Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Like night and day
2019 FIA Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Practice – Friday
Weather: FP1: sunny, 26.1-26.8°C air, 35.8-36.4°C track; FP2: clear, dusk to evening, 25.8-25.0°C air, 30.3-27.8°C track
Track conditions at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are a mighty variable – one of the biggest drivers and engineers must contend with. Daytime in the Emirates is hot, even in November, but as soon as the sun sets, temperatures drop. This provides a wildly extended range of conditions for team;s cars (and their occupants) to work in – a variation that is often reflected in the session results.
Such was the difference today between FP1 and FP2. A strong display in the earlier session gives the Alfa Romeo Racing team plenty of promise for the rest of the weekend; but with qualifying and Sunday’s race to be contested in the cooler circumstances of early evening, it will be crucial to harness the C38’s performance also when the floodlights turn on.
One final qualifying awaits teams in 2019: with engineers crunching the data already to make the best of Saturday’s battle for the grid. Once again, every detail will matter – in the light of day and in the darkness of night alike.
Kimi Räikkönen #7:
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 06/Ferrari)
1st practice: 13th / 1:39.888 (17 laps) / 2nd practice: 17th / 1:38.415 (30 laps)
“Laptimes say very little on Fridays so I won’t focus too much on that. We still have to work on things, look at all the data we collected and make an improvement ahead of tomorrow. Only when we get to qualifying we will have a clear idea of where we really stand against the rest.”
Antonio Giovinazzi #99:
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
1st practice: 9th / 1.39.423 (20 laps) / 2nd practice: 18th / 1:38.464 (32 laps)
“We looked strong in FP1, but tomorrow’s qualifying conditions will look a lot more like FP2 when it was cooler. We will need to check everything we learnt today, come up with a good setup and put it all together when it matters. I made a small mistake when pushing, but didn’t touch the wall. In the end, you’re trying to find the limit and this is what practice is for. The track is quite long and the gaps are naturally bigger, but the battle in the midfield will still be close. We will need to analyse all the data we got tonight and make the right choices for tomorrow.”