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

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Eifel GP
Author Jonathan Noble
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021