I hadn’t looked into it much but
Testing at Barcelona:
2011 Pole- Webber: 1:20.981
2012 Pole- Hamilton: 1:21.707
that’s incredible from Mercedes no? especially given the car misses the full exhaust blown diffuser of 2011 and the track is colder than during the Spanish GP in May. Also those testing laps were not one-lap qualy runs (i think they were 4 laps or so?)
Perhaps the colder track can actually help over a single lap, depending on the compound used. In the round-up today (March 5), there was a piece by Marc Priestley saying that the super soft just didn’t get up to temperature, but perhaps that is less of a problem for the soft and medium compounds.
Note that last year, many teams were considerably quicker in testing than they were in qualifying for the Spanish GP, despite having a couple of months worth of developments on the cars.
What we need to remember is that the temperature is cold. Cold air is denser than hot air. Firstly, the ams will open less cooling inlets and outlets, because you don’t want to overcool the electronics, engines etc. that means you get less drag.
Next, you have to remember that the air going in the airbox (which mixes with fuel) is denser AND cooler – meaning the engine output goes higher.
Finally, the denser air also means more downforce.
Having these 3 plus points, cold temps can be a good win, as long as you can get your tyres to enough heat, the things should be rosy.
In another perspective – you have to ask why Mercedes and Ferrari could get good heat into the tyres in the cold temps that the tyres weren’t made for, and what would happen to those tyres in hot conditions.
The 2013 Pirelli “softer tyres will mean performance is improved by 0.5 seconds a lap” and “It has changed both the construction and rubber compounds of the tyres in an attempt to ensure they degrade faster” and considering the cars are more likely to be faster than last years Spanish GP then it’s not that surprising that they’re much more faster than last years pole time.
@raymondu999 top answer. thanks. perhaps the mercedes will shred it’s tyres at hot races? will have to wait and see!
Melbourne weather seems hot and sunny now but becoming more unsettled into next week.
@master-firelee you are right but remember that for Hamilton’s pole lap last year, he would have had around 3 laps of fuel (probably less because mclaren messed it up) and he was pushing to the limit! taking no breathers and extracting everything out of the car for the perfect lap.
now i highly doubt that was the case last weekend.
IMO: the 2013 pirelli tyres will give a natural 0.5 seconds speed advantage over the 2012 tyres. but a driver’s fast testing lap vs a Q3 pole lap in a given year will be around 1 second