As Hockenheim returned to grand prix action for the first time since 2016, track temperatures in FP2 peaked at more than 50 degrees centigrade, with Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull closely matched. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the fastest time of the day on the P Zero Purple ultrasoft in FP2 (nominated alongside the medium and soft), as this compound made its debut on the relatively short
Despite today’s unexpectedly warm conditions, the weather is expected to worsen tonight with the possibility of rain on Saturday, before more dry weather on Sunday. This could add an extra element to the strategy calculations, with around 0.9 seconds currently separating all the nominations in Germany from medium to ultrasoft.
Pirelli Racing Manager Mario Isola comments on the tyre management, according to the data gathered during the first two practice sessions: “Hockenheim had higher than anticipated temperatures today, but all the tyres performed entirely in line with expectations, with no issues whatsoever. The medium tyre was actually a bit closer to the soft than expected in these conditions, because of the high temperatures. However, the warm weather may change tomorrow, which will obviously have an impact on tyre behaviour and race strategy. Today’s free practice session was all about the teams and drivers re-familiarising themselves with the Hockenheimring and assessing how the 2018 tyres interact with the circuit. From what we can see so far, all three compounds look to be viable options for the race, but there are still many more developments to come with plenty of data to analyse.” – Mario Isola explained.