Practice analysis - Monaco reluctant to give up its secrets 25 May 2012
The greenness of the Monte Carlo track and Heikki Kovalainens engine failure towards the end of FP1 somewhat compromised Thursday mornings running, and rain after 30 minutes in the afternoon meant that only Jenson Button got a good run on the super-soft Pirellis. In that session the conditions were never ideal, either for the slicks or for the intermediate tyres. Thus nobody was able to work through their usual programmes to assess tyre behaviour over a long run. We take a team-by-team look at day one in the Principality
Jenson Button, 1m 17.190s, P8/1m 15.746s, P1
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 16.747s, P4/1m 17.375s, P11
Button didnt make much of his fastest time in the afternoon, which came about after hed changed the set-up for the better since the morning and because he was the only frontrunner to get a good run on the super-soft tyres before it rained in FP2. He said he was reasonably happy, but clearly wasnt ecstatic. Hamilton said his car was okay in the morning but he didnt get a good crack in the afternoon. Both believe the Lotus is very quick and their biggest threat.
Romain Grosjean, 1m 16.630s, P2/1m 16.138s, P2
Kimi Raikkonen, No time/1m 19.267s, P19
Grosjean was very happy with his E20 in both sessions and said it suits the track really well. Raikkonen lost all the morning session having the steering set-up changed yet again, and never got going before the rain in the afternoon. He said that despite the slippery track his car felt better in FP2.
Felipe Massa, 1m 16.843s, P6/1m 16.602s, P3
Fernando Alonso, 1m 16.265s, P1/1m 16.661s, P4
A happy day for Massa, who was back on form in both sessions. He said the balance was good from the start and that there was more traction that he expected. Alonso said he felt that the F2012 reacted as he wanted and that the initial feeling was positive, despite the problems with the weather.
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 16.760s, P5/1m 16.820s, P5
Bruno Senna, 1m 18.617s, P17/1m 17.655s, P13
Maldonado and Senna had minor off-road moments, but basically the former showed that the speed from Barcelona is still there with fifth place in both sessions.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 17.261s, P10/1m 17.021s, P6
Michael Schumacher, 1m 17.413s, P11/1m 17.293s, P9
Despite the overall shortcomings of the day, both drivers felt that their performance confirmed their belief that the Mercedes is well suited to Monaco.
Mark Webber, 1m 18.106s, P13/1m 17.148s, P7
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 17.222s, P9/1m 17.303s, P10
Neither driver sounded very cheerful after practice, Vettel in particular feeling that they hadnt learned an awful lot apart from the fact that there were a lot of fast cars on the track this weekend.
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 17.038s, P7/1m 17.153s, P8
Sergio Perez 1m 16.711s, P3/1m 18.251s, P15
Good balance and improved traction for both drivers here, though Perez thought there was more set-up work to be done.
Paul di Resta, 1m 18.302s, P16/1m 17.395s, P12
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 17.631s, P12/1m 17.800s, P14
Neither driver reported any problems during their data-gathering day in which they got close to a reasonable dry-weather balance on their VJM05s.
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 19.341s, P19/1m 18.440s, P16
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 19.039s, P18/1m 20.029s, P21
Kovalainen brought FP1 to an end when his engine let go in the tunnel and coated the line with oil 10 minutes before the session was due to finish. In the afternoon he stopped in the Mirabeau escape road after going straight on in the greasy conditions. No problems for Petrov, and new suspension parts were deemed to have been an improvement.
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 18.209s, P14/1m 18.522s, P17
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 18.252s, P15/1m 18.808s, P18
No problems for either driver, though Vergne said his best lap ended in the pit lane after he met traffic towards the end of it.
Timo Glock, 1m 21.638s, P22/1m 19.309s, P20
Charles Pic, 1m 20.895s, P21/1m 20.240s, P22
Glock struggled with understeer in FP1, but got going early in FP2 before the rain and improved significantly. Pic was quick in FP1 and reported a straightforward day as he learned Monaco in an F1 car.
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 22.423s, P23/1m 20.631s, P23
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m20.838s, P20/ 1m 20.886s, P24
De la Rosa lost out in FP1 when he encountered Kovalainens smoke screen in the tunnel, and then with the rain in FP2. Karthikeyan, however, was very happy with 20th place in the morning, but admitted he was disappointed by the speed Marussia found in FP2.
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