Daniel Ricciardo says tyre temperatures will prove a major challenge for drivers at this weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix which is set to take place in particularly cold conditions.
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Friday’s running at the Nürburgring was scraped by the adverse weather and fog surrounding the Eifel mountains in Germany.
Improvements are forecast for this weekend, but cool temperatures between 8 and 11 degrees Celsius are set to prevail and complicate everyone’s tyre management.
“Even in the dry with such low track temperatures, even to get the slick tyres going, it’s going to be a challenge in itself,” Ricciardo said.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a straightforward weekend and I think there will be certain challenges. But that’s fine.
“You have a number of races throughout the year and you hope for varying conditions. This could be the coldest track I’ve driven on in some time, probably colder than in winter testing.”
Ricciardo singles out tyre temps as the biggest factor that will impact race day.
“Obviously, there are other variables you are trying to deal with but I think that will be the big kind of spanner in the works this weekend,” he added.
“If there’s a Safety Car, once the tyres drop below a given temperature, it gets more and more slippery and the only way to get them going again is to go faster and faster, yet you’re losing grip because you’re going slower. So it’s a spiral effect.
“To get them going you are taking more risks, and you are taking more risks when the grip is low, so that’s a challenge.
“We’re all going to be in the same boat in that situation so whoever holds it together the most I guess.”
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Renault’s chief race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam said the only silver lining that one could take from Friday’s scrapped sessions is the additional amount of tyres teams will have at their disposal for the remainder of the weekend.
“We’d rather have been out there running today, but sometimes the conditions just don’t allow for it,” said Pilbeam.
“We now need to adapt our plans accordingly and obviously this places a lot more emphasis on the third practice session than normal.
“We get to carry over an extra set of dry tyres so we will have three sets instead of the normal two and can put in more mileage.
“This is however assuming the track is dry, which is not at all certain. The forecast is better and clearer, but it will be cold and that means that the track will be slow to dry.
“We have to hope conditions improve sufficiently so the track will be open and we can do at least some running as we try to learn as much as we can.”
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