Analysis longruns: Verstappen the fastest on mediums, Mercedes with softs on top

14-08-2020 19:46 | Updated: 14-08-2020 22:43
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Analysis longruns: Verstappen the fastest on mediums, Mercedes with softs on top

During the second free practice on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya the longruns were simulated for the Grand Prix of Spain on Sunday. An analysis of Auto, Motor und Sport shows that the difference between the Red Bull Racing of Max Verstappen and the Mercedessen is negligible. 

Where the difference between the RB16 of Red Bull and the Mercedes car in qualifying is said to be again more than half a second, this is certainly not the case in the longruns. The Austrian stable was the fastest on the medium Friday afternoon and only had to beat Valtteri Bottas and Vettel on the softs.

Softs

Valtteri Bottas did an average of 1:22.690 on the red compound over a lap on the Spanish asphalt. The Finnish driver drove eight laps with this set. Verstappen came to an average time of 1:23.052. This means that the 22 year old driver from Limburg has to give in just over four tenths per lap. By the way, Verstappen drove eleven laps on the softs.

Number three in the row is Lewis Hamilton. The four-time world champion managed to average a time of 1:23.133 after eight laps. Sebastian Vettel was the surprising number two, ahead of Verstappen, with a time of 1:23.024 after four laps. However, these are considerably fewer laps than Red Bull and Mercedes drove.

Mediums

As I said, it was Verstappen that was the fastest on the mediums. On the yellow marked band Verstappen drove no less than six tenths faster than he managed to box for each other on his softs: 1:22.552. On this set of tyres the Dutchman went around twelve times. Hamilton gave in almost three tenths on the average time of Verstappen. After sixteen laps the Brit recorded an average time of 1:22.771. Bottas didn't do a simulation on the mediums.

Mercedes and Red Bull have the most to fear from a surprising name on the mediums: Charles Leclerc. He came after five laps to a second time of 1:22.556. But was that a long run or were those five fast laps? Behind that it's Daniil Kvyat who did the fastest lap.

Hards

Not many drivers took to the asphalt for a long run. This tire was actually complaining about all day. The most important man on this tyre was Bottas who had an average of 1:23.264 after sixteen laps. Behind Bottas Esteban Ocon drove the fastest: he had an average of 1:23.492 in five laps. Behind Ocon was Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri. But whether this tire will really be used a lot in the race on Sunday, remains to be seen.

It will be interesting to see how Mercedes knows how to handle its tyres during the Spanish Grand Prix. The asphalt temperature at 50 degrees is very high and that means that the German race stable might have to cope with high tyre degradation and blistering again. Red Bull suffered much less last week at Silverstone and was able to grab the victory.

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