“I just went in the gravel”: Japanese GP practice team radio highlights

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Very wet conditions in the second practice session caught Lance Stroll out while Carlos Sainz Jnr hit the barrier during the dry morning session.

Here’s what they had to say about their escapades and more messages from the drivers during Friday’s practice sessions.

First practice

To Hamilton: “OK Lewis we are seeing a couple of little drop-outs on the rear wing but we’re happy for you to stay out, maximise dry running time.”

Bottas: “The upshifts are really slow even though they are already synced.”
“Strat 12”
Bottas: “Stil slow.”
“OK, go back to strat 11.”

To Perez: “At turn one Bottas has brought dirt onto the circuit.”

“Potential B bal [brake balance] three recommendation. B bal 3 or pull toggle at turn 11 if you have issues with front locking.”
Verstappen: “OK.”

To Hulkenberg: “OK Nico for info we’re looking to do four consecutive scenario one laps for temperatures.”

Vettel: “How’s the forecast?”
“We should get less rain, can extend this run.”

“Charge on. How was the flap in high-speed.”
Gasly: “OK at the moment.”
“Any other comments?”
Gasly: “Understeer at beginning of the lap.”

“Watch for Felipe, he’s about to start a timed lap.”
Stroll: “Yeah he got in my way, I don’t know why he didn’t get out the way.”

Stroll: “The rears are really going away in the last sector.”

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To Vandoorne: “If it’s possible we suggest blue B five for turn 11 [hairpin] only.”

To Hulkenberg: “We put the maps in the car but they weren’t enabled so if you want to try for the next lap you need to go to mode four.”

Raikkonen: “OK my rear is not good at all. It’s locking even in turn one.”

Verstappen: “Yeah it starts to drizzle more than it was before.”
“Display one, position nine.”
Verstappen: “The power cuts off.”
“OK, continue to build.”

“Sainz: “[Censored by FOM] I don’t know what happened. I lost the car, sorry.”
“No worries. Are you OK?”
Sainz: “Yep I’m OK.”

“Stroll: “I feel a lot of bouncing.”
“OK we just have to drop the rear pressures.”

To Magnussen: “Slow down, high gear we need to come in. Same problem as before.”

Second practice

The rain which arrived at the end of first practice was very heavy by the time the second session began.

Ocon: “There’s some rivers on the straights.”

Stroll: “Wow there’s a lot of aquaplaning. It’s OK I just went into the gravel a little bit.”
“Copy that, we’ve seen it.”

To Hamilton: “So water level’s much higher than before.”

To Alonso: “We have the data we need so just bring the car back safely, box this lap.”

2017 Japanese 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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4 comments on ““I just went in the gravel”: Japanese GP practice team radio highlights”

  1. Multi-million facilities all around the god damned world, and he goes in the gravel?! From what I hear, the track’s wet enough as it is! Borrow another team’s W.C. if you must, but not this!

    1. Took a while, and THEN it dawned. Good one :)

  2. I don’t know what happened. I lost the car, sorry.”

    that’s what happens when your playing with Kerbs .

  3. Forgive me if everyone knows the answer to this but there seems a lot of tech info broadcast on the radio concerning different settings, switches, knobs everything. When do the drivers learn all this? Do they spend days at HQ learning on simulators? What about the drivers who live “offshore”? Seems a lot of non driving pressure and travelling logistics to worry about. What happened to the good old “just turn the key, fire it up and drive off” days? Being an F1 driver seems much more complex under the surface than it would appear.

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