Things learned after first day of 2022 British GP practice
First day of practice at Silverstone showed a lot of F1 teams brought upgrades on their cars. The Mercedes W13 had again a new rear wing and a very complicated new floor and lots of other upgrades. The upgrades seemed to have improved the race performance of the W13 a lot again. They still had some porpoising in the high speed corners, but on the straights they don't have that problem any more. Are they starting to get a real threat to Red Bull and Ferrari now?
The Williams team also brought a huge upgrade and switch from the no-sidepod to a Red Bull-like sidepod. Only Alex Albon has this upgrade on the W44 and his quickest lap time was a full second quicker than his teammate Nicholas Latifi.
Red Bull brought a new engine cover to their home race. The engine cover now had two new "tubes" coming out on both sides of the exhaust and probably is used to get better cooling and use the hot air to get more out of their rear wing.
In term of tyres this is what Pirelli had to say about them:
- A typical Friday in England was characterised by wet and dry weather in the two free practice sessions around the rapid Silverstone circuit. The weather was a talking point, with few drivers making the most of the wet FP1 session but more coming out in the afternoon, with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz setting the fastest time of the day (1m28.942s) on the P Zero Red soft tyre: after a very close session where the top five drivers were covered by less than half a second.
- Only the Cinturato Green Intermediate and P Zero Red soft tyres were run in FP1, leaving only the FP2 session for the teams to properly try out the slick tyres taken to round 10 of this year’s championship.
- There’s currently an estimated gap of between 1.0 and 1.2 seconds between the soft and medium tyre, with a similar estimated gap between the medium and hard (although there’s not a huge amount of data to fall back on). This gap is largely dependent on weather conditions, with cooler temperatures favouring the softer compounds.
Pirelli's Motorsport Director Mario Isola said:
“When will we have a Friday that allows two free practice sessions to take place exactly as they should? I’m sorry that the spectators, who are always amazing here, didn’t get the chance to see so many laps in FP1, but one consolation is the fact that the track, which was wet at the beginning of the session, gradually dried out lap by lap, allowing the drivers to experience the crossover point – which could be very useful information for the rest of the weekend. At Silverstone the weather will be a determining factor, with the performance gaps between the compounds – and therefore the strategy – being quite dependent on track temperature.”
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