After an enthralling, if stop start qualifying session in which both wet and dry compound tyres were used. With clear skies and dry weather set to return for the race tomorrow, drivers making appearances in only the opening segment of the session will have plenty of tyres to choose from.
Commenting on the qualifying session and likely strategy for the race tomorrow, Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “In a sport that’s thrown up some crazy situations in the past, this was one of the most mixed-up days that we’ve witnessed – but the end result was still a Mercedes one-two. The teams certainly got to try a wide range of our tyres today, and the mixed conditions means that they have a good allocation of unused slicks to choose from tomorrow, which will probably be a two-stop race.”
How the tyres behaved today:
Medium: Used minimally in practice but not in qualifying, unlikely to be seen in the race.
Soft: Not seen at all in qualifying but will figure prominently in the race strategy.
Supersoft: The teams switched straight to this tyre once the track dried up.
Intermediate: Used from Q2 onwards, despite the standing water.
Full wet: With the circuit waterlogged during Q1, the automatic choice for this session.
Possible race strategies and maximum laps*:
Pirelli recommends that the following numbers of laps are not exceeded on each compound:
Soft = 29 laps
Supersoft = 14 laps
On this basis, the optimal pit-stop strategies predicted by Pirelli are as follows:
Two-stopper: two stints on soft of 29 laps each + one 12-lap stint on supersoft
Three-stopper: three stints on supersoft of 14 laps each + one 28-lap stint on soft
Three-stopper: two stints on soft of 24 laps each + two 11-lap stints on supersoft