Japanese GP: Pirelli Friday Practice Review


By Courtesy of Pirelli
October 11 2019

 
 Pirelli Japanese GP Friday Practice Review
 
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WHAT WE LEARNED FROM FP1 AND FP2
* Qualifying has been postponed to Sunday morning at 10:00am to try and avoid the effects of an incoming typhoon. All track activity on Saturday is cancelled: if for any reason qualifying can’t take place, the * FP2 times are likely to be used to set the grid as FP3 has also been scrubbed.
* Mercedes has been fastest in both sessions held today, using both the medium and soft tyres. With no FP3 and weather conditions uncertain, teams focussed on both race and qualifying preparations, using the * Red soft and Yellow medium tyres almost exclusively. This meant that the normal Friday programmes were slightly compromised, with teams putting in qualifying banker laps as well as long runs.
* The fastest FP2 time (from Valtteri Bottas) was set on soft tyres and was more than half a second faster than the equivalent time from last year: very close to the 2018 pole.
* Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was the next-fastest car in FP2, having shown plenty of pace straight out of the box to end up third-fastest and best of the rest.
* Weather conditions are still looking uncertain for Sunday, with strong winds as well as rain quite likely. Today, conditions stayed dry, with ambient temperatures during FP2 of around 29 degrees and track temperatures of 33 degrees.
* So far, we see a performance gap of around 0.6 to 0.7 seconds between the soft and medium, with 0.8 to 0.9 seconds between medium and hard. The hardest possible nomination has been made to cope with the corners at Suzuka: C1, C2 and C3.

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“The postponement of qualifying and cancellation of FP3, which was absolutely the right decision under the circumstances, affected the run plans for free practice. Teams not only had to ensure a banker lap, just in case the FP2 times are used to set the grid, but also had to prepare for the race. Despite that, it’s very hard to know exactly what the race conditions will be on Sunday, and how useful today’s running will have turned out to be. The performance gap between the different compounds is not quite as relevant as usual: the hard compound has not been used much today, while the comparison between the soft and medium tyres was very much influenced by track evolution during FP1, as well as by teams using the soft at the end of FP2 to set a time that could form the grid, should qualifying not be held on Sunday morning. There’s obviously now a big air of unpredictability about the whole weekend, which will hopefully lead to an exciting race.”

 
FREE PRACTICE 1 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER		TIME		COMPOUND
Bottas		1m28.731s	SOFT C3 NEW
Hamilton	1m28.807s	SOFT C3 NEW
Vettel		1m29.720s	SOFT C3 NEW

FREE PRACTICE 2 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER		TIME		COMPOUND
Bottas		1m27.785s	SOFT C3 NEW
Hamilton	1m27.885s	SOFT C3 NEW
Verstappen	1m28.066s	SOFT C3 NEW

FP1 - BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
COMPOUND	DRIVER		TIME
HARD C1		Stroll		1m35.046s
MEDIUM C2	Bottas		1m30.524s
SOFT C3		Bottas		1m28.731s

FP2 - BEST TIME BY COMPOUND
COMPOUND	DRIVER		TIME
HARD C1		Hulkenberg	1m35.357s
MEDIUM C2	Leclerc		1m28.709s
SOFT C3		Bottas		1m27.785s

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND	DRIVER		LAPS
HARD C1		Russell		13
MEDIUM C2	Kvyat, Vettel	22
SOFT C3		Gasly		21

TYRE STATISTICS OF THE DAY
 			HARD	MEDIUM	SOFT
Kms driven*		267	1829	4291
Sets used overall**	4	31	83

The above number gives the total amount of kilometres
driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.
 
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