Spanish Grand Prix – Friday Practice Results

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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.

Team quotes:

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.”

Free Practice 2 results:

 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

Free Practice 1 Report:

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.

 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

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