Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2015

Changing conditions will keep teams guessing

2015 British Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2015An unusually hot day at Silverstone left drivers struggling to get to grips with the track. And with race day set to be much cooler, the competitive order we saw today is likely to be shaken up.

Beneath a sunny sky the Silverstone asphalt exceeded 45C as the second practice session began this afternoon. This is substantially higher than average – in the past ten years, the nearest maximum track temperature seen in a race at Silverstone was 39C in 2006.

This goes some way towards explaining why so many drivers were complaining about their car balance at the beginning of the session. That and the gusty Silverstone winds caught a few drivers out, particularly as they switched from left to right between Brooklands and Luffield, where Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean and Roberto Merhi were all caught out.

But overnight rain is expected to reset the track surface overnight, and after that cooler temperatures and overcast conditions should keep it from getting anywhere near today’s peak. That may leave several drivers chasing their set-ups ahead of the pivotal qualifying session.

That will give some consolation to Lewis Hamilton as he found himself almost half a second off team mate Nico Rosberg in the second session. However he was one of only two drivers who failed to improve his time after switching to the softer medium tyre, so his run in final practice tomorrow will take on added importance.

Hamilton was behind both the Ferrari drivers in second practice. Following Maurizio Arrivabene’s complaints about his team’s ‘fake’ Friday performance in Austria, if his drivers stay as close to the pace as they were today then we may finally see them get back in the mix with the Mercedes drivers.

Sergio Perez, Force India, Silverstone, 2015In the midfield battle it’s an important weekend for Force India as they have finally brought their ‘true’ VJM08. The car features heavily revised aerodynamics including an unique nose featuring a pair of ‘nostrils’ and a more tightly sculpted engine cover.

Nico Hulkenberg was solidly inside the top ten, and although Sergio Perez was around a second off his team mate he believes the team is off to a “very positive start” with the ‘B-spec’ car.

“I feel we have definitely taken a step forward,” he said. “It is always a complex task to learn about all the new parts in just a couple of sessions, but by the last run of the session, I was feeling comfortable, and that’s promising for the race.”

However Perez admitted the biggest challenge for the team will be working out which route to go with their set-up with their little-tested car. “Qualifying will be interesting because there are many directions in which we can go and we’ll need to choose the right one.”

Longest stint comparison – second practice

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Lewis Hamilton 99.525 99.707 99.767 99.905
Nico Rosberg 98.792 98.682 99.084 99.444 98.86 98.945 100.692 98.358 97.988 98.56 99.725
Daniel Ricciardo 99.557 99.089 99.051 99.262 99.631 103.081 99.171
Daniil Kvyat 98.587 98.913 98.698 98.677 98.489 98.462
Felipe Massa 98.919 99.086 100.48 103.768 99.253 98.907 99.342
Valtteri Bottas 99.807 99.778 99.807 99.812 100.351 99.897 99.877
Sebastian Vettel 98.441 98.751 98.666 101.575 99.342 99.822 98.655
Kimi Raikkonen 99.794 100.466 99.655 99.723 99.91 100.098 99.638
Fernando Alonso 102.177 101.638
Jenson Button 101.879 101.743 101.65 101.57 101.468
Nico Hulkenberg 99.102 104.148 99.401 99.649 99.999 99.72 99.989 113.731
Sergio Perez 100.343 100.85 100.285 100.268 99.847 99.848
Max Verstappen 99.55 99.236 99.273 99.476 99.485 99.231 99.427 99.647 99.899 99.586 99.82
Carlos Sainz Jnr 99.845 99.737 99.661 99.239 99.459 99.855 99.782 99.942 100.057 100.144 100.184 100.666
Romain Grosjean 99.543 100.105 99.814 99.994 100.037 100.421
Pastor Maldonado 101.296 100.64 100.196 100.23 100.368 101.548 101.393 102.402 101.351 100.868
Marcus Ericsson 103.551 100.537 100.227 99.679 99.173 116.529 99.142
Felipe Nasr 100.461 100.47 100.242 100.609 101.035 100.144
Will Stevens 104.545 103.538 103.803 102.984
Roberto Merhi 100.105 114.741 112.669 100.897

Complete practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 Total laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’34.274 1’34.155 45
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’34.344 1’34.621 49
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’35.588 1’34.502 50
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’35.739 1’34.522 43
5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault 1’35.876 1’35.009 47
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’35.818 1’35.153 47
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault 1’35.530 1’35.300 54
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’36.157 1’35.387 62
9 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Renault 1’35.669 1’35.866 70
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’36.469 1’36.147 55
11 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 1’38.080 1’36.164 40
12 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’36.183 33
13 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’36.889 1’36.351 54
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes 1’36.728 21
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’38.222 1’36.731 30
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.855 1’36.822 43
17 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’38.860 1’37.196 26
18 Susie Wolff Williams-Mercedes 1’37.242 19
19 Jolyon Palmer Lotus-Mercedes 1’37.262 26
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.327 36
21 Raffaele Marciello Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.372 17
22 Will Stevens Manor-Ferrari 1’38.981 1’38.279 44
23 Roberto Merhi Manor-Ferrari 1’40.477 1’39.878 43

2015 British Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Changing conditions will keep teams guessing”

  1. I cannot understand how Kvyat managed that lap time (faster than his teammate) on the harder compound?

    1. Me neither. RB definitely went their own way.

      I was eagerly following the 2015 SFI and the car looks visibly more grippy on high speed but you could also see that SFI are still far to reach the set up perfection they had achieved with the 2014B. The true 2015 car was all over the place on low speed this friday.
      Everything is tighter and probably tidier with their new car. I was surprised to hear that the chassis made for the 2014B is essentially the only old part of the true 2015 car. They said the front suspension is “old” but that’s because it was debuted in Monaco, alongside the introduction of a conventional positioning of the front callipers. Now the rear wing is the only thing I can’t remember when it had been debuted, but it mustn’t be that old. I’m surprised with how successful the team was during the start of the season, nor how poised the old car looked on Hulk’s hands in Austria, genuinely a top 10 car.

      1. A FI in the top 5 tomorrow?

    2. I think the hard compound was suited to the hot temperatures, hence Lewis didn’t improve in FP2 on mediums.

      1. Correct, and barely did Rosberg improve too.

        1. This is one of the real negative points of F1… Tires. Teams spend millions of pounds to build an engine and chassis combo only to handicapped by spec tyres.

          1. “to be handicapped”*

  2. Why would Verstappen say something like this:
    “I think we can be quite strong. P5 or P6 is a bit optimistic, but around P7 or P8 is a target, I think that is realistic. I think the long run was very good, I was very happy. I had a Mercedes in front of me and he was not pulling away a lot. In general, the car balance was very positive so I think we can be very good in the race. I think only Mercedes were a bit faster.”
    I don’t understand. He thinks their car is second only to Mercedes, then says he’s expecting P7/8. What then? Is he implying that he is underperforming? If he just means the race pace, I have news for him: It looks like STR might be around and even behind RBR and FI, rather than Ferrari this weekend. Of course they must have more data, but that’s a bit hyperbolic to say their race pace is second only to Mercedes. Though, to be honest, it looks like Williams is right there with them and RBR might give a challenge to Ferrari in this race. Seeing this season, I believe Ferrari is good at all tracks, but not better than Red Bull / Williams whoever their challenger is. The margin is so small that it is possible drivers are making the difference.

    1. He’s talking about the car.. maybe the engine will drag them backwards ;)

      1. Were they running without the engine today?

        1. What he meant is that the Renault engine is holding them backwards when compared to other engines manufacturers.

          It’s just an assessment of a teenager so don’t get too hyper about it.

  3. Q: Your team boss Maurizio Arrivabene said that with Ferrari’s tradition of running with low fuel on Friday you might get a false picture of where you are. Is that so?
    SV: One thing I can tell you: if we ran with low fuel for the long runs they wouldn’t be long runs! (laughs) One thing is sure: we can be more aggressive for Saturday and Sunday. So probably that is what we are going to do tomorrow.–ferrari-have-to-learn-from-rivals–tactics.html

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