BRITISH GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice session: 1:29.604, Position: 3, Laps: 29
Second Practice Session: 1:29.098, Position: 5, Laps: 32
“It was good fun to drive today, the gusty conditions are typical here at Silverstone and it is the same for everyone so you just have to get on with it. This year’s new cars felt quicker through the fast corners and more enjoyable to drive, I knew it would be different but this is nice to see. The Ferraris went a bit quicker in the second session and I think we didn’t have a great one, we still have a bit of work to do as I think we can get closer to the guys ahead and also improve our race pace. We can find some improvement in car balance as I feel it changed for the worse between practice one and two, so we will go away and look into that now. There was a bit of a drop off on the supersoft but I think that was expected, the softs however seem to be holding up ok, even so I think a one stop race is optimistic. No issues so far, I’m happy about that.”
First Practice Session: 1:29.942 Position: 4, Laps: 19
Second Practice Session: 1:29.586, Position: 6, Laps: 35
“Today was an ok Friday. We learned a lot but there is certainly some time to find, judging by the performance last week we can definitely improve in the high speed and we haven’t quite optimized the car yet. The conditions were tricky with the low track temperature and the wind, I had quite a moment at Maggots and Becketts at one point and it felt like the wind blew me across the track. Tyre-wise, I think most people are happier with the soft at the moment and that’s the trend. The supersoft is a bit quicker but it doesn’t seem to last as long so I think most of the race will be run on the soft tyre. I’m still confident that we can fight for a podium on Sunday but we need to make a few improvements to make that happen. Mercedes are very fast but I think if we get everything right we can be challenging Ferrari tomorrow. Qualifying should be a good fight.”
A true temple of speed, a veritable crucible of celerity, Silverstone is one of F1’s fastest circuits and is set to be even quicker this weekend thanks to F1’s new cars. It’s not the only high-speed sporting environment though… as we found out
- Michigan makes its mark
The Brickyard? Daunting Daytona? Terrifying Talladega? Nope, the fastest track in NASCAR is Michigan International Speedway. MIS became the fastest non-restrictor plate track in the series in 2012 when, after the track had been resurfaced, Australian driver Marcos Ambrose put in a lap of 203.241 mph (326.697 kph). The historic mark was more than 9 mph faster than the previous record of 194.232 mph (310 kph).
- A very slippery slope
There are plenty of face-melting black runs the world over but if you’re looking for a place to really make your mark then the French Alpine resort of Vars might be the place to do it – especially if you’re a speed skier. The avalanche-prone couloir’s slope is so precipitous – in some places up to 47 degrees – that those crazy enough to take on accelerate almost as fast as an F1 car. Just ask Italian skier Ivan Oregon. Last year he set a new record as the world’s fast non-motorised fastest human, reaching 254.958 kph (154 mph) on the run.
- Quick water?
Can one swimming pool be quicker than another? Apparently it can. The Sydney Aquatic Centre in the city’s Olympic Park is reckoned to be the ‘world’s fastest pool’ for a number of reasons, including the fact that the pool has a wet deck design where the water is on the same level as the concourse. In fact all four sides are wet decks and this is reduces turbulence or reflected waves. It also has anti-wave lane ropes and is deep (3m) to further reduced waves (shallow water is more prone to reflective turbulence). Finally, it has two thirds less chlorine than a regular competition pool thanks to an elaborate filtration system and that means less irritation and distraction for swimmers.
- Marathon speed
Is a course quick by nature or due to the quality of the runners on it? Difficult to say but if you were looking to benchmark quickness then looking at the average top times recorded at the top 10 marathons might be the way to do so. In that case the winner is Berlin, where the average time is 2hrs, 5m,10s. Second on the list, five seconds behind, is Rotterdam. However, if you look at the number of personal records occurring across the top finishers in the events Rotterdam emerges as a clear winner beating Berlin across PRs in the top 10, 20, 50 and 100 categories. For example in PRs recorded across the top 100 finishers the Dutch city beat the German 18-15.
- A right cycle path
The London Olympic velodrome (nicknamed the Pringle due its curved shape) is believed to be the fastest on earth. Why? Well for starters there’s the track design. There’s no standard design for cycling tracks, and London’s features higher banking in the turns than many, as well as a finish line 5 metres further down the straight. That allows riders to come off the turn with a slingshot effect to the line and gives them a little more time to enjoy the straight. Then there is the environment. The temperature inside the velodrome is kept at a fairly toasty 28˚C. Warm air is conducive to quick times as it’s less dense than cooler air, decreasing the aerodynamic resistance the riders encounter. What’s more, spectators enter the arena through a system of airlocks to not only keep the climate as consistent as possible, but also to keep the air perfectly still.