Double data and double Academy pole on Friday in Le Castellet

Published on
22 Jul 2022
Est. reading time
3 Min

Go inside the first day of running at the French Grand Prix

Nicholas Latifi had his first taste of the upgraded FW44 in Friday’s practice sessions at Le Castellet, meaning the team will now have double data on the new package.
Meanwhile for our Driver Academy, Logan Sargeant and Jamie Chadwick both secured pole positions in their respective series.
Our day started with a positive FP1 for Alex Albon, whose 1:35.414 was good enough for P8 in the opening exchanges, with Nicky setting a best time of 1:37.034 on medium tyres, putting the Canadian P20.
In FP2, both drivers would find more time around the 5.842km Circuit Paul Ricard, with Alex recording a 1:34.635 for P16, with Nicky in P20 after a 1:35.412.
“It was a good day for us as the car was feeling really good around this circuit, so I’m feeling positive,” explained the Thai driver.
“Hopefully we can use this and do a bit more and come out even stronger for tomorrow. All in all, I’m really happy with today.”
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Nicky was getting to grips with his new machinery and will be analysing the data ahead of tomorrow, saying: “Overall it was a tricky day straight from FP1 - I just didn’t get the best feeling with the car which is something we’ll have to investigate to see if there was something not quite right.
“I don’t feel there was anything upgrade related which is a good sign, so we’ll just have to see.
“It’s a positive that we have some good cross-car data and are now running both cars on the new aero package, which means double data for the team.
“Let’s see what we can do overnight and tomorrow.”
Head of Vehicle Performance Dave Robson completed the reaction by adding: “Today went smoothly and we were able to run through some tests without issue.
“We steadily improved the car during the day but there is still more to come tomorrow, especially for Nicholas.
“It has obviously been hot today – and this will continue for the rest of the weekend – but the track has been in good condition and the tyres have behaved well.
“We have some work to do before Sunday to understand the best way to approach the Grand Prix in terms of tyre degradation and strategy, but we have made a decent start today and we have a solid platform that we can build on.”
Logan Sargeant maintained his charge in Formula 2 by snatching pole position for Sunday’s Feature Race by just 0.006s on his final run. The American picks up two more points in the championship for his efforts, further closing the gap to current leader Felipe Drugovich. Roy Nissany will line up at the back after picking up a penalty in practice.
Reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick will also start in P1 after pulling a lap out of the bag when it mattered most, on her final run of the day. However, after the session she was given a two-place grid penalty for crossing the white line at the pit-lane exit in the closing stages.
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