D he Red Bull Ring is fighting with Interlagos about the Title of the shortest lap time. Therefore the distances are minimal. In the second training session for the Austrian GP, first place was separated from 17th place by just 2.076 seconds. The racing simulations are just as tight. There, too, the time differences were sometimes in the thousandths range.
Vettel only with 32 laps on Friday
For once, the fastest lap of the day did not go to Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel drove it with 1:09,600 minutes. 0.011 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg. But Vettel could not shine in the long runs. The World Cup third was prematurely broken twice. With a broken drive shaft and gearbox damage. Vettel only got 32 laps in total. Team mate Kimi Räikkönen drove a normal program with 63 laps.
Vettel's longest ride consisted of only six laps on the harder of the two Pirelli tires. If the average of 1.11.765 minutes were relevant, Mercedes would have to worry. But with the relatively short stint, it can be assumed that there was less gasoline on board. Ferrari put Mercedes under pressure too. Kimi Räikkönen achieved the fastest long run on an 11-lap basis with 1.13.035 minutes. And that on the hard tires. The Finn got even faster over 16 laps. With an average of 1.12.890 minutes, he was only one of two pilots who managed to break the 1.13 mark.
Williams upgrade pays off
And the other one? A Mercedes driver? Not at all. Felipe Massa did like Raikkonen. The Brazilian was an average of 26 laps faster than the average of 11. For the ranking we use the 11-lap average of 1.13.131 minutes. After 26 laps, the clock stopped at 1:12.947 minutes. Before that, the Mercedes strategists also took off their hats: 'It looks like a very close race between Ferrari, Williams and us. Especially when you consider that the Williams are always a little heavier than the competition on Friday.'
Valtteri Bottas had to interrupt his long run. He made a setup change because the aero stability was wrong. The two sections also looked extremely strong. Lotus operations manager Alan Permane is noticeable when analyzing the Massa times: 'Felipe drove six 1:12 times in a row in between. He couldn't do that before and after. Thatlooks to me as if he turned up the power for a short time. '
Williams had surprised the scene at the Red Bull Ring last year. Massa and Bottas started from the front row, but this year The backlog of the white cars had grown to the top. A major upgrade could turn the tide. Chief Technology Officer Pat Symonds lists everything that is new: 'Underbody, rear wing, engine cover, rear brake ventilation and the baffles under the nose.' Formula 1 expects a one-stop race: “Both tires last 50 laps.” However, Massa warns against overly optimism: “In order to beat the Mercedes in the race, we have to have a perfect day and the one bad.”
Seven drivers in three tenths
This time the Mercedes were only in pursuit. Lewis Hamilton drove 15 laps on the supersoft tires , Nico Rosberg 19 rounds with the harder mixture Checksums were both almost equally fast. The comparison over the long distance was eight thousandths in favor of Rosberg.
Behind the top 3 there is a big gap in the racing simulations. This is followed by a closely spaced field of Force India, Sauber, Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso at a distance of six tenths. With the same benchmark, Nico Hülkenberg is just ahead of Felipe Nasr (1.13.767 min), Daniil Kvyat (1.13.838 min), Carlos Sainz (1.13.839 min), Daniel Ricciardo (1.13.956 min) with 1.13.743 minutes, Sergio Perez (1.13.958 min) and Pastor Maldonado (1.14.018 min).
From this group, Maldonado and Kvyat were on the road with the soft tires. They even increased over the entire distance of the endurance run. Kvyat at 1.13.722 minutes and Maldonado at 1.13.980 minutes. The difference between the two types of tires is minimal in continuous operation. 'It's hard to say what the better racing tire is. With us, the supersoft tire at the front has something to do with the cool temperatures,' said Hülkenberg. The Le Mans winner also sees good chances of scoring World Championship points in Austria, but warns: 'It's so close that you can lose a lot of places with two tenths.'
Lotus brakes at the limit
Romain Grosjean pulled out on supersoft tires, but only did 11 laps. The average was 1.13.470 minutes. Which indicates that Lotus can also be expected again in Austria. Alan Permane is only worried about the brakes. 'They're pretty much at the limit here.' Note: They were already in Montreal.
Sauber presented itself surprisingly well. Nasr immediately felt at home on the track where he won the GP2 race last year. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko takes the good times for Sauber as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of the engine on Red Bull's home track: 'The first two straights lead out of very slow corners uphill. This is where the greatest damage is done to usDone. 'The Red Bull and ToroRosso drivers have to make up lost ground in the last section of the track. There are the corners that require downforce from the car.
We are now offering you an even better long run service In the table below we compare two long runs, the longest in each case, and then extracted from this the average of a minimum number of laps that each driver has covered.
At the Red Bull-Ring that was 15 laps for Supersoft tires from Pirelli and 11 laps for the harder compound. This value is more representative of the speed of the car under racing conditions, since the degradation of the tires relates to the same number of laps. You can find it in the first column. We provide you with this nor the type of tire used in the racing simulation.