Mercedes: The heroes of today were the spectators
6 July, 2012
Jul.6 (Mercedes Press Release) A very wet day at Silverstone saw limited running in the first practice sessions for the British Grand Prix today;
- Michael and Nico completed a total of 39 laps during today’s two practice sessions – 75% of a single race distance.
- In total, just 396 practice laps were completed by all drivers today – compared to 1467 in Canada four weeks ago.
“There are still things to be learned on days like these and the positive about today’s rain was that it is also forecast for tomorrow and Sunday. This meant that we were able to use today to prepare for the race, primarily on the wet tyres. We also tried the intermediates briefly but they were no faster in these conditions. The rain was constant, which allowed us to at least complete some parts of our programme. There was a lot of standing water, but it was hard to spot from the cockpit, which meant that the drivers had to be very vigilant. Today’s sessions went okay and, in any case, we know that at this circuit, with its particular characteristics, rain offers us good chances and opportunities.”
“In general, it was a good and productive day for us. We improved the set-up during the break which helped as we were quicker in the afternoon. It’s very unusual that the weather forecast for the whole weekend is wet, and we didn’t run that much to save our limited wet tyres. The conditions were really quite tricky out there with all the puddles, and it was very difficult to find the right limit. I hope we can continue to make progress tomorrow.”
“A very British ‘summer’ day here at Silverstone, and we must say a big thank you to the fans who have braved the unpleasant conditions to be here for their fantastic support today. In such poor track conditions, often we won’t persevere with trying to achieve much running, but it was important for us to find a good balance and set-up on the wet tyres today as these conditions are expected to remain for the weekend. From that perspective it was a reasonable day, and the cars seem to be well-balanced. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
“First of all I have to say that the heroes of today were the spectators. It was impressive to see them sitting out there in the pouring rain and lots of them cheering instead of letting the weather get them down. Especially because it was quite a challenge for everybody to reach the circuit after huge traffic jams this morning – this was like Silverstone in the good old days! On track, we did not see a lot of running in the wet conditions. Some aquaplaning accidents showed how treacherous the conditions were so it was a very good job from Michael and Nico to bring their cars back in one piece after the sessions. Performance-wise it is difficult to judge our level of competitiveness after barely 20 laps for both cars during the two sessions in changing conditions. Our lap times did not look too bad, so it was a positive result on a difficult Friday, which most likely will not be followed by better conditions tomorrow or on Sunday. But that’s Silverstone, just the way we all know it.”