Nurburg, 5 July – The Formula 1 media can often seem like bloodhounds, as they doggedly follow a story, long after the scent has faded. That’s been the case so far in Germany, where the tyre problems at the British Grand Prix have filled many column inches and taken up several gigabytes of web space. Pirelli has come up with a solution for the weekend and today, no one, including the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers had any specific problems. That’s good news and there was more of that from the Prancing Horse camp, as the F138s certainly seemed more at ease at the Nurburgring, showing a pace that was more like what we had seen in the races prior to last weekend in Silverstone. However, the day was not exactly trouble free, as Fernando Alonso’s car suffered an electrical problem in the opening minutes of the morning practice and effectively took no more part in the rest of the session. Felipe encountered no such difficulties and by the afternoon, the Brazilian was joined on track by his Spanish team-mate, so that by the end of the day, Felipe had done 59 laps – one short of Sunday’s race distance – and Fernando completed 41 on his way to sixth place on the time sheet, one place ahead of Felipe.
Although the tyres worked fine, it’s clear there is quite a difference in the behaviour of the Medium Prime and the Soft Option, so that working out the best strategy for Sunday is going to be an interesting exercise for everyone, while getting the very most out of the tyres for tomorrow’s qualifying will also be one of the topics of tonight’s lengthy engineering meeting.
For a change, a Mercedes did not top the time sheet today, although Silverstone winner Nico Rosberg was second fastest, but the Friday “pole” went to series leader Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull. The German’s team-mate Mark Webber was third, followed by the Lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen. The weather has been dry all day and warmer, sunnier weather is forecast for Saturday here in the Eifel mountains.