Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier Pirelli believes a variety of two-stop strategies would be the fastest way to approach the sixth round of the 2020 World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Max Verstappen won the 70th Anniversary race at Silverstone through an alternate strategy and was able to manage his tyres while the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas suffered major blistering.
The threat of rain remains around 30% with temperatures set to be cooler than originally predicted for this time of year.
All drivers made it through to Q3 on the Soft compound tyres; those who did not make it through to Q3 will have a free choice of starting tyres for the 66-lap Grand Prix.
According to Pirelli, a one-stop race is going to be very marginal no matter what compound choices are made by the teams.
The fastest way to get through the race according to Pirelli is to run a two-stop strategy across the Soft/Medium/Soft compounds, this will be two 19-lap stints on the Softs with a 28-lap run on the yellow-marked Mediums.
The Italian manufacturer also suggests a three-stop strategy could be the second fastest way through the race via a run on the Soft/Medium/Soft/Soft compounds with 15 lap stints on the Softs and 21 on the Mediums
The third and final strategy suggested by Pirelli is a two-stop going through a Soft/Medium/Medium selection, but this will be dependant on degradation and track temperatures. This would mean 16 laps on the red-marked Softs and 25 lap stints on the Mediums.
“All the drivers concentrated on the soft in qualifying, which was a slight surprise, perhaps because of the established performance gap to the medium and the pace of the frontrunners,” said Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing
“This means that we can almost certainly expect two stops during the race tomorrow, and we’re unlikely to see much use of the hard, as there’s a big gap to the medium too.
“Key to tomorrow’s race in these very warm conditions will be managing wear and degradation on the soft.
“There’s plenty of scope for those starting lower down the grid to try something a bit different, so hopefully we’ll see another interesting race tomorrow with lots of variations in strategy.”