31 AUGUST 2018
ITALIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice Session: 1:35.665 Position: 7, Laps: 10
Second Practice Session: 1:22.154 Position: 5, Laps: 28
“It was alright today, the same conditions for everyone. Luckily we had a dry second practice where we could try a few things. In Qualifying with dry conditions, I think we are too slow, but on the long runs it looks more positive. If it’s going to be enough to really fight, I don’t think so. From the car perspective the behaviour was good so of course I’m happy with that. But this is definitely the worst track for us, I don’t expect any miracles and we will try to make the best of it. I don’t think it’s necessary to go with a different tyre strategy tomorrow as both compounds behaved really well. I don’t expect any problems there and we will just have to try to have the best Qualifying possible. I don’t know yet whether we will use the C-Spec engine tomorrow, we will decide that overnight when we have looked at the data. We just have to keep pushing and try to improve our car and then we will see where we are.”
First Practice Session: 1:35.207 Position: 5, Laps: 13
Second Practice Session: 1:22.296 Position: 6, Laps: 28
“We looked more competitive on the long runs this afternoon but on the short runs Ferrari were really fast and we also still have a big gap to Mercedes. We definitely closed the gap on the long runs which is promising for the race, but there is still a bit to find. I used the new C-Spec engine for the first time which seemed to run ok. We won’t really know how well it performed until we look at the data but this afternoon we did some decent running with it and hopefully it shows some good numbers. Tomorrow I probably won’t do much running and it’s possible I will skip Qualifying as I’m going to be starting at the back anyway. I think on Sunday we will have a good enough car to come through the field and then work on the best position in the top five. To be honest, it’s just good to see that Marcus is ok because that was a big one and a worry for us all. He had a far tougher day than me.”
Well this is good. Rain at Hockenheim, downpours on Saturday in Budapest, a sodden Q3 in Spa, and this morning a biblical deluge in Monza. It’s like 2008 all over again, or indeed last year. So, what to do if the rest of the weekend features prolonged spells of wet weather? Here are a few tips…
1. Moan-spotting: Play the game of ticking off the amount of times you hear people complaining about the lack of running due to the wet tyre provision across race weekends and how it’s a crime. First to 15 wins a poncho.
2. Research: That doom-laden sidebar about all the times Qualifying has been moved to a Sunday won’t write itself you know (doesn’t matter that it’s supposed to be nice tomorrow, that’s irrelevant). For the record: Austin, 2015; Melbourne, 2013; Suzuka, 2010; Suzuka, 2004. You’re welcome.
3. Comedy garage tours: Nominate team members unfamiliar with how F1 works to conduct garage tours and present them with a script suggesting that the brake material features a honeycomb structure of actual honeycomb harvested from beehives that only exist in the super-heated environment of Kamchatkan volcanoes.
4. Do a bit of admin: At long last we have a 2019 calendar to work with. Go ahead, sort out that flight to Melbourne, book that bijoux apartment in Bahrain and make sure you can lord it over your colleagues by telling them how you managed to snag a room at Abu Dhabi’s only seven-star underwater hotel, complete with personal submarine transfer to Yas Island for €30 a night.
5. Clean desktop, sick mind?: When exactly do you think anyone is going to urgently need that FP3 report from the 2011 Korean Grand Prix or the first draft of your noir thriller set in the murky world of junior karting featuring a cynical but brilliant cub motorsport reporter you’ve been working on since 1998? Yes, it really is time to clean up that computer desktop.