Friday, March 15, 2013


Friday practice came and went. After 4 months of waiting, it was gone in a flash. FP1 didn't really show us much again as the medium tires held up well in the hot temperatures (which is good). Lewis was 4th fastest in the Mercedes, not too far away from Vettel. As expected, after all that sandbagging in testing, red Bull unleashed their power in both practice session and topped the timesheets with Vettel leading the way on both.

FP2 was where the supersofts came out as the teams needed to understand how they're going to attack qualifying with those. And how to go for a longer first stint with full fuel. Lewis set the 8th fastest time although his running was hampered by a crash that ruined his attempts.

For a full report on FP1 click here. For full FP1 times, click here.

For a full report on FP1 click here. For full FP1 times, click here.

Now what worries me more is not Mercedes' reliability as Rosberg had to stop just before the end of FP2 with a gearbox problem but what happened to Lewis with the supersoft tires. As fantastically put by Keith of F1Fanatic:
Hamilton looked like he might threaten Vettel’s time after a quick run through the first sector on super-softs. But he locked his brakes on the bumpy run into turn nine and took to the run-off area. His subsequent lap on now rather worn super-softs was only four thousandths of a second faster than his medium-tyre effort had been.
Those supersofts only last for one lap? Of course locking his brakes on the first attempt didn't help but going into the second lap the tires were gone. Which means in qualifying, there is only one chance to get it right, a banzai lap. With traffic and 5 rookies in slow cars, Q1 and Q2 will be interesting to watch. But even with just 10 cars in Q3, traffic still could be an issue.

But on the positive side, at least I know that Lewis could have narrowed down his gap to Vettel and gotten closer to him if he:

1. Didn't lock his brakes on his first lap. That lap could have brought him to within 3/10s of Vettel.
2. The brakes didn't fail on tghe subsequent lap.

But seriously, any Lewis Hamilton fan out there must accept the fact - the Mercedes is no match for the Red Bull. Of course in the hands of Lewis Hamilton it can get close in qualifying and depending on how the weather pans out on race day, it might give the RB9 a close run for its money. A bit more development maybe around the European leg of the championship might do it. We'll see. Can't wait for race day!!

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