Spanish Grand Prix – Friday Practice Results
As the green lights went out at the Circuit de Catalunya, it was Romain who lead the way out of the garage closely followed by his team-mate. With the sun beating down on the track once again, the engineers were blessed with prime conditions to garner comparable data with the morning session.
Both drivers emerged from the pits for their first flying runs with just under thirty minutes elapsed; each sporting the new design of front wing and beginning the session on the silver marked hard compound Pirelli tyres.
Long runs were the priority during the afternoon, with the Finn and Frenchman notching up some substantial mileage during the final hour’s running for the day and showing good pace throughout.
Kimi Raikkonen – 5th: “We’ve been fast everywhere else so far and there’s nothing to suggest we won’t be fast here again. Our car is better now than the winter, and it feels that this Friday was a bit more easier than the others, so we are maybe ahead than where we were at other races. In Bahrain we didn’t have so easy a Friday, so we will see tomorrow. I did my lap on the second lap because I went wide on the first sector so I mean it was not a very good lap from myself. There are more things that we have to improve but Button was a bit ahead of everybody. For sure we had the chance to have a good car. We do the same thing every race. We just need to do the whole race weekend as well as we can. We haven’t changed anything and I haven’t experienced any change because we had a good race. We didn’t have a bad atmosphere before, so we are doing the same thing before and things are going normally.
“There were no problems with the car and everything felt good today. We tried a different front wing, but in the car you can’t tell if it makes much difference; that is why the team’s engineers are looking at the data. I felt comfortable and I think the work done at Mugello and in the Windshear test programme have made improvements. We’ll have to see tomorrow how much pace everyone has when it comes to qualifying as that’s when it matters. We’ve been fast everywhere else so far and there’s nothing to suggest we won’t be fast here again.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “The car looks to be working very well and we’re happy with progress. Our long runs on the softer tyres gave us good data for the race in terms of degradation and how many laps they can last before the performance drops away significantly. From this we’ve had an initial look at our pit stop strategy for Sunday. There were no problems from either car and both drivers were pretty happy with things. Some of work in Mugello concentrated on how we run the cars on lower fuel levels which is reflected by our better lap time performance on a Friday than we’ve seen at some other races.”
Pos--Driver---------------Team------------------Time--------------Laps 1. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.399 38 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m23.563s + 0.164 38 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.771s + 0.372 41 4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.909s + 0.510 32 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m23.918s + 0.519 32 6. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m23.964s + 0.565 37 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m24.065s + 0.666 34 8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m24.080s + 0.681 36 9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.214s + 0.815 41 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m24.365s + 0.966 22 11. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m24.418s + 1.019 35 12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.422s + 1.023 32 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m24.468s + 1.069 40 14. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.600s + 1.201 33 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.688s + 1.289 30 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.733s + 1.334 34 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.769s + 1.370 37 18. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m25.047s + 1.648 42 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m26.296s + 2.897 36 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m26.740s + 3.341 35 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.314s + 3.915 27 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.664s + 4.265 30 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m28.235s + 4.836 26 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth no time 2
A relatively low-key session for Lotus F1 Team provided the first opportunity to see how the teams shaped up in Spain, and a chance to build on the data gathered during winter testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.
As usual, Kimi and Romain departed the garage early in the session to complete their install laps. A series of short and medium runs with a range of setup tweaks followed as the team sought to analyse the E20’s performance with a range of new parts available.
One such upgrade was clear for all to see, as Kimi dived into the pits for a front wing change during a mid-session run, with the Finn running for the first time since the last race in Bahrain. Clearly keen to get some mileage under his belt, the 2007 World Champion completed the most laps of any driver during the session.
As the chequered flag dropped on a tightly run session, Kimi finished the morning in P9 with a fastest time of 1:25.285 from 29 laps, while Romain’s best effort of 1:25.217 from 16 laps saw him lie in P7, edging his team mate by mere fractions of a second.
Free Practice 2 is next up from the Circuit de Catalunya at 14:00 local time this afternoon.
Pos--Driver---------------Team-------------------Time--------------Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.430 20 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.808s + 0.378 18 3. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.912s + 0.482 28 4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.996s + 0.566 24 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m25.120s + 0.690 24 6. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m25.187s + 0.757 15 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.217s + 0.787 16 8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.252s + 0.822 20 9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m25.285s + 0.855 29 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m25.339s + 0.909 24 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.367s + 0.937 22 12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.433s + 1.003 21 13. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m25.539s + 1.109 23 14. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.607s + 1.177 20 15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.918s + 1.488 19 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.226s + 1.796 24 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m26.297s + 1.867 18 18. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m26.630s + 2.200 21 19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m27.475s + 3.045 20 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m28.267s + 3.837 21 21. Alexander Rossi Caterham-Renault 1m28.448s + 4.018 25 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m28.633s + 4.203 22 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m29.107s + 4.677 19 24. Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1m31.618s + 7.188 19