Chinese GP practice 2 interactive chart

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Renault are one of the teams trying to find more from their tyres
Renault are one of the teams trying to find more from their tyres

The teams are facing some tricky choices between the hard and soft tyre compounds at Shanghai this weekend.

Take a closer look at how they got in in second practice with our interactive chart:

The chart shows each driver’s lap time (in seconds, on the vertical axis) and when they set them (in minutes, on the horizontal axis):

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Mark Webber thinks the difference in performance between the hard and soft tyres will give teams something to think about:

We have a lot of stuff go through tonight about how the tyres are around here ?ǣ it?s the first track where they are behaving a little differently to other venues.
Mark Webber

His team mate’s times for stints on the hard and soft tyres respectively show the soft tyres start off quicker than the hard tyres, as you’d expect, and nine laps in their degradation still doesn’t seem too bad:

Hard: 100.492, 100.000, 100.189, 99.993, 99.984, 99.760, 99.682, 100.410, 102.689, 99.187, 99.513, 99.408, 99.348, 105.792
Soft: 99.990, 99.811, 99.732, 108.306, 99.588, 99.728, 99.998, 99.850, 99.953, 108.574

The team will be studying the wear on the tyres that came off Sebastian Vettel and Webber’s cars to see how far into the race they think the soft tyre will last.

Ferrari had a busy day, trying to test their F-duct while coping with Fernando Alonso’s engine failure in the first practice session. Their positions in the speed trap rankings make interesting reading:

Practice one

Driver Car Speed
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 316.1kph
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 315.4kph
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 309.8kph
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 309.8kph

In second practice they slipped to fifth and seventh, recording around 311kph. Teams usually turn their engines down for Friday practice, not wishing to waste engine life, but perhaps Ferrari turned theirs down further after Alonso’s failure in the first session?

Michael Schumacher ran a new rear wing on the Mercedes (see pictures here) and pronounced himself happy with it but doesn’t expect the team to suddenly get on terms with Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari:

We brought some improvements here including the new rear wing which have helped. So I am quite confident for the rest of the weekend even if the overall ranking will not change much from the first three races.

I was a bit unlucky this morning as I had a puncture on my rear left prime tyre so we had to use one from the afternoon’s allocation. That meant I only had three new tyres in the second session but it worked out fine in the end.
Michael Schumacher

Both Renault drivers complained of a shortage of grip and Kubica is especially concerned to get on top of the team’s qualifying pace:

We still need to improve the overall balance of the car because we are still lacking overall grip, especially on low fuel runs, but the car felt much better on heavy fuel.
Robert Kubica

Sutil said he’s “expecting a similar qualifying and race performance to Malaysia” but without rain in qualifying I can’t see the VJM03 starting fourth on the grid again – with the ‘big four’ and Robert Kubica in the top ten, anything above tenth will be a result.

Liuzzi, meanwhile, struggled with the soft tyres:

The car was behaving well but then after we changed to the soft tyre we were sliding all over the place and struggling to get the temperatures in the tyres. It was a big frustration as the car was not there any more. It was strange as it was such a clear change from hard to soft. We need to look into this problem but I think we can be positive about the rest of the day as on the hard tyres we seem to be quite strong.
Vitantonio Liuzzi

Sebastien Buemi’s agitation was clear for all to see after his horror crash in first practice – and who could blame him? As in Bahrain, Buemi wasn’t able to get a full day’s running in on Friday:

There?s not much to say about what happened in FP1. I braked, the wheels came off and that was it. Physically, I was fine though. But I have to say, I am extremely disappointed that, once again, through no fault of my own, I have been unable to run for almost all of the three hours available.

I will have to try and catch up on Saturday morning and we will be relying on Jaime?s data from today to see which way to go.
Sebastien Buemi

His team mate felt the soft tyre looked a more promising choice than the hard tyre for the race.

On their first visit to Shanghai Lotus changed their gear ratios between the first two practice sessions to improve their trade-off between top speed on the long straight and acceleration in the twisty infield.

Mike Gascoyne said he wasn’t worried about the problem which caused Heikki Kovalainen to stop:

Heikki pulled over after 30 laps as he had a low oil pressure warning and he stopped the car, but it?s not a problem and we?re looking forward to getting out again tomorrow.
Mike Gascoyne

At Virgin, Nick Wirth said Timo Glock’s front wing failure in the first practice session was down to them being too ambitious on their ride height:

Shanghai is the first circuit we?ve come to where we?ve had less than perfect track data for our simulators and along with some of the other teams we were caught out by the huge bump going into turn 1. We had been a bit brave on our initial front ride height, which resulted in Timo?s front wing hitting the ground hard, necessitating a wing change.

However, once we?d allowed for this bump in the set-up, the rest of the day was trouble-free, and our improving reliability allowed us to try a range of tests that we haven?t previously been able to do. The circuit is extremely bumpy and we?ve explored different ways to cope with this using the tools on the car that we have available right now.
Nick Wirth

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