Austrian GP practice: Rain, sun, pressure and the future

Did you know that it can be raining on one part of the Red Bull Ring and not another? And you thought Spa was the only lace that happened…shame on you.

Friday’s final practice session was led by Mercedes Nico Rosberg with teammate Lewis Hamilton hot on his heels just one hundredth of a second off his pace. The affair was dented with a strong rain shower that started on turns 8 and 9 and then eventually covered the track leaving teams in a waiting game for the circuit to dry.

Some interesting notes about the race weekend so far is that the circuit itself could see the return of the famed Osterreichring loop which, in my opinion, would be a welcome sight—much like bringing the forest section of Hockenheim back too!

Also, as we headed into the weekend, there were rumblings about the tire pressures mandated from Pirelli and the Italian tire maker made some adjustments ahead of practice and it is intended to crack down on teams heating the brakes—which transfers to the wheel and tire assembly—and will check the tires this weekend before being fitted to the car (which would have the heated brakes. This means they are trying to negate the impact of super-heated brake assemblies on the cars and the impact it would have on tire pressures.

On a final note, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel takes a hit this weekend with a gearbox change and 5-place grid penalty which will make a podium finish more difficult let alone a win.

FP2 Results

1Nico RosbergMercedes1m07.967s25
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m07.986s0.019s19
3Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m08.580s0.613s28
4Sebastian VettelFerrari1m08.589s0.622s25
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m08.649s0.682s30
6Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Ferrari1m08.713s0.746s32
7Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault1m08.761s0.794s20
8Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m08.820s0.853s23
9Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1m08.941s0.974s24
10Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1m08.994s1.027s30
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m09.075s1.108s26
12Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m09.184s1.217s17
13Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Ferrari1m09.207s1.240s26
14Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m09.226s1.259s32
15Kevin MagnussenRenault1m09.525s1.558s19
16Jolyon PalmerRenault1m10.020s2.053s23
17Pascal WehrleinManor/Mercedes1m10.034s2.067s20
18Esteban GutierrezHaas/Ferrari1m10.138s2.171s16
19Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m10.140s2.173s19
20Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m10.400s2.433s31
21Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1m10.444s2.477s22
22Rio HaryantoManor/Mercedes1m11.328s3.361s25
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“only lace”? SB “onry lace”


The rain may vary, but the level of caffeine and sugar are consistent across the whole circuit. Pretty variable conditions in FP2, and fresh asphalt, there’s still a bit of shaking out to do to see who will make up rows 2 to 11, but it looks like Mercedes have still got a lock on the front row. The times are really tight through most of the field, 3rd down to about 15th, with a mix of power units and chassis, even the equal best ice and ecu and third best chassis is only enough for 10th and 11th. And… Read more »


I support any move to bring back individuality to the circuits. As well as being recognisable to fans it would also bring different challenges to teams and drivers. Who knows, we may even get different winners at different types of circuit, rather than whichever team has worked out the best way around a Tilkedrome.