F1 German Grand Prix: Ferrari tops Friday practice session

Charles Leclerc posted a time of 1 minute, 13.449 seconds on Friday at Hockenheim.

Ferrari topped both Friday practice sessions at the F1 German Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc claiming a session each as Mercedes struggled in the unusually hot Hockenheim temperatures.

Europe is in the middle of a Saharan heatwave, with temperatures far warmer than normal, and this is proving to be a problem for Mercedes. Struggling in Austria when the temperatures crept up, the Silver Arrows returned to form at Silverstone with the cooler weather, but Friday in Germany was difficult.

However, with thunderstorms and rain predicted for the rest of the weekend, the weekend could become a complete lottery.

“I think it’s so hot that all of the teams are plateauing on the grip level,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports. “You overheat the (tire) surface at a certain stage and you can’t extract any downforce anymore.

“The day’s ambient is a complete outlier to tomorrow, so it’s very difficult to judge (where we are).”

Asked about any cooling issues the team may have suffered, Wolff added, “In terms of engine cooling, we are in a good space. It was not a problem anymore. I think it’s more grip level. We have seen that the Ferrari was really strong through the corners today which should have been us in the past.”

A small error from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas dropped him half a second off third-place Lewis Hamilton with Max Verstappen fifth.

In the other Red Bull, Pierre Gasly failed to complete his qualifying simulation lap and hit the wall – catching some oversteer in the final corner but overcorrecting and heading to the scene of the accident. Gasly finished a season-best fourth in the British Grand Prix.

“We need to get the chassis back and have a proper look at it first, but unfortunately it was about a 10 g impact,” said Horner. “Thankfully it’s not his race gearbox or engine. It’s just frustrating really to lose a car at that point in the session.

“Off the back of a good result in Silverstone, it’s not the start to the weekend that you’d want here. It’s only free practice, we’ll get the car rebuilt tonight and we build on that tomorrow, but it’s an annoying accident. It is what it is, we can’t change it now and we get on with it.”

Practice Two Results

 

Pos.

Driver

Constructor

Tire

Time

1

Charles Leclerc

Scuderia Ferrari

S

1:13.449

2

Sebastian Vettel

Scuderia Ferrari

S

+0.124

3

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

S

+0.146

4

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

S

+0.662

5

Max Verstappen

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

S

+0.684

6

Romain Grosjean

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

S

+0.730

7

Lance Stroll

SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

S

+0.819

8

Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo Racing

S

+1.009

9

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault F1 Team

S

+1.023

10

Sergio Perez

SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

S

+1.069

11

Carlos Sainz Jr.

McLaren F1 Team

S

+1.213

12

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

S

+1.351

13

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault F1 Team

S

+1.561

14

Alexander Albon

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

S

+1.613

15

Pierre Gasly

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

M

+1.640

16

Lando Norris

McLaren F1 Team

S

+1.798

17

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo Racing

S

+1.957

18

Kevin Magnussen

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

S

+2.021

19

George Russell

ROKiT Williams Racing

S

+3.451

20

Robert Kubica

ROKiT Williams Racing

S

+3.531

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