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Posts Tagged ‘practice’

Red Bull tops Friday practice

June 19th, 2009 No comments

Sebastian Vettel, Britain, 2009The two Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber posted the quickest time in both practice sessions for the British Grand Prix at a windy Silverstone on Friday.

Sebastian Vettel outpaced his team mate in both sessions but the new parts Red Bull have fitted (including a new front wing and nose) were obviously working well.

Mark Webber’s second session was cut short when he hit the curb and lost all electrical power:

It’s been a pretty good day for us; we’ve tried a few new bits here, which seem to be going pretty well. We’ve tried both sets of tyres and need to go through all the data tonight.  My second session ended a little early as I hit a kerb on Turn five, which caused the car’s electronics to stop.

In the first session, the two Brawn GP cars were 3rd and 4th fastest but, surprisingly, it was Force India’s Adrian Sutil who went 3rd fastest in the second session.

As Silverstone is such a light braking circuit, it can be hard to harvest enough energy to make KERS worthwhile so McLaren chose to run different strategies for their drivers in practice.  Heikki Kovalainen continued to use KERS while Lewis Hamilton ran without the device as Norbert Haug explains:

Lewis today drove without KERS because Silverstone is a circuit where you do not brake too often: you get less of a benefit from the system here than you would on heavy-braking circuits. By way of comparison, Heikki used the system today and our specialists will analyse today’s results and decide whether we choose to continue using the system on his car for the rest of the weekend.

It will be interesting to see what they choose to do on Saturday as Kovalainen felt he could still make use of KERS:

It’s still difficult to say whether it’s an advantage to be running KERS, but I felt I was getting a laptime benefit from the system.

Morning showers are predicted for Saturday but it should be dry by the time qualifying gets underway.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:
First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:19.400
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:19.682
3 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:20.227
4 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:20.242
5 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:20.458
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:20.471
7 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:20.585
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:20.650
9 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:20.815
10 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:20.838
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:20.913
12 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.029
13 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:21.103
14 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.179
15 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.384
16 Timo Glock Toyota 1:21.386
17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:21.489
18 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:21.525
19 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.590
20 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:21.801

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:19.456
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:19.597
3 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:20.141
4 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:20.209
5 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:20.237
6 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:20.244
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:20.417
8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:20.458
9 Nico Rosbert Williams 1:20.468
10 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:20.608
11 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:20.622
12 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.733
13 Timo Glock Toyota 1:20.762
14 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:20.767
15 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:20.932
16 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.945
17 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.005
18 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.132
19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:21.413
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.668
Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

McLaren fastest in Friday practice

June 5th, 2009 No comments

Heikki Kovalainen, Tturkey, 2009Nico Rosberg continued his usual practice of running a light car on Friday as he set the fastest time of 1:28.952 in the first practice session for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix but it was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen who went quickest in P2, setting a time of 1:28.841.

Fernando Alonso was second fastest, just 6 thousandths behind Kovalainen, while Robert Kubica drove his BMW, equipped with new double-diffuser, to third place, his best practice result so far this year.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stopped on the track after just four laps with a suspected drive shaft failure and a number of drivers spun off as they found the limits of grip on the dusty Istanbul circuit.

Jenson Button, whose car was sporting a revised front wing finished 12th fastest ahead of reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

While Friday practice times should not be relied on as a good indicator of race pace, McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh was pleased with Kovalainen’s performance and is optimistic for a top ten grid slot in qualifying tomorrow:

It’s always nice to see you’ve set the quickest time of the day. The reality is that the timesheets don’t lie – our aim for tomorrow is to hopefully get both cars into the final session of qualifying. That’s our realistic goal.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:
First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:28.952
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:29.263
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:29.271
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.337
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:29.342
6 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:29.371
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.398
8 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:29.422
9 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.525
10 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:29.590
11 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.747
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:29.864
13 Timo Glock Toyota 1:29.934
14 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:30.132
15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:30.176
16 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:30.645
17 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:30.689
18 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:30.729
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.838
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.944

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.841
2 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:28.847
3 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:29.056
4 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:29.091
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.202
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:29.207
7 Nico Rosbert Williams 1:29.257
8 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.305
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:29.383
10 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:29.401
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:29.416
12 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.430
13 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:29.435
14 Timo Glock Toyota 1:29.518
15 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.520
16 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:29.550
17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:30.081
18 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:30.091
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.295
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.629

Image: McLaren

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: ,

Rosberg tops practice again

April 24th, 2009 No comments

Nico Rosberg, Bahrain, 2009When will Nico Rosberg translate his practice performance into race pace?  The Williams driver has been consistently at the top of the time sheets in practice this year but so far has failed to deliver on race day.

While Lewis Hamilton went quickest in the first practice session for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in the second session.

Fernando Alonso had been running high fuel loads and concentrating on race setup and so had been at the bottom of the order but he put in a flying lap at the end to go second fastest as Pat Symonds, Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering, explains:

The Bahrain circuit is our first hard braking circuit of the year and ranks among the hardest for the total braking system. In view of this, we spent a lot more time today on heavier than normal fuel loads, concentrating on our set-up for Sunday.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:
First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.647
2 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:33.907
3 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:33.938
4 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:34.227
5 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:34.434
6 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.502
7 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:34.531
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:34.589
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:34.827
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34.827
11 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:34.880
12 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:34.938
13 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:34.974
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:35.021
15 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:35.036
16 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:35.042
17 Timo Glock Toyota 1:35.333
18 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:35.348
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:35.353
20 Sebastien Buemi Torro Rosso-Ferrari 1:35.369

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:33.339
2 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:33.530
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:33.616
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:33.661
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:33.676
6 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:33.694
7 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:33.763
8 Timo Glock Toyota 1:33.764
9 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:33.885
10 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:33.899
11 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.994
12 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:34.025
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.127
14 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.366
15 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:34.411
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:34.564
17 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:34.605
18 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34.670
19 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.764
20 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:34.790

Image: LAT

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , ,

McLaren try a new diffuser in China

April 17th, 2009 No comments

Lewis Hamilton, China, 2009McLaren made a return to the top of the time sheet in the first practice session for Sunday’s Chinese Formula One Grand Prix.  Thanks to a new ‘interim’ diffuser that McLaren have bolted onto Lewis Hamilton’s car, the reigning World Champion set the fastest time in first practice with team mate Heikki Kovalainen (running the old diffuser) fourth and the two Brawn GP cars sandwiched in between.

Hamilton couldn’t carry the pace through to the second session, though, where Button finished fastest ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Williams with Barrichello third fastest.  Even without fancy diffusers, the two Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were fourth and fifth.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:

First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:37.334
2 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:37.450
3 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:37.566
4 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:37.672
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:37.752
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:37.764
7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:37.860
8 Timo Glock Toyota 1:37.894
9 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:38.089
10 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:38.195
11 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.223
12 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:38.274
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:38.307
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:38.319
15 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:38.418
16 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:38.456
17 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:38.460
18 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:38.463
19 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:38.730
20 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:38.825

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:35.679
2 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:35.704
3 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:35.881
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.105
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:36.167
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:36.217
7 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.377
8 Timo Glock Toyota 1:36.548
9 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.674
10 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.800
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:36.829
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.847
13 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.941
14 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:37.054
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.219
16 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:37.273
17 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:37.491
18 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:37.544
19 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:37.638
20 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:37.750

Image: McLaren

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: ,

Ferrari fastest in Malaysia practice, Hamilton sorry for ‘huge mistake’

April 3rd, 2009 No comments

Lewis Hamilton apologises at a press conference in MalaysiaThe big news of the day is the fallout from the McLaren-Trulli affair in Australia.

On Friday morning, McLaren sporting director Davey Ryan was sent home by team boss Martin Whitmarsh for his role in misleading the stewards at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend.  Ryan has been with McLaren since the seventies but it looks like his exit from the team will be permanent.

Ryan is taking the fall because for some reason as he and Hamilton walked to the stewards office after the race Ryan told Hamilton to withhold the fact that the team had told Lewis to let Jarno Trulli through in the final safety car session of the race.  Lewis was clearly uncomfortable with doing this but wanted to follow the senior team member’s instructions and went along with it.

Later on Friday a clearly emotional Hamilton apologised in front of the world’s media, saying:

As soon as I got out of the car I did the TV interviews at the back of the garage and straight away I gave a good account of what happened during the race.

Straight after that we were requested by the stewards, and whilst waiting for the stewards I was instructed – and misled – by my team manager to withhold information, and that’s what I did.

I sincerely apologise to the stewards for wasting their time and for making them look silly.

I’m very, very sorry for the situation – for my team, for Dave, who’s been a good member of the team for many years and whilst I don’t think it was his intention…he’s a good guy.

When I went into the meeting I had no intention of… I just wanted to tell the story, say what happened.

I was misled and that’s the way it went.

Some might say that Davey is a scapegoat and Hamilton has got away lightly.  But I do believe that Lewis was just trying to go along with what his team wanted out of a sense of loyalty.  In the days that followed Lewis obviously regretted what he’d done and I think the following statement goes some way to explaining how it happened:

As a human being and as a man it’s right for me to stand in front of you and put my hands up. I want to say sorry to all my fans. I am not a liar or a dishonest person; I am a team player.   If the team ask me to do something, I generally do it – but I felt awkward and uncomfortable. This is not an easy thing to do, to step back and realise I was in the wrong – but I was in the wrong. I was misled. I don’t know what else is going to happen in the future.

I still think it could have all been avoided if race control could have provided guidance to the drivers and teams at the time.  Neither Lewis nor Trulli did anything wrong on the track and if the race organisers had sorted out the proper race order at the time instead of handing Trulli a ridiculous 25 second penalty none of this would have had to happen.

But with all the controversy we shouldn’t forget there is still a race on Sunday and in Friday practice the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheet despite Kimi suffering a problem with KERS and a fire in the cockpit.

Red Bull and Williams looked quite strong again but it seems Brawn GP won’t necessarily have it all their own way on Sunday.  Rubens Barrichello will take a five place grid penalty for changing a gearbox.

Other teams like Toyota and BWM concentrated on setup rather than lap times so they may do better in qualifying than their Friday times would suggest.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:

First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:36.260
2 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.305
3 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.430
4 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.487
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.561
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.646
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.699
8 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.703
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:36.747
10 Timo Glock Toyota 1:36.980
11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:36.982
12 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:37.025
13 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:37.039
14 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:37.199
15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:37.241
16 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:37.395
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.634
18 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:37.640
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:38.022
20 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:38.483

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.707
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.832
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:35.954
4 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:36.015
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.703
6 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.161
7 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.254
8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.290
9 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.397
10 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:36.401
11 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.515
12 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:36.516
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.628
14 Timo Glock Toyota 1:36.639
15 Fernando Alonson Renault 1:36.640
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:36.875
17 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:37.267
18 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.278
19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:37.432
20 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:37.930
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