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Friday analysis - Ferrari's rise continues 08 Jun 2012

McLaren mechanics and McLaren MP4-27 rear end.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW34.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Jody Egginton (GBR) Caterham Race Engineer and Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012 Charles Pic (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 8 June 2012

The accidents involving Kovalainen in the morning and Senna in the afternoon cost some track time, as everyone focused on the usual work of chassis set-up and tyre evaluation. They were lucky that the rain that fell at lunchtime had dried up by the start of FP2, and that the torrent came immediately after that session had ended. The general feeling is that there isn’t a lot of performance difference between Pirelli’s soft and super-soft compounds. We take a team-by-team look at day one in Montreal…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 15.564s, P1/1m 15.259s, P1
Jenson Button, 1m 16.347s, P10/1m 15.812s, P9

Hamilton had a very strong day, with fastest time in both sessions. But he still predicts that qualifying and the race will be very close. It wasn’t such a good day for Button, who lost much of FP1 and 70 minutes of FP2 with one oil leak, and more time as another developed once that had been fixed. In the circumstances, his afternoon performance was impressive.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 15.842s, P4/1m 15.313s, P2
Felipe Massa, 1m 16.619s, P12/1m 15.410s, P3

When Alonso says he is “rather pleased” it usually means “Look out, here I come!” The Spaniard said he had a good day, trying some new parts and doing the usual comparison footwork, while Massa was also very pleased that the sort of set-up that had helped him in Monaco was still bearing fruit for him in Canada.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 15.682s, P2/1m 15.531s, P4
Mark Webber, 1m 15.897s, P5/1m 15.907s, P12

Red Bull got caught out slightly running the super-softs in the morning in expectation of rain in the afternoon, which slightly skewed their programmes, but both drivers were relatively happy with the way that things went and think they will be competitive tomorrow.

Force India
Paul di Resta, 1m 16.460s, P11/1m 15.544s, P5
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 15.986s, P6/1m 15.799s, P8

Both drivers said they were very happy with the way things went even though FP1 was very busy as they were expecting FP2 to be wet. Di Resta in particular was delighted with his car’s balance all day.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 16.000s, P7/1m 15.651s, P6
Sergio Perez 1m 16.249s, P8/1m 15.898s, P11

No real problems here, and both drivers were relatively happy with how things went in terms of balance and speed. They seem to be close to the ballpark.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, 1m 16.264s, P9/1m 15.697s, P7
Nico Rosberg, 1m 15.782s, P3/1m 15.878s, P10

Nothing but positive vibes here, with Schumacher in particular saying that he has a very good feeling about the car this weekend.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 16.859s, P13/1m 15.987s, P13
Bruno Senna, 1m 18.762s, P21/1m 17.022s, P17

Maldonado was relatively happy with a new DRS system which he tried out, and had a reasonable day. Senna did not, spinning his FW34 backwards into ‘Champions’ Wall’ on the exit to Turn 14 and bringing FP2 to a temporary halt.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, 1m 16.890s, P14/1m 16.360s, P14
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 17.014s, P15/1m 16.562s, P15

Lotus appeared to be off the pace, but that was only because, like Red Bull, they focused on their super-soft tyre running in the morning in expectation of rain that didn’t come in FP2. Raikkonen said he was missing a trick somewhere in his car’s set-up, while Grosjean focused on learning the circuit. They’ll be a lot faster tomorrow.

Caterham
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 18.177s, P19/1m 16.981s, P16
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 17.935s, P18/1m 17.075s, P18

Apart from Kovalainen’s shunt in the morning which left his mechanics with a mountain to climb between sessions, this was a positive day for Caterham. Both drivers were happy with the balance of the CT01, and feel they have a good direction for FP3 and qualifying.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 17.352s, P16/1m 17.124s, P19
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 17.580s, P17/1m 17.716s, P20

No problems here as the drivers evaluated new wings and tried different exhausts, apart from the fact that the STR7s were better on race runs than low-fuel runs.

HRT
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 18.182s, P20/1m 18.908s, P21
Narain Karthikeyan, 1m 19.354s, P22/1m 19.378s, P23

De la Rosa was flying in FP1 and said that the team had taken a significant step forward since Monaco as he beat the Marussias and chased the Caterhams. His day was spoiled a little when he injured a mechanic in a pit-lane incident, and he was relieved to hear that no serious harm had been done. Karthikeyan had a less consistent day, with a brake problem halting him at the end of FP2.

Marussia
Timo Glock, 1m 20.004s, P23/1m 19.084s, P22
Charles Pic, 1m 20.067s, P24/1m 19.902s, P24

The inconsistent conditions, allied to braking instability, made this a tough day for the experienced Glock and rookie team mate Pic who was learning the circuit. The German predicts a tough race on a circuit that doesn’t suit the MR-01

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