Prototype tire running limited due to weather

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Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has spoken of his frustration following Friday’s free practice sessions where the prototype compound brought to the race failed to be evaluated due to the weather.

The first session on Friday morning was almost a complete washout, with times being set in the final fifteen minutes of the session only. As a result, the teams had to squeeze three hours worth of work into just ninety minutes, leaving little time for the prototype tire to be used extensively during FP2.

“Because of the rain, it meant that the drivers didn’t get as much running as they would have liked on the two sets of new prototype tyres that we brought here for free practice only, which is actually the same prototype hard tire that we brought to Spain last month,” Hembery said in a statement from Pirelli.

“On that occasion the running on this tire was curtailed again due to rain during free practice. So that was frustrating but not all together surprising this time, given that we’re in England!”

Even when the traditional British weather did subside and dry running was possible, the conditions were still not suitable for collecting data.

“This afternoon’s session finally had some running on the prototype tires but we did not gain a lot of data because of a lack of track time this morning,” Hembery explained.

“The medium and hard race compounds so far show a difference in lap time of around one second, but we still have plenty of data to analyse. With tomorrow and Sunday expected to be dry, it will be interesting to see how the teams adapt their strategies.”

Additionally, the FIA confirmed yesterday that in 2014 teams will be giving one extra set of tires that can only be used during the first thirty minutes of FP1.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).