse gear had gone awol.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, 1m 52.416s, P8/1m 48.418s, P6
Nico Rosberg, 1m 52.815s, P10/1m 50.790s, P15

Schumacher said he was quite happy with his evening’s work, but Rosberg said he found it difficult making much progress with the various red flag interruptions. He focused on running with higher fuel levels than Schumacher, working on race preparation.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 52.251s, P7/1m 48.866s, P7
Paul di Resta, 1m 52.435s, P9/1m 50.345s, P13

Sutil ran strongly in both sessions, getting up to speed quickly. On his first acquaintance with the track in the VJM04, Di Resta was also on the pace swiftly. But his FP1 session was cut short and in FP2 he ran into a problem with the brake hydraulics which lost him a lot of running time.

Sauber
Sergio Perez 1m 53.703s, P14/1m 49.578s, P8
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 53.749s, P15/1m 49.730s, P9

Both cars seemed well sorted to the track, and ran strongly in FP2.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 53.050s, P12/1m 49.792s, P11
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 53.785s, P17/1m 52.257s, P19

Toro Rosso got off to a good start with Alguersuari firmly in the midfield. Buemi made a mistake exiting Turn 22 in FP2, and ended up with the right front wheel hanging off by the time he’d slid down the wall to Turn 23.

Renault
Bruno Senna, 1m 53.765s, P16/1m 50.241s, P12
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 54.736s, P18/1m 50.399s, P14

Senna said he’d had a productive day in which they improved his car’s balance, but that there was still work to do. Petrov had a problem in FP1 as his engine overheated, obliging a reversion to older specification bodywork.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 52.991s, P11/1m 50.897s, P16
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 53.399s, P13/1m 50.937s, P17

Williams had a problem with their DRS activation in FP1, and then issues with damage sustained by the bodywork after running over kerbs in FP2.

Lotus
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 56.198s, P20/1m 51.950s, P18
Jarno Trulli, 1m 54.821s, P19/1m 52.489s, P20

Kovalainen was very pleased with his FP2 pace, which came as a relief after a dramatic brake fire in the morning which inevitably reminded onlookers of his conflagration here last year. Trulli said he hadn’t got the best out of his car in either session.

Virgin
Timo Glock, 1m 58.792s, P22/1m 53.579s, P21
Jerome d'Ambrosio, 1m 57.798s, P21/1m 54.649s, P22

Glock was surprised in the brush with Webber in FP1, when the Australian thought he’d been seen lining up for a pass. That punctured his left rear tyre and added to problems he was already encountering. Both drivers were out during Buemi’s incident in FP2 and then pitted, thus missing the sweet spot of the supersoft tyres. D’Ambrosio also hit a wall, damaging his front wing.

HRT
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 59.169s, P23/1m 54.754s, P23
Tonio Liuzzi (pm only), 1m 55.198s, P24
Narain Kathikeyan (am only), 1m 59.214s

Ricciardo reported a positive day, while Karthikeyan was delighted to be back in an F1 car in preparation for the upcoming Indian race. He was ahead of Ricciardo right until the end, when a quicker lap was spoiled by traffic. Liuzzi took back his car from the Indian in the second session, but said he had to contend with oversteer on his best lap.

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