Let’s take a quick look at the maximum speeds seen during the free practice 2 (FP2) session of the 2020 British Grand Prix weekend.
A simple analysis this time. I just took the maximum speed done by each driver in each of the four speed traps. I then just organized the data into a simple but informative chart.
Remember that the intermediate 1 and intermediate 2 speed traps are at the end of the first and sector sectors respectively.
FP2 maximum speeds
In my opinion, the maximum speeds taken at the speed traps are a bit overrated. They do not directly translate to good or bad performance over the whole lap. Having said that, the data still give us valuable information about the strengths and weaknesses of each car.
Take Haas for example. They are among the worst in every single speed trap. It doesn’t mean that they will be horrible during the race (they may be though!), but it tells us that either a) they are running an aggressive high downforce setup, b) they struggle with overheating, c) their power unit isn’t strong enough for a track like Silverstone, or d) a combination of all or some of the previous options.
Silverstone is a power circuit, but one that depends much on a proper aerodynamic setup. I would argue that getting a good speed at the intermediate 1 sector, just before turn 6, is more important than getting maximum speed at the finish line. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. Turn 6 gives the driver a good opportunity to overtake, while the straight between T18 and T1 is much shorter, reducing the chances of getting a clean overtake. That is why most teams seem to be maximizing performance between T5-T6 and T14-T15. with only Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas struggling to get good traction out of both corners 5 and 14.
In any case, I like you to check the numbers and tell me what do you think. Do you think that perhaps the speed trap data at the finish line is more important that at the end of sector 1 or 2? If so, why?
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