Paul Ricard – Mercs too quick!
Free Practice 1
Karim Ojjeh: “I had reviewed the videos over and over again with their corresponding telemetry for the past week. I was looking out for braking points, as Paul Ricard has very little reference point in some fast corners. We didn’t make any radical changes to the set-up of the car and it went well.”
Free Practice 2
“All went well. I was P2 until some put on new tires. I finished P6.”
“My race engineer had warned me that with track temperatures close to 45 degrees, the tires would heat more than usual. The only way to cool them was simply to take it slowly during half a lap. As I entered the track I went for 4 timed laps. I was P10 but only needed a few tenth to advanced. I decided to let drivers through and cool the tires. The strategy worked well, as I reduced my time by 8 tenth putting me in P5.”
“The start was simply a mess, having lost 6 positions, with some cars jumping the start. The race director had changed the starting line due to a big crash four years ago causing the death of a driver! However, the circuit dips towards the end of the pit straight and you simply do not see the lights. I was able to catch cars one by one and finished the race in P4. I was delighted with the result and was looking forward to the main race.”
“I was on the second row. The first 3 cars where Mercedes. The start went well and I was able to keep my position. A faster Lamborghini overtook me and I was hoping that he would slow the Mercedes as they would fight for position. Unfortunately a car entered the track from the pits and it delayed me. The Lamborghini retired and I was left by myself. I pushed, tried a number of different lines but it simply did not work. The Mercedes was simply unreachable. I kept P4!”