In the closing races of his career at Ferrari, Fernando Alonso became synonymous with P5. Whether on the grid or at the end of the race, the stereotype on social media was formed.
At that time we also had “Ferrari Friday”. The red team would look most impressive in FP1 and FP2, but fail miserably to deliver either in qualifying or the race.
In today’s FP1 in Barcelona, the Mercedes pair were almost a second quicker than the Ferrari duo. Friday so far is not looking good for Ferrari.
Yet we await FP2 with interest to analyse the Ferrari race simulations – particularly on the medium tyre – to see if Sunday is likely to offer us anything other than the usual Barcelona procession. Ferrari would be delighted to lose their ‘Friday Feeling’ if it means they can dance a ‘Sunday Samba’.
Rosberg was marginally quicker than Hamilton, though the German is under investigation for a pit lane infringement which saw him drive the wrong side of a bollard.
Kimi’s one lap pace is improving and despite coming fourth behind Vettel, there was just twenty six 100ths of a second between the Ferrari pair.
The much vaunted Red Bull short nose was on display, though with Ricciardo out for most of the session unsurprisingly with engine related difficulties. So it was left to the less experienced Kvyat to try out Red Bull’s new big hope.
Toward the end of the session, Red Bull switched the short nose to Ricciardo’s now ready car and sent Kvyat back out with the version they have run since Australia.
Toro Rosso look good, as both their rookies were ahead of the big bull pair on the time sheets. Max Verstappen has proven already this year he is not afraid to mix it with his seniors and betters – and today he was complaining Raikkonen had been holding him up.
Williams continue their Friday focus of the year, which is designed to fail to impress anyone including themselves. Suzie Wolff was disappointingly over 0.8s slower than Massa, but she racked up 22 laps for the team.
Lotus usually run well in Barcelona, but today both cars were outside the top ten.
Alonso and Button managed to climb ahead of Perez their next target – Force India – though Alonso was still four 10ths slower than Hulkenberg.