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Friday analysis - who has the most to come?

06 Jun 2014

The weather was a little bit iffy at times, but the anticipated rain never materialised during Friday’s Montreal sessions and in general the teams got all their programmes completed as the track temperature rose and fell as the sun came out and then went in again. In general, the track surface was very slippery, as it was slow to rubber in. Pirelli reported a difference of around 0.7s between their soft and supersoft tyre compounds, and expect to see one or two pit stops in the race as a result of the information they gathered. We take a team-by-team look at progress on day one in Canada…


Lewis Hamilton, 1m 17.254s, P2/1m 16.118s, P1

Nico Rosberg, 1m 17.384s, P3/1m 16.293s, P2

After Alonso set the pace in the morning, having frustrated a very quick lap by Hamilton who happened upon the Ferrari right at the end of it, Mercedes resumed command in FP2, though the margin over Vettel - 0.455s - was less than one might have expected. Both drivers were happy with what they achieved, and Hamilton in particular said there’s more to come from the set-up tomorrow.

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, 1m 18.131s, P4/1m 16.573s, P3

Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 18.435s, P6/1m 17.644s, P12

Vettel lost some time with a gearbox problem, which was fortunately rectified, and looked good once he started running the supersoft Pirellis in FP2, but Ricciardo struggled with the set-up on his RB10 and admitted that he has a lot of overnight work to do. On the positive side, Renault were generally satisfied with the updates that they brought to Montreal, and both drivers said there’s more to come once they were happier with their set-ups.


Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 18.578s, P9/1m 16.648s, P4

Fernando Alonso, 1m 17.238s, P1/1m 16.701s, P5

Ferrari had a good day, with both drivers showing reasonable pace. Interestingly, Raikkonen’s engineer David Lloyd believed that the Mercedes were running light fuel loads. Though outwardly it seemed like a normal Friday for the team, chassis director Pat Fry reported that it was fairly fraught in the garage because of a number of unidentified small problems.


Felipe Massa, 1m 19.575s, P17/1m 16.774s, P6

Valtteri Bottas, 1m 18.361s, P5/1m 16.893s, P7

Williams had a good day too, though there were initial issues with brake temperatures and Massa lost time in FP1 with an ERS cooling problem. Generally both drivers said they were happy with the balance, and what they learned about tyre performance.


Kevin Magnussen, 1m 18.514s, P8/1m 17.052s, P8

Jenson Button, 1m 18.446s, P7/1m 17.059s, P9

Both drivers said the balance of the MP4-29 needed work, and Button said that changes between sessions worked on low fuel but were less good when he hammered the car on the supersofts with a decent fuel load. As he anticipated, the rear tyres started graining under such treatment.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 18.643s, P10/1m 17.180s, P10

Daniil Kvyat, 1m 19.177s, P15/1m 18.732s, P19

Vergne looked strong in both sessions despite a battery problem in FP2, but while Kvyat made another promising start on a circuit he didn’t know he lost time in FP2 when his power unit had to be changed.


Romain Grosjean, 1m 19.142s, P14/1m 17.626s, P11

Pastor Maldonado, 1m 19.340s, P16/1m 17.868s, P15

Lotus came to Montreal expecting to struggle in the slow corners, and that proved to be the case. Maldonado lost time in FP2 with a DRS problem which required his rear wing to be changed, but overall there was optimism after Grosjean set the 11th fastest time.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 18.733, P11/1m 17.712s, P13

Sergio Perez, 1m 18.959s, P12/1m 17.819s, P14

Force India had a generally good day and Hulkenberg described the VJM07 as driveable. Perez, however, had a small but undisclosed problem with his car at the end of FP2.


Adrian Sutil, 1m 19.108s, P13/1m 17.964s, P16

Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 19.804s, P18/1m 18.340s, P17

Sutil said he enjoyed himself coping with the C33 on a slippery track, but Gutierrez’s day was cursed early on with control unit problems which necessitated recovery mode for the rest of his practice. He also said that the car’s driveability problems made it a handful here.


Max Chilton, 1m 20.844s, P20/1m 18.693s, P18

Jules Bianchi, 1m 20.200s, P19/1m 32.127s, P22

Bianchi brushed the wall on the exit to Turn 4 hard enough in the morning to damage the rear suspension and necessitate a gearbox change. He then managed only three laps in the afternoon before a problem with the Ferrari power unit kept him in the pits. The onus of car set-up development thus fell on Chilton’s shoulders in both sessions.


Kamui Kobayashi (pm only), 1m 20.244s, P20

Marcus Ericsson, 1m 21.404s, P21/1m 22.418s, P21

Alexander Rossi (am only) 1m 21.757s, P22

All three Caterham drivers struggled with the CT05’s inherent lack of downforce which obliged them to brake really early. Rossi did a great job on his first acquaintance with the car and but for a lock-up would have matched Ericsson. The Swede managed 33 laps in FP1, but in FP2 his car ground to a halt with transmission problems, as Kobayashi battled tyre temperature and balance shortcomings.