Ferrari leads FP2, air pressures under scrutiny

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Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in Friday’s second free practice session. The first practice session was marked with two red flag session due to tire issues for Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa and Renault F1’s Kevin Magnussen.

It was determined that Magnussen’s issue was a broken suspension while Massa’s was ruled a setup error on Williams part. Regardless, it didn’t stop Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean from complaining about Pirelli’s tire pressure settings:

“The tyre pressure limit has been ridiculous, everything is up to the roof and the cars are undriveable,” said Grosjean.

“Out of the garage the front-tyre pressure is 23psi, which is absolutely ridiculous, with the rear 21 and a half.

“So imagine on track we are 26 at the front, hot, and 23 at the rear. It’s almost a road car. You just don’t get any feeling.

“With pressures that high you get locking brakes, understeer. It’s like there is oil on the track.

“You could see a lot of people locking the wheels for no reason. It’s the same for everyone, but it looks like we are suffering a bit more.

“It would be good if we could change a little because it doesn’t feel like a racing car.”

McLaren’s Jenson Button agreed with him:

“The minimum pressures we can run are massively high so the tyres overheat pretty much immediately,” he said.

“It’s a pretty big issue, especially on the longer runs. It’s just trying to find your best way of getting around that, which we’re not doing a very good job of.”

Asked about potential solutions, he replied: “I don’t think there’s anything you can do about it now.

“They’ve risen a lot over the last year. I think they were 19 or something last year, or 18, last year and they’ve gone up by 4psi, which is massive, that’s before you leave the pits, before they increase through the roof.

“It’s tricky and that’s probably why you see the cars floating around a lot more. They’re not stuck to the road and you can’t carry speed.”


1Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m36.896s35
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1m37.005s0.109s33
3Nico RosbergMercedes1m37.133s0.237s33
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m37.329s0.433s33
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/TAG Heuer1m38.143s1.247s31
6Max VerstappenToro Rosso/Ferrari1m38.268s1.372s28
7Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m38.527s1.631s31
8Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Ferrari1m38.542s1.646s32
9Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m38.569s1.673s31
10Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1m38.723s1.827s34
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m38.728s1.832s31
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1m38.828s1.932s28
13Daniil KvyatRed Bull/TAG Heuer1m39.178s2.282s31
14Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m39.214s2.318s34
15Jolyon PalmerRenault1m39.774s2.878s32
16Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m39.890s2.994s22
17Pascal WehrleinManor/Mercedes1m39.941s3.045s36
18Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m39.979s3.083s35
19Rio HaryantoManor/Mercedes1m40.550s3.654s33
20Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1m41.066s4.170s32
21Esteban GutierrezHaas/Ferrari1m42.954s6.058s4




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Why are the pressure minimums set so high? Is it because Pirelli suck at making race tires or is it something they were asked to do to “improve the show”?

Either way it’s yet another example of F1 doing it’s level best to kill the racing in favor of soap-opera level drama.

Paul KieferJr

Apparently, the tires aren’t designed to handle that low a pressure. Ridiculous, but true.


The tyres might be full of more got air than needed, but those lap times by the McLaren duo are not. Alonso leads the pair and is 0.585s off of Ricciardo in 5th. He also topped the speed traps at 339.6kph. Button isn’t to far back at 0.685s on Softs where Alonso’s time was on Super Softs. Let me toot that horn for a moment. Toot! Toot! Granted the cars from 6th to 12th are all less than a second behind 5th, but that’s solid progress for McLaren non the less. Like them, I’m smelling points this weekend. This should… Read more »

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