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Training analysis GP Abu Dhabi: do tires decide the world championship poker?

Training analysis GP Abu Dhabi
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W What did we learn from the first day of training at the World Cup final? Does the order on Friday already provide information about what could happen on Sunday? The biggest surprise came from the man who has the least chance of becoming world champion. Lewis Hamilton marked the fastest time with a respect distance of 0.257 seconds on Sebastian Vettel.

At Red Bull they are hoping for a show time for the Englishman, but that is rather unlikely. Hamilton's best lap of 1:40.888 minutes was the sixth of a seven-round turn. In the course of this section, last year's fastest in training drove two more 1.41 times.

Setup experiments at McLaren

McLaren experimented with two completely different settings, with Hamilton's clearly being the one proved better. Jenson Button was 1.244 seconds slower with his alternative setup. Red Bull was particularly surprised at Hamilton's strong interim time in sector 3. This is actually the section of the track that should belong to the Red Bull. Hamilton's strong form in the winding section suggests that the World Championship fourth was on the road with a lot of downforce.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, on the other hand, were on the move with their wings flat so as not to lose too much time on the two long straights. Red Bull will therefore increase the downforce in the third training session. In addition, the racing engines will be in use from Saturday. Vettel's Friday engine was already 2,300 kilometers on the clock before the training sessions began. Webber even had to have his engine swapped between practice sessions because the engine from morning practice was no longer capable of performing in the afternoon.

Hamilton win would help Alonso

A winner Hamilton would significantly reduce Vettel and Webber's chances of the World Cup. The point differences from second place onwards are so tight that Fernando Alonso could afford fifth place over Webber and eighth place over Vettel. Alonso left Hamilton's fastest time cold, although a McLaren driver's victory could be right for him. However, Hamilton would also be someone who could take points away from the Spaniard if the Red Bull drivers were to be up front as usual in the final training.

'I'm not interested in Lewis,' Alonso stated. 'We concentrated on our work and went through a lot of setup options. It was a good Friday,because despite the relatively old engine I was able to complete many laps. Alonso ended up in third place, 0.169 seconds behind Vettel. For the Ferrari driver, the Red Bulls remain the favorite despite Hamilton's warning shot: 'I'm afraid they didn't show 100 percent on Friday.'

Tires as critical as at the Canadian GP

Alonso hopes that more rubber on the track will reduce the tire problem by race day: 'It is true that the degradation of the compound was extremely dramatic. This tire is one notch softer than the' soft 'one from the one Last year. If it doesn't rain again, I believe that the track will develop in a direction that the super-soft tire will also be a good racing tire. '

Ferrari particularly gentle on tires?

The severe loss of grip on the tires made it difficult to read anything out of the endurance tests. Time and again, the so-called long runs were interrupted by slow laps to give the tires a break. Only Vettel had an attempt in which, after two slow warm-up laps, he managed two 1.42 and two 1.41 laps in a row.

On the other hand, Alonso put on an impressive series with full tanks. At the end of the training, the Spaniard drove a series of 1.47 min, 1.48 min, 1.48 min, 1.49 min and 1.49 min. This suggests that the Ferrari is a tire-friendly vehicle. And that could be a wild card on Sunday. The opposite is known from the McLaren.


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