Bahrain Friday practice analysis

The first 2 practice sessions of the 2010 F1 season concluded today, and we have much to learn from it. Without further ado, here are the main points we have learned:

Massa’s consistency

In FP1, it was apparent that Ferrari had a very good long-distance package in their car. Here, my graph shows the consistency of his lap times (certain laps have been omitted because of stoppages in pits etc):

Apart from a few slips, Massa's laps were very solid

Apart from a few slips, Massa's laps were very solid

If you leave out the slower laps, you will see that all of Massa’s other laps are nearly exactly the same all the time. Here, we can see how Ferrari are more geared towards full-race setup, rather than McLaren and Red Bull’s qualifying setup.

Lotus vs Virgin

The battle of the new teams has begun, and it appears that Lotus is currently in the lead. Here, we compare the times of Trulli, Kovalainen, Glock and Di Grassi across both sessions:

Lotus vs Virgin - Friday Practice 1

Lotus vs Virgin - Friday Practice 1

Lotus vs Virgin - Friday Practice 2

Lotus vs Virgin - Friday Practice 2

The first graph doesn’t show much difference between the two, bar Glock’s last lap. However, FP2 is where the gap between the two teams begin to show. While Kovalainen and Trulli got quicker and quicker, di Grassi was going nowhere, and Glock was unable to set enough laps to properly count.

Hamilton vs Button

This time, it’s a battle inside the team, as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button fight for the top spot in the team. Here are their times from FP1 and FP2:

Button vs Hamilton - Friday Practice 1

Button vs Hamilton - Friday Practice 1

Button vs Hamilton - Friday Practice 2

Button vs Hamilton - Friday Practice 2

Near perfect symmetry. That is what anyone would use to describe the two session performances, especially FP2. Bar the one slip, which both had, the times are incredibly close, with Hamilton just edging Button in more laps.

Clearly, there is going to be no whitewash in McLaren this year. If these statistics carry on into the rest of the year, get ready for an extremely close battle between the two Brits.

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