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Friday analysis - Red Bull out to spoil Alonso's homecoming 10 May 2013

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28,.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham CT03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013 Rodolfo Gonzalez (VEN) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 10 May 2013

The wet weather in Spain on Friday morning meant that all the teams had their work cut out to assess their all-important upgrade packages in FP1, and thus they all had plenty of work to get through in the mercifully dry second session. Three types of dry tyre were used during a busy afternoon’s running - the medium compound, the revised hard compound and, for practice only, an unmarked hard prototype tyre designed to encourage more running. We take a team-by-team look at the early form in Barcelona…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 29.457s, P19/1m 22.808s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 29.473s, P20/1m 22.891s, P3

Both drivers were quietly confident and felt that they’d got the best out of their disjointed days, but they expect it to be a tight fight in qualifying and the race.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 25.455s, P2/1m 22.825s, P2
Fernando Alonso, 1m 25.252s, P1/1m 23.110s, P5

Though Alonso was his usual cautious self not wishing to raise expectations, it was clear that the Spaniard was very happy with the performance of Ferrari’s upgrades, and Massa echoed his sentiments. Both think they can fight with “the best” for this one.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 26.614s, P8/1m 23.030s, P4
Romain Grosjean, 1m 26.042s, P4/1m 25.851s, P18

Both drivers ran new front and rear wings, Grosjean also using the old one for comparison purposes. Raikkonen also tried new rear suspension. Both felt the new parts worked well, but Raikkonen made the usual caveats about needing to improve the car for Saturday. Grosjean had to abort his lap on mediums, hence his slow time in FP2.

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 26.374s, P6/1m 23.140s, P6
Nico Rosberg, 1m 26.621s, P9/1m 23.398s, P7

Hamilton said he was happier with his car’s balance in the morning than he was when it was a little wayward in the afternoon. Rosberg was happy enough and said the speed was there again over a lap, but that the focus needed to be on race pace.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 26.212s, P5/1m 23.840s, P8
Paul di Resta, 1m 25.755s, P10/1m 24.104s, P10

Sutil was happy with his car’s balance, especially on the mediums, and felt that upgrades were working well. Di Resta lost time in the afternoon after his left rear Pirelli medium lost its tread exiting the final corner in FP2 and forced him to abandon his car just past the pits.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 25.667s, P3/1m 24.058s, P9
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 26.940s, P11/1m 24.175s, P11

Both drivers, but Vergne in particular, were very happy about the STR8’s performance, and said that it was heartening to find that the improvement promised in the wind tunnel was borne out on the track.

McLaren
Jenson Button, No time/1m 24.306s, P12
Sergio Perez, 1m 27.135s, P13/1m 24.854s, P13

Both drivers were very disappointed that the huge upgrade here to rear suspension, bodywork and front and rear wings appeared only to have enlarged the gap between the MP4-28 and its rivals. The morning weather didn’t help and more aggressive front wings are on their way by van and plane tonight so the team hope fervently that overnight study of the data accrued, and the new parts, will enable them to improve significantly tomorrow.

Williams
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 26.456s, P7/1m 24.888s, P14
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 27.576s, P15/1m 25.321s, P16

Things looked good at times with the aerodynamically revised FW34s, but it was largely an inconclusive day for Williams.

Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 27.061s, P12/1m 25.167s, P15
Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 27.250s, P14/1m 25.441s, P17

Hulkenberg deemed the new rear wing an improvement on the C31, but again it was an inconclusive day for the Swiss team.

Caterham
Giedo van der Garde, 1m 28.600s, P17/1m 25.963s, P19
Charles Pic (pm only), 1m 26.930s, P21
Heikki Kovalainen (am only) 1m 28.373s, P16

Kovalainen said that generally the heavily upgraded CT03 felt much better than the car he drove in Bahrain, with improved balance in mid-corner and in both low- and high-speed turns which made it easier to push hard. Van der Garde had a KERS problem in the morning but was happy with his car’s balance in the afternoon.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, 1m 28.887s, P18/1m 26.078s, P20
Max Chilton (pm only), 1m 26.970s, P22
Rodolfo Gonzalez (am only), 1m 30.314s, P21

Bianchi said he was happy with new parts which reduced the gap that Caterham had opened up in Bahrain, and Gonzalez played his part verifying them in his FP1 run. That put Chilton a little on his back foot in the afternoon, when he said he didn’t make best use of his medium Pirelli’s because of traffic.

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