08/07/2012

British GP - Qualifying Analysis

The official grid has been confirmed for todays race; di Resta will start 10th, Hulkenberg 14th and Karthikeyan 22nd.

Given the conditions during that qualifying session, 9th and 11th was a great effort by the Sahara Force India guys (pre-Hulkenberg penalty). Infact, Paul di Resta was very unlucky to miss out on a place in Q3, getting pipped in the dying seconds of second qualifying by just 0.078 seconds! As for Narain Karthikeyan, he was just 0.3s down on teammate de la Rosa.

Aims for the race today will be a double points finish for the two Sahara Force India's. Very possible but alot depends on the track conditions; if one driver has the car working well then they are going to fly through the field. I just saw the GP3 race and Will Buller started at the back of the grid (25th place) but had everything working well in the mixed-conditions, and he came through to take one of the best ever GP3 wins. At one point he was a huge eight seconds per lap quicker than anyone else! This shows just what can be done when setup is spot on with the right tyre compound & temperatures.

Another factor today will be strategy, or rather a lack of it. Teams only get three sets of wet tyres for the entire weekend and we've seen so much rain so far through practice & qualifying that the majority of drivers do not have any brand new tyres available (although i'm not sure about Paul & Nico's tyre life). These drivers will have to do the whole race on used sets of wet tyres if the rain is falling which, in what is probably a first for Formula One, means there will be no real strategy. Teams with no new sets of wet tyre will simply have to go out and try run as far as they can on the tyres, then pit for a second set of used tyres if needed.

Even Narain Karthikeyan could benefit from the uncertain weather conditions - sure, his car may not be quick enough for points without a high attrition rate - but the Indian could certainly have a great battle with his teammate, the Marussia's and maybe even the Caterham's.

It's going to be a great race for sure! Current weather forecast says 75% chance of precipitation. Let's hope for the best for our boys :-)

Note: If you didn't catch the post qualifying quotes, you can read them here.

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