Friday analysis - Red Bull buzzing at Buddh 26 Oct 2012
The weather was so consistent that nobody gave it a second thought throughout Fridays two practice sessions in India, but the track was evolving continuously which meant that chasing set-up was the art of the day. Tyre performance looks like being less of an issue than normal here. We take a team-by-team look at the early form book in New Delhi
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 27.619s, P1/1m 26.221s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 28.175s, P5/1m 26.339s, P2
Theres a buzz in Red Bull, just like a boxer who knows his punches are carrying weight and hurting an opponent. Not much to report of a negative nature here, which is hardly surprising given their domination of the day.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 28.044s, P3/1m 26.820s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 28.542s, P7/1m 28.296s, P15
Alonso was non-committal about his day, but said that he didnt think tyre performance would have as much of an impact as usual. Massa admitted he had a tough afternoon when he struggled big time with his F2012 on the soft tyre. Two spins bore testament to that.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 28.447s, P6/1m 27.022s, P4
Michael Schumacher, 1m 28.993s, P8/1m 28.222s, P13
Rosberg said he had a very positive day that gave good direction for final set-up, but admitted that fourth place was a little above Mercedes real position overall. Schumacher said he never got a really good lap together on the soft tyre in FP2.
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 29.291s, P10/1m 27.030s, P5
Romain Grosjean, 1m 29.895s, P15/1m 27.397s, P9
Lotus found some good pace, which pleased both drivers. Both were reasonably happy with the way things went, though Grosjean had a half spin in FP2. Raikkonen tried a new front wing, which both cars will now use for the remainder of the weekend.
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 28.046s, P4/1m 27.131s, P6
Jenson Button, 1m 27.929s, P2/1m 27.182s, P7
Hamilton said he thinks McLaren should be able to qualify on the second row but that the front row will require a major developmental effort overnight. He was pleased with his long-run pace and tyre wear, however, and expects a strong race performance. Button concurred, but had problems getting a good balance on the soft tyre in FP2. More worryingly, he had gearshift problems again then.
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 29.850s, P14/1m 27.233s, P8
Paul di Resta, 1m 29.760s, P12/1m 28.004s, P11
Hulkenberg spent FP1 learning the track, then delivered in FP2. After a decent long run in the latter, he said he felt well prepared for Saturday. Di Resta had a tough day working on his VJM05s balance, and a puncture in FP2 prevented him doing a high-fuel run on the soft tyre.
Bruno Senna (pm only), 1m 27.738s, P10
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 30.041s, P16/1m 28.596s, P17
Valtteri Bottas (am only), 1m 29.691s, P11
Bottas did a great job in FP1, but the race drivers both said theres more work to do on the set-up if they are to stand a chance of making it into Q3 tomorrow.
Sergio Perez (pm only), 1m 28.178s, P12
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 29.802s, P13/1m 28.455s, P16
Esteban Gutierrez (am only), 1m 31.212s, P20
Like Senna, Perez said it hurt him not doing the morning session, when Gutierrez stood in. The younger Mexican did a capable job, first time out on a Friday morning, at late notice, on a track hed never driven before. Kobayashi said he struggled all day for grip on low fuel, hence doing a lot of high-fuel running in FP2. Overall, the conclusion within the team is that while they might not be shatteringly fast on single-lap runs, they look reasonably competitive over the long haul.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 29.204s, P9/1m 28.239s, P14
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 30.401s, P17/1m 29.167s, P18
Ricciardo was quick straight out of the box in FP1 and didnt change much in his STR7s set-up. He had his car set up differently to Vergnes, which partly explained the difference in their lap times; the other part of that equation was that it was the Frenchmans first visit to the Buddh track.
Heikki Kovalainen (pm only), 1m 29.320s, P19
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 30.630s, P18/1m 29.606s, P20
Giedo van der Garde (am only), 1m 30.896s, P19
All three drivers reported favourably on the performance of the CT01. Van der Garde did a fine job in FP1 to all but match Petrov; the Russian went well then and again in FP2 until an engine problem prompted premature cessation of activities while Renault investigated; Kovalainen was pleased with what he achieved in FP2, having missed FP1.
Timo Glock, 1m 32.369s, P23/1m 31.113s, P22
Charles Pic, 1m 31.903s, P21/1m 31.493s, P24
Glock and Pic worked on different things in FP1, the former evaluating a new front wing, the latter learning the track. In the afternoon they focused on their usual Friday set-up work.
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m 32.125s, P22/1m 31.372s, P23
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 32.859s, P24/1m 30.950s, P21
De la Rosa said that HRT lose out most on circuits like this with quick changes of direction, but was happy with the way his day went. Karthikeyan was happy with FP1, but suffered a hydraulic failure just when hed switched to the soft tyres in FP2.
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