F1 drivers face step into the "unknown" in Eifel GP

Formula 1 drivers and teams face a jump into the "unknown" in the Eifel Grand Prix, with cold temperatures and a lack of running leaving everyone unsure of how tyres will perform.

F1 drivers face step into the "unknown" in Eifel GP

With Friday’s action at the Nurburgring having been abandoned because of poor weather, F1 drivers have only had one hour of practice to prepare for the event.

That has left them without the normal long run data they get on a regular weekend, with the situation further complicated by how tricky the tyres can be to manage in the cold.

Pole position man Valtteri Bottas reckoned there were far more uncertainties for everyone heading into the race than there are normally.

“I think there are many unknowns for every team with their lack of running,” he said. “There’s not much data, apart from winter testing in these kind of temperatures. So I think when you’re going to have to change the compound during the race from soft, it’s going to be unknown how it handles.”

Renault’s Esteban Ocon was one driver who is going into the race having not done a single lap on the medium compound tyre that needs to be used at some point.

“I think we're jumping a bit in to the unknown,” he said. “Unfortunately we did run only the soft tyres on my side, so I don't really know what to expect in terms of when we're going to change compound and how the car is going to behave. But the struggle is going to be for everyone.”

Read Also:

The cold temperatures that have greeted teams has made it harder for drivers to get the tyres working consistently, and there is an increased chance of graining which could trigger understeer that will hamper a driver's progress.

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton said: “I think the usual effects from the track getting colder is the wear usually. The front tyres usually suffer a little bit more, and we generally have a little bit more understeer potentially.

“If there are safety cars, restarting our tyres is going to be a struggle that’s for sure. But we’re all in the same boat. I don’t really know how far the tyres will go but obviously when it gets a bit colder, generally you can go a little bit further as they work in a slightly different range.”

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies said that the cold weather and lack of understanding of the tyres meant the race was unlikely to pan out in a straightforward fashion.

Asked how much of a step into the unknown it was, he said: “In fairness it’s a huge one. I think if somebody could draw the relative race pace now, he would be very, very talented. I don’t think it will be an exact reflection of qualifying at all.

“I think there will be surprises because we didn’t have that chance to do the long runs. So that, plus the fact that the tyre life and performance is an unknown will make a good challenge in terms of how fast teams will be able to read the race in the opening laps and to adapt to whatever is going to be thrown at us.

“I think we will give a good race for you guys and it’s probably good fun for everybody to get a bit less perfection.”

shares
comments

Related video

Buemi on Red Bull duty as Sette Camara makes it to Japan

Previous article

Buemi on Red Bull duty as Sette Camara makes it to Japan

Next article

F1 needs thinktank to look at options like hydrogen - Renault

F1 needs thinktank to look at options like hydrogen - Renault
Load comments
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021