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Friday analysis - McLaren taking nothing for granted 27 Jul 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren give the thumbs up.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams and Dickie Standford (GBR) Williams Team Manager.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Ferrari F2012 nose detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso and Gianfranco Fantuzzi (ITA) Scuderia Toro Rosso Team Manager.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Charles Pic (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula One Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 27 July 2012

As usual Friday in Budapest was a day for setting up the cars and doing tyre comparisons and some long runs, and getting used to the track as it rubbered in. Until the torrential rain came halfway through the second session and upset lots of plans…

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 22.821s, P1/1m 21.995s, P1
Jenson Button, 1m 22.922s, P2/1m 22.747s, P6

McLaren had a good day with their further updated MP4-27, with Hamilton fastest in both sessions and Button second and sixth. Hamilton was clearly very happy with his day, while Button said work on his car in FP2 indicated improved balance. Both expect qualifying and the race to be fiercely contested.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 23.983s, P8/1m 22.180s, P2
Romain Grosjean, 1m 23.633s, P5/1m 22.922s, P9

Lotus are the dark horse here, and Raikkonen’s afternoon performance says they will be very strong. The Finn said that they had managed to improve the set-up since the last two races and was upbeat. Grosjean shunted his E20’s nose off in Turn 7 early in FP2 after going well in FP1, and generally struggled with his set-up.

Williams
Bruno Senna (afternoon only), 1m 22.253s, P3
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 24.300s, P11/1m 23.337s, P12
Valtteri Bottas (morning only) 1m 24.152s, P9

Senna surprised many with a very quick lap early in FP2 after sitting out FP1. Maldonado was off the road then, but got going better in FP2 in the updated FW34. Once again Bottas was a star, making up for his shunt at Hockenheim with ninth fastest time in FP1.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 23.904s, P7/1m 22.417s, P4
Fernando Alonso, 1m 23.397s, P3/1m 22.582s, P5

Alonso downplayed things as usual, but he was there or thereabouts all day which bodes well for Ferrari. Massa was faster in FP2 and said he’d had a good day apart from the rain. Between them, they did 100 laps.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, 1m 23.845s, P6/1m 23.160s, P10
Nico Rosberg, 1m 23.628s, P4/1m 23.164s, P11

The drivers said they had reasonable days, but Ross Brawn thought it was mixed. Schumacher went off while running in the worst of the conditions in FP2, when he aquaplaned into the wall in Turn 12. The W03 was little damaged.

Force India
Paul di Resta, 1m 24.559s, P14/1m 22.794s, P7
Nico Hulkenberg (afternoon only), 1m 23.713s, P13
Jules Bianchi (morning only), 1m 25.715s, P18

Di Resta was very happy to get some feedback on test items which had been denied him in the previous two races. He also said that he got a lot of valuable work done before the rain, so ended the day in a positive frame of mind. Hulkenberg said he was comfortable with what he managed to get done, while Bianchi did a lot of laps in FP1, starting with short runs followed by a couple of useful long runs towards the end.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 24.608s, P15/1m 22.824s, P8
Mark Webber, 1m 24.546s, P13/1m 23.814s, P14

Vettel claimed that there was little difference with his Red Bull running a pre-Hockenheim engine map, and was pretty happy with things considering that he didn’t get a run on the soft Pirelli in FP2 and said there was room for improvement. Webber was unhappy with his car’s balance and said there was plenty of work to do before tomorrow.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 24.394s, P12/1m 23.841s, P15
Sergio Perez 1m 24.268s, P10/1m 24.623s, P18

It wasn’t a great day for Sauber. The drivers worked through aero programmes in the morning, but neither was happy with his car’s performance and brake problems kept Perez in the garage most of FP2.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 25.559s, P17/1m 24.328s, P16
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 25.354s, P16/1m 24.345s, P17

Ricciardo said his impression was that Toro Rosso still lacked pace, but Vergne said he thought that aero updates were a step in the right direction.

Caterham
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 26.440s, P19/1m 24.823s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 26.755s, P21/1m 25.220s, P20

Caterham were in trouble in FP1, but reverted Kovalainen’s car to Valencia spec for FP2 in order to do the first proper dry-road back-to-back comparison with the new configuration. Technical director Mark Smith said it was a very fruitful exercise as they try to optimise their new exhaust system.

Marussia
Timo Glock, 1m 27.015s, P22/1m 27.104s, P21
Charles Pic, 1m 26.705s, P20/1m 27.185s, P23

Glock was relieved to find his car performing better after changes since its nervous behaviour in Hockenheim. Pic felt he made a good start to the weekend, before the weather disrupted things.

HRT
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 27.101s, P23/1m 27.106s, P22
Narain Karthikeyan (afternoon only), 1m 27.822s, P24
Dani Clos (morning only) 1m 28.176s, P24

De la Rosa was happy enough with progress during the day, but Karthikeyan was disappointed to get caught out by the rain as he relearned the Hungaroring after a seven-year absence. Clos was getting on well with the F112 in his first dry-road run for a while, and felt he took another step forward in FP1.

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