SPANISH GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice Session: 1:18.392 Position: 2, Laps: 41
Second Practice Session: 1:19.871 Position: 7, Laps: 11
“It was a day of two halves. The car felt pretty different this afternoon and I think that showed. The mistake in to Turn 4 this morning was a costly one and I missed the final hour of the session because of it. Tail winds are a big thing in F1 and in any corners with a tail wind you lose a lot of rear grip. Turn 4 is a bad corner to have a tail wind and it caught me and a few others out. Of course you don’t want to crash but if I’m trying to find a silver lining, then FP1 is probably the best time to do it. FP2 is the one where you do your Race and Qualifying simulations. We got our heads down and put the laps in this afternoon, which was important with the updates to the car, there are quite a few aerodynamicists here today so we needed the laps to give them as much feedback as possible. On the soft tyre we were quite fast, we didn’t really get the supersoft working which I don’t think many people did and it looks like it will be a tricky tyre this weekend. At the end with high fuel I think we were ok but I’m sure we can still be better. We have found some pace, there is still a bit more to find, but overall a pretty good end to a Friday.”
First Practice session: 1:19.187 Position: 4, Laps: 26
Second Practice Session: 1: 18.533 Position: 3, Laps: 39
“You always want to improve but I think the car has been handling pretty well today. We didn’t experience too many issues and it looked competitive in the long runs. FP2 and FP3 looks good for us on paper but it is only Friday so we’ll keep pushing tonight to make some steps forward for tomorrow. The updates we brought here seem to be working so we will have to wait and see how much of an impact they have on Qualifying. The supersoft tyre doesn’t seem to be particularly quick and is hard to get working, that might change tomorrow but the soft seemed a better compound today. The new surface created a few moments for a lot of drivers, myself included. A few corners are now flat out which means we lose a bit more time as it effectively makes the straights longer, but we looked competitive in the last sector so we can make up for it a bit there and play to our strengths. Short runs were decent and long runs looked good so come Sunday I feel we can perform well and have good pace. It is tricky to overtake here so hopefully we can put ourselves in a good position for Qualifying tomorrow.”
Behind the Gains in Spain
Back in Australia we brought you a selection of deep technical explanations of day one woes and in order to maintain progress on our handy guide to understanding the tricky language of F1 engineers (or as we prefer to call it the mangled language of engineers) here we present our guide to the explanations that will surely accompany the huge range of upgrades that were bolted onto cars today…
1. ‘There is no major upgrade here in Spain. Modern F1 is a constant process of development, with new parts arriving every weekend’ = ‘We have no upgrades, we haven’t had any since the start of the season, and we’re not going to have any for the rest of the season. By the way, I’m on LinkedIn if you know of anything coming up at another team’
2. ‘We have brought many upgrades but nothing you would immediately see on the bodywork, most of it is under the skin’ = ‘We still haven’t got any upgrades. Here, take my card as well.’
3. ‘We are continuing to evaluate the gains we’re seeing’ = ‘We appear to have gained absolutely nothing and we’re a bit puzzled as to why the aero department were all high-fiving each other last week’.
4. ‘The gains we saw in the tunnel don’t seem to be directly correlating to track performance’ = ‘The parts are good. The driver is not.’
5. ‘This was always intended as a long-term development item’ = ‘We wanted to run it this weekend, but it was clearly rubbish. Can we all just forget about that one, please?’
6. ‘It’s tough to ascribe a performance gain to a specific upgrade’ = ‘The specific upgrade you mention caught fire, burned through the loom and destroyed the sensor’.
7. ‘It’s very tough to ascribe a performance gain to a specific upgrade’ = ‘None of the upgrades work.’
8. ‘We have brought a new front wing, a new floor, a new nose, some modifications to the bargeboards and to the rear wing, and new brake ducts’ = ‘How bad was our Melbourne car?’
9. ‘We have been looking at a number of modifications but we haven’t brought then here this weekend’ = ‘We know that Team X is blowing their rear wing but we haven’t quite figured out how it works yet’.
10. ‘We have been evaluating a number of upgrades but we are targeting Canada for introduction = ‘Or Silverstone, or maybe Germany? Can we call it Spa? No, OK, well not Monza, as that’s weird. Singapore’s no good – street track. Russia’s got that crazy tarmac, so that’s out. Japan’s too far. Austin might be good? OK, too cold. Mexico – altitude. Brazil – too wet, so…. Abu Dhabi it is then.’