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British GP: Practice notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
04/07/2014

The British Grand Prix is well known for its variable weather, and although both free practice sessions were held in warm and sunny weather, the forecast for the rest of the weekend is changeable - which could obviously have a profound effect on tyre usage and strategy.

The two hardest compounds in the range have been nominated for Silverstone - the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium - as the British track contains the highest lateral loads of the year. The teams ran through their usual programmes during both sessions, assessing each compound on different fuel loads, but this information may not be so relevant if it rains.

Wear and degradation was within the parameters expected for this extremely demanding circuit, meaning that if conditions remain dry, between two and three pit stops are expected. Track evolution is usually less of a factor at Silverstone, meaning that the teams can already start calculating their race strategies.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the day on the medium compound in FP2, having been beaten to the top of the time sheets in FP1 by his team mate Nico Rosberg. As usual, the drivers used only the hard tyre in FP1, before using both compounds in the afternoon - which should theoretically be more representative of qualifying and race conditions. So far, the lap time difference between the two compounds is around one second, and this gap is likely to remain constant throughout the rest of the weekend.

Paul Hembery: "The weekend has got off to a good start, with the teams working through their tyre programmes and the hard and the medium tyres performing perfectly in line with expectations. Obviously the one big question mark is the weather, so it remains to be seen how relevant that preparation work will be, but all information is useful and there is still a good chance of a dry race. This is a situation that the teams have been in before at Silverstone and yet another intriguing aspect of Formula One. There's been a fantastic amount of support here, as has always been the case in Britain, and it's great to be represented in front of some of the most enthusiastic fans in the world."

Fact of the day:

Silverstone has the highest lateral load of all the circuits that Formula One visits during the year. The other two circuits with the highest lateral loads still to come this season are Japan and Russia. In terms of overall stress on the tyres, Belgium, Italy and Japan are the most demanding circuits that the cars are still to race on in 2014.

Check out our Friday gallery, here.

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