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“Nightshade”

December 4, 2014

© Leigh O'Gorman.

© Leigh O’Gorman.

Evening in Abu Dhabi and even though the sun withdraws, the cars continue to circulate.

It is the 2nd Free Practice session on Friday and the twenty Formula One drivers pull at speed, gauging the conditions ahead of Sunday’s twilight race.

It will be their only representative running in these conditions prior to qualifying, as both the first and third practices run under the burning afternoon sun.

The evening is still warm of course and the humidity ever present, but as the temperatures will change drastically during the race, it is vital that this session goes to plan.

When the lights go out, the metres will tell of an air temperature settling in at approximately 32°C, but come race end, one can count at least seven or even eight falling from that.

Combined with the changes in air pressure and lowering fuel numbers, the balance will slip and alter through significantly through the race. And for this reason – and others – Friday evening is critical.

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