Porsche: Optimisation of hybrid strategy is the focus

Today, the two LMP1 Porsches covered 132 laps in total on the first day of practice at Silverstone (UK).

Stuttgart. The two Porsche 919 Hybrids with the driver trios of Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber, and their team mates Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb in the sister Le Mans Prototype, covered 132 laps in total on the first day of practice for the opening race of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship in Silverstone (UK).

In the morning session the two LMP1 Porsches were second (car number 17, 1:42.265 minutes) and fourth (car number 18, 1:42.457 minutes). In the second 90-minute session on the famous 5.901 kilometre circuit the result was third (car number 17, 1:42.046 minutes) and fourth (car number 18, 1:42.641 minutes).

The Silverstone race is the first of eight rounds in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship. The LMP1 qualifying takes place on Saturday from 12:30 to 12:50 hrs local time, the six-hour race will start on Sunday at 12:00 hrs local time.

Quotes after free practice:

Alexander Hitzinger, Technical Director: “In the first session we lost some track time with car number 18, but, despite this, we managed to get through our programme. We have done a good amount of set-up work and were able to optimise the hybrid strategy. To sum it up: It was a positive first day for us in Silverstone.”

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 17

Timo Bernhard (34, Germany): “For the second session the focus was on race preparation, and we managed to gather a good amount of data. I did a long run together with the number eight Audi, which obviously was interesting. Overall I also found it important to become familiar with the traffic again.”

Brendon Hartley (25, New Zealand): “Both free practice sessions were quite positive for us. Everything went smoothly, and we had no issues with the car. This allowed us to try a lot of set-up changes and do uninterrupted long runs. Looking at the time sheets, I think we can look forward to a very tough race. .”

Mark Webber (38, Australian): “It was a very smooth start for car number 17 this morning. We all got a feeling for the new car here in Silverstone. It is the first time here with the energy management of the eight megajoule class. This takes a bit of love and massaging to get it right, which I tried to do this morning. In the afternoon I wasn’t due to drive. Silverstone is a great track and it is great that the season is now officially underway.”

Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid number 18

Romain Dumas (37, France): “It doesn’t look bad. I had my first laps in the second session and I like the car, which is a good point. In braking and decelerating we have room for improvement. In terms of downforce, the team has done a really good job on the car compared to last year. We are in the right area for sure, but the others have done a good job too. Tomorrow in qualifying we will see more.”

Neel Jani (31, Switzerland): “I started the morning session, but in turn three we had a problem with the right rear drive. I came back on electrical power only. After the repair I then also did the final 12 laps to gather data in order to prepare a car set-up for the second session. We have lost track time, but still it didn’t look bad.”

Marc Lieb (34, Germany): “It wasn’t really easy today. After our car was in the garage for quite a while in the first session, in the second free practice I went on a long run straight away. I had to familiarise myself with the track again and the set-up wasn’t yet ideal. Progress compared to last year is obvious in terms of performance and driveability, but we still have some work to do.”

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Silverstone
Sub-event Friday practice
Track Silverstone
Drivers Mark Webber , Timo Bernhard , Marc Lieb , Romain Dumas , Neel Jani , Brendon Hartley
Article type Practice report
Tags porsche