The final race weekend of the 2019 season is well underway in Valencia as riders head out on the circuit for FP2. While teams are enjoying a much drier race weekend compared to last year, partly cloudy skies have restricted incoming solar radiation from reaching the asphalt, resulting in significantly low circuit temperatures.
FP1 circuit temperatures were recorded at 9 degrees Celsius, 48.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, tire choice and lines in and out of turns will be the talk of the paddock throughout the weekend.
Saturday is forecasted to have cooler air temperatures throughout the day but clear skies should help bump up the circuit temperature by the time riders head out for qualifying. As the day progresses, the asphalt will gradually heat up as the incoming solar radiation absorbs with little interference. Circuit temperatures are expected to peak in the mid afternoon as earth’s surface / the circuit releases energy in the form of long wave radiation in attempt to balance out the Earth/Atmosphere radiation.
Sunday is forecasted to be quite similar to Free Practice Friday’s conditions with an increase in cloud coverage. While conditions may appear to be in the rider’s favor with warmer air temperatures, circuit temperatures will pose big challenges in regard to optimal tire choice.
One important note on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo: The circuit consists of 14 corners – 9 left and 5 right. That may not seem like a big difference in corner directions but the right hand turns have in the past and will this weekend test the rider’s lines and tires as it will be difficult to keep the right side of the tire warm. Cold tire = zero grip.