The development of Formula 1 cars never stands still. But in between there are always races in which the teams show up with greater development spurts. The Spanish GP was such a race. Also the GP England. This time the middle class followed suit. The top teams held back, which should actually mean that one group merges with the other given the tight field.
D as bad weather at Silverstone, however, a real determination of the position was not possible. Only the third practice session and the race were dry. There wasn't enough time to extensively test the new parts and adjust the cars accordingly. Nevertheless, we have tried to shed light on the darkness and limit ourselves to the teams that brought larger packages to the start.
Sauber - Update package works hard
For Sauber it was the last show of strength this season. 'We're already running the 2013 program and half the 2014 car,' reveals chief designer Matt Morris. The Englishman was satisfied with the work of his troops. 'Everything works according to plan. Reality confirms the data.' Secretly, the Confederates expected a podium place. Isolated laps in the training sessions justified the optimism. In the rain and in the dry.
Then the engineers gambled away with the tire selection in Q2. Sergio Perez was in seventh place after ten laps despite starting position 15. The Mexican was significantly faster than the people in front of him. Kamui Kobayashi also appeared in seventh place after the series of first pit stops. And that from 17th starting position. In the end there were zero points. Nevertheless, managing director Monisha Kaltenborn drew a positive conclusion: 'The aerodynamics package did what we expected. We have to take that with us from this race.'
Williams - satisfied with new parts
A shortage of spare parts had slowed down the pace of development at Williams. First the pit fire, then the many accidents. With so many repair jobs, the production department had little time for new parts. In Silverstone there was the first larger aerodynamic package for the FW34 with new wings at the front and rear, as well as modified brake ventilation. Small retouches were also made on the underbody.
Pastor Maldonado's seventh place in the third training session convinced the Williams technicians that they were on the right track. The Williams were also doing well in the race.Bruno Senna's final offensive showed once again that the FW34 is nice to the tires. Silverstone wasn't even the ideal terrain for the blue and white cars. The greatest quality of the FW34 is its traction. Team manager Dicke Stanford summed up: 'We are satisfied with our upgrades.'
Force India - no time saved on the competition
Force India modified the underbody, rear wing and side pods to catch up with Sauber and Williams . 'We have to go a step further if we want to beat them on our own,' demanded Nico Hülkenberg. Team boss Vijay Mallya was blinded by the best result of the season in Valencia and had already dreamed of podium places after the European GP. 'Hey Vijay, wake up,' warned Hulkenberg. 'I finished fifth because four cars in front of me had retired.'
At Silverstone it was not yet clear whether the changes to the car brought the hoped-for three tenths. 'We didn't have enough time on the dry slopes,' avoids sports director Otmar Szafnauer. It seems like Sauber and Williams took the same step forward as Force India. This means that the sixth in the World Cup from last year is still between two and four tenths missing from the group before. The team hopes that at Hockenheim you will have more opportunities to test and understand the new developments.
Caterham - update is a step backwards
There was great hope. After the new front wing in Valancia was a real step towards Toro Rosso, a completely redesigned rear section should finally close the gap to the racing team from Faenza. Especially since Toro Rosso had only changed little things on its STR7. The wind tunnel promised Caterham an increase of half a second. After the GP England you had the feeling that the car had slowed down by half a second.
In the third practice session, Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov were six tenths missing on the Toro Rosso. The green car was also unable to convince in the race. Kovalainen finished one lap behind Toro Rosso. The fastest race lap was 3.3 seconds behind the best time. Chief designer Mark Smith apologized with a lack of testing options for the new package. An aero test planned before Silverstone had fallen into the water. It should now be made up on Friday (July 13th).
Marussia - Hope for Glock
It was expensive fun for Marussia. The facelift with a new nose, new front wing, new rear wing and exhaust based on the McLaren model is said to have cost half a million euros. It's like Red Bull investing five million in an upgrade. The simulation promised six tenths of a time gain. At first none of it seemed to have arrived.
Timo Glock was 4.4 seconds short of the top and 2.3 seconds of the also not particularly convincing Caterham in the third training session. Even in the rain, the residue was on theCaterham over two seconds. One was tempted to speak of a shot in the oven when a ray of hope became apparent in the race. On the 50th lap, Glock drove a time that was faster than the record of Kovalainen's Caterham and just 2.7 seconds over the fastest lap of Kimi Raikkonen.
At this point the Marussia was fitted with soft tires that had twelve laps on the tread. Fernando Alonso's set of tires - also the soft compound - was only 5.9 kilometers older on lap 50. The Ferrari driver set a time of 1.56.0 minutes. Only 1.4 seconds better than Glock. Marussia now hopes to be able to build on this result.
In our picture gallery we show you again which new parts the teams have brought to the start.