Friday, August 3, 2007

Handling an issue for Kimi Raikkonen

Hungarian GP - Ferrari - Practice

Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa ended the first day of practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix with the sixth and seventh fastest times respectively, just over six tenths off Fernando Alonso's pace. Raikkonen in particular was less than thrilled with the handling of his F2007 and was unable to get to grips with the super-soft and soft Bridgestone Potenza available this weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen
“I am not very happy with the handling of my car in these two sessions and obviously we have a lot to do in order to improve. But this is only Friday and there is no point in making a drama out of it as far as qualifying and the race are concerned. I wasn’t able to get a really clear picture of the performance of the two types of tyre, especially on the first lap, firstly because of traffic and secondly because of that quick short shower.”

Felipe Massa
“Overall, I am happy with the day. In the final series of laps I could have done a good time but there was a yellow flag and I had to slow. It’s hard to say at this stage of the weekend if we are faster or slower than our closest rivals, but we are definitely competitive. We worked a lot on the set-up and towards the end of the day we found some good solutions.

There is still a slight unknown as far as tyre performance is concerned, especially on the softer ones over a long run, while the harder ones however are more consistent.”

Luca Baldisserri
“The way these three hours of free practice went revealed a slight difficulty on our part when it came to finding the right balance for the car, especially on Kimi’s. We picked up a lot of data and we will have to analyse it very carefully to improve the situation for qualifying and the race. On top of this comes uncertainty over the weather and the influence that could have in terms of set-up, especially for qualifying which is so important. Therefore, it is easy to see why it is really difficult to make predictions for the rest of the weekend. The handling of the two types of tyre we have available is rather unusual so far: we have a big difference in terms of consistency of performance, while on the first lap the results are very similar.”

Source Ferrari

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Alonso sets the Friday pace Hungarian GP - Second practice

Fernando Alonso set the Friday practice pace ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix for McLaren Mercedes as he lapped the 4.384 KM circuit in 1:20.919s, three-tenths ahead of Heikki Kovalainen who was impressive in his Renault and Lewis Hamilton who spun off late in the final minutes.

The 90-minute practice session started in sunny conditions but the clouds moved in and there were actually a few spot an hour into the session. This didn’t really create much of an issue, but the track temperate did drop off, and as a result, few were able to improve in the final 30 minutes.

The McLaren MP4-22 was expected to be well suited to this tight and twisty circuit and it was no surprise to see Alonso at the head of the timesheets. Hamilton looked to make it a McLaren one-two, but spun his McLaren off track and beached the car in the gravel with four minutes remaining.

Kovalainen and Renault will be happy to end the day second fastest, just 0.364s slower than Alonso and a fraction ahead of Hamilton. Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella was eighth fastest in the second Renault, but there was an awful lot of activity amongst the mechanics at the back end of his car late in the session, suggesting a problem.

Nico Rosberg was a solid fourth fastest in his Williams Toyota and should he repeat the position when it really does count, it would be a big boost for the team. Team-mate Alex Wurz was 12th fastest with what was probably a more representative time at a second off the ultimate pace.

Nick Heidfeld set the fifth best time in his BMW Sauber with Robert Kubica back in the tenths position. Kubica in particular spent a lot of time running on the worn soft tyre while most of his rivals worked mostly on the harder option.

Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were sixth and seventh fastest for Ferrari. The team struggled massively at Monaco earlier in the season compared to rivals McLaren and this circuit is similar, minus the Armco and the harbour…

Jarno Trulli set the ninth best time in his Toyota with team-mate Ralf Schumacher 11th ahead of Wurz and the Red Bull Renault duo of Mark Webber and David Coulthard. Anthony Davidson was one of the few to improve in the final 30 minutes as he posted the 15th best lap in his Super Aguri ahead of fellow Honda-powered runners Jenson Button, Takuma Sato and Rubens Barrichello.

Tonio Liuzzi and Sebastian Vettel were 19th and 20th for Toro Rosso Ferrari ahead of Adrian Sutil who had a few grassy moments in his Spyker Ferrari and Sakon Yamamoto.

© CAPSIS International

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