9 NOVEMBER 2018
BRAZILIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice Session: 1:09.011 Position:1, Laps: 16
Second Practice Session: 1:09.339 Position: 5, Laps: 28
“I was pretty happy with the car as soon as I jumped in it this morning, which isn’t usually the case around here and showed in the first session. The car felt good but I had a bit of traffic on my quick lap, so I feel the time can still improve a little bit. As this circuit generally doesn’t suit us I don’t have any major expectations for qualifying, our focus is on the race. My long run pace looked OK, the second session was compromised a little bit so I couldn’t do everything I wanted but it felt alright. With only a few tweaks tomorrow I’m confident we can get the set-up where I want it. I was delayed getting out on track this afternoon due to a small oil leak and we wanted to make sure that was fixed and therefore shouldn’t cause any further issues. Looking at the weather, I think today was supposed to be the worst and it didn’t rain, so I’m not sure we will get any help in that respect.”
First Practice Session: 1:09.395 Position: 4, Laps: 23
Second Practice Session: 1:09.164 Position: 4, Laps: 44
“It was a pretty good afternoon and we made a good step forward between FP1 and FP2. It’s always a tricky track to get the car set-up perfectly as it’s quite demanding on the tyres. We struggled a bit with that this morning but we found a sweeter spot in FP2. This afternoon we had a decent car but we are still three tenths off, so pole is probably a bit of a stretch in these conditions. The others haven’t turned it up yet either but our race pace seems solid and that will be our main focus due to the grid penalty. I’ve known about the penalty since last week as the turbo was unfortunately damaged when a marshal used a fire extinguisher on the car in Mexico. I’ve come to terms with that and I’m ready to try and qualify well, race hard and make the best of the weekend.”
A turn for the worse
The big news this week has of course been the announcement that in April 2020 we’ll be racing on the streets of Hanoi. And the track looks pretty exciting too, featuring a high-speed straight into a hard-braking first turn with multiple lines, some rapid changes of direction and plenty of overtaking opportunities. Indeed, we’re led to believe that, like Austin, the Hanoi track takes its inspiration from some of F1’s most well known sections, the opening corners at the Nürburgring, the run up to Casino Square from St Devote, Suzuka’s ‘Esses’ – all pretty special bits of track. It got us to wondering about the corners that had been overlooked – the poor, unloved arcs and radii that don’t quite make the grade. So here we present a quick list of some track sections that need love too…
1. Turn 9 at Spa – Is it Bruxelles, Bas Rivage, or even the slightly random Speakers’ Corner? Whatever you want to call it the fact is that on a track of mighty curves the little corner between Rivage and Pouhon gets a raw deal. C’mon people let’s show it the love by at least giving it a fixed name.
2. Any of those turns in the Loop – Silverstone: amazing home of high-speed thrills, of magnificent Copse, of the thrill-ride that is the awesome Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex and of… that new bit that’s a good bit slower, more fiddly and which no one really likes that much.
3. Turn 2 at the Red Bull Ring – When is a corner not a corner? How about when it never really existed in the first place? We love our home circuit for the amount of high-speed action it packs into its 9-corner lap. Last year, though, that number became 10 when the kink between Turn 1 and Remus was branded a corner to align the numbering system with that used in MotoGP. We’ll give the little ghost corner a chance though and include it on our circuit of almost corners (along with its cousin, Turn 12 at Montreal).
4. That chicane on the Mistral – If there’s one thing F1 has learned from circuits such as Baku, it’s that a long, ridiculously fast straight ending in a bonkers braking zone ahead of a corner offering multiple lines is pretty cool. But when we returned to Paul Ricard this year the iconic Mistral straight was interrupted by that track layout mongrel: a chicane. Apparently, race organisers are considering removing it in 2019 and so we’ll give it a home on our track of horrors – in the middle of a long straight, where it will sit like a grumpy troll.
5. Any section a driver describes as ‘technical’ – When in your ‘lap of Circuit X’ interview with your favourite driver his eyes suddenly glaze over as he begins to describe the ‘technical’ stadium section and the challenge it brings you know that ‘technical’ translates as ‘slow’ and ‘the challenge’ is staying awake through all those slow corners.