Mercedes led the way as usual in Friday practice. But an overnight change in weather conditions promises to be good news for their two closest rivals.
Air temperatures tomorrow will around 10C lower than today. Overcast conditions should also keep track temperatures well below the peak of 51C seen in today’s afternoon session.
Those lower temperatures should help those teams who had been quicker in the morning session. It will probably be bad news for Williams, who achieved rare levels of pace in the peak of the heat on Friday afternoon.
While Ferrari’s lap times were also quicker in the afternoon, note that they only used the soft tyres in the second session. As Mexico showed, the team tend to be weaker in hot conditions.
It’s striking also that Red Bull seemed a greater threat to Mercedes in the morning session. “We’re a bit closer to them than we probably expected, about half a second,” agreed Daniel Ricciardo.
The other change Red Bull are pinning their hopes on is wet conditions. “The rain will help us,” Ricciardo added, a sentiment his team mate echoed. At present the forecast is for rain showers throughout the next two days, with Sunday likely to be the wettest.
There were no surprises from the teams’ longest stints in the afternoon session. Mercedes did their longest runs on the soft tyres which appeared to hold up well for them, but less so for Red Bull.
Ferrari’s day was patchy. Kimi Raikkonen’s long run was spoiled when a discarded visor tear-off strip found its way into his brake duct, overheating the caliper.
Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, found his car’s handling lively over a single lap and spun in the first session. However he reported the balance calmed down on a longer run
In the cool of the first session lap times quickly got within six-tenths of last year’s pole position time, and two seconds off the 2004 track record. The track remains unchanged since last year, save for a slight easing of the kerbs which were installed last season and turns two, three, four, eight and ten.
Longest stint comparison – second practice
This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint. Very slow laps omitted. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, right-click to reset:
Complete practice times
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||1’11.991||1’12.928||74|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||1’12.371||1’12.828||70|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1’13.289||1’13.918||69|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1’13.293||1’13.299||75|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’14.090||1’13.689||61|
|14||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’13.711||1’13.801||69|
2016 Brazilian Grand Prix
- Emotion of Brazil race was indescribable – Massa
- Verstappen dominates Brazil Driver of the Weekend
- Strong rating for Brazilian GP despite red flags
- Two years after Bianchi’s crash drivers are still unhappy with Pirelli’s wet tyres
- 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix team radio transcript
One comment on “Mercedes should have company at the front when the weather changes”
12th November 2016, 8:37
Love to see Massa finish on the podium, very unlucky not to of been a WC
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