Chinese Grand Prix – Practice

April 13, 2012 by
Filed under: formula1 

It’s been three weeks since the last race (Malaysia). News since then:

  • McLaren are to change the gearbox on Hamilton’s car, thus incurring a five-place grid penalty. [source: FIA]
  • Mercedes’ “F-duct” rear wing continues to cause controversy; Lotus lodged an official protest [source: FIA] … but the stewards unanimously dismissed the protest. [source: FIA]
  • The FIA have confirmed that the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as scheduled. [source: FIA]

My GridBids picks for this weekend are: JB, MW, LH, BS.

Practice 1
Rain meant little action on track
Red Bull ran different exhaust layouts on their two cars
LH fastest (1:37.106) followed by NR, MS, SP, KK, MW, SV, JB, DR, JV

Practice 2
Overcast but no rain forecast for FP2; track temp is just 16°C
HK runs wide; throws up a lot of spray
HK 1:46.362
BS 1:41.070
DR 1:39.185
SP 1:38.785
JB 1:38.025
DR 1:37.859
LH 1:36.814
Everyone’s on the medium compound tyre except FA who is on the soft (options)
PM runs wide; tries to cut back across the grass but decides it’s too wet and returns to the escape road until he can safely rejoin the track
FM has a big lock up but hes had a few of those in FP2 so far
DR complaining about handling when he uses DRS; told it’ll take 3 months to fix!
BS runs wide in Turn 1; rejoins
30mins in to FP2 = 60mins left; order is LH, NR, KK, SV, MS, MW, FA, DR, JB, NH
SV 1:36.578
PRe spun his Force India in Turn 16; brief yellow flag as he sorts himself out
SV 1:36.160
FA locks up as he approaches the pit lane speed limit line
(MW P2)
TG off in the Marrusia – hit the tyre wall in Turn 1
Radio to TG asking if he’s OK; says he has pain in his hand; sounds shook up too
Replay shows TG’s nose & front wing separated from the car before he hit the wall
Yellow flags while the marshals clear TG’s car
Speed Channel show a flashback to Buemi’s accident in Turn 1 when both front wheels came off his Toro Rosso under braking for Turn 1
Radio from JB says traction is much better
Martin Whitmarsh (McLaren team principal) says LH is currently using same gearbox as last race but expects they will change it before Qualifying, which means a 5 grid spot penalty for LH
(JB P4)
MS 1:35.973 despite touching the grass in the final trurn
Radio from FM saying he’s struggling with the tyres
(LH P2)
JB changing helmet – radio problem?
FM on radio again saying something feels wrong with his car
30mins left of FP2; order is MS, LH, SV, MW, NR, JB, KK, FA, SP, PRe
Radio from JB – “way too much understeer”
Update from TG: he says he’s OK; no idea what caused accident
HK runs wide in the final turn; loses the tail but avoids a complete spin
Horrible vibration visible on SP’s Sauber
SP locks up both front wheels going in to Turn 1; has to run wide
LH locks up both fronts, just like SP, but he manages to make it through the corner
5mins left; pit garages emptying out for a final run
Order is MS, LH, SV, MW, NR, JB, KK, PRe, NH, FA
Radio for FM telling him teammate FA isn’t braking in Turn 3
JB on radio to say struggling with fronts locking up including outside wheel, which is strange
Chequered flag
MS fastest (1:35.973) followed by LH, SV, MW, NR, JB, KK, PRe, NH, FA

Practice 3
LH fastest (1:35.940) followed by JB, NR, MS, MW, PM, SP, KK, SV, KR

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    […] was fastest in the final Free Practice session, but he has a 5 grid spot penalty waiting for him after the team changed his […]