Whenever there is a need for a cliché photo of Brazil, it inevitably features a beach and beautifully sunny weather.
However, here’s the thing, we are here at the tail end of November, which means summer is about to start and summer means warmth but it also means rain in this part of the world. And that’s why a wet Interlagos is so predictable.
No surprise then that not one slick tyre left its blanket today, apart from the 2014 specification test tyre we lent to Pirelli so they could explain what the differences were to Italian TV channel, Sky Italia. In the Toro Rosso camp, Jean-Eric Vergne stuck exclusively to the Intermediate tyre, while Daniel, running only in the afternoon, did also have a go with the Extreme Wet. Not many laps were completed, with Daniil Kvyat driving for us on Friday morning for a second time, getting in Daniel’s car, having used Jev’s in Austin a week ago. The Russian youngster did 17 laps in FP1, Jev completed a total of 33 and Daniel ran 20. It’s not that we don’t like running in the rain, but the rules state each driver gets just three sets of the Extremes, used in the heaviest rain conditions and therefore, we need to think of saving them for qualifying and the race. The situation is the same for everyone and therefore is nothing particular to worry about.
All the drivers seemed happy with the performance of the STR8, apart from Jev in FP1, but a glitch on the set-up of his car was found in between the sessions and he looked quick in the afternoon. He ended up sixth on the time sheet, three places ahead of Daniel.
Quickest, in both sessions was Nico Rosberg for Mercedes, with the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber second and third in the afternoon. Next up was Heikki Kovalainen, having his second outing as the replacement for the convalescing Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus, then came Lewis Hamilton, fifth in the other Mercedes.
More rain is expected tomorrow and so the big question is will it affect qualifying? We don’t know what the car is like here in the dry yet, but certainly in the damp and wet, the signs are at the very least, encouraging.