Japanese GP – Rain on the Way?

By Auto News Log • October 8th, 2010

Suzuka – A few years ago, the Japanese Grand Prix weekend schedule was disrupted when a typhoon was expected to hit the track. The only typhoon on display today was the Red Bull car, which as expected at this high speed circuit, dominated proceedings, with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber topping the time sheets in both the morning and afternoon free practice sessions. They were also the only two drivers to break the 1 minute 32 seconds barrier for a lap here. Third at the end of the second ninety minute session was Poland’s Robert Kubica in the Renault with the two Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro men next up in fourth and fifth places, Fernando Alonso ahead of Felipe Massa. Reigning world champion Jenson Button was sixth, while his McLaren team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, had a difficult day, after damaging his car when he crashed, without any injury, in the morning.

In the Ferrari garage, work proceeded according to schedule – testing new aero parts, set-up work on the F10, tyre evaluation and the rest of the work load that has now become routine over the past sixteen Fridays of the 2010 season. Routine maybe, but still very important, because rain is expected tomorrow, although not for Sunday, so today’s data gathered in the dry could prove vital for the race. A wet track could certainly take the edge off Red Bull’s apparent superiority, but qualifying in the rain will owe as much to good organisation and an element of luck as it will to car performance and driver skill. This and the fact that the differences between the top teams when running on full tanks in race trim has generally been less marked than in qualifying are causes for optimism in the Prancing Horse camp, when looking ahead to the 53 laps that matter most on Sunday afternoon.

There was one new driver on the time sheet, but only in this morning’s session, when Virgin stood down Di Grassi to give Belgian GP2 racer, Jerome D’Ambrosio an exploratory run.

Source: Ferrari

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