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

Medium Hulkenberg 1m49.301s
Supersoft Hamilton 1m46.435s
Soft Bottas 1m47.096s

FP2 – BEST TIME PER COMPOUND

Medium Rosberg 1m45.792s
Soft Hamilton 1m45.102s
Supersoft Hamilton 1m44.223s

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND

Supersoft    Magnussen 20
Soft    Palmer 19
Medium    Haryanto 11

Tyre statistics of the day:

Medium Soft Supersoft
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.