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Friday analysis - Red Bull favourites, Lotus upbeat 26 Jul 2013

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138 locks up.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham CT03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013

Perfect weather conditions enabled everyone to make the most of getting to grips with Pirelli’s revised tyres in Budapest on Friday, though the green state of the track caused some interesting moments for a few drivers. The general consensus is that the new tyres take longer to warm up, but consequently last a little longer. We take a team-by-team look at the early form in Hungary after a day ruled by Red Bull…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 22.723s, P1/1m 21.264s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 22.982s, P2/1m 21.308s, P2

Vettel said he was (pleasantly) surprised just how fast his RB9 was, and both he and Webber got their weekends off to perfect starts with trouble-free days in which they dominated both sessions.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean, 1m 23.111s, P5/1m 21.417s, P3
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 23.010s, P3/1m 22.011s, P8

Grosjean had a clean day and got things done, but Raikkonen’s was interrupted by a brief airbox problem, a leaking drinks system and a slow right-rear puncture in FP1, and hampered by understeer in FP2. But there’s a huge air of optimism in the team especially with the prospect of an ambient temperature of 40 degrees Celsius for the race.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 23.099s, P4/1m 21.426s, P4
Felipe Massa, 1m 24.299s, P15/1m 21.544s, P5

Ferrari were in the ballpark all day, as Alonso and Massa split the workload with two different programmes. They completed everything they had to do, and are optimistic they can come up with the right set-up for qualifying, which remains highly important here even though this year there are two DRS zones.

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 24.157s, P13/1m 22.802s, P6
Nico Rosberg, 1m 23.531s, P8/1m 21.991s, P7

Mercedes came here on their back foot after being banned from the young driver test, but Hamilton and Rosberg began to catch up and the Englishman shared the highest lappage in both sessions. Neither of them believes they will have a chance of winning the race, and are likely to focus on setting their cars up to minimise tyre degradation and maximise points scoring potential, rather than going for outright speed.

McLaren
Jenson Button, 1m 23.370s, P6/1m 22.180s, P9
Sergio Perez, 1m 23.591s, P9/1m 22.529s, P12

McLaren seem upbeat this weekend. Button said that he felt they had taken a step forward, that his car behaved well on both the medium and the soft tyre, and that it felt good round the track. Perez said he was puzzled why his car’s balance worsened as the temperature increased in the afternoon.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 23.390s, P7/1m 22.304s, P10
Paul di Resta, 1m 24.608s, P18/1m 22.526s, P11

Sutil got a good balance on his car straight away and was very happy and comfortable with his VJM06 all day, bit Di Resta said he was chasing set-up from the outset and was only pleased with his car’s behaviour late in FP2.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 23.911s, P10/1m 22.781s, P13
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 24.150s, P12/1m 23.646s, P18

Williams split their programmes, with Maldonado focusing on aero and Bottas on mechanical work. Both felt their FW35s felt better here, though the Venezuelan said his needed more work on the balance.

Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 24.119s, P11/1m 22.837s, P14
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 24.314s, P16/1m 22.841s, P15

Both drivers at the Swiss team said they had productive days and that they were quite satisfied with the work they had got done on their C32s.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 24.204s, P14/1m 23.369s, P16
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 24.383s, P17/1m 23.411s, P17

Toro Rosso had a disappointing day when some fairly major updates failed to work as expected in FP1. The STR8s were reverted to Nurburgring spec for the afternoon, when the drivers said they struggled with the balance and just couldn’t get the speed out of the car it had shown in Germany.

Caterham
Charles Pic, 1m 25.827s, P19/1m 24.325s, P19
Giedo van der Garde, 1m 26.808s, P20/1m 25.065s, P20

Pic and his crew seemed to have a better handle on set-up than Van der Garde and his. The Frenchman said his CT03 felt reasonably balanced, showed acceptable levels of tyre degradation and had similar long-run pace to the Williams, while the Dutchman said he struggled badly with understeer in both sessions and poor levels of resistance to degradation.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, 1m 27.617s, P21/1m 25.143s, P21
Max Chilton (pm only), 1m 26.647s, P22
Rodolfo Gonzalez (am only) 1m 28.927s, P22

Bianchi said his car lacked pace and that tyre degradation was severe. Gonzalez helped with work on aero and cooling in FP1, and thereafter Chilton took his car back but ran into the same problems Bianchi was experiencing.

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