2016 Europe Grand Prix – Practice Sessions
HAMILTON FASTEST WITH SUPERSOFT TYRE ON THE WORLD’S
QUICKEST STREET CIRCUIT
SLIPPERY SURFACES AND HIGH TRACK EVOLUTION UP TO NOW
PERFORMANCE GAP OF ABOUT ONE SECOND SO FAR BETWEEN SOFT
AND SUPERSOFT COMPOUNDS
Baku, June 17, 2016 –The teams today got to grips with the second-longest track on the calendar, which contains a number of unique characteristics such as an extremely high top speed in excess of 350kph.
As a result, the priority was track familiarisation and data collection with all three P Zero tyres nominated: medium (used only for FP1 installation), soft and supersoft, which different teams ran during the course of both sessions. As expected, there were warm temperatures and a high degree of track evolution with an extremely slippery surface at the start of the day in particular. In the afternoon, conditions were more overcast.
Following FP1 a problem was identified with the kerbing, resulting in damage to some of the rear-left tyres, but with no deflations or loss of pressure. The problem was rectified prior to FP2, although the race director advised drivers to stay off certain kerbs, which will be fixed tonight
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the day, establishing what is currently the lap record on the supersoft tyre, during FP2. There is a performance gap of a second between the soft and supersoft tyres for now, but with the track still evolving so rapidly, the definitive gap – and therefore the likely race strategy – will only be seen following FP3 tomorrow.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Baku has proven to be a different challenge compared to the majority of circuits we visit. Being a new track, initial running was on a slightly dirty surface that evolved throughout the sessions. The high winds weren’t helping today as teams searched for the ideal set up to maximise performance and maintain tyre performance in the optimal window. We will now compare our actual running data to the pre-race simulations in order to understand any differences between the two.”
|FP1 – TIMES||FP2 – TIMES|
|1. Hamilton||1m46.435s||Supersoft new||1. Hamilton||1m44.223s||Supersoft new|
|2. Rosberg||1m46.812s||Supersoft new||2. Rosberg||1m44.913s||Supersoft new|
|3. Bottas||1m47.096s||Soft new||3. Perez||1m45.336s||Supersoft new|
FP1 – BEST TIME PER COMPOUND
FP2 – BEST TIME PER COMPOUND
MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND
Tyre statistics of the day:
|kms driven *||528||4122||2496|
|sets used overall **||16||54||26|
|highest number of laps **||15||27||28|
* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.
Minimum prescribed tyre pressures: 22 psi (fronts) 22 psi (rears)
Pirelli fact of the day: Baku is the only capital city – and grand prix – in the world to be located below the level of the sea, and also the largest city in the world to be found below sea level. The ‘altitude’ in the ‘City of Winds’ is minus 28.
Spotted in the paddock: Gulhuseyn Abdullayev. The 19-year-old is currently Azerbaijan’s only racing driver, who had the honour of completing the very first laps of the Baku City Circuit in a GP3 car last month. He’s hoping this race will kick-start a new motorsport scene in Azerbaijan: to begin his career, he had to travel to Turkey for his first seasons in karting.