Posted 20 June 2008 - 20:19
On the basis of today's practice sessions, Ferrari is ahead of McLaren over the long run in Magny-Cours, as was expected for this track. Over one lap it's closer. As was predicted by Kubica after testing last week, BMW Sauber is further behind the top two teams than they were the past two races.
As for the midfield, the performances of the teams at Barcelona were not reflected today in France. Renault are strong and they are ahead. Alonso set the best time of the day, not actually being as light as some think because he could have continued for a few more laps, and his long runs were strong too. Renault is about two tenths faster than Toyota. Red Bull is another two tenths behind them, which is really not what they expected after an encouraging Barcelona test. The much smoother asphalt at Magny-Cours doesn't suit the RB4 and the tyres keep locking up at the hairpins.
STR, Vettel at least, was doing much better than RBR, the Italian team clearly had one of the the best Fridays of the year.
Rosberg wasn't particularly brilliant in his Williams. But that shouldn't necessarily be an alarm bell because he was trying out all sorts of things to find out how his car behaves with a lot of fuel. The FW30 is very gentle on the tyres, therefore the softer tyres, if they don't grain for too long, can withstand a long stint with a lot of fuel. So having a ten position grid penalty even a one stopper is an option. Yet though, the Grove based team is probably not as fast as Red Bull.