The Rain that never came

One of the most surprising things to me about the British GP was the fact that it was NOT raining.  Not one bit.  Not even a sprinkle on Stowe.  Nothing.

Now no rain in of itself is uninteresting.  Its impact on the teams, however, is.  Ted Kravitz of Sky Sports has suggested that it was the threat of rain that made Alonso start on the harder compound.  Had it rained and they fitted intermediates, then there would have been no need to run the softs.

The result is that Alonso was stuck on crap softs that were graining when Webber was on older but faster hard tires.  Interesting that little combination.  Alonso has suggested, however, that had he been able to open up more of a gap in the first stint, when he was on hard tires and Webber on softs, then the last stint would have been more to Ferrari’s liking.  This is a very interesting comment to make because it validates the idea that the Red Bull is very good at warming its tires off the line.  Some how Red Bull has more heat in its tires or is able to switch them on faster at the start.  It gave Vettel a huge gap in the first two laps all of last year and kept Webber close throughout the first stint.  The Ferrari seems to be the opposite but we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Rain throughout Friday also meant that teams had significantly less time to understand tire degradation, a fact that hurt the McLarens the most.  Some people say that McLaren is now the fifth fastest car.  I don’t think so but I do think that their baseline set up is very punishing to its tires.  Either way they are in a bit of a bother.  But again, more on that later in the week.

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