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Williams, Sauber, Toro Rosso struggle in the midfield

With all eyes on Albert Park as the first track action of the 2013 F1 season got underway, it was clear that some of the midfield teams still had work to do.
While Red Bull was flying high at the front in the first F1 track sessions of the 2013 world championship at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, some of the midfield teams were finding the start of the new season more problematic than hoped for.

"Overall it was a challenging day," admitted Sauber's new driver signing Nico Hulkenberg. "On the first day there are always a few things you need to work on and improve. I think we still have some homework to do."

His new team mate, rookie F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez, said he'd enjoyed a productive day but admitted that it barely scratched the surface of what he needed to achieve in 2013.

"As a team we need to find more speed, and that means me as a driver as well. I've improved from free practice one to free practice two, now I will focus on improving for qualifying tomorrow."

Gutierrez had a lesson of a different sort of life in the F1 paddock when he was handed a 800-euro fine for speeding in the pit lane by the race stewards at the end of the day. He wasn't the only one - Williams' Valtteri Bottas also got a 2,800-euro penalty for the same offence.

"It's a new circuit for me so it took a few laps in the first practice to get to know it a little better," said the Finn. "I felt like the car could still improve further."

Williams F1 made no secret of the fact that they weren't going for top times on Friday, and instead stated that their objectives for the first F1 practice sessions of the 2013 season were aero evaluations, tyre testing, and long distance race simulations.

"We ran some different tests today on the car and the tyres, so we haven't got the maximum pace out of the car yet, said Pastor Maldonado. "We have a lot of work to do before tomorrow, but we have another practice session to focus on the set-up needed for qualifying and we'll be analysing all today's data this evening."

There will be a lot of work going on in the Toro Rosso garage as well, as they struggle to get on top of their own performance issues in time for Saturday's qualifying session.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team FW35
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
15.03.2013- Free Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
Felipe Massa - Williams
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T, detail
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 and Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Pirelli Tyres and OZ Wheels
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
09.10.2015 - Free Practice 1, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30

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Firestorm - Unregistered

March 15, 2013 2:17 PM

I wonder why Crash.net didn't add Force India to this group. They didn't look much faster than Sauber. Maybe McLaren too should be added alongside Force India, Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso as a midfilder. I said that but I hope that McLaren will be much faster tomorrow. I always dreamed for 5 top teams in a F1 season and I thought I got they this year. I hope that it comes true and McLaren belongs to the top teams, so I expect them to improve significally during the season and the improvement must start tomorrow with both drivers in the top ten in qualifying and race.

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