Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli believes a two-stop strategy is the fastest way to victory for the Eifel Grand Prix on Sunday.
Formula 1 has returned to the Nurburgring after a seven-year absence and teams have limited data due to the restricted track running.
Friday’s entire on-track action was abandoned due to persistent misty and wet conditions.
The race is set to be a chilly affair with ambient temperatures in single digits and therefore getting Pirelli’s tyres into the optimum window will remain a challenge.
All of the drivers who successfully made it into the Q3 will start on the red-marked Soft compound tyres.
Those who did not make it through to Q3 will have a free choice of starting tyres for the 60-lap Grand Prix.
Pirelli’s data suggests that the fastest route is a two-stop strategy running two stints of 19 laps on the Soft tyres coupled with a 22-lap run on the yellow-marked Mediums.
An alternative two-stop strategy is to complete one stint of 18 laps on the Soft tyres alongside two stints of 21 laps on the Mediums.
Data suggests a one-stop strategy involving the Soft tyres is not possible.
“Finally we saw some action at the Nürburgring, with the drivers heading into qualifying with just one hour of preparation,” said Pirelli’s F1 chief Mario Isola.
“As a result, there are a number of question marks heading into the Grand Prix, as Formula 1 hasn’t raced here since 2013 and the teams have very little data to go on.
“As well as strategy, one of those question marks surrounds the weather, which is set to be even colder and possibly wet.
“If it stays dry all the top 10 on the grid will start on the Soft tyre, which removes one variable, but what happens after that very much remains to be seen.
“In these extremely cold temperatures, we saw some light graining in the morning as expected but as more rubber was laid down on the track and the cars adapted their set-up, the situation improved.
“Looking after the tyres will still be crucial, in what should be quite an unpredictable Grand Prix with uncertain weather.”