Formula 1 teams faced some of the hottest track temperatures seen all year at Hockenheim during free practice for the German Grand Prix, peaking at 57 degrees Celsius (not Fahrenheit, which would be equivalent to 134 deg. F).Despite the high temps, the two softest compounds in Prielli’s range – P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft – performed within the expected parameters at what is a demanding circuit in terms of traction and braking.
The high temperatures are not expected to last, however, with a changeable weather forecast for the rest of the weekend, including a possibility of rain. This means that the data gathered during the two sessions today may not necessarily be representative of qualifying and the race, so the teams will be forced to react to changing conditions. However, if the race remains dry, between two and three pit stops are anticipated.
Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton led both free practice sessions, but the gaps between the teams have reduced somewhat as evidenced by the lap times. However, this does not take into account the different fuel loads and set-ups that the teams were running, as they carried out their preparations for the German Grand Prix, on a track that was last used for Formula One two years ago.
“We’re seeing a time difference of about a second per lap between the two compounds at the moment, but we wouldn’t imagine track evolution to be a particularly key factor here,” said Pirelli’s F1 man, Paul Hembery. “Instead, the weather is going to be the biggest question mark, with changeable conditions expected from here on. There’s also been a lot of debate about the removal of FRIC suspension but from what we can see so far, it is difficult to say what kind of impact it will have on the tire behaviour. Despite these very high track temperatures, the two softest compounds in the range have performed as we expected.”
Nico Rosberg has also unveiled a new helmet design for this weekend to commemorate Germany’s win in the World Cup finals. He had originally included the cup on his helmet, but due to Hyundai, who is a sponsor of FIFA, protesting, he had to scale it back to include four stars for each of the country’s World Cup championships.
a shame,i would have loved to carry the trophy as a tribute to the guys.but of course I respect the legal situation pic.twitter.com/esCboJkL4c
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) July 17, 2014