Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier Pirelli believes a variety of two-stop strategies would be the fastest way to approach the fifth round of the 2020 World Championship, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix a week ago despite spectacularly crossing the line on three wheels after pushing the limits of a one-stop strategy.
The threat of rain remains very low for the event with hot temperatures set to raise the track temperatures and push the drivers on tyre wear due to the softer compounds.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is the only driver to have made it through Q2 on the white-marked Hard compound tyres, the remaining nine runners will start the race on the Mediums.
Those who did not make it through to Q3 will have a free choice of starting tyres for the 52-lap Grand Prix.
According to Pirelli the fastest way to approach the race would be on the Medium/Medium/Hard compounds, stopping after 15 laps each on the Mediums before switching to the Hards until the chequered flag.
The Italian manufacturer also suggests an alternative – but an equally as fast two stopper with a Medium/Hard/Hard strategy going the distance of 12 laps on Medium followed by two stints of 20 laps on the white-marked Hard tyres.
The third-fastest strategy is to attack the race on the Soft/Hard/Hard compounds. Making the stop on lap 6 and then complete two stints of 23 laps the Hard tyres.
The fourth and final strategy option – the slowest according to Pirelli – would be to go from the Soft/Medium/Hard, stopping after 8 laps to move to the Mediums, then after 19 laps switch onto the Hards for the remainder of the race.
This was a very unusual qualifying session, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen starting tomorrow on the hard tyres by using them to get through Q2 – which is probably a first in our Formula 1 history,” said Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing.
“He should be able to benefit from the extra durability of this compound throughout the first stint when the cars are heavy with fuel. We also saw the top two fastest times in Q3 set with the medium rather than the soft tyre.
“These facts alone indicate how this week’s nomination for the second race of the double-header at Silverstone has been an interesting one, with the soft tyre providing plenty of initial speed and then dropping off, while the pattern is the opposite for the medium.
“We knew that the soft was never going to be an ideal race tyre, but the high level of wear and degradation seen on it even in qualifying underlines how the medium and the hard should be the default choice for tomorrow’s strategies.
“We’re expecting a two-stopper, so there are a number of variables that could play out.”