Friday, 9 May 2014

Mercedes dominate Friday as Ricciardo flies in the Barcelona sun

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel endured a difficult start to his Spanish GrandPrix weekend as the German was forced to sit out most of FP1.

Vettel completed four lap's in the RB10 before a chassis loom failure cut his day short. As a result he was forced to sit out FP2 as although it was a small problem it required a lot of work.

In contrast, Daniel Riccardo had a great Friday ending the day best of the rest behind the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Speaking after the session Ricciardo said

'It’s nice not to have gone backwards during the short break and I think we have shown improvement; we want to close the gap to Mercedes but they don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down! It’s not great that Seb wasn’t running, two cars means twice the amount of feedback for the team and you don’t learn so much from one when you are trying new parts – but at least we got some good data. The short runs and long runs were both okay today.”

The Australian will be hoping to continue his progress tomorrow for Qualifying.

It was a great session for the Ferrari duo as home favourite Fernando Alonso finished the day in P4 while Kimi Raikkonen finished 5th.

McLaren had a good day too as Kevin Magnussen ended the day in 6th place just ahead of team mate Jenson Button. Felipe Massa was 8th fastest for the Williams team who will be hoping to move up the field in qualifying tomorrow.

The surprise of the day of Pastor Maldonado and Lotus as the Venezuelan finished the day in 9th place with Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat rounding out the top ten.

Nico Hulkenberg was 11th for Force India while Jean Eric Vergne was 12th fastest in the second Toro with Adrian Sutil 13th. Valtteri Bottas was 14th for Williams while Esteban Gutierrez was 15th in the second Sauber.

Sergio 'Checco' Perez was 16th for Force India while Romain Grosjean had a frustrating afternoon session and ended the day in 17th place just ahead of Marussia's Jules Bianchi in 18th place.
Max Chilton finished 19th in the second Marussia. However, the Englishman brought out the yellow flag in the closing stages of the session.

Kamui Kobayashi was 20th for the Caterham F1 Team just ahead of team mate Marcus Ericsson who rounded out the times in 21st place.

The track temperature was extremely high, over 30 degrees and as a result the majority of running in the opening session at least was done on Pirelli's Harder tyre.

The temperatures are set to go up even higher tomorrow so it be interesting to see what happens.

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