Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda’s Chief Race Engineer Jonathan Eddolls thinks the lack of Friday running this weekend at the Nürburgring has helped the team prepare for what it’ll be like at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in three weeks time.
Imola is the only race weekend this year which has no planned Friday practices to help all the teams get to track on time, having just come from the Portuguese Grand Prix the week earlier.
Eddolls said: “Yesterday’s lack of running made FP3 very busy, but it was good preparation for Imola in a few weeks. We needed to try and learn more about the tyres and complete our Qualifying preparation, as well as the other work to get the car in the optimum window, like brake cooling and getting the PU temperatures in the correct working range.
“This was all made more difficult by the fact we haven’t been to this track since 2013, so it was a busy yet exciting session. We started off by going straight into the long runs, we split the tyres across the two cars with Dany on the Option and Pierre on the Prime, just to understand the performance of the two in these very cold temperatures.”
With both drivers starting out of the top ten tomorrow, it does mean they have a free choice to tyre’s for Sundays race which Eddolls thinks can play to the teams advantage. Pierre Gasly will start twelfth and Daniil Kvyat thirteenth in the first race at the Nürburgring since 2013.
“We had concerns on the graining, particularly on the Option tyre, but it didn’t seem like a drama and the performance on the long run looked reasonable,” he added. “Then we did our two low-fuel Qualifying preparation runs, tuning the balance between each run. We were quite limited on time, so we couldn’t do as big a change as we would normally on a Friday, but the performance was looking good.
“Heading into Qualifying, we felt we could have potentially got a car into Q3, but unfortunately, even if both drivers did a good job given the circumstances, we didn’t quite have the pace. However, we were very close to P11 in the end, and starting just outside the top 10 with a free tyre choice gives us some potential advantages for the race tomorrow.”