Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
We’ve seen unusually warm conditions at Spa today. Track temperatures exceeded 40 degrees this afternoon, which is almost unheard of! We managed to complete a full programme as planned – including fitting two new engines for Lewis, which will consign him to the back of the grid after penalties have been applied. On track, it was a rather complicated day in terms of relative run plans. We’ve seen more variety in tyre selections than ever before here, with the prototype tyre also thrown into the mix. The time sheets are difficult to interpret, with each team running different compounds at different times. From the data points we have, it seems to be very close between ourselves, Red Bull, Ferrari and also Force India on both single lap and long run pace. Clearly, our focus with Lewis today has been on race pace given that he will start from the back of the grid come what may. With Nico, it has been a balance of qualifying and race pace. Degradation has been a big issue on all three compounds – particularly on the rear tyres. We have a lot of work to do tonight if we are to get Nico on pole with a clear shot at the win and also make the best of Lewis starting from the back.