Pirelli sets out French GP tyre strategy options

Hamilton drives the Mercedes W10 at Paul Ricard Circuit, France

Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has outlined the strategic options for the French Grand Prix, with a one-stop strategy expected.

Pirelli has brought the middle range of its product to the Paul Ricard circuit, with the C2 (Hard), C3 (Medium) and C4 (Soft).

The majority of the drivers inside the top 10 will start on the Medium tyres after navigating Q2 on the compound, while Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi must start on Softs.

The other drivers on the grid will have a free choice of starting compound.

"The fastest strategy for the 53-lap French Grand Prix is a one-stopper. And the optimal one-stopper is to start on the medium tyre for 22 to 27 laps, then switch to hard until the end.

"If you start on the soft, a one-stopper is marginal but here’s how to do it: start on the soft for 14 to 16 laps, then take the hard to the end.

"Finally, there’s a two-stopper but this is much slower, so best avoided unless you have to: also because of a different pit lane layout this year. For a two-stopper: start on the soft for five to eight laps, then run the medium for 22 to 27 laps, and finally medium again to the end.

"The key to the strategy here, in any case, will be managing degradation on the soft and (to a lesser extent) the medium tyre, in the warm conditions, which is why the first strategy is clearly the preferable one – and why so many drivers selected the medium in Q2."