Friday analysis - Red Bull not so bullish 07 Sep 2012
The times were pretty tight at Monza on Friday, but while it was clear McLaren and Ferrari are unlikely to be short of pace this weekend, championship leaders Red Bull could have their work cut out if they are to challenge for victory come Sunday. We take a team-by-team look at day one in Italy
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 25.944s, P6/1m 25.290s, P1
Jenson Button, 1m 25.723s, P2/1m 25.328s, P2
Both drivers set their best times on the medium tyres in the afternoon, and both drivers thus far seem happy with their set-ups, though Hamilton stressed that fine-tuning for things such as Monzas notorious bumps will continue through FP3. They look in good shape, though.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 25.800s, P4/1m 25.348s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 25.861s, P5/1m 25.430s, P4
Alonso lost an engine in FP1, then had brake and gearbox issues in FP2. But he set his best lap in the latter on the hard tyre so there is reason for optimism here as the team prepare to give the tifosi their best performance. Massa was right with his team leader all day, amid renewed speculation that he could, after all, be replaced for 2013.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 25.762s, P3/1m25.446s, P5
Michael Schumacher, 1m 25.422s, P1/1m 26.094s, P10
Mercedes had great straight-line speed, but Schumacher had some gearbox woes in the morning and then had DRS problems in the afternoon. Rosberg said he was quite happy with how his day went, however.
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 26.046s, P7/1m 25.504s, P6
Jerome DAmbrosio, 1m 27.180s, P15/1m 26.157s, P12
Raikkonen said that he was happy with his car and its long-run pace, though he couldnt quite run with the top dogs. Standing in for Grosjean was always going to be tough for DAmbrosio, but he put in the sort of confident performance we remember from his Virgin days and was only six-tenths off his team mate.
Paul di Resta (pm only), 1m 25.546s, P7
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 26.518s, P12/1m 25.547s, P8
Jules Bianchi (am only), 1m 27.192, P16
Force India once again looked strong, especially in FP2, when a thousandth of a second separated Di Resta and Hulkenberg. So far, they look good here.
Sergio Perez 1m 26.323s, P8/1m 26.068s, P9
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 26.746s, P14/1m 26.730s, P16
Sauber had a mixed day. Perez looked quick but Kobayashi was clearly struggling. The Mexican was called in towards the end for examination of a fault that showed up on the telemetry, while damping problems with the Japanese drivers car almost caused him to spin on the straight. The team have a lot of work to do tonight to solve their undisclosed handling problems.
Mark Webber, 1m 26.390s, P9/1m 26.104s, P11
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 26.508s, P11/1m 26.394s, P13
The simple truth is that Red Bull werent fast enough over a single lap today, though their longer run pace wasnt so bad. Theres lot of work to do tonight in this camp too.
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 26.504s, P10/1m 26.404s, P14
Bruno Senna (pm only), 1m 26.783s, P17
Valtteri Bottas (am only) 1m 26.641s, P13
Maldonado and Bottas were happy with the FW34 in FP1, though the former drifted to a halt late in the session with a hydraulic fault. Senna said that doing just half a day made life difficult in FP2.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 27.373s, P17/1m 26.724s, P15
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 27.789s, P18/1m 26.864s, P19
Both drivers gathered a lot of data, which will be processed tonight before they formulate a direction for the rest of the weekend.
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 27.855s, P19/1m 26.841s, P18
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 28.578s, P20/1m 27.222s, P20
No real problems here, though the cars still lacked midfield speed.
Timo Glock, 1m 29.207s, P22/1m 27.944s, P21
Charles Pic, 1m 28.751s, P21/1m 27.968s, P22
Monza doesnt suit Marussias MR-01 so the drivers struggled initially to find a decent set-up. Glock did a lot of back-to-back work with the Canadian settings and some new components indicated the way forward.
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 29.331s, P23/1m 28.575s, P23
Narain Karthikeyan (pm only), 1m 28.779s, P24
Ma Qing Hua (am only) 1m 31.239s, P24
De la Rosa enjoyed two clean sessions on his 100th Grand Prix appearance and was able to try out many different configurations. Ma acquitted himself reasonably well, getting within two seconds of De la Rosa without making many significant mistakes as he became the first Chinese-born driver to participate in an official Grand Prix session. Karthikeyan picked up for the afternoon and worked through set-ups, before an exhaust problem curtailed his running.
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