Friday analysis - Alonso keeps a watching brief 12 Oct 2012
For the second week running the teams welcomed consistent weather and track conditions throughout Friday practice, which enabled them to conduct their usual tyre evaluation and short- and long-run testing. As expected, Red Bulls form again looked strong, but it wont have escaped Sebastian Vettels attention that championship leader Fernando Alonsos Ferrari was in the top three in both Yeongam sessions. We take a team-by-team look at progress on day one in Korea
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 40.088s, P5/1m 38.832s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 39.575s, P3/1m 38.864s, P2
Both drivers were very happy with the performance of their cars as they battled for fastest time in the afternoon. It seems that the rear-end changes introduced in Singapore have put the Red Bull RB8 on top again.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 39.450s, P2/1m 39.160s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 39.854s, P4/1m 39.422s, P6
Alonso said that Ferrari just got on with their programme all day without worrying what anyone else was up to. This included the usual Friday work and evaluation of some small update parts. Massa had a KERS problem after setting the initial pace in FP2, but generally sounded optimistic after his days work.
Jenson Button, 1m 40.480s, P10/1m 39.219s, P4
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 39.148s, P1/1m 39.717s, P8
Hamilton was very happy with his car in FP1 when he was fastest, but said he suffered from too much understeer in the afternoon as he struggled to go faster on the super-soft option Pirelli. Button said he feared that Red Bulls four-tenths advantage was likely to stay for qualifying. Theres some set-up refinement work to be done overnight here.
Michael Schumacher, 1m 40.221s, P6/1m 39.330s, P5
Nico Rosberg, 1m 40.396s, P7/1m 39.584s, P7
Overall, a decent day for both drivers on a circuit to which the MGP W03 seems better suited.
Nico Hulkenberg (pm only), 1m 39.739s, P9
Paul di Resta, 1m 40.440s, P9/1m 40.112s, P13
Jules Bianchi (am only), 1m 41.140s, P13
All three drivers said they were reasonably happy with what they achieved during the day, though Di Resta insisted that his laps werent fully representative as he met traffic on both fast runs.
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 40.929s, P11/1m 39.839s, P10
Romain Grosjean, 1m 40.422s, P8/1m 39.957s, P11
Both drivers said their E20s were a handful, but the data indicated that the new aero package complete with Coanda-effect exhausts was behaving as expected so it will be retained for tomorrow.
Bruno Senna (pm only), 1m 40.089s, P12
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 41.048s, P12/1m 41.200s, P18
Valtteri Bottas (am only), 1m 42.027s, P18
Sennas was a good performance considering that he had to hand his car to Bottas in FP1, but Maldonado was hampered by an undisclosed car problem throughout FP2, so overall it wasnt a particularly representative day for Williams.
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 41.220s, P14/1m 40.445s, P14
Sergio Perez 1m 41.514s, P15/1m 40.745s, P15
Sauber didnt look as strong as they were in Suzuka, as Kobayashi struggled with poor balance on low fuel loads and Perezs car coasted to a halt in FP2 with an engine management problem. The car was later retrieved, but the team werent able to get the Mexican back out before the session ended.
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 42.021s, P17/1m 40.789s, P16
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 41.596s, P16/1m 40.997s, P17
Not too bad a first day for either driver, as Vergne celebrated his first anniversary as he started running the Friday morning sessions here last year, but Ricciardo said he met traffic on his two best laps on the super softs.
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 42.104s, P19/1m 41.602s, P19
Vitaly Petrov (pm only), 1m 43.067s, P22
Giedo van der Garde (am only), 1m 42.820s, P22
Kovalainen said he was very happy initially with his CT01s balance, but in the afternoon he went off track and dislodged a couple of bolts in the cockpit which obliged the team to make a temporary fix to the seat so they could complete the program. Petrov inevitably struggled a bit after losing this morning session, when Van der Garde again ran and did a decent job to end up within seven-tenths of Kovalainen. The Russians programme was also interrupted when he sustained a puncture on his first set of super softs.
Timo Glock, 1m 42.175s, P20/1m 42.596s, P20
Charles Pic, 1m 42.706s, P21/1m 43.066s, P21
After the upturn in speed in Suzuka, Glock was disappointed to find that his cars rear-end nervousness had returned, making it a tough day in the office. Pic had similar problems, and will also incur a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change.
Narain Karthikeyan (pm only), 1m 43.869s, P23
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 44.517s, P23/1m 44.533s, P24
Dani Clos (am only) 1m 45.735s, P24
Nothing major to report here, in what De la Rosa described as a classic Friday as he learned the track. Karthikeyan lost the morning as Clos took his seat. The young Spaniard had a spin but otherwise again did a decent job.
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