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Friday analysis - A bruising day for Red Bull & Toro Rosso

04 Sep 2015

The forecasted rain may have held off, but there was plenty of drama from the outset at Monza. Pirelli made camber and tyre pressure limit changes following their detailed analysis of Spa's troubles, while Mercedes and Ferrari introduced upgraded power units. The former squad looked supreme all day - in contrast to Red Bull and sister squad Toro Rosso, who had to contend with technical issues that only compounded the grid penalties they are already facing...


Lewis Hamilton, 1m 24.670s, P1/1m 24.279s, P1
Nico Rosberg, 1m 25.133s, P2/1m 24.300s, P2

Mercedes had a strong day, with both cars comfortably outpacing their opposition and using upgraded new engines. The only cause for concern were some temperature spikes in Hamilton's brakes in the second session, but these did not amount to much.


Sebastian Vettel, 1m 26.258s, P3/1m 25.038s, P3
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 26.783s, P6/1m 25.380s, P6

Neither driver reported any mechanical issues, but Vettel had a spin late on in FP1, and Raikkonen said some aspects of his driving needed fixing for tomorrow.

Force India

Sergio Perez, 1m 26.730s, P5/1m 25.278s, P4
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 26.612s, P4/1m 25.325s, P5

Both drivers were happy, once they'd adjusted to a change of brake material in FP1, but Perez said there is still wok to do on his car's balance.


Romain Grosjean (FP2 only), 1m 25.497s, P7
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 27.118s, P10/1m 25.513s, P8
Jolyon Palmer (FP1 only) 1m 27.669s, P15

Lotus had a decent day in which they were able to focus on running the E23s and looking for speed. They found it in FP2, with Grosjean and Maldonado seventh and eighth. Palmer focused more on the new-for-Spa front wing in FP1, although his running was limited by Sainz's red flag.


Valtteri Bottas, 1m 27.075s, P9/1m 25.647s, P9
Felipe Massa, 1m 26.936s, P8/1m 25.891s, P10

All day Williams packed in a lot of development work on new components, such as transmission and suspension, so were chuffed with their drivers' speed and the balance of the FW37s. They should be strong tomorrow.


Felipe Nasr, 1m 27.232s, P11/1m 26.114s, P11
Marcus Ericsson, 1m 27.454s, P13/1m 26.133s, P12

Both cars ran well on this low-downforce track which suits them, but Ericsson said it was a bit disruptive trying too many chassis set-ups.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 26.922s, P7/1m 26.222s, P13
Daniil Kvyat, 1m 27.275, P12/1m 28.723s, P20

Red Bull had a bruising day. Ricciardo was quite quick in the morning, but a hydraulic issue with his car left him in first gear with a long crawl back to the pits in FP2 and effectively curtailed his running. Kvyat was also in trouble in the afternoon, with a gearbox problem which left him last.

Both, of course, will take grid penalties as they switch to their sixth engines of the year for tomorrow - while Kvyat's pain was worsened by a forced gearbox change which will drop him even further down the Monza grid.

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen, 1m 27.591s, P14/1m 26.454s, P14
Carlos Sainz, 1m 27.907s, P16/1m 26.641s, P15

Toro Rosso expected to struggle here – and they did. Sainz lost time when he spun exiting Parabolica in the morning, and both STR10s lacked straightline speed. Initially, only Sainz was expected to get a penalty for an engine change, but after FP2 the team decided to do likewise to Verstappen's car, meaning both cars will be sent down the grid alongside their Red Bull stablemates.


Fernando Alonso, 1m 28.023s, P17/1m 26.966s, P16
Jenson Button, 1m 28.423s, P18/1m 28.471s, P19

Alonso did the bulk of the set-up work as the MP4-30s returned to long nose configuration here - largely because Button's car was sidelined with a coolant leak for most of FP2, and then had an ERS problem which restricted him to a total of three laps. With the penalties coming for the use of their ninth engines, however, that had less effect than might otherwise have been the case.


Will Stevens, 1m 29.853s, P19/1m 28.201s, P17
Roberto Merhi, 1m 29.911s, P20/1m 28.439s, P18

Both drivers were closely matched and reasonably satisfied with their cars, especially as McLaren's problems enabled them to separate Alonso and Button in FP2.

Watch: The fastest lap from Friday at Monza