2015 British Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

PACE OF CAR AND TYRE DEVELOPMENT MEANS THAT FASTEST LAP OF 2014 WAS ALREADY BEATEN IN FP1 TODAY

MERCEDES DRIVER NICO ROSBERG DOMINATES BOTH PRACTICE SESSIONS

PERFORMANCE GAP OF 0.8-0.9 SECONDS BETWEEN THE HARD AND THE MEDIUM COMPOUNDS AT SILVERSTONE

Silverstone, July 3, 2015 – Silverstone is well known as one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, but the pace has got even quicker today – with the fastest time in FP1 from Nico Rosberg already beating the fastest lap of the whole weekend in 2014.

Rosberg went even faster in FP2, eventually setting a benchmark of 1m34.155s on the medium tyre – which is currently around 0.8-0.9 seconds faster than the hard tyre that is also nominated this weekend. This is a slightly smaller gap than originally anticipated, in track temperatures that peaked at 43 degrees centigrade. These conditions enable the P Zero Orange hard (which is a high working range compound) to work at its best.

The overall lap record for the current Silverstone configuration is 1m33.401s from 2013, set during the former engine regulations. There could now be a chance that this will be beaten during qualifying and the race, using the latest generation of Pirelli tyres.

As usual, the teams used free practice to assess tyre behaviour and degradation rates with different fuel loads. One particularly crucial factor will be track and air temperature, with the United Kingdom having recently experienced the hottest day ever in July. Track temperatures during the race are expected to be around 10 degrees cooler than they were today, which will obviously have a substantial effect on wear and degradation.

Silverstone’s weather is however notoriously unpredictable: yesterday there were some drops of rain in the afternoon – and further rain is expected tonight, with a chance that there could be showers on race day too. Cooler temperatures might tip the number of stops towards just one – especially as the pit stop time loss in quite high in Silverstone – but there is still plenty of data to analyse before FP3 gets underway tomorrow.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “These are the hottest track temperatures we have seen at a Silverstone GP weekend during the last five years, and it was that possibility which prompted our decision to bring the hardest tyres in the range to the track. Silverstone is among the top three most demanding circuits we visit all year in terms of lateral energy, so this obviously adds to the workload too.

The tyres have performed just as we expected them to so far, but it’s still not entirely clear whether or not we will be looking at one or two stops for most competitors on Sunday and the weather seems typically changeable, which will have a big effect on track evolution. Wear should not be an issue, but we are expecting some degree of degradation, which should encourage different strategies and also provide more overtaking opportunities.”

FP1: FP2:
1. Rosberg  1m34.274s  Hard new 1. Rosberg  1m34.155s  Medium new
2. Hamilton  1m34.344s  Hard new 2. Raikkonen  1m34.502s  Medium new
3. Verstappen  1m35.530s  Hard new  3. Vettel  1m34.522s  Medium new

Tyre statistics of the day:

Hard Medium Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 3864 1802
sets used overall ** 60 20
highest number of laps ** 24 29

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Pirelli fact of the day:

The very first international race at Silverstone took place in 1948, two years before the Formula One World Championship was created. Luigi Villoresi won the race in a Maserati 4CLT, 14 seconds ahead of the similar car of Alberto Ascari – making a Pirelli one-two. At the time, Silverstone was not a permanent circuit but instead an airfield on a one-year lease from the British Air Force to the Royal Automobile Club.