The thrilling finale to the Formula One season got underway in Sao Paulo today with the first two practice sessions for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. The first 1.5-hour practice session was wet, giving Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello only...
The thrilling finale to the Formula One season got underway in Sao Paulo today with the first two practice sessions for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix. The first 1.5-hour practice session was wet, giving Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello only this afternoon's running in which to hone the dry set-ups of their RA107s.
After completing their installation laps at the beginning of session one, Jenson and Rubens sat out the next 30 minutes hoping that a dry line would appear. The rain didn't ease however and the drivers ventured out on the Bridgestone Potenza wet tyre. Rubens and Jenson were evenly matched and set fastest laps within 0.1s of each other. They ended the session with Rubens in 11th place and Jenson in 12th place.
The track was still wet at the start of session two, but a dry line subsequently appeared which allowed the drivers to use dry tyres for the first time. They completed 89 laps between them and completed their tyre comparisons of Bridgestone's soft and super-soft compounds. Rubens' fastest lap of 1:13.892 placed him 13th overall, whilst Jenson ended the day just behind in 14th position.
"We have had two good practice sessions today despite changing track conditions and we were able to work on improving the car in the wet and dry. On my last run this afternoon, I got caught in traffic which was unfortunate as I felt that I could have achieved a little more from the car. Overall we have made a positive start which gives me reason to be optimistic for the rest of the weekend. With regard to the new asphalt at Interlagos, it is much improved and less bumpy than before."
"With a wet session this morning and a drying track this afternoon, we had to work through various different set-ups today. I struggled with a lack of grip in the second session and the tyres were also graining, so we still have some work to do to find the optimum dry set-up and improve the balance of the car. We were able to achieve a good number of laps though so we have plenty of data to work with."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director:
"The first session this morning was wet throughout which allowed us to work on car balance in those conditions. Both drivers reported that the new track surface was definitely less bumpy than in the past. The second session began on a damp track but very soon we could switch to the dry tyres and begin our set-up work. As expected we experienced some graining with the option tyre, while the prime tyre was very consistent. If the conditions stay dry for the remainder of the weekend we expect the track to rubber-in, making life easier with the option tyre."
Practice session 1: 11th, 23 laps, 1:22.434
Practice session 2: 13th, 45 laps, 1:13.892
Practice session 1: 12th, 22 laps, 1:22.477
Practice session 2: 14th, 44 laps, 1:14.095