Another practice washout hampers teams’ progress

2012 German Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2012The extent of the rain that fell during practice at the Hockenheimring seemed to catch the teams by surprise.

Notably, none of those who usually run test drivers in the first session chose to postpone their runs until the second, which would have given their regular drivers the benefit of a drier track, as we have seen them do before.

Mark Webber admitted the teams had been caught out by the conditions: “That was a bit unreal.

“We didn?t expect the rain to be this bad today, but it was quite heavy at times ?ǣ we even used the extreme full wet tyre. That?s two races in a row now with tricky conditions.”

They all had to make do with what little dry running they had in the first session, particularly those such as McLaren who had major updates to evaluate. Lewis Hamilton said the team were pleased with what they’ve seen from their revised sidepods and other upgrades so far:

“The men and women back at the factory did an incredible job to get all the upgrades to the track this weekend ?ǣ they all deserve a big pat on the back for that. It?s quite a positive step. It?s still difficult to accurately predict was sort of a step we?ve taken as we couldn?t back-to-back between the old and new components, but it?s definitely a step forward.

“Hopefully, we?ll get more of an indication as the weekend progresses ?ǣ although, with more wet weather predicted for tomorrow, it might not be until Sunday that we can tell what we?ve got. Still, the car doesn?t feel bad at all.”

However the complicated rear wing arrangement seen on Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus will not be raced here. Trackside operations director Alan Permane said: “Both cars ran with aero updates, which were rather more visible on one car than the other.

“We?ve seen encouraging signs from our latest prototype concept and although we won?t race it here, it?s likely to make another appearance during practice in Budapest.”

Today the cars were close to the pace seen at the track in 2010. Jenson Button’s fastest lap of 1’16.595 was three-tenths off the best time set on Friday during F1’s last visit to Hockenheim.

On that occasion Sebastian Vettel’s pole position lap came within half a second of beating the track record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004. If we get dry running tomorrow the top teams may get close to that again, but the forecast at the moment is for more rain.

Here’s the data from today’s practice, mostly from the first session which was the drier of the two.

Longest stint comparison – first practice

This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2012drivercolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sebastian Vettel 82.513 80.517 79.264 78.764 79.441
Mark Webber 83.066 81.718 81.509 81.642 81.518 81.336 84.233 85.835 81.46
Jenson Button 80.497 80.322 79.925 79.833 79.92 79.963 80.086
Lewis Hamilton 77.093 77.263 86.036 86.222
Fernando Alonso 81.766 77.37 83.385 80.408 78.799 82.424
Felipe Massa 78.53 78.31 80.441 78.051 77.995 88.296
Michael Schumacher 77.649 77.382 82.598 84.309 87.588 82.456 83.615 109.314
Nico Rosberg 79.559 84.862 80.053 80.488 80.49 90.682 86.692
Kimi Raikkonen 83.564 84.987 85.908 78.831
Romain Grosjean 78.508 83.197 81.336 80.975 78.13 84.157 82.114
Jules Bianchi 79.173 78.972 91.306 90.151 83.106 87.958
Nico Hulkenberg 79.804 79.111 81.314 78.103 81.905 77.599
Kamui Kobayashi 81.147 78.889 83 91.246 78.226
Sergio Perez 82.185 81.109 79.242 81.685 79.687
Daniel Ricciardo 79.676 79.16 78.709 82.383 80.438 82.772 82.845 87.737 84.268
Jean-Eric Vergne 79.742 79.52 79.039 82.22 79.443 79.097 80.243 80.01 87.121 80.846
Pastor Maldonado 78.67 86.979 78.02 86.764 84.182
Valtteri Bottas 84.148 80.788 79.969 81.036 80.515 79.768 80.043 87.863 79.044
Heikki Kovalainen 81.675 80.072 81.841 86.997 85.223 87.463 83.341
Vitaly Petrov 82.665 79.798 87.676 79.801 79.674 95.84 96.011
Pedro de la Rosa 85.313 83.643 95.237 83.032 82.416 84.538
Dani Clos 84.84 85.047 86.459 86.535 86.422 88.146 85.644 85.343
Timo Glock 81.307 81.189 85.534 80.973 90.01 80.539
Charles Pic 90.187 89.937 81.262 81.772 82.843 87.093 91.515 83.179

Sector times and ultimate lap times – first practice

Car Driver Car Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3 Ultimate lap Gap Deficit to best
1 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 16.785 35.944 23.866 1’16.595 0.000
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 16.892 35.942 24.062 1’16.896 0.301 0.197
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 16.806 36.042 24.244 1’17.092 0.497 0.278
4 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 16.874 36.253 24.049 1’17.176 0.581 0.206
5 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 16.794 36.438 23.980 1’17.212 0.617 0.201
6 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 16.898 36.453 24.110 1’17.461 0.866 0.669
7 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 17.180 36.237 24.182 1’17.599 1.004 0.000
8 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 17.049 36.468 24.214 1’17.731 1.136 0.289
9 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 16.949 36.308 24.525 1’17.782 1.187 0.133
10 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 17.048 36.410 24.418 1’17.876 1.281 0.119
11 19 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 17.176 36.462 24.359 1’17.997 1.402 0.425
12 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 17.042 36.305 24.683 1’18.030 1.435 0.196
13 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 17.146 36.307 24.590 1’18.043 1.448 0.296
14 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 16.970 36.197 25.343 1’18.510 1.915 0.321
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 17.313 36.720 24.613 1’18.646 2.051 0.063
16 11 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 17.397 36.584 24.673 1’18.654 2.059 0.318
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 17.410 36.693 24.672 1’18.775 2.180 0.264
18 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 17.553 36.970 25.041 1’19.564 2.969 0.110
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 17.599 37.215 24.894 1’19.708 3.113 0.255
20 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 17.520 37.570 24.749 1’19.839 3.244 0.283
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 17.521 37.484 25.164 1’20.169 3.574 0.000
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 17.721 37.521 25.275 1’20.517 3.922 0.022
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 17.878 37.519 25.674 1’21.071 4.476 0.067
24 23 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 17.996 38.009 25.735 1’21.740 5.145 0.000

Complete practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 Total laps
1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.595 1’28.516 43
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.093 1’30.617 38
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’17.370 1’31.207 41
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’17.382 1’32.777 38
5 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.413 1’28.402 54
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’17.599 1’28.495 39
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’17.915 1’27.564 51
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’17.995 1’29.719 37
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’18.020 1’27.476 34
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’18.130 1’28.420 41
11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.226 1’29.785 46
12 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’18.339 1’27.902 45
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’18.422 28
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.709 1’28.513 53
15 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’18.831 1’29.327 36
16 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’18.972 21
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.039 1’29.364 60
18 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’19.674 1’32.241 46
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’19.963 1’30.331 50
20 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’20.122 1’28.877 48
21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.169 1’30.090 39
22 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.539 1’30.220 34
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’21.138 1’42.566 32
24 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1’21.740 27
25 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’30.291 22
26 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’30.437 14
27 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’32.349 17

Speed trap – first practice

# Driver Car Engine Max speed Gap
1 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Mercedes 316.9
2 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 315.6 1.3
3 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 314.7 2.2
4 3 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 314.5 2.4
5 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 313.9 3
6 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham Renault 313.8 3.1
7 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 313.8 3.1
8 11 Jules Bianchi Force India Mercedes 313.7 3.2
9 15 Sergio Perez Sauber Ferrari 313.7 3.2
10 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 313.4 3.5
11 19 Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 313.3 3.6
12 25 Charles Pic Marussia Cosworth 312.9 4
13 24 Timo Glock Marussia Cosworth 312.5 4.4
14 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 312.5 4.4
15 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 312.2 4.7
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 312 4.9
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 311.9 5
18 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 311.8 5.1
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham Renault 311.4 5.5
20 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari 309.8 7.1
21 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 309.2 7.7
22 23 Dani Clos HRT Cosworth 307.6 9.3
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT Cosworth 307.5 9.4
24 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 305.6 11.3

2012 German Grand Prix

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16 comments on Another practice washout hampers teams’ progress

  1. marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 20th July 2012, 18:14

    Still looks as though Caterham are stuck in the wilderness.

  2. Badger74 (@badger74) said on 20th July 2012, 18:44

    Button’s long run looks consistent and from memory more competitive than the equivalent run at Valencia?

  3. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 20th July 2012, 18:44

    Happy for the spectators that at least the drivers did plenty of laps in the wet conditions.

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 20th July 2012, 18:52

    The best thing about today’s rain was that it once again shattered Pirelli’s plans to test the more conservative tyres. Moreover, tomorrow it might rain again so the teams will have [almost] no clue how the tyres will behave in the dry race conditions on Sunday. And I will most likely score around 3 points in the predictions championship again. Yippee!

  5. Nick.UK (@) said on 20th July 2012, 21:06

    It wouldn’t be so bad if the rain was on race day. It’s just frustrating when it’s during practice, less to watch and less conclusions to draw. I really want to know if Caterham’s upgrade package has yeilded any big performance boost.

  6. sagar atgamkar (@sagaratgamkar) said on 20th July 2012, 21:47

    its seems CATERHAM is one team everyone wants to see do better. or is it just because of KOV???

  7. xeroxpt (@) said on 21st July 2012, 3:29

    About lotus new updates, i have an different guess than SKY.

    Like Sky I believe that this new solution is targeted for qually and for aero purposes rather than boosting the DRS. My guess is that when the DRS is activated the air passes through the now clear slot on the main plane travels through the pillar beneath the main plane forward, and disables via perhaps a butterfly valve the passing of air from the “ears” located on each side of the overhead air intake, decreasing drag and cutting the air flow that was being channeled to the small rear wing above the suspension, if so this new upgrade is meant to deliver more downforce into the rear of the car, its linked to the DRS to cut the drag but that maybe a problem when racing because off course the DRS rules, but i also believe that the system is easily tweaked for the race i dont think they’ll want the added drag and the benefits of more rear downforce.

  8. Eggry (@eggry) said on 21st July 2012, 4:56

    Jenson Button’s lap times are impressive. almost flat line. I don’t know it’s good sign though.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st July 2012, 9:39

    Edd Straw just tweeted, that Webber will get a post qualifying penalty as well (making it 3 of the top runners), apparently details to be shortly publicized (another one with the gearbox?)

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