Ferrari leads FP2, air pressures under scrutiny

Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in Friday’s second free practice session. The first practice session was marked with two red flag session due to tire issues for Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa and Renault F1’s Kevin Magnussen.

It was determined that Magnussen’s issue was a broken suspension while Massa’s was ruled a setup error on Williams part. Regardless, it didn’t stop Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean from complaining about Pirelli’s tire pressure settings:

“The tyre pressure limit has been ridiculous, everything is up to the roof and the cars are undriveable,” said Grosjean.

“Out of the garage the front-tyre pressure is 23psi, which is absolutely ridiculous, with the rear 21 and a half.

“So imagine on track we are 26 at the front, hot, and 23 at the rear. It’s almost a road car. You just don’t get any feeling.

“With pressures that high you get locking brakes, understeer. It’s like there is oil on the track.

“You could see a lot of people locking the wheels for no reason. It’s the same for everyone, but it looks like we are suffering a bit more.

“It would be good if we could change a little because it doesn’t feel like a racing car.”

McLaren’s Jenson Button agreed with him:

“The minimum pressures we can run are massively high so the tyres overheat pretty much immediately,” he said.

“It’s a pretty big issue, especially on the longer runs. It’s just trying to find your best way of getting around that, which we’re not doing a very good job of.”

Asked about potential solutions, he replied: “I don’t think there’s anything you can do about it now.

“They’ve risen a lot over the last year. I think they were 19 or something last year, or 18, last year and they’ve gone up by 4psi, which is massive, that’s before you leave the pits, before they increase through the roof.

“It’s tricky and that’s probably why you see the cars floating around a lot more. They’re not stuck to the road and you can’t carry speed.”


Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.896s 35
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m37.005s 0.109s 33
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.133s 0.237s 33
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.329s 0.433s 33
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m38.143s 1.247s 31
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m38.268s 1.372s 28
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m38.527s 1.631s 31
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m38.542s 1.646s 32
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m38.569s 1.673s 31
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m38.723s 1.827s 34
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m38.728s 1.832s 31
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m38.828s 1.932s 28
13 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m39.178s 2.282s 31
14 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m39.214s 2.318s 34
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m39.774s 2.878s 32
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m39.890s 2.994s 22
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m39.941s 3.045s 36
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m39.979s 3.083s 35
19 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m40.550s 3.654s 33
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.066s 4.170s 32
21 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m42.954s 6.058s 4