All eyes are going to be on the tyres this weekend following multiple tyre failures at the British Grand Prix. The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GPDA) issued a statement saying they will withdraw from the race if the same problems occur in Germany! Meanwhile Pirelli put out a statement pointing the finger at the teams, claiming some have been switching left and right tyres, running them under pressure and/or with too much camber.
Tyre compounds available this weekend are prime=medium (white) and option=soft; about 1sec/lap difference
The German GP alternates between the (“new”) Nurburgring and Hockenheim, and it’s the Nurburgring’s turn this year. The only German to win here is Michael Schumacher but VET is looking strong as usual, and ROS is hoping to do well.
My GridBids picks for this weekend: VET, BUT, ROS, HAM, HUL & BOT.
Air temperature 24°C; track 42°C; wind 2.5m/s; humidity 38%
It’s Williams 600th Grand Prix – hopefully they’ll get a point this weekend to break their duck for this season
Apparently they had a KERS-related fire in MAL’s garage this morning!
Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
DIR first on track in his Force India
A lot of drivers not even looking like they’re getting into their cars anytime soon
Looks like DIR has backed off in Sector 1 of his first flying lap
DIR 1:41.226 – was that a deliberately slow lap in order to put some heat into the tyres?
10mins into Q1; 10mins left
RIC 1:31.081 on options
Radio for ALO – “3 timed laps” on the option tyres – that’s unusual
5mins left of Q1; 4 drivers yet to set a time (MAS, BUT, GRO, HUL)
MAS and BUT both on track, on options
2mins left; bottom 6 are BOT, PER, PIC, BIA, VDG, CHI
(BOT P16; relegates MAL)
(PER P14; pushes BOT to P17)
Back of the grid: BOT, MAL, PIC, BIA, VDG, CHI.
So both Williams fail to make it to Q2
Radio for BOT confirms “the car’s just not there”
Qualifying session 2
ROS locks up into Turn 1, has to back off and run wide
BUT can only manage P10, and teammate PER is currently slowest in Q2
5mins left of Q2; the Red Bull drivers (VET and WEB) yet to set a time
2mins left; bottom 6 are VER, HUL, BUT, SUT, RIC, PER
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are GUT, DIR, HUL, BUT, SUT, RIC
(RIC P7, relegates VER – his teammate)
(BUT P8, bumping PER – ditto)
(HUL P8; moves RAI to P11)
(RAI P2, dumping ROS to P11 – so much for a German driver in a German car taking the pole)
Middle of the grid: ROS, DIR, PER, GUT, SUT, VER
Qualifying session 3
Fighting over the top 10 grid spots are
BUT abandons his lap; heads for the pits
3mins left; order is HAM, VET, RAI, WEB, GRO – the other 5 have yet to set a time
Radio from BUT – “I’ll be surprised if we can beat the Ferrari”!
No time from BUT or HUL
Front of the grid: HAM, VET, WEB, RAI, GRO, RIC, MAS, ALO, BUT, HUL
Pole position for Mercedes, even if it’s a Englishman behind the wheel 🙂
Provisional grid: HAM, VET, WEB, RAI, GRO, RIC, MAS, ALO, BUT, HUL; ROS, DIR, PER, GUT, SUT, VER; BOT, MAL, PIC, BIA, VDG, CHI.