Latest / Feature

Friday analysis - who's set to be king of the mountains?

20 Jun 2014

FP1 proved frustrating as drizzle interrupted the teams’ efforts to learn/re-familiarise themselves with the Spielberg track and to conduct their outright pace runs and race distance work on Pirelli’s soft and supersoft compounds, but FP2 was more straightforward despite a strong wind. Mercedes remained the class of the field, but behind them it seems there’s everything to play for. We take a team-by-team look at day one in Austria…

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, 1m 11.435s, P2/1m 09.542s, P1

Nico Rosberg, 1m 11.295s, P1/1m 09.919s, P2

Once again Mercedes were clearly the fastest, as Hamilton and Rosberg battled it out. The Englishman said he was really happy with the way his day went and had been impressive getting his best time out of the supersofts immediately. Rosberg took longer to achieve a time 0.377s slower, and said his car was bouncing badly on the straights and in the braking areas.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso, 1m 11.606s, P3/1m 10.470s, P3

Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 12.365s, P11/1m 10.974s, P11

Ferrari split the development work as Raikkonen focused on the front of the car and Alonso the rear, and they tried new aero components. After Canada, where Alonso was also quick on Friday, it’s difficult to say whether Ferrari will be in the same position tomorrow as it was in FP2.

Williams

Valtteri Bottas, 1m 12.114s, P8/1m 10.519s, P4

Felipe Massa, 1m 11.756s, P4/1m 10.521s, P5

Once again Williams looked very good. Massa in particular was very pleased with his FW36’s balance, and expects to be in the thick of the fight behind Mercedes on Sunday.

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel, 1m 12.988s, P15/1m 10.807s, P6

Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 12.570s, P13/1m 10.920s, P8

Both drivers admitted that they struggled with the RB10 in FP1, particularly with generating heat in the tyres, but said they were happier once changes had been made for FP2. Vettel, however, admitted freely that they are not the favourites for their home race.

McLaren

Jenson Button, 1m 11.839s, P5/1m 10.813s, P7

Kevin Magnussen, 1m 12.313s, P9/1m 10.936s, P9

McLaren had a positive day, experimenting with the aero upgrade in FP1 when there was a degree of progress, and then focusing on the normal race preparation work in FP2. Both drivers said their cars felt reasonably good, but complained about aspects of the layout of Turn 8.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 12.364s, P10/1m 10.972s, P10

Daniil Kvyat, 1m 12.372s, P12/1m 11.261s, P12

Vergne was very happy with progress, which like McLaren embraced a lot of assessment of new parts in FP1. He is convinced Q3 is a possibility again tomorrow. Kvyat liked the track, but said he felt there was room for big personal improvement.

Force India

Sergio Perez, 1m 12.009s, P6/1m 11.296s, P13

Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 12.072s, P7/1m 11.935s, P17

Both drivers were happy with the VJM07 in FP1, but less so in the afternoon when the performance edge seemed to go away. They have much midnight oil to burn here tonight.

Sauber

Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 12.984s, P14/1m 11.491s, P14

Adrian Sutil, 1m 14.691s, P21/1m 11.806s, P16

Sutil had a character-building morning thanks to a fractured hose which cost him a lot of track time. Gutierrez had a better time, but both said there is work to be done on the C33’s driveability here.

Lotus

Pastor Maldonado, 1m 13.642s, P17/1m 11.765s, P15

Romain Grosjean, 1m 13.168s, P16/1m 12.262s, P19

Maldonado made good progress in FP2 as the team started to unlock the E22’s potential, but then lost time with a power unit problem. Grosjean was very unhappy with his car’s handling

Marussia

Max Chilton, 1m 13.857s, P19/1m 12.229s, P18

Jules Bianchi, 1m 13.738s, P18/1m 12.279s, P20

Their post-Canadian spat resolved, Chilton and Bianchi were evenly matched all day and ended up separated by only five-hundredths of a second as Marussia continued to look more and more respectable. Bianchi lost time in FP1 with a radio problem, but otherwise it was a reliable and productive day.

Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 14.611s, P20/1m 12.937s, P21

Marcus Ericsson, 1m 17.501s, P22/1m 13.596s, P22

Caterham had a tough day as Ericsson’s car ground to a halt early in FP1 when it switched itself off. The Swede lost the rest of the session as an electrical problem with the MGU-H was solved. Kobayashi was much happier in FP2 after changes to his CT05 improved its braking and traction.