First Practice session: 1:18.421, Position: 4, Laps: 28
Second Practice Session: 1:17:801, Position: 1, Laps: 26
“Today was pretty positive and it’s always nice to be on top of the time sheets. I still feel we can improve a bit and we know Mercedes always find more on a Saturday when it counts. I think we still need to find a few tenths to stay in the fight, but we will work on that tonight. It’s nice not having to change much on the car because we don’t seem too far off. It’s always tricky here with the low grip and it’s very easy to make mistakes which you could see today with all the spins. You have to be careful, be very nice to your car, have a good feeling and that really helps around here. I think we managed to find a pretty good set-up today with the car and the tyre temperatures, but it doesn’t mean it will be easy for us all weekend. It doesn’t look like I will have to make an engine change, so unless something unplanned happens then I will race from my Qualifying position on Sunday. If she keeps ticking over then we are keeping her in! Sunday will be really close, but today was a good day, so we will try and keep it going for the rest of the weekend.”
First Practice session: 1:18.395, Position: 3, Laps: 16
Second Practice Session: 1:17:964, Position: 3, Laps: 17
“The pace of the car seems good, we tried a few new bits for next year this morning to understand them but I didn’t like the feel so we stopped running early. We lost a bit of momentum and didn’t do as many laps as we would have liked, this also meant we fell a bit behind on set-up. This afternoon we were playing catch-up on achieving a good car balance, we didn’t get it where I wanted it but we were still third before we finished so I think the potential is there. Grip is always low here due to the altitude. With the other categories going out later today and laying rubber it should improve the grip as the weekend goes on. The day ended with a MGU-H failure but it was an old engine so nothing major to be concerned about looking ahead for the weekend. Daniel’s pace looked good and we were quickest on all compounds which is very positive. We still don’t have that extra power for Qualifying but I think we look good to fight for a descent result on Sunday as race pace looks strong.”
The height of achievement
The Autodrómo Hermanos Rodríguez has the distinction of being the highest circuit we visit all year. Naturally that made us wonder about some other lofty marks. After a thorough trawl through the weirder corners of the internet, here are five of our favourite tall tales…
1. World’s Highest Pub – Proof that Ireland’s greatest export, the pub, has reached absolutely every corner of the globe, the claimant of world’s highest bar is McElroy’s Irish Pub in the tiny town of Chivay, Peru, 3635 metres (11,975 feet) above sea level. Just in case you want to visit, Chivay is a town in the Colca valley, in the Arequipa region of southern Peru. Lying upstream of the scenic Colca Canyon, it has a central town square and an active market and is home to about 5,000 people, who of course needed an authentic Irish bar within walking distance.
2. Highest Note Ever Sung – According to the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records, this highest note ever sung by a human is G10 by Italian-Brazilian singer Georgia Brown. Brown has a vocal range of eight octaves, extending from G2 to G10, as verified at Aqui Jazz Atelier Music School in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 18 August 2004. G10 is technically not a musical note but a frequency, and this puts her on a par with dolphins, since, biologically speaking, they’re the only mammals with the lung-structure capable of reaching the same pitch – one high enough to counter electric currents and speak through water. Mariah Carey is not far behind Brown, with the arch diva hitting G7 on her song Emotions in 1991.
3. Highest Car Mileage – This honour goes to the 1966 Volvo P1800 coupe owned by New Yorker Irv Gordon. The now retired science teacher bought the car new and has since racked up well over 3 million miles (5.1m kilometres). He passed the million-mile mark in 1987, hit 2m miles in 2002 and passed the 2m mark on September 18, 2013 on Alaska’s Seward Highway, one of two US states he had yet to visit at the time. Gordon has, naturally, been a stickler for maintenance. He replaces the brakes at about every 100,000 miles, changes the oil of the original engine every 3,000 to 3,500 miles and replaces the transmission fluid and the ignition points every 25,000 miles. He also keeps it clean, diligently washing off winter salt and grime. His Volvo has never experienced any level of failure despite driving a distance that’s equivalent to 120 laps around the world.
4. World’s Highest Kite – The highest altitude by a single kite is 4,879.54 m (16,009 ft) and was achieved by a trio of Australians, Robert Moore, Roger Martin and Michael Jenkins, in Cobar, New South Wales, Australia on 23 September 2014. The record was attempted at Cable Downs, a 50,000-acre sheep station in far western New South Wales, Australia. To avoid interfering with aircraft, the team had to get permission from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Air Services Australia to fly the kite at a sheep station near Cobar in Western Australia. The trio needed 12.2 kilometres of string to get the kite to its record-setting altitude.
5 Highest ever flight – This falls into a number of categories, depending on power source. For air-breathing jet engines, the highest current world absolute general aviation altitude record is 37,650 metres (123,520 ft) set by Aleksandr Vasilyevich Fedotov, in a MiG 25 on 31 August 1977. The aircraft, generally codenamed Foxbat by NATO, was actually a MiG-25RB, fitted with the powerful R15BF2-300 engine. Flying this aircraft he reached the record height above Podmoskovnoe, Russia. For rocket planes, the highest altitude obtained by a manned aeroplane is 112,010 m (367,487 ft) by Brian Binnie in the Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne on 4 October 2004 at Mojave, CA. The SpaceShipOne was launched at over 13,300m (43,500 ft).