Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier Pirelli believes a one-stop strategy is the fastest approach to the third round of the 2020 World Championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the 2019 race with a snap two-stop strategy which left Red Bull’s Max Verstappen no choice but to stay out on heavily used rubber, leaving the Dutchman to eventually finish second best to the six-time World Champion.
The threat of rain has persisted across the race weekend with the threat currently at 60 per cent.
Should the race go ahead under dry conditions, Hamilton, Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and the Racing Point duo of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez will start the race on the Medium compound tyres.
The remaining six drivers in the top 10 will begin the race on the red-marked Soft tyres.
Those who did not make it through to Q3 will have a free choice of starting tyres for the 70-lap Grand Prix.
Pirelli believes a one-stop strategy on the Medium/Soft compounds will be the fastest way to approach the race, stopping between laps 35-40 to switch to the Softs until the chequered flag.
The Italian manufacturer suggests a two-stop Soft/Soft/Medium strategy could be an alternative route to the finish with Softs going the distance of 21-25 laps each with the final Medium stint going for 20-28 laps.
The third-fastest strategy is believed another one-stop approach, going through the Soft/Hard compounds, making a stop between laps 28-34 laps to make the changeover to the Hards.
A fourth and final strategy choice – the slowest according to Pirelli – would be to go from the Medium/Hard, stopping between laps 35-38 and going to the end on the white-marked Hard tyres.
“The speed today was truly impressive, with the track record shattered, and once more we saw how much the cars have evolved since last year, despite uncertain weather during the build-up to qualifying,” said Pirelli’s Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing.
“Nonetheless, there wasn’t any significant graining in the low temperatures today, from what we can tell so far.”
“We had a mix of strategies in qualifying, which means that the top four cars will begin the race on the medium tyre, as long as it stays dry: which is far from guaranteed.
“There seems to be an advantage in starting on the medium tyre, especially in case of hotter conditions, so now the top cars will have to focus on making the most of their chosen strategy.”