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Friday analysis - conclusions hard to come by 25 Jul 2014

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F14 T.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW36.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India VJM07.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber C33.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E22.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Caterham CT05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia F1 Team MR03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 25 July 2014

More sweltering track temperatures as high as 57 degrees Celsius, a general lack of grip and the need further to re-optimise their cars after the removal of inter-connected front and rear suspension systems kept all of the teams fully occupied in both practice sessions in Hungary on Friday. On the bright side, Pirelli’s soft rubber showed signs of low thermal degradation, so teams are confident that two-stop races are feasible. As to the pecking order, most agreed it was too soon to tell. We take a team-by-team look at the early formbook in Budapest…

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 25.814s, P1/1m 24.482s, P1
Nico Rosberg, 1m 25.997s, P2/1m 24.720s, P2

Both drivers had a few problems getting the grip and balance into their cars, but they were the fastest as usual, and their race pace - in the 1m 28s bracket - looks very strong.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 27.220s, P5/1m 25.111s, P3
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 27.782s, P8/1m 25.983s, P7

Vettel said he felt he’d made a step forward and hopes to maintain his pace tomorrow, when Renault hopes to up the power available to their runners. Ricciardo admitted that he’d struggled for grip all day.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 26.872s, P4/1m 25.437s, P4
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 26.421s, P3/1m 25.730s, P6

Alonso said there was more work to do in setting up the cars than usual, but felt they had made decent progress. Raikkonen looked better too, but said that he struggled more in the afternoon on the medium tyre than on the soft despite the high track temperatures.

McLaren
Kevin Magnussen, 1m 27.357s, P6/1m 25.580s, P5
Jenson Button, 1m 27.804s, P9/1m 26.234s, P9

McLaren focused on refining the MP4-29’s behaviour with the new parts introduced successfully at Hockenheim last weekend, but problems with traffic and the changing nature of the track’s level of grip largely rendered it an inconclusive day. Button complained in the morning about brake instability.

Williams
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 28.330s, P15/1m 25.999s, P8
Felipe Massa, 1m 27.960s, P10/1m 26.402s, P10

The morning was all about aero testing as Williams tried a new rear wing, with tyre work left until the afternoon. Both drivers said that the tight nature of the Hungaroring suited the FW36 less well than either the Red Bull Ring or Hockenheim, but they should still be in the hunt for points on Sunday.

Toro Rosso
Daniil Kvyat, 1m 28.208s, P13/1m 26.689s, P11
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 27.683s, P7/1m 26.703s, P12

The two drivers experience opposing fortunes. Vergne was happy with his STR9’s balance in the morning but not in the afternoon, while Kvyat was the other way around.

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 28.101s, P12/1m 26.789s, P13
Sergio Perez, 1m 28.376s, P16/1m 27.013s, P15

Hulkenberg said he’d had a normal Friday, but Perez admitted he’d had a difficult time, especially on the medium tyres.

Sauber
Adrian Sutil, 1m 29.025s, P18/1m 26.919s, P14
Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 27.967s, P11/1m 27.480s, P18

Both drivers said they had two positive sessions, though while Sutil preferred the softer tyre, Gutierrez found the medium more to his liking.

Lotus
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 28.266s, P14/1m 27.019s, P16
Romain Grosjean, 1m 28.593s, P17/1m 27.021s, P17

Lotus focused on aero in the morning and tyre work in the afternoon, but Grosjean’s second session was badly compromised by a leak in the cooling system on his E22.

Caterham
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 30.363s, P19/1m 28.370s, P19
Marcus Ericsson, 1m 30.892s, P20/1m 29.036s, P22

Kobayashi reported one of the team’s best Fridays for some time, with progress on each run, but both he and Ericsson had spins and it was clear that the CT05s were poised on a knife edge as they alternated between understeer and oversteer in corners and were very difficult to drive.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, 1m 31.248s, P22/1m 28.469s, P20
Max Chilton, 1m 31.004s, P21/1m 28.586s, P21

Chilton lost almost all of FP1 when his gearbox leaked oil on to a hot exhaust which then caught fire on his installation lap. The box had to be changed and he did not get out again until the closing minutes. In afternoon he announced that set-up changes and the rise on track temperature had made the car “horrible.” Bianchi struggled initially with grip and balance.

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