LEWIS HAMILTON GOES FASTEST FOR MERCEDES ON ULTRASOFT TYRE AS PAUL RICARD RETURNS TO THE FORMULA 1 CALENDAR
TRACK TEMPERATURES IN EXCESS OF 50 DEGREES CENTIGRADE IN THE AFTERNOON, COOLER CONDITIONS EXPECTED TOMORROW
HIGHER PERFORMANCE GAPS BETWEEN THE ULTRASOFT AND SUPERSOFT THAN EXPECTED SO FAR, BUT NO ISSUES WITH BLISTERING OR GRAINING
The opening day of competition at the newly-resurfaced Paul Ricard circuit was characterised by high track temperatures in excess of 50 degrees centigrade, as the teams got to grips with the latest addition to the Formula 1 calendar. The ultrasoft tyre set the fastest time in both sessions with Lewis Hamilton, but all three compounds showed the performance to be realistic prospects for the race, while Red Bull was also a strong challenger in each free practice session. With both racing and qualifying simulations carried out (albeit interrupted by a red flag during each session) the teams have gathered plenty of data to analyse overnight.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING “We’ve seen very high track temperatures in excess of 50 degrees, which obviously favour the higher working range tyres on the harder end of the selection. However, the ultrasoft has shown plenty of performance as well, so we have all three different compounds that look viable as part of a potential race strategy. Exactly what that strategy will be depends on the result of the data analysis, which will continue after FP3 tomorrow. With a brand-new circuit, changing wind directions, cooler conditions expected tomorrow and also some red flag interruptions today, there are still a few question marks tonight. But the situation will as usual become clearer as the weekend goes on. As this is a new track, which places particular emphasis on the front tyres, it was important to see if there would be any issues with blistering or graining, but nothing of the sort has been observed so far.”
FREE PRACTICE 1 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER TIME COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m32.231s ULTRASOFT USED
Bottas 1m32.371s ULTRASOFT NEW
Ricciardo 1m32.527s ULTRASOFT NEW
FREE PRACTICE 2 – TOP 3 TIMES
FP1 - BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
FP2 - BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
TYRE STATISTICS OF THE DAY
* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.