FP1 & FP2 - 2019 British GP team quotes
“I’m happy because it was a really good day on our side and the best Friday of the season. We made some changes after Austria and we have a good plan on how I can improve things. There are still a few improvements I can make and my lap wasn’t perfect in FP2 so I can still extract a bit more, but overall I’m happy. It’s only Friday so we won’t get excited but we need to keep going in this direction. It will be important not to make any mistakes and perform tomorrow when it’s important, but the feeling I have today is a lot better. This is a high-speed track and with the wind today it made the conditions super tricky as the balance changes from one corner to another, but this is the same for everybody.”
“From my side, today was not so good and I didn’t find a good balance with the car in FP1 or FP2. I was sliding around a lot in the wind and struggling for rear grip, so we have a bit of work to do. Even though I’m not fully comfortable yet we’re not that far away and the times are pretty close which is a positive. There is a lot more grip with the new tarmac which all drivers like. In general, the new surface is quite a good change but there are some pretty bumpy sections out there, especially going into Turn 6 and Turn 9. It’s not very easy on tyres here with the high energy corners so it will be interesting to see what choices everyone makes tomorrow and in the race. It’s promising that we are still quite close to Mercedes and Ferrari so there is still a lot of potential for the weekend.”
Renault F1 Team put in a productive first day of running at Silverstone Circuit ahead of Sunday’s British Grand Prix. Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo opened the team’s account with seventh and eighth respectively during the morning’s 90-minute practice session and followed up with P15 and P14 in the afternoon.
After the heat and humidity of France and Austria, the reassuring cloudy skies and wind of Silverstone prevailed, keeping track and ambient temperatures stable and allowing completion of a full range of tests.
FP1 focused on set-up evaluation across both cars with an aim of increasing stability on entry and mid-corner balance, particularly in the high-speed corners. The afternoon was similarly constructive, progressing a clear direction on set-up.
Alan Permane Technical programme notes
• There was a bit to learn on Silverstone’s new surface, which proved grippy and smooth as the session progressed.
• Both drivers ran Pirelli’s Soft (Red, C3) tyres throughout the morning.
• Nico began the afternoon session on Medium (Yellow, C2) tyres with Daniel on Hard (White, C1) tyres. Both then switched to Softs with Nico finishing on Mediums.
• Daniel stopped on track towards the end of the session with an engine issue. He was running a Spec A ICE and will change to the Spec B for tomorrow, as per plan.
• Daniel will also change chassis for tomorrow after running over a kerb. A small crack was picked up in his tub on inspection after FP2.
We learnt a good amount in FP1, which allowed us a solid base to work on for the rest of the weekend.
“It was an alright Friday for us today with nothing unexpected. The car felt good on the long runs, but we didn’t have the best of runs on low fuel. All in all, though, it wasn’t too bad. I’m feeling comfortable, certainly not unhappy and we have the usual things to discuss and work on as ever for a Friday. Our baseline is solid looking ahead to the rest of the weekend. The new surface is definitely high grip, much smoother than it used to be, with the odd bump, which gives the track its character.”
“We have some work to do following today’s sessions but I’m sure we’ll get there. I don’t feel we will have a difficult weekend ahead. We didn’t really make the improvements we felt we could have done in FP2 so we have a bit of homework tonight but I’m still optimistic that we will be better than what we showed today.”
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director
“A pretty good first day of running for us. FP1 was useful as we tried some things that gave us some direction on set up, particularly for the high-speed corners. FP2 was similarly fine, but we got caught in some traffic, otherwise we would have been further up the order. Daniel unfortunately stopped early with an engine problem; he was running a Spec A and will revert to his Spec B as planned and previously introduced. We have a few things to do ahead of tomorrow’s running, but it’s super tight so finding just a little bit will put us squarely into Q3.”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport top the timesheets on a windy afternoon in Silverstone;
In the morning session, Valtteri set the second fastest time with Lewis fourth-fastest;
Valtteri topped the timesheets in the afternoon session with Lewis in.
“I’ve had a good day from the get-go, both in terms of my own performance and the set-up of the car. It’s always a nice feeling when you start a weekend like that. The track is less bumpy than last year which is nice; they did a good job on the asphalt and it was very enjoyable to drive.
“The new surface is quite grippy, but sometimes you can lose the grip very suddenly on new tarmac. The car seems quite well-balanced, but I think there’s still room for improvement. It felt quick around the corners and there’s plenty of corners in Silverstone, so that’s a good thing.
“I still think it’s going to be close again tomorrow and it will be all about who finds the most performance tonight and tomorrow before Qualifying, but it’s nice to start the weekend on a positive note.
“It’s been quite windy, quite gusty out there, so it hasn’t been the easiest of days, but we were up there nonetheless, and it looks like we’ll be in the fight. It’s always difficult to say after the first day though and the Ferraris are usually a little bit slower on a Friday and then pick up the pace on Saturday.
“The new track surface is better on the straights, especially between Turn 4 and Turn 6 where it was pretty bad before. It’s still bumpy on the exit of Turn 7 and towards Copse, but after that it’s nice and smooth through Maggotts and Becketts and down the Hanger straight. The asphalt is very smooth which makes it tricky to get the tyres to work, they’re in and out of the window, and the gusty winds didn’t make it easy.
“I was struggling with the rear end and went off a few times, but Valtteri seemed much more comfortable in the car, so we are going to dig deep tonight trying to figure out what the issue is and how we can solve it for tomorrow.
“It was a tricky day in some ways because the wind, as ever at Silverstone on this open old airfield, was strong and gusty and made it very difficult to put a single lap together; we saw the whole grid having little excursions onto the grass.
“Lewis struggled with it a little bit more than Valtteri, but in the end both drivers managed to put in good lap times on the single lap run on a softer tyre. They both looked competitive today on the race simulations we did, but it’s hard to know whether that form will translate over to Sunday.
“A small change in temperature and the tyres won’t behave in this fashion and the asphalt is also brand new, so it will change too as the weekend goes on. But it’s a promising start nevertheless.”
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer
As we expected, the new surface and the normal Silverstone wind made conditions a little tricky today. That said, we were able to evaluate some test items and begin to understand the tyres in preparation for qualifying and the race. Both drivers had steady FP1 sessions despite the brief interruptions from the VSC and the light rain.
The stronger wind gusts this afternoon made testing more difficult and the gearbox issues on George’s car meant that we lost our reference for some of the tests. However, Robert drove well and had a decent long run on the hard compound. We will now rebuild George’s car ready for tomorrow when we will make our final refinements ahead of qualifying.
It has been a mixed day. It was amazing to drive around Silverstone in a Formula One car, this place is incredible, and the track is thrilling. We had a gearbox issue in FP2, only completing about three proper laps. That has set us back a bit, but I am confident we can hit the ground running again tomorrow. It’s a track I know well, and I feel comfortable ahead of the weekend.
The new surface this year makes the track a little spicier and the car behaves differently. Additionally, the wind was quite gusty in places which has a big influence on the car. Although this is the same for everyone it probably has a larger impact on us as we have less grip, therefore more sensitive to these conditions. We will go through the data tonight and see what we can do.
“There’s lots of work to do tonight, but it’s a promising start and probably one of our most competitive Fridays yet – looking good in both sessions. We need to make sure we can carry today’s performance into qualifying. There is more grip out there with the new track surface, which is much smoother, and I think that’s helped us so far. We have good information for Sunday because I tried all the tyre compounds and we can now start thinking about the strategy for Sunday.”
“It was a pretty solid Friday for us and the car felt good. The programme went to plan and we completed all the runs. The wind is always a big factor at Silverstone – it felt especially gusty out there today and it was always changing direction. I think there’s more to come because I didn’t manage to get the cleanest of laps in during the performance run. I’m feeling upbeat so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
OTMAR SZAFNAUER, CEO & TEAM PRINCIPAL
“A standard Friday with plenty of learning about the car, tyres, and new track surface. We evaluated some small aero parts this morning with measurement devices on the car and then turned our attention to set-up. The new tarmac presented some significant challenges with big track evolution throughout both the sessions. The task now is trying to get the car in the sweet spot for Sunday when the track will have evolved much more. The wind also made for tricky conditions, and a shower from time to time, but that’s what you expect at Silverstone.”
“I think it was a good day for us, we found some balance that we missed in the past two weekends and we now have the car in a better window. We looked quite consistent in both the long and short runs which put us in the mix. There are still definitely things to improve on, so we’ll work on that with the aim of getting into Q3 tomorrow.”
“At the beginning of the session the tarmac felt different, it was quite dirty to start with but got cleaner lap after lap. We’ve done quite a few laps today, so we understand the car better now and we will try to do our best to make a further step forward. The midfield is tight as always, so we will do our best to squeeze everything out of the car tomorrow in Qualifying.”
Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“We came to Silverstone on the back of two difficult events for the team in France and Austria, so we put an awful lot of effort in the last 10 days in both Faenza and Bicester to find the main reasons for the lack of performance. We believe we have identified the reasons and have a much better understanding of what our limitations were in the past two races. We had an intense simulator programme to come here well prepared with items to address that, so our main focus in FP1 was understanding our analysis and putting test items into practice on the track to see if we could improve the balance and bring our competitiveness back to where it was a few races ago. The track is extremely new after having been resurfaced and that presented its own challenges today. We could see many drivers were struggling with the low grip at the start of the session, which was also not helped by the fact that the wind, which is quite typical in Silverstone, was very strong. It was gusty and changing directions, making the car handling a little bit inconsistent, but we got enough good running in FP1 to understand that our effort brought some good results. We did some further steps heading into FP2, then spent the session trying to fine-tune the balance over the short runs. Our long runs look reasonable, so we will look through all of the data and decide what to do going forward for the rest of the weekend. We seem to be back in terms of competitiveness at the tail end of the top 10, so close to the front of the midfield. It looks like the work is paying off but we’ll confirm that in Qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday.”
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director)
“Although, like everyone, we had to deal with a new track surface and blustery winds, we had a smooth and trouble free day. It was particularly encouraging to see that Toro Rosso seems more competitive in the mid-field than at the past couple of races. The announcement earlier this week that Silverstone will host this Grand Prix for a further five years is good news for Honda, as we have great memories of some fantastic results here.”
“The problems in the morning made it difficult as Silverstone can be tricky when you don’t get enough laps in, but I tried to make up for lost time in the afternoon. Still a lot of work has to be done, we need to sort a few issues, but the last few laps felt quite okay.”
“Overall, it was a good first day of action. The track was not as bumpy as it was on my last time here and I was able to get into a good rhythm quite soon. The wind was making it quite hard out there – it kept changing lap after lap – but in the end it’s the same for everyone so we need to adapt to it. I did a small mistake on my lap on softs but I am satisfied with the pace we showed. Everyone is so close in the midfield so we need to find the best setup tonight and have the best possible car to get a good result in qualifying tomorrow.”
The 10th round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Silverstone Circuit as teams prepared for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – were run in mostly sunny and windy conditions with a brief rain shower early in FP1 on the 5.891-kilometer (3.66-mile), 18-turn circuit.
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen began FP1 on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tire before finishing the session on Red softs. Magnussen turned the 16th-fastest lap of 1:30.605 on softs on his 12th of 24 laps completed during the session. Grosjean was three spots back on the timesheet with the 19th-fastest lap of 1:30.811 on his 10th of 22 laps during the session, also on softs.
Speeds improved in FP2 for both drivers. After transitioning from his initial new set of Yellow mediums, Magnussen turned the 12th-best lap of 1:28.059 on his 14th lap before switching back to mediums to complete his high-fuel run. Grosjean’s session was hampered by a hydraulic leak that took 40 minutes to repair before an initial run on mediums. He ran his second stint on softs, recording the 18th-best lap of 1:28.794, before concluding his afternoon on a high-fuel run sampling both compounds.
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team ran a total of 102 laps – 54 by Magnussen and 48 by Grosjean – during the two sessions.
“The start of the day was a bit embarrassing. I turned the pit-limiter button off, the tires were a bit cold and grip was low, next thing I knew I was backwards. It didn’t feel so good. After that though we got back on track and ran our program. I had a bit of an issue with a hydraulic line in the afternoon, we missed around half an hour of the session, but we’re getting some good data. This is definitely a package I enjoy driving more, but the performance is not there yet, which is something you would expect. There’s been a lot of development through the car, and when you revert back to an early spec it’s tricky. There’s definitely a better feeling in it, we’re just looking to develop it now, understand it, and move forward.”
“It’s been a good day. I think we had some good long runs today, that’s been the main priority. We’ve obviously tried many different things this weekend to try and learn some more about our struggles. There’s a lot to look at. It’s going to be a busy night for the guys to get through everything, and to understand what we can do for tomorrow. I’m still gunning for the top 10 in qualifying, I’ll try to get into Q3 and qualify as high as possible. Obviously, the main priority this week is to get the long run pace right, so that we can fight in the race and go for some points.”
“A couple of mixed up sessions. I think we’re looking a little better than the last two races in the long runs - at least with one car. We still need to find some speed for Romain (Grosjean). In FP1 he spun on pit-lane, then in FP2 a hydraulic leak meant he didn’t get the full running we wanted to give him. We’ve got another hour tomorrow morning to work on things. With Kevin (Magnussen) we made good progress. It looks like we’re well prepared for the weekend.”
“It’s been a good day for the team. Another strong Friday making it to the top 10 in both sessions, so happy with that because it’s always encouraging. The team at the factory have been pushing hard and we’ve managed to bring a couple of upgrades here. They are still to be evaluated after today’s sessions, but they seemed to work properly. We need to look carefully into the data gathered today if we want to perform at a high level tomorrow, so no time to waste.”
“Tricky sessions today. The wind is quite gusty, which makes the car quite unpredictable. It’s easy to make mistakes in a few of the corners. The new tarmac seems to be getting better in some ways but there are still some bumps and small things here and there that can catch you out. So, not easy – but I think we managed to do most of the plan, including a good amount of longer runs. We’ve got a good idea where to improve the car from the runs we did today. Although it was tricky, we still did everything we needed to do.”
Andrea Stella - Performance Director
“Silverstone is always an interesting challenge for drivers and for the engineers. You have to set up the car to be good in both the high-speed and low-speed sections. Especially in the low-speed, there are some long corners which are very important for lap-time, so you need to find the right compromise, and this is not straightforward. Additionally, there was a lot of wind today which made the car quite tricky to drive. Overall, the balance of the car wasn’t perfect: we have some work to do to make the drivers more comfortable and exploit the performance of the car.
“As usual, Friday is a busy day and we tried some new parts, which we still have to evaluate properly. Once we have completed that analysis, we will make a call on how we progress with both cars for tomorrow.
“Another interesting element at Silverstone this year is the new tarmac, which meant that we lost some of the references to the past. Certainly, understanding tyre behaviour will be one of the main tasks overnight, in preparation for qualifying and the race. Overall, it’s been a positive day as we could go through our programme without problems or delays. We collected a lot of data that we will analyse overnight, and hopefully be able to improve the balance of the car and get the maximum out of this important weekend for our team.”
Scuderia Ferrari made the most of Friday’s free practice to acquire data and prepare for the rest of the weekend. Apart from fine tuning the car settings and evaluating tyre behaviour, as per every race, this particular Friday there was also the small matter of understanding the impact of the completely new surface laid along the entire track, to get a picture of grip levels and possible tyre degradation.
FP1. The first session saw the drivers mainly run the Soft tyres, having to deal with one red flag period after Kimi Raikkonen went off track and a second period of inactivity when light rain meant all drivers headed back to the garages, to avoid any unnecessary risks. Charles and Sebastian did some aero testing also, covering 21 laps each, setting very similar best lap times: 1’28”253 for the Monegasque and 1’28”304 for the German.
FP2. In the afternoon, the times dropped steadily as the new surface rubbered in. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers did 30 laps each, working towards tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race. This time they ran the Soft and Medium compounds, setting similar times while simulating various stages of the race, by running different fuel loads. The entire planned programme was completed. As for their times, Charles stopped the clocks in 1’26”929, while Sebastian did a 1’27”180.
Tomorrow. The cars are back on track tomorrow at 11am (12 CET) for the final hour of free practice prior to qualifying, with the battle for pole position starting at 2pm (15 CET), and Sunday’s race getting underway at 14.10pm (15.10 CET).
“It was a tricky day for us. We struggled with our front tyres during the long-runs quite a bit and have to focus on understanding how we can get them to work better. The qualifying pace, on the other hand, was not bad and we also managed to run a lot of tests throughout the day which is positive.
Our competitors are strong and I think that they will only reveal their full potential in qualifying. We will give everything to be competitive and will see where we stand tomorrow.”
“It’s good to be driving at this circuit again and the new surface seems a lot smoother than the old one, with a lot higher grip, which makes it good fun. I would say the lap times don’t mean much today, as usual on a Friday, but it’s clear that our main rivals seem very strong and are the ones to beat.
It looks quite close between us and Red Bull, but as we were trying some new things on our car, it’s a bit hard to judge. We must wait for tomorrow to get a clearer picture of where we are.”