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GP Brazil 2018: Analysis Training & amp; Long run times

Training analysis GP Brazil 2018
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D the first three drivers were separated by just 0.073 seconds . That will be a tight box between Ferrari and Mercedes on Saturday. When it's not raining. When it is wet, Mercedes should be ahead. Red Bull lost three tenths on one lap to Valtteri Bottas, who was fastest of the day. The Red Bull strategists fear that this gap will increase if the other two teams turn the power screw.

In the long runs, there is not much between the three top teams. The racing simulations are difficult to read, however, because Red Bull rode its supersoft tires right from the start, while Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel went into the second practice session with soft tires. That means: different grip levels, different fuel levels. In addition, Hamilton and Verstappen drove significantly fewer super soft laps than Vettel and Bottas.

We therefore need an engineer's assessment: 'In the long runs, Ferrari was just ahead of Red Bull and us,' it says at Mercedes. Another difference: while Mercedes and Red Bull delivered their tires to Pirelli in good condition after the long runs, Vettel's rear tires showed many blisters. Since it is supposed to be 12 degrees warmer on Sunday than on Friday afternoon, that should be a worrying sign for Ferrari. But it is not. Vettel hardly lost any lap time despite the bubbles. And he said optimistically after the training: “We can get that under control.”

Six things you need to know

1) Does Ferrari have a tire problem?

Sebastian Vettel was the only one of the top drivers who had visible blisters on the rear tires in large numbers. On the soft tires on the back left, on the supersoft soles on the left and right. At Valtteri Bottas only a heat nest developed on the rear tires. Vettel was not particularly concerned about the condition of his tires, 'although they looked pretty bad'.

The World Cup runner-up approached his long runs very aggressively with care. On the soft tires with 1.12.247 minutes, on the supersoft with 1.12.252 minutes. Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, covered the first super soft lap with 1.13.481 minutes. In the soft endurance run, he was half a second worse than Vettel with 1.12.771 minutes in the first flying lap. Hamilton also took it easier than Vettel at the beginning. With soft tires, the first lap was stopped at 1.13.121 minutes, withSupersoft endurance run with 1.11,802 minutes, but followed by a 1.16er cooling lap.

Ferrari presented itself in good shape on training Friday.

Despite the blisters on the rear tires, Vettel's times never fell. The tire wear was linear. Only in the 12th lap were the lap times consistently above the 1.13 mark. The 20th and final lap of the supersoft long run was only eight tenths slower than the first. As with Hamilton, who turned a second cooling lap and only got 12 instead of 20 laps. Red Bull, on the other hand, was faster at the end than at the beginning. The decreasing amount of fuel weighed more than the tire wear. Vettel was still not worried: “We deliberately approached the long runs quite aggressively to see where it was going. We'll get the blisters on the rear tires under control. ”

2) How strong are the Mercedes in the long run?

Lewis Hamilton's endurance runs on soft and super soft are the sum of them all Characteristics a little worse than those of Vettel. On the other hand, Mercedes cut the better figure on medium tires. Valtteri Bottas took Kimi Räikkönen down an average of four tenths in a comparable number of laps. The medium rubber is the best tire over long distances. From lap 18 Bottas drove with the hardest mixture faster than Vettel on the supersoft soles. Hamilton praised that the car felt significantly better than in Mexico. 'But we still have to find some lap time, even if it could rain on Sunday.

3) Can Red Bull win in Brazil too?

Head of Motorsport Helmut Marko doubts:' Lose at the moment we five tenths on the straight. If Mercedes and Ferrari crank it up, it will be more. Unfortunately there is only one sector 2. “Would staged slipstream driving be a solution? “It never works if you plan it. You can only hope that by chance you will get a slipstream, 'the doctor dismisses. Max Verstappen lost 43 minutes of the second training session because an oil leak had to be sealed. That was discovered in the morning. The repair dragged on because of the tightly packedRear area in the Red Bull in length. Marko compared it to changing the engine. “We have no chance in qualifying. But in the race it will be tight. '

Red Bull believes it has no chance for one round, but it is optimistic about the race.

Daniel Ricciardo will lose five starting positions. The Australian needs a sixth turbocharger because the one from Mexico swallowed too much foam after the clutch was damaged. An overzealous marshals tried to put out a fire that wasn't. Ricciardo would have had an intact charger from his USA engine in the pool, but Red Bull distrusts it. Team principal Christian Horner explains: “The charger was in the drive unit, where the battery broke. In our experience, the turbos then last a maximum of 400 kilometers. '

4) Who is number 4?

If Friday practice is decisive, then it goes between the Ferrari customer teams HaasF1 and Clean for the best position in midfield. HaasF1 was two tenths faster on one lap. The long runs speak more for clean. Charles Leclerc took Romain Grosjean off an average of half a second per lap on the Supersoft endurance run, but broke off after just 14 laps, while the HaasF1 driver unwound 18 laps. On the soft rubbers, Grosjean was a tenth the wet front. Kevin Magnussen won the comparison on the medium tires with 1.13.162 minutes to 1.13.390 minutes against Marcus Ericsson.

Force India could also be involved in the battle for fourth place. Esteban Ocon was slower than Leclerc on supersoft tires, but faster than Grosjean. On the Soft mix, the Frenchman was almost at the same time as Lerclerc, but drove four more laps. Sergio Perez was only able to unwind a mini long run with 7 laps on the supersoft tires. The Mexican stood in the garage for a long time because of a problem with the power steering. Ocon has to swallow the bitter pill on Sunday. The Frenchman needs a new gearbox at the end of the six race cycle. That means five starting positions back. As expected, Renault cannot keep up with HaasF1, Sauber and Force India for one lap, but is in the long run with themMusic. But that doesn't help a lot with bad starting positions. Renault will struggle to make up ground against the Ferrari and Mercedes customer teams.

5) Where was the Honda power?

The Toro Rosso ended up in the lower midfield. On a lap and during the racing simulations. Shouldn't the new Honda engine show its claws here? The answer is simple. Toro Rosso only used the old Spec 2 engine on the first day of training in order to save kilometers with the Spec 3 units. Both drivers initially complained of understeer, which the engineers got better and better under control in the course of the second training session. With more power on Saturday, Pierre Gasly could be a candidate for the top ten.

6) What happened to Nico Hülkenberg?

Nico Hülkenberg came too far on that when accelerating out of turn 13 Grass. His Renault derailed, first hit the guardrail with the right rear wheel, then the right front wheel. The impact was pretty heavy at 32 g. It didn't harm the driver, but it did the transmission. Never mind, it's just the Friday transmission. Hülkenberg described the accident from the cockpit perspective as follows: “I got a little too far out onto the grass. The car touched down there and because the track sloped a little outwards there was no stopping it. '


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