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Friday analysis - Ferrari back in the hunt? 07 Jun 2013

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 The car of Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 is taken into scrutineering.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham CT03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice, Montreal, Canada, Friday, 7 June 2013

The weather did its best to disrupt things in Friday morning’s Montreal session, but nonetheless several drivers, such as Alonso and Button, did get the chance to make brief runs on Pirelli’s revised tyres in between their other work. And the dry track in the afternoon at least enabled teams to make a stab at decent set-ups should Saturday’s anticipated rain not return for the race. We take a team-by-team look at the early running in Canada…

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 21.308s, P4/1m 14.818s, P1
Felipe Massa, 1m 23.341s, P11/1m 15.254s, P6

Neither driver had any problems, but Alonso said he expects it to be a very complicated weekend if, as expected, it rains tomorrow and on Sunday, as it is extremely difficult to judge the level of grip from lap to lap.

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 25.054s, P16/1m 14.830s, P2
Nico Rosberg, 1m 22.402s, P7/1m 15.249s, P5

Not a bad day for Mercedes on the track. Hamilton said he tried a couple of things - without specifying whether they were tweaks to the brakes - and that he was happier as a result with his F1 W04. Rosberg said that he had trouble warming up his front tyres, and that he flat-spotted some tyres as a result.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, 1m 21.258s, P3/1m 15.083s, P3
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 21.608s, P5/1m 15.599s, P11

Grosjean looked pretty hooked up with consistent performances in both sessions. Raikkonen was also quick, but we saw more errors from him than we expect as he pushed his E21 to its limit in FP2.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 23.131s, P10/1m 15.212s, P4
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 23.047s, P9/1m 15.280s, P7

No real problems here, bar a half spin for Webber in Turn 6 in FP2. Though neither he nor Vettel figured really highly on the timesheets, both feel that the RB9 will be strong here so long as the conditions remain consistent.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 23.417s, P14/1m 15.396s, P8
Paul di Resta, 1m 21.020s, P1/1m 15.855s, P13

Di Resta yet again looked great in the morning, setting the fastest time on medium tyres soon after describing his VJM06 as the most comfortable it’s ever felt on the intermediates. Unfortunately his afternoon was cut short by an electrical glitch. Sutil struggled in the morning but was very happy with his car in the afternoon and said they just need to work on making it a little more consistent.

McLaren
Jenson Button, 1m 21.108s, P2/1m 15.422s, P9
Sergio Perez, 1m 22.587s, P8/1m 15.661s, P12

Button and McLaren were buoyed by the MP4-28’s performance in the morning, but for the second year running here he encountered a gearbox problem which lost him crucial track time. The general feeling, however, is that they made progress with a significantly revised set-up. Perez had no problems, but said his car needed more pace.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 22.068s, P6/1m 15.566s, P10
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 23.386s, P13/1m 16.351s, P15

Ricciardo was happy with his STR8’s behaviour straight out of the box in the morning and felt that some fairly major changes were also beneficial in the afternoon, but Vergne was less happy with his car’s behaviour then.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 27.522s, P21/1m 16.319s, P14
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 23.352s, P12/1m 16.374s, P16

Maldonado did little to make himself popular after crashing his brand new FW35 in Turn 3 in the morning when he put a wheel off the dry line, but in the afternoon he and team mate Bottas completed their programmes without further drama.

Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 23.957s, P15/1m 16.475s, P17
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 25.354s, P17/1m 16.929s, P18

Both drivers struggled all day to get their C32s handling well. Even after a set-up error was discovered on his, which had made it undriveable, Hulkenberg still reported wayward behaviour. There’s plenty of work to be done here overnight.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, 1m 29.306s, P22/1m 17.070s, P19
Max Chilton, 1m 25.821s, P19/1m 17.888s, P21

Marussia’s main drama came in the morning when Bianchi went up the escape road in Turn 3 then damaged his gearbox trying to regain the track. That limited his track time and necessitated a transmission change in the lunch break. He made up for that with a strong performance in the afternoon, when he and Chilton both completed their programmes.

Caterham
Charles Pic (pm only), 1m 17.236s, P20
Giedo van der Garde, 1m 25.753s, P18/1m 18.392s, P22
Alex Rossi (am only), 1m 27.143s, P20

Pic worked to dial out initial understeer in FP2 and was pleased with the result until they went too far and engineered in some mid-corner instability, but after enjoying FP1 Van der Garde couldn’t find a solution to similar problems until later in FP2. On his first run in the 2013 Caterham, Rossi did what he had to do in the tricky morning conditions, without putting a mark on the car, but admitted that he’d left a fair bit on the table rather than push too hard and screw up.

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