Abu Dhabi GP – 600 kilometres for Scuderia Ferrari in Abu Dhabi

Another busy Friday workload for Scuderia Ferrari, with a little over 600 kilometres covered by the F2012s of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. As usual, the two drivers worked on evaluating various aerodynamic configurations and studying the behaviour of the Pirelli tyres, running different fuel loads. The Maranello cars ran troublefree throughout.

Fernando Alonso: “The day just ended was a Friday like any other, during which we got through everything on our programme. The morning session was dedicated to a comparison of various aerodynamic solutions, while in the afternoon, we concentrated on the tyres. Between the first and second sessions, the track changed a lot, which to be honest was predictable, because there aren’t many races here over the weekend: at the start, it seemed very dirty but then it improved a lot and tomorrow, it will definitely be even better.”

Felipe Massa: “We got through everything on our job list, which is always a good thing, both in the first and second free practice sessions. We tested the tyres in the usual way – first on a low fuel load and then with a lot more – to evaluate them over a long run. From what we could see, over a long run we are reasonably competitive, but less so on a single flying lap. Sure, it would be better if we were a bit quicker, but we will see what the situation is when it really matters, which means to say tomorrow afternoon in qualifying.”

Pat Fry: “We are pushing as hard as we can to bring updates to every race. Some of the ones we introduced here seem to be positive, but we must carefully evaluate their performance and then decide which to use in qualifying and the race. Felipe’s long run didn’t seem too bad, but clearly we have to improve our performance over a single lap if we want to start from the front row of the grid.”

First session Second session
Driver Pos. Time Laps Pos. Time Laps Chassis
F. Alonso 4th 1.44.366 21 7th 1.42.587 31 295
F. Massa 11th 1.45.567 24 8th 1.42.823 33 294

Weather
First session: air 32/34 °C, track 45/47 °C. Sunny
Second session: air 30/29 °C, track 36/31 °C. Clear skies.

Abu Dhabi GP – Working day and night
Abu Dhabi, 2 November – For the second time this year, after September’s Singapore Grand Prix, everyone gets to enjoy the beautiful sight of Formula 1 cars artificially lit by floodlight here at Yas Marina. Unlike at Marina Bay, here we are not tackling a night race, but what has been dubbed a twilight race, as the action starts in bright sunshine and progresses into darkness during the second free session.

The lighting gives everything an unreal feel, rather like watching a computer game, but there is nothing unreal about the work going on in the Scuderia Ferrari garage, all of it taking place in very hot and difficult working conditions for the mechanics. As the Maranello squad strives to improve the performance of the F2012 for these final three races, more new parts have been making the trip from Italy to Abu Dhabi. These need to be evaluated thoroughly before deciding whether or not to run them for qualifying and the race and that means one thing – plenty of laps. Today, Felipe Massa completed 57, which is two more than Sunday’s race distance while Fernando Alonso did 52 on his way to seventh place by the end of the day, one spot higher up the FP2 timesheet than his team-mate.

In India a few days, ago, Sebastian Vettel topped every time sheet and indeed the one after the race, but here the Red Bull driver ended that run, as he was “only” third in the morning. However, the German was back on the number slot this evening, ahead of the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

The unique Abu Dhabi timetable, means that sunlight will illuminate the final hour of free practice, before qualifying ends with the sun low in the driver’s eyes before the lights are switched on again.

Abu Dhabi GP – In search of performance
Abu Dhabi, 2 November – As the sun set on the Yas Marina, the artificial lights lit up the latter part of the second free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Scuderia Ferrari continued with evaluating aerodynamic configurations, a task already started in FP1 and both drivers got through their planned programmes as defined prior to the race weekend. At the end, the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were seventh (1.42.587) and eighth (1.42.823) fastest respectively. Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull posted the fastest time of the day in 1.41.751, ahead of the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton (1.41.919) and Jenson Button (1.42.412.)

Tomorrow sees the third and final free practice session get underway at 14.00, with qualifying following on at 17.00.

Abu Dhabi GP – Hot Laps under the desert sun
Abu Dhabi, 2 November – Just days after the Indian Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi weekend is now underway and it has started with a McLaren one-two at the top of the time sheet in the first session at the futuristic Yas Marina circuit. Lewis Hamilton’s best lap was a 1.43.285, with Jenson Button posting a 1.43.618. Third was Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull in 1.44.050. As for the Ferraris, Fernando Alonso was fourth with a 1.44.366, while in the other F2012, Felipe Massa was eleventh in 1.45.567 at the scorching hot Arab circuit where the air temperature hit 34 and the track 47 °C. Both Ferrari men did three runs and as usual on a Friday, the programme involved evaluating aerodynamic parts, while using a single set of Medium tyres each.