Dutch fans rejoice, the pace of Verstappen has continued since Mexico – but there is an issue.
FP2 times have shown that out of the top 3 teams, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, the Brazilian Grand Prix is going to be a close one. Vettel and Verstappen posting very decent average lap times on the same super soft and soft compounds.
With Ferrari and Mercedes looking a little lost on race simulation, especially Hamilton who struggled a little with set-up and Vettel with rear tyre wear, both teams split their drivers tyre selection with the ‘number ones’ running the softs and the supersofts, leaving Kimi and Valtteri to try and the supersoft and the mediums.
It seems that the mediums of Bottas seemed actually a decent race tyre, with consistent times in the 1:12.5’s, not far off the fastest times produced on the soft and supersoft.
Hamilton looks quick with decent average lap times in race simulation, but was heard complaining about set-up, and the jury is out on tyre degradation with the softest compounds.
Ferrari have more tyre heating issues, proven by the state of Vettel’s rears, it seems the Red Bull is by far the kindest on it’s rubber of the top 3 teams.
Discounting Ricciardo due to a turbo change grid penalty, the biggest problem Verstappen will have to get the best weekend possible is in qualifying, where the Red Bull are nowhere at the moment.
Mercedes look set to dominate qualifying, unless rain becomes a factor. And Sunday may throw a cat amongst the pigeons so to speak, should we see further rain in the afternoon.
It could well be an Orange day after all.