Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

“Oops”: 2017 Belgian Grand Prix practice team radio highlights

2017 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Max Verstappen gave a surprising reply when told he’d lapped quicker than the Mercedes drivers during practice.

Here’s what he and the other drivers had to say on the radio.

First practice

Just five minutes into the first practice session after the summer break, Fernando Alonso was already suffering problems with his power unit.

Felipe Massa, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017
Belgian Grand Prix practice in pictures
Alonso: “No power.”
“Try G6.”
Alonso: “A little better but still no power.”
“Stand by.”

Alonso: “I’ve finished the battery a lot.”
“OK we see it on the data.”

To Ocon: Front tyre temperatures on the cool side.”

Felipe Massa crashed heavily at the exit of Les Combes on his third lap, bringing his day to an early end.

Massa: “I just lost the car. On the kerb.”

To Ocon: “Tail wind into the final chicane.”

When the session resumed Stoffel Vandoorne reported he could still see red flags at some marshal posts.

Vandoorne: “There are still red flags around the track.”
“Copy. We have a ‘track clear’ message.”

Magnussen: “OK box now the headrest is coming off.”
“OK box now, stop on the marks, engine running.”

Alonso had other problems besides his power unit.

“Just be careful switching DRS off into turn one and five it’s a little bit sluggish.”
Alonso: “DRS doesn’t work, it doesn’t come back.”

Hamilton: “Tyres overheating quite quickly.”
“OK copy.”

To Bottas: “Lewis reporting overheating quite quickly with this tyre.”

Hamilton: “Tyres don’t feel as good the second lap.”

Hamilton: “Can you find me a gap?”
“OK you’ve got Palmer nine seconds back, behind him Valtteri another six seconds.”

Kvyat: “I had a very big misfire exit of last corner.”
“OK we check now.”

“Suggest cancel DRS yourself one second before braking just while we check. Cancel DRS early.”
Vandoorne: “OK, copy.”

Hulkenberg: “Yeah the seat is getting quite warm.”
“OK Nico, understood.”

Grosjean: “Got a problem with the front-left locking, turn one and turn eight.”
“OK the temperatures are the same across the car.”

Valtteri Bottas went off at the exit of Fagnes, causing slight damagae to his car.

“We think we’ve got front wing damage so box and keep the speed down.”
Bottas: “Copy.”

“Do you want to go again?”
Ricciardo: “Can I start the lap and then assess it?”
“Yes.”
Ricciardo: “I can abort after turn nine.”

Kvyat: “Again I had a massive misfire and engine braking felt very strange in the last chicane. Quite strange engine behaviour.”
“Copy that”

Grosjean: “I’ve got the same problem with the front-left under braking.”
“Understood.”

Alonso’s DRS problem was finally corrected.

Alonso: “Again it doesn’t work.”
“OK understood. We’d like to keep the run going but don’t use DRS for this run.”

Alonso: “It seems that it works now.”
“It’s good in the data for us too, Fernando.”

Vettel: “Did you want a bite point, yes or no?”
“Yes we need a bite point, bite point confirm.”

“OK Dany sorry for the engine we will solve it for P2.”
Kvyat: “No worries.”

To Raikkonen: “For info, Seb lost a lot of front tyre temperature on his charge lap, so just keep the fronts up.”

Stroll: “Something broke on the pedal box.”
“Go easy on the brakes, I’ll give you feedback.”

“Daniel we are getting notifications that we have been triggering the short-cut line at turn four [Raidillon].”
Ricciardo: “OK.”

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Second practice

McLaren had solved their DRS problems at the beginning of second practice but now Haas were struggling with it.

Grosjean: “OK dude the DRS is staying up.”
“It’s still open right now, yeah?”
Grosjean: “Yep.”
“OK, we’ll have to box to investigate it.”
Grosjean: “I thought I was getting good top speed. It’s not closing. Should I try anything?”
“No I don’t think it’s going to recover.”

Magnussen: “The DRS is stuck open.”
“It’s open? OK box, Kevin, box.”

To Vandoorne: “No concern with DRS.”

Kvyat: “No power, what do I do?”
“Abort, we’ll check.”

Track limits at Raidillon continued to catch drivers out.

“You’ve been reported as missing the apex at turn four, that’s Radillon. Make sure you don’t cut the kerb too much.”
Vandoorne: “That was on the slow lap anyway.”
“Correct, that was the slow lap.”

Ricciardo: “Just had a problem with drive-ability. Let me know if it’s OK.”
“Understood.”
Ricciardo: “It was out of turn five.”
“We can see the issue but David is happy.”
Ricciardo: “Let me know if I need to do anything different. Otherwise I’ll push next lap.”
“OK Daniel we’ve got an issue with the car, need to box this lap.”
Ricciardo: “Let me know if I need to go slow.”
“No, you’re OK.”

Raikkonen: “Can we do something with the hesitation in turn one?”

To Grosjean: “Rear temps are better now, temps are better all ’round, see if it’s any better.”

To Vandoorne: “That’s P12. Bit of a bum deal with traffic, I’m afraid.”

“Box Danny. Very quick turnaround for the long run. Rain coming on the radar.”
Kvyat: “Also mechanically the car is to the rear.”

The drivers only had a short amount of time for their race simulation runs due to rain.

“OK Max for info that lap was four-tenths quicker than the Mercs.”
Verstappen. “Oops.”

To Ricciardo: “OK Daniel may be some heavy drops now where you are.”

Ricciardo: “OK there’s some aquaplaning already. A lot of water.”
“OK take it easy.”

Alonso: “There is too much rain.”
“Understood.”

“Fernando the rain is extremely heavy in the pit lane now so be careful.”
Alonso: “Yeah, it’s not only in the pit lane mate.”

2017 Belgian Grand Prix

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4 comments on ““Oops”: 2017 Belgian Grand Prix practice team radio highlights”

  1. Estaban de los Casas
    25th August 2017, 17:40

    Fascinating stuff…

  2. The photo’s are really good, my compliments. Click on the Max header picture and look at all of them.
    What I like is that you can really see the car move, blurry wheels but driver in focus… Love it!

  3. Does anyone know what this exchange was all about?

    Hulkenberg: “Yeah the seat is getting quite warm.”
    “OK Nico, understood.”

    I didn’t see any of the practice, so I’m a bit in the dark.

  4. That Max radio com is really mysterious. I think they were pleasantly surprised, I don’t think they were supposed to push less. I get the feeling that even though Lewis looked to be ringing the neck of that car, he was struggling with the tyres. I think they do capitalize on power tracks but also they seem to rely on heavy braking and traction events, and there’s pretty much 1 hard braking and one medium over the whole lap.

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