Paul Hembery: “Friday in Abu Dhabi is unique as there is a marked contrast between the conditions in the two sessions. With FP2 more representative of qualifying and the race, this obviously limits the usefulness of FP1 here, as tyre wear and degradation at that time is not typical. But any time running the car is useful when it comes to evaluating set-up for this race, where the emphasis is on traction, which has a direct correlation to rear tyre life. In the morning, it was quite slippery as usual due to dust on the track, which is what caused the graining that some teams experienced.
“From what we can see so far there is approximately 1.5 seconds between the two compounds: enough of a difference to make strategy a key consideration. We’d expect the top 10 to qualify on the soft tyres tomorrow, which of course potentially hands an opportunity to those from P11 downwards who can start on the tyre of their choice. We still have plenty of data to analyse but as it stands we would predict between one to two pit stops for the race, with the teams perhaps having the possibility of a longer final stint than usual because of the cooling track temperatures.”