Friday analysis - all eyes on the Sao Paulo skies 23 Nov 2012
Fridays morning session at Interlagos was complicated by the presence of Pirellis prototype 2013 tyres, on which pretty much everyone set their best times, and that obscured who was really quick on the 2012 hard and medium rubber. In the afternoon, however, most focused on the latter, as Hamilton opened a small advantage and the top nine cars were covered by a second. The track temperatures all day were well above the norm here, which was an additional complication, especially as rain is forecast for tomorrow afternoon and all day Sunday. We take a team-by-team look at the early running in Sao Paulo
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 14.131s, P1/1m 14.026s, P1
Jenson Button, 1m 14.217s, P4/1m 14.863s, P8
Hamilton was very happy with his day, with the caveat that long-run tyre performance still remains a little bit of a mystery, while Button deliberately ran a lower downforce configuration with a smaller rear wing as a comparison in FP2. Given the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend its unlikely that the team will pursue the comparison tomorrow.
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 14.140s, P2/1m 14.300s, P2
Mark Webber, 1m 14.198s, P3/1m 14.523s, P3
Vettel and Webber both said they were surprised by the lack of grip in the hot conditions, but that they had positive and informative days.
Felipe Massa, 1m 14.716s, P6/1m 14.553s, P4
Fernando Alonso, 1m 14.392s, P5/1m 14.592s, P5
Alonso tried different front wings in FP1 and ran a large rear wing in FP2, as Ferrari continues to experiment with the set-up to maximise their chances in qualifying. Both drivers amassed plenty of laps, without trouble, and Massa was the fastest overall on long runs in FP2, but the team are under no illusion about the mountain they have to climb if Alonso is to outscore Vettel by 14 points.
Michael Schumacher, 1m 15.114s, P11/1m 14.654s, P6
Nico Rosberg, 1m 16.315s, P18/1m 14.669s, P7
Both drivers said they had a decent day, but both are very well aware that they face a tough race.
Romain Grosjean, 1m 14.719s, P7/1m 14.994s, P9
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 15.701s, P16/1m 15.371s, P12
Raikkonen lost a lot of running time in FP1 when his engine kept running roughly, taxing the ingenuity of Renaults engineers until an ignition coil problem was solved. Otherwise it was a normal Friday at Lotus and Grosjean said he was happy with their race pace.
Paul di Resta, 1m 14.738s, P8/1m 15.129s, P10
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 15.050s, P10/1m 15.131s, P11
Di Resta described his day as straightforward and positive, and said his VJM05 worked well in both high- and low-speed sections of the track. Hulkenberg said his car was sliding around too much.
Bruno Senna (pm only), 1m 15.432s, P13
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 15.015s, P9/1m 15.953s, P17
Valtteri Bottas (am only), 1m 15.413s, P14
Williams did a lot of set-up and evaluation work with their three drivers, and though Maldonado in particular thought that they lost something in FP2 compared with FP1, he believed they can be competitive tomorrow.
Sergio Perez, 1m 15.396s, P13/1m 15.542s, P14
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 15.255s, P12/1m 15.839s, P15
Sauber did a lot of aero work but the C31 isnt at its best in such high temperatures and both drivers experienced overheating rear tyres and said that performance-wise they werent anywhere close to where they wanted to be.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 15.587s, P15/1m 15.902s, P16
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 16.048s, P17/1m 16.048s, P18
Both drivers admitted that their STR7s struggled more than most in the very high ambient and track temperatures.
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 16.617s, P21/1m 16.126s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen (pm only), 1m 16.655s, P20
Giedo van der Garde (am only), 16.460s, P19
Things were more upbeat here this weekend, as some back-to-back aero comparisons enabled the team to move forwards again. Van der Garde particularly impressed with his FP1 performance.
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 17.678s, P23/1m 17.244s, P21
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m 17.895s, P24/1m 18.139s, P24
Neither driver did much running, as the troubled team were worried about lifing of components and wanted to save mileage for the race. But when he did run, De la Rosa boosted morale with 21st fastest time in FP2.
Timo Glock, 1m 16.506s, P20/1m 17.675s, P22
Charles Pic, 1m 17.234s, P22/1m 18.127s, P23
Marussia had a trying day, with Glock spinning in the morning due to excessive oversteer, and Pic rolling to a halt in the afternoon with an alternator problem.
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