12/10/2012

Friday Analysis

Formula One
FP1 Results: di Resta 9th (1:40.440), Bianchi 13th (1:41.140).
FP2 Results: Hulkenberg 9th (1:39.739), di Resta 13th (1:40.112), Karthikeyan 23rd (1:43.869).

A quiet first practice session saw Nico Hulkenberg & Narain Karthikeyan sit out to give track time to the third drivers. The session focus was about dialling the car into the track, refining setup & gathering tyre data. As expected Paul di Resta came on top for Sahara Force India. Don't under-estimate Jules, he's a quick driver, but he's not there to focus on lap time.

Second practice was a little more lively than the first, and both drivers showed the car has competitive long run pace, on par with Lotus & Sauber. Both drivers had their flying laps hampered by traffic, so for Nico to grab 9th place shows that the car has a lot of potential.

It's been an unusual weekend for the team, very quiet & relaxed sessions. A source inside the team tells me they are all feeling very calm and confident about their chances this weekend - and all the official quotes coming from the team seem to support this.

Meanwhile, Narain Karthikeyan had a good FP2 session. He was using an old front wing (his teammate had the newer one on) but Narain was a huge 0.7 seconds quicker. That suggested that the new rear wing wasn't working well, or that Pedro had some issue. Neither has been reported to the media which suggests that the new part simply isn't working. Will be interesting to see if they continue to run it tomorrow.

Note: Charles Pic has picked up a ten-place grid penalty for a change of engine. Unless the qualifying session is very bizarre, Narain will start ahead of him on Sunday.

World Endurance Championship
FP1 Results: Chandhok 6th (overall & in class)(1:31.700).
FP2 Results: Chandhok 6th (overall & in class)(1:31.319).

A decent job for the JRM team today as they slotted into their usual 6th position in both sessions. They developed at (pretty much) the same pace as the teams around them between the sessions. +2.891 seconds down on the leader in FP1, +2.857 seconds down in FP2.

FP3 and qualifying take place tomorrow. Based on today's results, you'd have to expect them starting 6th for Sunday's race.

Formula Renault 2.0
I'm very excited to see what happens to Shahaan Engineer this weekend. But we'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out, that's when the on-track action begins.

To read why i'm so excited about this series, read our weekend preview here.

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