July 26th, 2019

#HocGP: The heat and warmth of Hockenheim

2019 FIA Formula One Mercedes-Benz Grosser Preis von Deutschland – Practice – Friday
Weather: FP1: sunny, 32.4-35°C air, 40.8-47.9°C track; FP2: sunny, 37.2-37.7°C air, 51-50.1°C track

The sun is shining on the Hockenheimring, mercilessly baking this scenic spot of Baden-Württemberg. There is no respite from the heat anywhere in the paddock, the situation made even more uncomfortable by the vast expanses of concrete, the reflective windows adorning most vertical surfaces and the fans of air-con systems spewing out hot air on all unfortunate bystanders.

It is hot, really hot, so put your hands together for our crew and drivers who produced a solid day of work in far from ideal conditions. With a cooling off on the cards for tomorrow (and perhaps some rain for the rest of the weekend), it may all become a bit more comfortable soon, but they all did a good job despite the sweat.

If the sun burnt our skin, however, it was the support of our staff which warmed our souls. Out on the grandstand, just opposite our garage, more than 70 of our colleagues were out in force to show their support, having made the trip from our Hinwil headquarters. Taking a day off work, waking up early in the morning to make the four-hour trip by bus and enduring the searing heat was all worth it to show their dedication to the team.

With so many of our team members showing their pride and passion, it was just appropriate to give them something to cheer: P8 in the second practice session is hopefully a taste of things to come for the rest of this German Grand Prix weekend. Even if the temperatures drop tomorrow, that fuzzy feeling that seeing our team-mates out there gave us is here to stay.

Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
1st practice: 17th / 1:15.953 (26 laps) / 2nd practice: 8th / 1:14.458 (33 laps)

“It’s been a regular Friday and I tend not to look at the times when it is just practice. We always seem to be a bit behind in FP1 and make up ground as the weekend goes on, but times only matter from tomorrow afternoon. The conditions weren’t ideal: the heat made it a bit tricky but in the end it’s the same for everybody. It’ll be interesting to see what the weather does tomorrow and on Sunday, but we just need to focus on the work we have to do to get where we want.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99):
Alfa Romeo Racing C38 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
1st practice: 18th / 1:16.382 (31 laps) / 2nd practice: 17th / 1:15.406 (31 laps)

“It was a very hot first day of action. I did a small mistake on my push lap on softs but I think we have a competitive car so far. The weather could change tomorrow but in the end, even if it rains, it’s the same for everyone so we need to adapt to it. We will push to find the best setup tonight and to get a good result in qualifying.”