12 MAR 2020
Top 10 pace for Shell Mustangs at AGP
Fabian Coulthard - No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 7th (Fastest Lap: 1m57.1447s)
Practice 2 – 21st (Fastest Lap: 2m00.5744s)
Qualifying Race 3 – 12th (Fastest Lap: 1m55.9562s)
Qualifying Race 4 – 10th (Fastest Lap: 1m56.0919s)
Scott McLaughlin - No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 1 – 13th (Fastest Lap: 1m57.8789s)
Practice 2 – 11th (Fastest Lap: 1m57.7882s)
Qualifying Race 3 – 4th (Fastest Lap: 1m55.4367s)
Qualifying Race 4 – 5th (Fastest Lap: 1m55.8544s)
Day 1 of the 2020 Australian Grand Prix was held on a warm Melbourne day, with two practice and two qualifying sessions the order of the day.
Pace was solid early, with hard tyres the choice for first laps before a late switch to softs in Practice 1. The session ended with Fabian Coulthard 7th and Scott McLaughlin 13th.
Practice 2 ended early when Macauley Jones had a brake failure in his BJR Commodore, which put paid to McLaughlin (11th) and Coulthard (21st) finishing any further up the order.
In the two rapid-fire 10-minute qualifying sessions getting the first lap right is critical, as tyre wear around the long circuit means a second lap is usually impossible.
Coulthard was looking for balance in sector one, with pace across the remainder of the lap very strong. McLaughlin's efforts saw him inside the Top 5 for both sessions, however still looking for more overall balance.
COULTHARD QUOTE: "It's not easy out there, grip levels are definitely lower than previous years so the aero changes they've made have worked. We struggled a bit in the first sector, but had great pace over the rest of the lap. I like this track and have always gone well here, so it's frustrating but we'll work on it tonight and aim to be further up the order tomorrow. It looks like there's some rain predicted, so that will make things very interesting."
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: "I've got a very neutral car, so it's quite frustrating trying to work out how to give Ludo [Lacroix] and Richard [Harris] feedback on what I want. I don't know if I want more turn, or more drive and I don't want to give away one for the other. Good qualifying, 4th and 5th, but we're just trying to chase that little bit more. The aero changes have definitely made a difference, the downforce is lower for sure. The cars feel similar, but they're slower. The overall balance is the same, there's just less grip."