Strong start for Lowes and Fernandez at scorching Sachsenring
The Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s first visit to the tight and twisty Sachsenring since 2019 saw Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez finish inside the top six on a day dominated by heatwave conditions.
- Ambient temperature soared to a gruelling 32 degrees this afternoon, but the extreme heat and low grip levels didn’t stop Lowes and Fernandez from posting impressively competitive times in both sessions.
- The narrow and tight Sachsenring offers few overtaking opportunities, which makes tomorrow’s Q2 at 1510pm local time incredibly important for Lowes and Fernandez to secure top places on the grid.
///AUGUSTO FERNANDEZ: 6th, 1’24.840, 42 laps
- A long opening run of 13 laps helped Fernandez familiarise himself again with the short Sachsenring and he ended FP1 within striking distance of the top three.
- With turning performance vital in the twisty sections of the 13-turn Sachsenring, Fernandez concentrated on front-end improvements this afternoon and was satisfied with progress to end the day sixth on the combined timesheets.
“It’s been a good way to kick off the weekend”
“It has been a positive first day because I was strong in FP1 but this afternoon I improved my pace on used tyres and that was very pleasing. There is not much grip at all because of the hot conditions but it is the same for everybody. I felt good on the bike and then we made some changes that I didn’t particularly like, so at least we have a good direction. I felt better today with used tyres, which is positive for the race. I’m close to the fastest guys here and in the top six again, so it was a good way to kick off the weekend.”
/// SAM LOWES: 4th, 1’24.640, 40 laps
- The Briton completed an opening stint of 14 laps this morning to check tyre wear while also getting to grips with the 3.7km German venue again, and he ended FP1 comfortably inside the top 10 with a lap of 1’25.362.
- Lowes immediately improved by over half-a-second at the start of FP2 and after a brief stoppage to remove debris from the start/finish straight he was in contention for the top three until a late fall at turn 12.
“I’m happy to be so close to the front”
“We improved the bike this afternoon with a few changes because the conditions today were very hot, and it was not easy to find time. It was a shame to have the crash at the end. I’ve hurt my neck, so I need to go and get that checked because it feels quite sore at the moment. This has never been a good track for me, so overall I’m quite happy to be close to the front. We’re missing a bit of pace, but we’ll work hard to improve again tomorrow.”