2009 Australian GP – Friday Action

Nico Rosberg, fastest man on track today

Nico Rosberg, fastest man on track today

Interesting day today. It started for me with a walk through the pitlane (pictures later today) and continued with quite exciting practice sessions. During the first practice most of the cars were all over the place, only Brawn and Williams looked nice and steady. The most shaky (at least from where i was standing) were Renaults. The handling of cars however improved during the second session. The talking points of the day however will be:
– the diffusers, as the cars who use the controversial diffuser design were the fastest ones
– the degradation of the super soft tyres
– the pace of McLaren and perhaps also of Ferrari

It is still early days and often the things are not what they seem to be after Friday. But even from the grandstands the Williams and Brawn cars looked impressive. Nico Rosberg may have recorderded the fastest time of both sessions. But in FP2 his time came early on in the sessin when most of the drivers were posting their personal bests. Barrichello’s best time came at the time when all the other drivers struggled to get close to their best times. Both Brawn cars seemed to be on longer stints doing their program without really going for flat out pace. Both Toyota cars were very quick as well but they looked a bit less comfortable on the track then Williams and Brawn. Still very impressive start to the weekend for them.

Not very lucky day for Sebastian Vettel. He lost a lot of track time because of hydraulic failure in FP1 and spin in FP2 … All he managed today was 23 laps …

Looks like McLaren drivers are in for tough weekend. It looked promising after FP1 with Kovalainen 5th, but 17 and 18 place in FP2 almost 1.8 sec off Rosberg’s pace is worrying.

All smiles in the morning in the pitlane

All smiles in the morning in the pitlane

Friday Practice Times:

Practice 1:
1. Rosberg – Williams – 1:26.687
2. Nakajima – Williams + 0.049
3. Raikkonen – Ferrari + 0.063
4. Barrichello – Brawn + 0.539
5. Kovalainen – McLaren + 0.766
6. Button – Brawn + 0.780
7. Massa – Ferrari + 0.955
8. Glock – Toyota + 1.023
9. Sutil – Force India + 1.306
10. Alonso – Renault + 1.436
11. Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 1.450
12. Trulli – Toyota + 1.455
13. Kubica – BMW Sauber + 1.824
14. Fisichella – Force India + 1.916
15. Buemi – Toro Rosso + 2.098
16. Hamilton – McLaren + 2.355
17. Webber – Red Bull + 2.394
18. Piquet – Renault + 2.774
19. Bourdais – Toro Rosso + 2.812
20. Vettel – Red Bull + 6.097

Practice 2:
1. Rosberg – Williams -1:26.053
2. Barrichello – Brawn + 0.104
3. Trulli – Toyota + 0.297
4. Webber – Red Bull + 0.317
5. Button – Brawn + 0.321
6. Glock – Toyota + 0.390
7. Nakajima – Williams + 0.507
8. Vettel – Red Bull + 0.687
9. Sutil – Force India + 0.987
10. Massa – Ferrari + 1.011
11. Raikkonen – Ferrari + 1.151
12. Alonso – Renault + 1.179
13. Fisichella – Force India + 1.229
14. Heidfeld – BMW-Sauber + 1.264
15. Kubica – BMW-Sauber + 1.345
16. Bourdais – Toro Rosso + 1.426
17. Kovalainen – McLaren + 1.749
18. Hamilton – McLaren + 1.760
19. Piquet – Renault + 1.775
20. Buemi – Toro Rosso + 2.023

10 Comments Post a Comment
  1. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    took me a while, but after reading the press conference talk from Hamilton and Alonso I realized why the cars were getting such a kick when exiting the corners – that was KERS in action :-) not sure how that looked on TV screens but live from the grandstands it was quite impressive kick

  2. psychyNo Gravatar says:

    the renault seemed very, very unstable. alonso had to work very hard with the steering wheel. the inboard camera was impressing. it didn’t look easy. so that was really kers? it looked like bad balancing of the car.
    at the other hand the brawnGP was very stable, but yes, they don’t use kers.
    i personally was a bit disapointed of the renault. i hope they can strike back tomorrow.

    looking forward to see your pics!

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I think what you talk about is not KERS, it is very unstable car as you say :-) but what was very obvious when some cars were exiting the corners (including Alonso) was very rapid acceleration, almost like a kick start. it looked like the car jumped ahead. I haven’t seen that before, I believe that was KERS in action

  3. Ferrarino999No Gravatar says:

    Hi guys, very nice blog! I think that the Australian GP will show many surprise! And in my opinion the renault seems to be very unstable its GP will be very hard if the car will remain in this way.

    Ferrarino999s last blog post..Regolamenti e sorprese

  4. bmwf1guyNo Gravatar says:

    I had to scream last night!! The first session was on at 1:30am my time and like a good fan I stayed up to watch. The only station to carry practice is speed tv and what I didn’t know is that they blacked it out in Canada. 5 seconds into the broadcast, poof, gone. Luckily TSN carries q and the race.

    p.s. I wish I could have seen that unstable Renault in practice.

    bmwf1guys last blog post..Australian Grand Prix Friday Report and Quotes

  5. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Bon jorno! And welcome to F1wolf :) Yes, this blog is very entertaining and turned into a little family. Notice that here is an open competition for the readers in which we can predict the results of every race weekend in advance and have the possibilities to win cool prizes! Search the prediction game and make your bet, as more converters we’re the challenge is bigger :)

  6. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Well, not exactly on TV, here the multimedia broadcasting has been launched by la Sexta on the net. I’m pretty glad we can see the whole race weekend without needs to do juggling with internet streams from other countries. The content is extensive, but the quality isn’t still the best, reporters are far from being specialized in motorsports journalism. Anyway, they’re providing a good easy-understanding F1 broadcast for newcomer fans.

    About KERS, it is audible. With the natural broadcast it is easy to recognise the when it enters in function, when receiving the T-Cam images and the “kick on the ass” system launches, you might something like a down-shift and the car continues momentarily with a gear shift up rising the revs considerabily, don’t know if this is the best explanation, but that has been my feeling when I heard strange sounds coming from those cars which are suspected to fit the boost device during the throttle phase. On the images from around the track the cars which may fit KERS may look as a rocket, but those cars which sure haven’t it fitted and had also extremly fast times look a bullet as well. The difference may be mostly coming out from slow corners when this is done with a more aggressivity.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I saw it between turns 1 and 2. I could not hear much in that noise, but it did look like a rocket

      on the other hand, Brawns have no KERS and they looked very quick and smooth through that sequence of corners. They do look like best cars out there, but who knows what the others have up their sleeves. I somehow sense that at least Ferrari and BMW are much quicker than they were today. And Williams definitely suprised Button:

      “The Williams has put in some good lap times – I don’t know where that’s come from, but we’re just getting on with our job at the moment.”

  7. zblkhwkNo Gravatar says:

    I missed the first day, so I thank you for all your recaps.

    I never put much into Friday practice times. We will see true performance tomorrow. One thing I did find interesting is comparing last years practice day to this years.

    Session 1
    2008 – P1 – Kimi 1:26.461
    2009 – P1 – Nico 1:26.687 (+226)

    Session 2
    2008 – P1 – Hamilton 1:26.559
    2009 – P1 – Nico 1:26.053 (-.506)

    Saturday Session 1 – P1 – Kubica 1:25.613

    Qualifying Session Q2 – P1 – Hamilton 1:25.187
    Note – I used Q2 times because they would be at optimum fuel load and fresh tires, as compared to Q3 with more fuel.

    My guess is that these cars are just a little faster than last year, perhaps about .250 per lap.

    • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

      Perhaps between 0.250 and 0.500, in some conditions there will be even more or less difference:)

      The 2009 cars, which tested at some circuits during the pre-season, already have beaten the best times from several circuits which were done with much more complete cars from past years, they had more aerodynamical grip and downforce, engines had more HP and unlimited revs, electronic aids were still not banned and there was some freedom on the car’s design. But somehow the technology manages to evolve, the cars may be simple but getting more efficient. KERS and slicks may help to keep the lap times fast, but it may be not only this factor.

      Kotenoks last blog post..Marrilee Jennings is now a member of F1Wolf Club


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