It’s a weekend full of anniversaries: it’s the 850th Grand Prix of all time; it’s Jenson Button’s 200th Grand Prix*; it’s 25 years since the first F1 race behind the Iron Curtain (which was at this circuit); it’s Fernando Alonso’s 30th birthday on Friday; it’s 2 years since Filipe Massa’s accident (when a spring came off Barrichello’s car and penetrated FM’s helmet!).
*BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow: “I was talking to Jenson Button and he said his dad lacks commitment when it comes to attending races. This is Button’s 200th race and his dad has only been to 199 of them.” [source:BBC]
Tyre compounds this weekend = soft (yellow band) and super-soft (red).
There’s obviously a lot of (mostly unhappy) chatter about Sky Sports winning the rights to show F1 in UK from 2012 to 2018; BBC will only show half the races live. I wonder what that means for TSN because they use the BBC feed?
Free Practice 1:
MW lost the tail of his Red Bull, rips off the front wing and part of the nose on a barrier
LH was fastest (1:23.350) followed by SV, FA, MW, JB, FM, NR & MS.
Free Practice 2:
It’s overcast and threatening to rain
FM locks up the front left, then a couple of corners later spins the Ferrari
30mins gone = 60mins left; order is FA, JB, SV, FM, LH, MW, JA, PD.
PM has a left-rear puncture
FA slides out of the final turn and brings his Ferrari back under control
Onboard with SV – seems like such an easy drive – other drivers are fighting their cars through some corners
Pit-car radio from MS saying the rear tyres are dropping off
LH was fastest again (1:21.018) followed by FA, JB, MW, SV, FM, NR, MS.