Pirelli outlines Abu Dhabi Grand Prix strategy options
Pirelli has outlined that a one-stop strategy will be the quickest approach for Formula 1’s 2019 season finale, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Last year’s event was won by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who was able to fend off Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull's Max Verstappen
For Sunday’s race, Hamilton, Verstappen and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc will start on the yellow-ringed Medium tyres, with the remaining drivers on the Soft compound.
Valtteri Bottas made it into Q3 on the Medium tyre, but will start the back of the grid due to taking on penalties for changing power units.
Those who did not make it through to Q3 will have a free choice of starting tyres for the 55-lap Grand Prix.
Pirelli believes a one-stop strategy on the Soft/Hard compounds will be the fastest way to approach the race, stopping between laps seven-14 to switch to the Hards until the chequered flag.
An alternative - slightly slower one-stop strategy - is to go through the Soft/Medium compounds, making a stop between laps 10-18 laps to make the switch to the Mediums.
A potential two-stopping strategy has been taken into consideration as one of the slowest ways to complete the race, completing two stints on the Softs ranging from 7-10 laps and then running the Mediums until the finish.
The slowest strategy according to Pirelli would a one-stop approach by starting on the Softs and running for 18-22 laps and then switching to the Mediums for the remainder of the race.
"With a wide pit stop window, tomorrow is set to be a tactical race and the strategy has already begun with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel taking a different approach to the other frontrunners by opting for the soft tyre in Q2," said Pirelli's Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing.
"The medium runners should be able to go for a longer first stint, but the soft runners – making up the majority of the top 10 on the grid – should be quicker at the start.
"Under race conditions, the performance gap between medium and soft should be something in the region of half a second per lap. This provides an interesting mix, so it should ultimately come down to strategy to make the difference."