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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

What we realized from Friday observe on the 2024 F1 British GP

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The opening day of monitor motion at Formulation 1’s 2024 British Grand Prix ended with a clean sweep of Friday practice sessions for McLaren, with Purple Bull not troubling the highest occasions.

Properly, Sergio Perez was third quickest in FP2 to place the world champion squad second total behind McLaren in that session, however his illustrious team-mate, Max Verstappen, was down in an uncommon spot in seventh. Similar to Perez in Austria 5 days in the past, Verstappen even ended up crushed by Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg.

However, as ever in F1, and we do hope the championship’s Apple-produced film is going to somehow reflect this, the true actuality of who’s in competition is completely different to what the occasions alone recommend.

As a result of there have been two key explanation why Verstappen was off the tempo in FP2, plus the long-run occasions present issues otherwise – and encouragingly for Purple Bull. However, tantalisingly for F1 followers, McLaren is robust in these too.

Proper now, it appears one other field workplace Verstappen vs Norris contest is on the playing cards at Silverstone.

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The story of the day

FP1 started with spots of rain falling on numerous elements of this large ex-airfield venue – the day having begun with Silverstone getting a dousing of traditional British climate – so the monitor took some time to rubber in. Norris led the best way with a 1m27.420s, trailed by Lance Stroll’s 1m27.554s for Aston Martin.

Verstappen may not have starred on the Friday timesheets, however Purple Bull’s tempo can’t be denied

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The primary session was solely actually notable for 3 different issues: Yuki Tsunoda’s early spin and exit within the Luffield gravel that capped his lap complete at 5 and left him on the foot of the occasions, Oscar Piastri coasting into the pits late on with what McLaren says was a gasoline cell drawback, and the 4 rookie appearances.

These had been Ollie Bearman at Haas instead of Kevin Magnussen (with the 2025 Haas racer placing in the perfect rookie time at 1m28.536s, ok for 14th), Jack Doohan driving Pierre Gasly’s Alpine, Franco Colapinto changing Logan Sargeant at Williams and Isack Hadjar taking Perez’s RB20.

FP2 total occasions  

POS Driver Crew Time Hole
1 Norris      McLaren 1m26.549s  
2 Perez   Purple Bull  1m26.549s   +0.434s
3 Hulkenberg Haas 1m26.990s +0.441s
4 Leclerc Ferrari 1m27.150s +0.601s
5 Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.202s +0.653s
6 Stroll Aston Martin    1m27.274s +0.725s
7 Bottas Sauber 1m27.381s +0.832s
8 Albon Williams 1m27.645s +1.096s
9 Gasly Alpine 1m27.732s +1.183s
10 Tsunoda  RB 1m27.745s +1.196s

In FP2, Verstappen confirmed nicely on the medium tyres within the opening phases, along with his 1m27.831s main the best way for the primary quarter.

Verstappen tried a second qualifying simulation effort in Piastri’s wake on one other new set of softs, however operating vast whereas catching an oversteer snap exiting Becketts and slicing Chapel consequently meant he deserted that lap

However right here issues deviated from the norm, as Purple Bull switched the Dutchman to softs for a qualifying simulation. The rationale? Rain threatening the top of the session forcing issues to shuffle forwards, with Purple Bull insiders admitting later that it had predicted the rain arriving sooner than it did.

However the remainder caught to their ordinary run plans and chipped away on the mediums, earlier than switching to the softs on the midway stage. Right here, Charles Leclerc despatched his Ferrari to the highest of the occasions earlier than Hulkenberg’s shock leap into table-topping competition got here just a few seconds later.

Hulkenberg, as he often has this year, caught the eye with his one-lap pace for Haas

Hulkenberg, as he usually has this 12 months, caught the attention along with his one-lap tempo for Haas

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Then, the McLaren drivers took over, with Piastri shifting to first earlier than he was knocked again by Norris’s 1m26.549s. Perez then ran later nonetheless, to fit into third 0.434s down.

Verstappen, in the meantime, had tried a second qualifying simulation effort in Piastri’s wake on one other new set of softs, however operating vast whereas catching an oversteer snap exiting Becketts and slicing Chapel, consequently, meant he deserted that lap on the Hanger straight.

The groups then switched to long-runs, earlier than the rain lastly arrived within the closing minutes to cap the motion barely quick for the followers watching on.

What the information tells us

What’s attention-grabbing about Verstappen’s place within the total FP2 order (desk above) is that after he ran, the wind and temperature each went up – which means his rivals had barely tougher circumstances.

However in addition they benefitted significantly from the extra rubber taking place and in order he deserted his second try on the softs, we’ll by no means know the way his tempo operating on the identical time amid the monitor evolution issue would have in contrast.

Nonetheless, Purple Bull is unquestionably struggling to get the RB20’s stability proper by way of Silverstone’s nook vary.

It shines within the high-speed sections and down the Wellington and Hanger straights – with Perez taking again 0.15s on the latter on his quickest FP2 lap versus Norris on the GPS hint knowledge – however is haemorrhaging time within the low-speed stuff.

Perez's GPS data reveals once again where Red Bull holds the advantage over McLaren

Perez’s GPS knowledge reveals as soon as once more the place Purple Bull holds the benefit over McLaren

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

This comes primarily within the first and third sectors at Silverstone, with the GPS knowledge additionally displaying that Purple Bull was additionally deploying its ordinary tactic of turning down its engine extra in comparison with its rivals.

Perez is clocked a considerable chunk down on pace throughout each straight in comparison with Norris on their greatest laps, however does get above the house hero total on the Wellington and Hanger straights as he stays on the throttle for barely longer.

Medium long-run averages

POS Crew Time Laps
1 Purple Bull 1m32.191s 12 laps
2 McLaren 1m32.290s 12 laps
3 Ferrari 1m32.559s 10 laps
4 Aston Martin 1m33.113s 12 laps
5 Alpine 1m33.162s 4 laps
6 Williams 1m33.200s 12 laps
7 RB 1m33.476s 7 laps
8 Sauber 1m33.845s 7 laps 
*N/A Mercedes, Haas    

Within the lengthy runs, Purple Bull appears to be like a lot better, because it leads the best way on common tempo on the yellow-walled mediums (above desk). However, solely by 0.099s over McLaren, with Verstappen and Norris’s stints coming in over the identical distance, suggesting an analogous gasoline load for each when contemplating that typical caveat.

Leclerc was operating the sidepod, flooring, diffuser and rear wing updates dropped at the SF-24 in Spain, with Carlos Sainz again in Montreal-spec, as Ferrari searches for a solution on its high-speed nook bouncing

Then comes Ferrari, which additionally seemed half respectable over a flying lap – albeit down in comparison with the main two groups.

The issue was, once more, high-speed instability, with Leclerc repeatedly catching snaps on the monitor’s quickest turns – together with a powerful sideways save at Chapel on what was his greatest lap.

He was operating the sidepod, flooring, diffuser and rear wing updates dropped at the SF-24 in Spain, with Carlos Sainz again in Montreal-spec, as Ferrari searches for a solution on its high-speed nook bouncing at a venue that actually assessments aerodynamic efficiency in such corners.

Mercedes ran long on the soft tyres to assess its strategy options for Sunday

Mercedes ran lengthy on the smooth tyres to evaluate its technique choices for Sunday

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Tender long-run averages

POS Crew Time Laps
1 Mercedes 1m32.232s 9 laps
2 McLaren 1m32.422s 7 laps
3 Ferrari 1m32.756s 5 laps
4 Alpine 1m33.241s 6 laps
5 Haas 1m33.282s 8 laps
6 Aston Martin 1m33.349s 7 laps
7 RB 1m33.840s 8 laps
*N/A Purple Bull, Williams, Sauber    

Mercedes didn’t run the mediums over its lengthy runs at FP2’s shut. It caught to the softs and led the best way on the related averages (above desk). McLaren once more appears to be like sturdy on this compound.

Mercedes total ended the day feeling the wind getting stronger as FP2 progressed hampered its qualifying simulation and long-run efforts, because the ensuing stability shift took the W15 away from its tyre candy spot. Lewis Hamilton additionally stated over his workforce radio because the rain got here down that “the monitor is okay, I’m simply sluggish”.

The squad’s examination of the smooth tyre is attention-grabbing because it was on this race in 2023 the place George Russell pulled off a powerful lengthy opening stint on the red-walled rubber (which once more is Pirelli’s C3 in 2024).

The groups are more likely to once more favour beginning the race on the medium, because it supplies strategic flexibility within the occasion of an early or late digital/actual security automobile.

If needing to pit early, drivers can swap to the hards to take them lengthy into the race, whereas the medium can be sturdy and so can go deep earlier than a late swap to softs. Pirelli reckons the arduous is performing higher over a stint in comparison with 2023, whereas graining was noticed on the softs used for lengthy runs in FP2.

The climate is a important consider sustaining the softs over a stint, with the cool temperatures right now and set to observe for the remainder of the weekend imply that whereas the quick corners put an enormous quantity of vitality by way of the rubber, they aren’t going to massively degrade as they’ve in different years.

It wouldn't be Silverstone without the threat of rain

It would not be Silverstone with out the specter of rain

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

It’s price noting that Norris’s greatest time in FP2 was 0.171s up on Verstappen’s Silverstone pole lap a 12 months in the past, with the cool temperatures allying with the automobile growth progress from the groups to provide faster occasions. These will actually be seen when gasoline hundreds are eliminated and engine modes are turned as much as the utmost in qualifying.

The climate and temperature may nicely impression each this and the race, which suggests some groups could also be tempted to run a barely greater downforce bundle.

Such an strategy would increase Purple Bull the place it’s struggling proper now, however, maybe, depart it susceptible to assault as soon as once more, this time on a monitor the place overtaking isn’t too difficult…

Now it is time to crunch the data and run the simulations late into the night to nail the set-up for the weekend

Now it’s time to crunch the information and run the simulations late into the evening to nail the set-up for the weekend

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images



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