D he endurance runs are the hard currency on Friday. They usually give an idea of what will happen on Sunday. If Friday is an indicator for Sunday, then it all comes down to a clash between McLaren and Red Bull. Jenson Button's and Lewis Hamilton's long runs fluctuated between low 1.43 and high 1.42 times. The new aerodynamic package with front wing, rear wing and underbody apparently works.
Red Bull quick-witted
Only Red Bull was able to attack the McLaren times. Mark Webber was on par with Button and Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel lagged a few tenths behind. If the German drove with a similar amount of gasoline as his Australian colleague, then that would be a clue that the modified new exhaust from Webber works better than the ancient version from Vettel.
Therefore, the world champion builds for Saturday to go back to the new package? 'Let's see. We have to study the data first,' said Vettel shortly after training. They're a little smarter now. Team boss Christian Horner reveals: 'Sebastian may keep his exhaust concept because he feels more comfortable with it. The old package seems better for his driving style. If we go on two tracks in the race, we would collect more data and then see what we can do for Seb The bottom line is that the new solution has more potential. '
Ferrari too slow
Malaysia winner Fernando Alonso was an average of seven tenths behind McLaren and Red Bull. The Spaniard didn't expect more: 'It's going to be a struggle to get into the top ten. The changes are too small for it to make a big difference.' The Ferrari F2012 was equipped with new brake ventilation in the front and a slightly modified rear wing. Like three weeks ago, Sauber could be the big surprise again. Kamui Kobayashi was on the Vettel level. Team mate Sergio Perez gambled away with the vote.
Force India made a jump in midfield. Apparently, the retouching on the rear wing and underbody is paying off. The endurance run was almost at eye level with Sauber. That’s a compliment now. Nico Hülkenberg held up his thumb: 'Everything is positive. I have a good feeling. If it gets warmer on Sunday, it could throw today's knowledge overboard. But that applies to everyone. You have to make the best of the situationmake. '
Mercedes only fast for one lap
At Mercedes, the picture of the first two races continued. Brilliant on one lap, too slow for a podium in the endurance run Neither Michael Schumacher nor Nico Rosberg came to the Alonso times. This time the left front tire actually seems to be the weak link in the chain. Mercedes hoped for an advantage. It is usually easier to keep the front tires alive than the rear ones Soles.
Lotus ponders update
For Lotus, the first day of training brought the bitter realization that the major expansion stage was more of a step backwards than a step forward - at least for a track like Shanghai. The lap times were on average three seconds below those of the competition, but due to the large difference, one can assume that the black cars were on the road with less fuel.
At the moment it is discussed that on Saturday wi Either the old aerodynamic configuration is used. Unless the engineers and drivers come to the conclusion that the understeer was solely due to the cold temperatures. As the weather is supposed to get better, this problem could solve itself. Just like the graining of the front tires at Mercedes. This is always particularly bad when the asphalt temperatures are low.
In our picture gallery we have the photos from Friday again.