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Friday analysis - Mercedes in the driving seat 28 Jun 2013

From left: Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing; Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari; Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari; Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren; Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber; Jean Todt (FRA) FIA President; and Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 during the minutes silence that was held for volunteer marshal Mark Robinson (CDN) who was tragically killed in an accident during the Canadian Grand Prix.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35,.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013 Caterham CT03 nose.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 28 June 2013

Yet again on a Friday the weather did its best to interfere with teams’ best-laid plans in the morning at Silverstone, when only 11 cars actually set lap times.

That forced everyone to regroup and to pack as much of their programme - which included running Pirelli’s prototype tyres - into the afternoon session, which was run on a damp but drying track.

And in the evening everyone gathered below the podium to commemorate marshal Mark Robinson, who died at the recent Canadian Grand Prix, by holding a minute’s silence.

We take a team-by-team look at day one in Great Britain…

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, No time/1m 32.248s, P1
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 55.458s, P4/1m 32.911s P5

Both drivers felt that they had taken backward steps with their set-ups, which made the MGP W04s extremely nervous in the high-speed corners. Hamilton said his car was the worst it had ever been, though both he and Rosberg were very quick.

Red Bull
Mark Webber, No time/1m 32.547s, P2
Sebastian Vettel, No time/1m 32.680s, P3

No real problems here, as the team worked through their programme, with Webber predicting a tight race on Sunday.

Force India
Paul di Resta, No time/1m 32.832s, P4
Adrian Sutil, No time/1m 33.313s, P8

No real problems here either, with Di Resta in particular confident there will be more speed to come from the car overnight once Friday’s data has been analysed.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 54.249s, P1/1m 33.171s, P6
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 57.891s, P7/1m 33.290s, P7

Both drivers were on great form with their STR8s in both sessions, the James Key-designed machines seemingly well suited to Silverstone.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, No time/1m 33.322s, P9
Kimi Raikkonen, No time/1m 34.120s, P13

Grosjean ran some new figure-hugging aero bodywork, which seemed to work well. Raikkonen worked with the team’s ‘device,’ believed to refer to their passive double-DRS, which was also deemed to work well. Its true value will be calculated from the telemetry overnight, however.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, No time/1m 33.494s, P10
Felipe Massa, 2m 06.534s, P11/1m 43.466s, P22

No real problems for Alonso, but Massa did some damage to the front end of his F138 after 25 minutes of the afternoon session after spinning on a wet kerb at Stowe and hitting the inside tyre wall.

McLaren
Jenson Button, No time/1m 33.740s, P11
Sergio Perez, No time/1m 34.130s, P14

McLaren had lots of new bits to try on both MP4-28s, so were frustrated by the morning weather. In the afternoon they gathered a lot of data, however, and will decide this evening what to keep and what, if anything, to discard.

Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 55.033s, P2/1m 33.896s, P12
Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 55.825s, P5/1m 34.998s, P15

No problems here, though Gutierrez thought that Hulkenberg’s aero settings were slightly better than his.

Williams
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 56.361s, P6/1m 35.070s, P16
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 55.354s, P3/1m 35.127s, P17

For their 600th Grand Prix celebrations, Williams brought along a revised livery to reflect the current staff, and the butterfly on the nose that will now commemorate the late Lady Virginia Williams. Bottas focused on aero work in the afternoon, Maldonado mechanical.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, 1m 59.876s, P10/1m 35.802s, P18
Max Chilton, 1m 59.719s, P9/1m 37.329s, P21

Like everyone else, Marussia had to pack aero and mechanical test work and prototype tyre evaluation into FP2, but were happy they had at least completed sufficienct race preparation work.

Caterham
Giedo van der Garde, 1m 58.859s, P8/1m 35.984s, P19
Charles Pic, No time/1m 36.079s, P20

Van der Garde did both sessions and was happy with his CT03, apart from some oversteer. Pic bent his car in the Club corner at the end of the morning session, removing its front wing but otherwise inflicting little damage.

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