Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli believes that drivers will need to make multiple pit stops for fresh rubber during the championship’s inaugural Tuscan Grand Prix.
Formula 1 is visiting Mugello for the first time and Pirelli has nominated the three hardest compounds from its range of five dry-weather tyres due to the high-energy nature of the track.
The threat of rain remains near zero for race day with temperatures expected to exceed 30C.
The top 10 on the grid will all start on the Soft tyre on account of using it for their quickest Q2 laps.
Those who did not make it through to Q3 will have a free choice of starting tyres for the 59-lap Grand Prix.
Pirelli’s data suggests that the fastest route is a two-stop strategy with two stints of 19 laps on the Soft tyre split by a 21-lap stint on Mediums.
Another approach is for a two-stop Soft/Medium/Medium strategy, pitting after 16 laps, and then after a further 21 laps.
Pirelli nonetheless expects a one-stop to be a viable option, either running Soft/Medium or Medium/Hard, on account of the importance of track position at Mugello.
“It was another warm day at Mugello with the tyres providing good performance,” said Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing.
“Already in Q1 the new track record was broken, before being lowered further in the final session. All the drivers in the top 10 of the grid have chosen to start the race on the Soft tyres, which obviously has an effect on the race strategy.
“Controlling degradation on the Soft at the beginning of the race will be crucial, and this will help to decide if it’s a one or a two-stop race, with several different strategies possible.
“The Soft tyres were used from start to finish of qualifying, but the harder compounds will definitely come into their own, especially for the drivers contemplating a one-stop strategy.”