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.
|3||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m08.580s||0.613s||28|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.649s||0.682s||30|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m08.713s||0.746s||32|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.761s||0.794s||20|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m09.207s||1.240s||26|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.226s||1.259s||32|