I just want to get down my thoughts fron FP1 and FP2 quickly, before I have a quick sleep prior to FP3, mainly so I can come back in the future and see how badly wrong I was ;-)

Karun Chandhok - desperately unlucky to drop the Lotus only a few corners into his first ever lap, I sincerely hope that Team Lotus give him a fresh start at the next race. As both a Team Lotus and Karun Chandhok fan, the first minute of FP1 was particularly hard to watch.

After FP2, people seem to think that McLaren have pulled it out of the bag since the final testing session. I disagree. I think that both Red Bull Racing and Ferrari were running the rear wing in race mode during all of FP2. Watching Webber towards the end of FP2 using the DRS in race mode, he didn't manage to pass the car in front, so I think that tyre degradation and pit stops will play more of a part in the race than the flappy rear wing.

As for where I think the cars are, well:

Fastest in practice/qualifying (unrestricted use of flappy rear wing): Red Bull, without a doubt. Vettel in particular was activating his rear wing incredibly early, very often when still only halfway through a corner. Red Bull on pole position, easily.

Fastest in race trim (using the flappy rear wing in the designated zone): Ferrari. I think they weren't using the rear wing in FP2, and Alonso was quicker than the Red Bulls.

Best of the rest: McLaren. Set the two fastest times in FP2, but they were using the flappy rear wing. In my opinion, McLaren will be behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the race, and may struggle to hold off both the Mercedes and the Williams, both of which look impressively quick.

Dark horse for some decent points: Toro Rosso. I'm loving their "double floor" sidepods, and think that they should be good for some points this year. Maybe a top five is some of the front runners make a mistake or two.


The safe bet: Sorry HRT, but I don't think you'll be within the 107% of the top time in Q1. I reckon that Virgin will get through, but only by chucking on a set of soft tyres, while the front runners will do Q1 on the hard tyres to save the softs for Q2 & Q3.