What really goes on in free practice

What really goes on in free practice

AUTOSPORT was given exclusive access to the Team Lotus radio waves during the British Grand Prix weekend. Simon Strang unravels the mysteries of free practice and explains that it is far from dull if you know exactly what's going on


Friday 0900-1030

Rain has changed Team Lotus's plans. Planned set-up work has become relatively pointless, though the team is keen to see how its new developments will work. Plus there is the chance to find out more about Pirelli's new intermediate and regular wet tyres.

It's all business as we walk through the labyrinthine complex of corridors behind the 'visible' part of the garage. It's 10 minutes before FP1, and while the green-garbed occupants are not frenzied, they are purposeful and serious; carrying out pre-prescribed tasks everywhere and moving about with the confidence of routine.

Both cars sit up on jacks, the overhead garage lighting pods generating constellations of stars in the gleaming bodywork of the T128s. The light emphasises the gloom through the garage doors to the new Silverstone pitlane beyond.

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