Hispania Racing put in its best Friday practice performance of the year today in Montreal and for once didn't end up right at the bottom of the times.
Indeed encouragingly for the F1 2010 newcomer, Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna both managed to run well at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
and both were quicker than the Virgin cars of Timo Glock
and Lucas di Grassi.
Chandhok led the way for the Spanish team and he was 20th in both sessions, only just behind Heikki Kovalainen, who was the top new team runner in his Lotus. Chandhok's best time was a 1m 21.977s, just one tenth off Kovalainen.
"I am very pleased with my first day here at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve," Chandhok said. "The track is still very green but our pace relative to the other new teams has been more competitive than at any other time this season.
"There is a lot of tyre graining so we didn't really push for the ultimate lap time in the afternoon but just spent time trying to understand the tyre wear for the rest of the weekend. The delta time difference to the established teams also seems to be closer than we have seen so far this year so hopefully we can carry on this form into tomorrow and Sunday."
Senna meanwhile was also pleased and while he was behind Jarno Trulli
in FP1, he got ahead of the Italian in FP2 – although admittedly Trulli's running was limited this afternoon due to some mechanical problems. Senna finished the day 21st overall on a 1m 21.097s.
"It was a tough first session as it was the greenest track we drove so far this year. It was very dirty and there was a very poor grip level. During the morning session and also in the afternoon, the track conditions changed a lot," Senna noted.
"We could do 59 laps today though which was good for me because I could learn the track very well with this. All in all, it was a successful day for us and we are looking forward to qualifying tomorrow."
Hispania team boss, Colin Kolles was also encouraged: "It was a good first day for our team in Canada. As expected, the track had a poor grip level in the beginning. Many drivers had to struggle with that and went off the line. Like the other teams, we were fighting with graining on the rear tyres. But we could run a lot today and our drivers got quicker with every lap they did. We could get a lot of information out of the sessions and our drivers got as much track time as possible," he concluded.